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Hospital budget cuts, cancer prevention and why rickets is ‘disturbingly common’ in Britain

By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of the headlines on Friday 22 January 2010.

Another day, another set of dire warnings on the effect of budget cuts on the NHS.

William Moyes executive chairman of the regulator Monitor told The Times hospitals were ‘not grasping the economic challenges ahead' and that many would will have to reduce services, sell off buildings and move into smaller premises to cope with the financial pressures of the next few years.

The head of the Audit Commission has called for more cuts to the NHS budget. Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Office, branded promises to ring-fence the NHS budget as ‘insane' as deep cuts were likely in all areas to cut the £178 billion national deficit.

Other big news – first broken by Pulse yesterday – is the fall-out of the suspension of the licence for the anti-obesity drug subtramine by the European authorities.

In the Daily Mail, Dr David Haslam of the National Obesity Forum said he was surprised by the decision and knew of no study proving that Reductil had led to a death from a heart attack or stroke.

The Telegraph reports that taking anti-inflammatory drugs could almost eliminate the extra risk of cancer conferred by obesity. Professor Michael Karin, of the University of California, said doctors worried about cardiovascular disease and diabetes but not cancer. ‘We can reduce cancer deaths a lot,' he claims.

A British mother has described her joy in the Mirror as her cojoined twins come home from hospital.

The Telegraph reports the results of a study published in Science that supports the theory that widespread antibiotic use in the 1960s may have spawned MRSA. Using a DNA-mapping technique, they discovered that one strain dating from that time accounts for a large proportion of MRSA outbreaks in hospitals around the world.

And finally, computer games may be responsible for a rickets becoming ‘disturbingly common' among British children, the Times reports today.

They quote experts from Newcastle University, who claim kids are spending more time on their computer consoles than outside in the sun, and so are deficient in vitamin D.

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Daily Digest