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Mummies (ancient and yummy) make the headlines

Our round-up of the health headlines on Wednesday 18 May.

The Times (behind paywall) reports that ancient Egyptian mummies have been found to show signs of heart disease suggesting that the nobility’s lifestyle of ‘lots of beef, sweet cakes and jugs of wine’ was not that good for them.

Meanwhile the Telegraph reports that yummy mummies opting to have their babies by Caesarean section have led to a drop in natural births. Around a quarter of all births in the country are now Caesareans compared with around 11% in the 1980s. Ruth Dundas, of the Medical Research Council’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow, said the rise was down to more middle class mothers opting for the operation.

The deputy prime minister has indicated he is set to demand that the role of Monitor as a promoter of competition in the NHS is dropped from the health bill.

Nick Clegg’s latest weekly briefing to his parliamentary party, leaked to the Guardian, singles out the NHS regulator, as the area of the embattled bill that needs the ‘most substantial changes’ and has said that all references to the body being an economic regulator ‘should be removed’.

The same newspaper reports that the Government is coming under increasing pressure to abandon plans for a new NHS patient record system after the official spending watchdog warned it was very likely to waste another £4.3bn in the next four years.

The Telegraph (not on website) reports that men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a substanially lower risk of developing prostrate cancer. The Harvard Medical School research suggests that consuming six or more cups of coffee a day led to a 20% reduction in risk. Given that high levels of caffiene lead to other risks Cancer Research UK is holding off from recommending the diet, though it is a fair bet that they would not endorse ‘lots of beef, sweet cakes and jugs of wine’.

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

Daily Digest