This site is intended for health professionals only

England: both the ‘alcoholic’ and the ‘sick woman’ of Europe, and other health stories

By Lilian Anekwe

Our roundup of news headlines on Thursday 1 April.

After the night I had last night I was interested – no, that's not the right word – depressed to read in The Times that deaths from liver disease in England are rising sharply compared to the rest of Western Europe.

Deaths from cirrhosis of the liver have gone up more than 250% since 1971, and there are more alcohol related deaths UK than the relatively clean-living Belgians, but more than the French, Italians and the Spanish – all countries well known for copious amounts of red wine consumption.

There's a research project in there somewhere, and I would be remiss as a health journalist if I didn't also consume copious amounts of red wine and observe whether I develop liver disease. I'll get to the bottom of this riddle by getting to the bottom of bottles.

As well as the high rate of liver disease, healthcare in England is now 'so poor' that even women in Slovenia have a longer life expectancy, says the Daily Mail rather disparagingly of the Slovenian health service.

A woman born in Engerlund can expect to live 81 years and 11 months, but those dastardly Slovenian and even Maltese women will rob and swindle their way to another two months of life, the scoundrels. And presumably because of all the red wine they quaff, French woman can expect to live the longest – 85 years.

A healthy way of life in middle age can cut the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 20%, the Daily Telegraph reports.

In case you didn't get the memo from the Department of Health, or read it right here in Pulse, you should have changed to Prevenar 13, the 13-valent pneumoccoal vaccine from today, the Daily Mirror reports.

And following yesterday's news that chocolate is good for your heart, research in mice suggests that a sausage-packed fried English breakfast may be good for your waistline. Come on - would I April fool you?

Daily Digest