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Prostate genes; OOH complaints and a warning about diabetes treatments

Our roundup of news headlines on Wednesday 27 January.

Many papers covered the research showing that scientists have identified a group of genes that indicate whether or not a man is likely to survive prostate cancer.

The study showed that men with three specific gene defects are much more likely to have die 11 years after diagnosis. More than 85% of those men with the disease who lacked all three gene defects were alive 11 years later, compared with 14% of those who had all three defects. However, only 6% of the men in the British Journal of Cancer study had all three abnormalities.

Figures from the Medical Defence Union showing an increase in the number of complaints against GP locums was also high on the news agenda. In 2007-2008 the MDU logged 517 complaints, compared with just 337 two years before. Nearly a quarter of complaints related to a delay or failure in diagnosing conditions ranging from heart attacks to meningitis.

Dr Stephen Green, MDU head of risk management, said: 'Compared to the many millions of patients who are seen out of hours each year, the number of complaints notified to us by our members is small. However out of hours care continues to represent a significant and growing proportion of the complaints we see.'

Research showing intense treatment to lower blood sugar in diabetes patients could be almost as harmful as allowing it to remain high also received media interest.

Findings were based on a Lancet study that looked at nearly 50,000 patients with type 2 diabetes. Mortality risk increases by more than half if HbA1c levels dropped to 6.4% but for those with the highest levels the risk of death increased by nearly 80%.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest