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Bad news for lovers of the crisp sandwich…and other health news

Our round-up of the health headlines on Friday 2 September.

As the 10th anniversary of the 11 September attacks on New York approaches the endeavours of the fire fighters on that day are still impacting upon their health, says a report in the Guardian. The research carried out by the New York City Fire Department, Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Centre, claims that the toxic fumes inhaled by the fire fighters has increased their chance of cancer by 19%.

New research, undertaken by the health lobby group Consensus Action on Salt & Health (CASH), has found that over a quarter of supermarket breads contain, in one slice, as much salt as a packet of crisps. The news, which is likely to worry any fans of the crisp sandwich, has been met with calls for clearer product labelling information, with the chairman of CASH saying ‘The Department of Health needs to ensure that all bread is clearly labelled and that manufacturers reduce the salt of bread to less than the target of 1g per 100g'.

The NHS is intentionally misleading patients whilst they are making decisions about surgery, says the president of the British Orthopaedic Association. Speaking to the Telegraph, Professor Peter Kay claims that surgical data is being misused to persuade patients not to have expensive procedures. He says that ‘I think these data are being used really cynically by the primary care trusts to say that surgery is not as good as it is, for the purpose of putting patients off operations and saving money.'

Wakey, wakey! The kick you get from your morning coffee could all be in your head says new research published in the journal Appetite. Researchers lied to test subjects telling them that their decaffeinated coffee was in fact caffeinated, they recorded that the subjects had increased performance and mood. In some cases those on the placebo coffee performed better in mental performance, reaction time and mood test than those who has been given regular coffee.

Big Tobacco has attempted to use the Freedom of Information act to gain access to confidential reports on the impact of smoking marketing on young people. The research, which was funded by Cancer Research UK, featured interviews with British children about their attitudes to smoking and behaviour. The request was made by Philip Morris International, the world's biggest tobacco company. ‘We would question the tobacco industry's motivation for trying to access this information. Are they concerned about the health of young people and seeking to clarify the impact of tobacco marketing on the rates of youth smoking?' said Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control.

The hotly debated recent changes to abortion rules are likely to be defeated, reports the Independent. The paper claims that health ministers, including Andrew Lansley, are planning to vote against the plans which would see women considering abortion requiring advice independent from the charities who would carry out the abortions.

The anti-baldness jab could be ready in five years, says the Daily Mail. The research, carried out at Yale University, has found that there are immature fat cells that produce chemical signals which will ‘wake up' dormant follicles resulting in renewed hair growth.

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