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#GPnews: Patients ‘share leftover opioids with friends and family’

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16:04 The Government is going to look at reversing rules blocking sexually active gay men from making blood donations.

The Department of Health told BBC Newsbeat: ‘Donor deferral for men who have sex with men was changed from lifetime to 12 months in 2011 but five years later it is time to look again at the question.

‘Our expert advisory committee is currently undertaking a review on whether the rules should change and we will base any decisions on their expert advice.’

The BBC said 6,000 blood donations are needed across England and Wales every day but that in the past 10 years, there has been a 40% decrease in the number of new donors.

Northern Ireland changed from a full ban to the 12-month deferral this month.

14:22 Patients in the US are prescribed more opioids than they need per course of treatment, and are subsequently sharing these with friends and family, a study has suggested.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health study ’sheds light on how prescription painkillers circulate in the US, as overdose deaths from opioids are skyrocketing’, writes the Guardian.

In a patient survey, 6% said they held on to the medication after they stopped using it and out of those, 20% said they shared their leftover pills. The majority said this was to help others manage pain.

‘There is a growing awareness about overprescribing and the role it’s playing in the opioid epidemic, but I think it takes a while for the medical community to change’, said Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, who co-authored the study.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed there were 29,000 opioid overdoses in 2014.

11:44 You can ’probably’ get cancer from drinking very hot drinks, the WHO’s cancer agency has said.

It is thought oesophageal cancer could be linked to ingesting drinks above 65 degrees, reports the Independent.

This could include tea – to the horror of the British public – but actually few people would actually drink it at the sort of temperatures required.

A spokesperson for the IARC said: ’Studies in places such as China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and South America, where tea or mate is traditionally drunk very hot (at about 70 C) found that the risk of oesophageal cancer increased with the temperature at which the beverage was drunk.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer said drinking very hot beverages at above 65 C was classified as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.

09:30 The number of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in England and Wales rose from 500 to 533 last year. Although the increase looks small, campaigners branded it ‘extremely worrying’ as the lifestyle-driven disease commonly only develops after the age of 40.

The Telegraph points out that it is a mere 16 years since the first ever case of childhood type 2 diabetes was diagnosed.

Helen Dickens, of Diabetes UK, called on the Government to publish its pending childhood obesity strategy to ensure families are helped to lead healthier lives.

The BBC quotes her as saying: ’Type 2 diabetes typically develops in adults over the age of 40, so it is extremely worrying that we are seeing more young people develop the condition.

’Although there are a number of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, some of which are out of our control, one of the most important risk factors is being overweight or obese, which we can do something about.

’That is why it is so essential that the government publishes it’s childhood obesity strategy to help make it as easy as possible.’


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