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Abortion, polypills and coral suncream


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Our round-up of the health headlines on Wednesday 31 August.

Following RCGP chair Clare Gerada's warning that changes to the NHS bill would set back abortion policy 25 years, the Independent reports that Baroness Deech, who served for eight years as head of the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority, said that plans to offer all women thinking of have an abortion independent counselling were merely a smokescreen to limit a woman's right to choose.

Meanwhile equality, public health measures and diet have been credited with a Lancet article credited in the Guardian with Japan's life-expectancy of 86 for girls born now and 80 for boys.

For the rest of us a leading heart expert has poured cold water on plans to lengthen life by giving all over-55s a ‘polypill' containing containing statins, aspirin and blood-pressure-lowering drugs.

The Telegraph reports that Professor Allen Taylor, professor of medicine at Georgetown University, told the European Society of Cardiology conference in Parissaid a much more targeted approach was needed by using CT scans instead of medicalising large swathes of the population.

Speaking of pills the Mail and the Times [paywall] that King's College London researchers are close to reproducing in pill form a Great Barrier Reef coral's ability to protect itself from the sun's rays as an alternative to suntan lotion.

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