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A coffee a day, apples and pears and a sense of tumour

By Alisdair Stirling

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Friday 11 March.

The Daily Mail reports that women who drink more than a cup of coffee a day can lower their risk of having a stroke by 25%. Those with little or no coffee intake, however, are more likely to suffer from the condition, new research suggests.

Researchers from Sweden's Karolinska Institute followed the diet and health of nearly 35,000 women aged 49 to 83 over a decade. Those who reported drinking at least one cup a day had a 22% to 25% lower risk of stroke than those who drank less. This could be because coffee reduces inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity, the Mail suggests.

It doesn´t matter whether you´re an apple or a pear, according to the Daily Telegraph. A 2005 study seemed to confirm that people with an 'apple' figure - a tendency to store fat around the belly rather than the hips - were at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. But now an analysis of records from 220,000 patients in 58 studies has cast doubt on the theory.

An international group of scientists, led by Cambridge University, concluded in The Lancet that their findings "reliably refute" that having a higher waist-to-hip ratio is a better a predictor of heart disease and stroke risk than being generally overweight, as measured by body mass index.

One in four teenage cancer patients had to visit their GP at least four times before being referred to a specialist, reports The Scotsman. A Teenage Cancer Trust Survey found that a fifth of young patients reported that their GP didn't refer them to a specialist at all, even though almost two-thirds had at least two of the most common symptoms of cancer, the paper says. The findings were revealed at the trust's annual 'Find Your Sense of Tumour' conference in Nottingham.

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

Daily Digest

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