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TB, TV and tears

By Alisdair Stirling

Our round-up of the health headlines on Thursday 21 April

Screening procedures for tuberculosis in immigrants in the UK are missing the majority of cases, The Independent reports. Using new blood checks rather than chest X-rays would detect over 90% of imported latent TB, as opposed to the current failure to detect more than 70% of cases of latent infection, according to new research.

The incidence of TB has risen dramatically in Britain over the last decade, particularly because of a 98% increase in cases among people who move to the country from overseas, says the newspaper.

Screening of a different type makes the headlines in the Daily Mail. The paper says that children as young as six are risking heart problems in later life because they are allowed to spend too much time watching TV or playing on computers, scientists warn.

A study of 1,492 primary school pupils found on average, children spent 1.9 hours per day watching TV or playing on their computer and only 36 minutes doing physical activity. Those who spent hours glued to the screen suffered narrowing of blood vessels in their eyes – an early warning sign of increased likelihood of heart disease and high blood pressure.

They had an average 'retinal arteriolar' narrowing of 2.3 microns.But those who exercised for one hour a day had retinal blood vessels that were 2.2 microns wider, the Mail reports.

And still at the Mail, another study reported in the paper suggests babies who persistently cry are more likely to become problem children with behavioural disorders.

Research found that around one in five infants is 'difficult', with excessive crying and problems sleeping and feeding. It found babies with these issues were 40% more likely to grow up to display unruly behaviour, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

An Anglo-German team including researchers from Warwick University said that babies who cried for more than three hours a day also went on to have persistent sleep problems after eight months.

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

Daily Digest