This site is intended for health professionals only


Diabetes treatment risks could outweigh benefits, contraceptive pills mask fertility and an integrated framework to transform jargon



Researchers have found evidence that the downsides to taking drugs for type two diabetes may actually outweigh the benefits for some patients.

In a paper published this week in JAMA, the researchers said that a lifetime of regular injections and blood sugar tests as well as the side effects from drug and insulin treatments could outweigh the added life expectancy that such treatments offer.

One of the authors, Prof John Yudkin, said that patients should be given the facts about the treatment options available to them, but that ‘not many doctor have those figures to hand’. He added that GPs were too ‘target focussed’ and were often looking only at blood sugar levels.

The Telegraph is running a raft of fertility-linked stories today, including a report that the contraceptive pill can prevent accurate assessments of fertility being made for months after the drug’s cessation.

Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital found that hormones in the pill can suppress the markers which are used to assess fertility and to predict the onset on menopause. While most women will become pregnant within six months of stopping contraception, researchers says that they will be unable to get an accurate assessment of their fertility for at least three months.

Dr Kathrine Birch Petersen, who led the research, said that doctors should modify their assessments of patients’ fertility to take this effect into account.

And the Guardian has bemoaned the NHS’ obsession with ‘incomprehensible’ jargon in a comment piece. They argue that many patients struggle to understand the terminology used by their doctors, as well as the language used in medical correspondence and on medicines packaging.

But it’s not only the use of medical jargon that has come under fire – the report also links to a list of the management-speak terms most hated by medical professionals. Prof Alan Maynard, who penned the list, has also included a helpful glossary which you can add to using the hashtag #NHSjargon. Get tweeting…