Our round-up of the health headlines on Wednesday 7 September.
GPs are piloting the use of a 10-minute memory test that gives early warning of Alzheimer’s disease in people as young as 50, the Daily Mail says. But what am I telling you for? You’re ‘a GP’, right, surely you’d know, you’re doing it already.
You will also know then, being a GP and all, that the NHS is investigating a woman who posed as a registered nurse and worked at four GP surgeries in Medway, Kent, for over four years, performing vaccinations and cervical smears.
And worse still, the Telegraph says, ‘Dr Death’ – former GP Dr Michael Irwin who travelled to Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas to help a friend with prostate cancer to die – says he has been approached by a woman with arthritis to accompany her to the clinic to end her life.
But all’s not lost, as plucky GP Dr Ajay Vora treats his patients with laughter. Check out his hilarious waistcoat.
The Telegraph also says scientists claim a deadly hospital fungus is becoming resistant to the latest generation of drugs, and heart attack patients will be injected with stem cells as part of a breakthrough new treatment developed by scientists at King’s College Hospital in London.
Pregnant women who take the painkiller ibuprofen are twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage as those that don’t.
Speaking of pregnant women, the ‘health watchdog’, as the BBC likes to call NICE, has indicated that pregnant women should have the option of a caesarean section, just because, and not only if there are complications during birth as set out in current guidance.
The Independent says today’s parliamentary debate on abortion counselling services is ‘too close to call’, while The Guardian says deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will vote against it.
The Times (and the Daily Mail splash) love the findings of an ‘important’ American study ‘showing moderate alcohol consumption helps middle aged women to age better.’
Many questions immediately spring to my sceptical journalistic mind, not to mention my liver. What exactly constitutes ‘moderate alcohol consumption’, and as someone arguably closer to middle age than her teens, what counts as ‘middle age’?
We have answers thanks to the lushes at the Daily Telegraph who explain ‘one or two drinks a night, but no more, had a 30% better chance of overall good health in their seventies than teetotallers’.
Wait – that doesn’t help at all. I’m still in need of advice on whether I should stick to the wine newspapers have traditionally espoused as healthy, like good old red wine? Or should I take it up a notch to more concentrated alcohols, like vodka. And should I abandon my previous firm intention never to live to my seventies? And what is ‘overall good health’, anyway? Do I need solid medical advice, or just a drink, I wonder.