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Doctor dies in Afghanistan; consultant convicted over death certificates and why asthma inhalers may be linked with prostate cancer



By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Monday 9 August.

Details surrounding the murder of the British surgeon, Dr Karen Woo, and nine other unarmed medical workers are still unclear this morning.

According to the Guardian, the group may have been a ‘soft target’ and targeted because they were associated with a Christian charity. Director of UK-based Afghanaid described the attack as ‘the worst attack on humanitarian workers in 30 years.’

A senior NHS consultant has been ‘convicted of “recklessly” signing death certificates of hospital patients he had not examined’ according to the Telegraph today, but reportedly out of arrogance rather than greed. A judge said he had a ‘sloppy approach to signing forms’, which has cost him £1500 and a fitness to practice hearing.

The Daily Mail reports that ‘Asthma inhalers increase the risk of prostate cancer‘ to 40%, it says the risk increases to 70% for those who ‘frequently need treatment with steroid tablets or injections’.

But researchers said, in the small, preliminary study, ‘it was difficult to disentangle the effects of asthma drugs from the result of having the condition itself.’ As men with asthma have a 25% increased chance of developing prostate cancer anyway. Cancer Research UK have stressed that more research is necessary, saying ‘the results are quite weak and they could be statistical fluke.’

And the Sunday Times reported that ‘restaurants, cafes and pub chains will be forced to print menus calculating the calories in their meals.’

Apparently, Andrew Lansley is ‘prepared to legislate if they fail to respond’. The aim is to stop the diners from gorging themselves quite so carelessly and hopefully reduce the country’s growing obesity problem. I suppose this means we will all have to go home for pudding, where we can eat unknown quantities of calories with reckless abandon.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know, and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily Digest