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150,000 alcholics and ‘the worst drink in America’ – all crammed into one health news round-up



By Lilian Anekwe

Our roundup of health news headlines on Thursday 27 May.

Stacks and stacks to get through and as I’m incredibly busy and important let’s dive straight in. No time to tell you the chairman of NHS London has resigned in a huff after the new health secretary put the kibosh on his cunning plan to reorganise the capitals’ care – you’ll just have to read it for yourself.

Brevity is the order of today’s Daily Digest. But that’s no reason not to be thorough, natch. Antiretroviral drugs could cut the transmission of the HIV virus, as well as extending the lives of people already living with the virus, The Independent reports. It also reports GPs issued more than 150,000 prescriptions for alcohol dependency drugs, a sign that our booze culture is spiralling out of control, apparently.

The rising level of mental illness could threaten ‘the peace and happiness of mankind’, according to a brain chemistry expert in the Daily Mirror.

All the depressed people out there probably won’t be helped by The Sun steaming in and revealing that the average Brit manages less than six and a half hours sleep a night because of the pressure of work stress and financial worries.

Doctors are planning to spike a patient’s Ribena to sedate her and give her life-saving treatment, The Times says. I’ll spend a few precious seconds establishing context: No, this isn’t some weird new hospital-cult initiation ritual, but a legal precedent ordered by a judge to treat a woman with the really unfortunate combination of cancer and a phobia of hospitals.

Moving onto the fabulously alliterative and just-made-up-by-me Health Heavy Hitters: the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Which because I am just so busy and pushed for time and did I mention important, I will abbreviate to DT and DM. Word.

DT says NICE have ruled against approving the use of a life-saving liver cancer drug because it’s too costly, those women amongst you both gainfully employed and proud mothers risk raising obese children, a mad boffin has infected himself with his own computer virus (although I’m not quite sure why), waiting a few minutes after the wondrous magic that is childbirth to cut the umbilical cord boosts a baby’s immune system, and scientists have discovered the genes that lie behind childhood heart defects.

And finally the DM has named and shamed The Worst Drink in America, and, it’s not unreasonable to assume therefore, the world. The McDonalds triple thick chocolate milkshake, at a staggering 1,160 calories, half my recommended daily calorie intake, has as much fat as 25 rashers of bacon, it reports. That’s gone straight to the top of my ‘To Do’ list for my next American adventure!

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

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