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Gadgets, alcohol abuse and simply too much sugar

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Monday 21 February.

Sobering news in The Daily Telegraph today, as academics warn that ‘as many as a quarter of a million people will die from alcohol abuse over the next two decades‘ unless the Government introduces stricter marketing rules. They predict that ‘wider harms’ of consuming alcohol will result in these high figures. This comes after WHO showed that ‘Britain has the 16th highest drinking levels worldwide’ and ‘deaths from liver disease have doubled in Britain in recent years.’

The-stuff-of-nightmares is reported today in The Guardian, following a survey by the MDU which has found that ‘family doctors had been involved in immunisation blunders affecting 98 children and 10 adults in the last five years’. These ‘blunders’ include the wrong child being vaccinated, the wrong vaccine being used and under-18’s being vaccinated without parental consent (not all at once, presumably).

The Department of Health didn’t have much to say on the situation: ‘It is the responsibility of the doctor or nurse giving the vaccine to check and ensure it is the right vaccine for the patient.’

Here at Pulse we dearly love a gadget. So imagine the increase in our respective blood pressures when we read this headline in The Independent: ‘Revolutionary ‘wrist watch’ to monitor high blood pressure‘. Scientists have developed a sensor which can be strapped to the wrist to measure the pressure in the aorta. The device not only ‘provides a more accurate reading than the traditional arm cuff’ and could see people being taken off treatment. And what’s more, Andrew Lansley is a big fan.

And finally, who’s rattled the Daily Mails cage this morning? I’ll tell you who… flavoured water drinks. Those that are designed to ‘sweeten the chore of drinking a healthy eight glasses of water a day’ are actually full of sugar. According to the Mail, some unpardonable bottles contain as much sugar as a plate of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

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

Daily digest