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GP shopping, statins reduce breast cancer risk and why commuting is bad for you

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Monday 31 October.

When the NHS Commissioning Board is up and running the NHS it will allow patients to ‘shop around’ and compare GPs, says BBC Online. Sir David Nicholson, chief executive of the board, said: ‘We’ll publish information about general practice, so you can compare what your GP provides compared with others in the area and nationally. We think this will be a very powerful mechanism for patients to make choices about which GPs they use.’

Draft guidelines from NICE suggest women could have a planned caesarean, for no medical reason, except a fear of childbirth. The woman would need to speak to an experienced practitioner beforehand to address her concerns, but if they still exist then she would be able to opt for a caesarean section under the new guidance. Maureen Treadwell, co-founder of the Birth Trauma Association, said: ‘Childbirth can be very traumatic, and women should have rights over what happens to their body.’

A daily dose of simvastatin could reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrance, according to American and Danish researchers. They found among women who had breast cancer, those who took statins were 30% less likely to experience a recurrance compared with those who didn’t. Women who took hydrophilic statins saw little or no reduction in cancer risk.

Turns out that commuting is bad for your health, which is funny, because most people look so happy their daily commute… (!) Swedish researchers found that those who used a car, bus or train as their principle way of getting to work suffered more stress, greater sickness absence, and poorer sleep than those who walked or cycled.