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Red heads pain threshold questioned, new superbug in South Korea and why HRT may prevent breast cancer



By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Friday 10 December.

Doctors to re-think benefits of HRT after study shows oestrogen may protect women against breast cancer‘ says the Daily Mail today. ‘Controversial’ research from America suggests that using HRT could protect some women from breast cancer rather than trigger it. The findings were criticised for ‘causing potential confusion among women who have been warned for several years that HRT causes a slight rise in the chances of developing breast cancer.’

The Daily Telegraph breaks the news that ‘People with red hair do not feel more pain or bleed more after operations, despite doctors’ fears that they do’. An article in the BMJ said doctors treat red head with ‘trepidation’ due to their ‘reputation for complications’. A surgeon in Swansea looked at the evidence and found there was ‘no evidence of increased bleeding’ and only small studies found they were sensitive to temperature or needed more anesthetic.

Worrying news in The Metro today, which comes from the South Korean capital Seoul after a new bacteria, NDM-1, was found in two patients. The superbug so far has proved ‘resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics.’ Experts claimed ‘superbug can exist inside different bacteria, such as E.coli, which makes it resistant to carbapenems – one of the most powerful groups of antibiotics’.

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

Daily digest