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Painkillers linked to infertility, statins breakthrough and patient deaths inquiry

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 9 November.

Apart from the news that Tamara Mellon is the new trade ambassador and George Bush Jnr believes his foreign policy was a success, the most alarming reports in the newspapers today concern the possible impact on male children of their mother taking routine painkillers.

A new study alleges pregnant women who take drugs such as paracetemol, aspirin and ibuprofen could put their unborn sons at risk of fertility problems later in life.

According to the findings, prolonged use of these common medicines may harm the development of boys' sex organs, although around half of women take over-the-counter painkillers during pregnancy, usually for headaches.

The research claims such use may increase the risk of boys having undescended testicles, which can lead to poor sperm quality and testicular cancer in later life.

Better news on the front page of today's Telegraph which reports a study from the Lancet suggesting thousands of lives could be saved every year if people at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke were prescribed more potent statins.

But all the papers can be excused for concentrating on the dark side of the NHS as a new inquiry opens into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal, which saw up to 1200 patients die , amid accusations staff put cost cutting and targets ahead of patient care.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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