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Ubble test predicts your death, elderly carers impossible to recruit, and ‘archaic’ abortion rules prevent new pill innovation

Today’s big health story is that a short self-assessed survey of physical health, called Ubble, is a better predictor of death in the next five years than physical measurements including blood pressure and heart rate, a study published in the Lancet has found.

Researchers have found that, for men aged 40 to 70, self –assessed health, determined through a short survey asking how briskly they walk, or how they would rate their own physical fitness, is the strongest risk factor for dying in the next five years – while for women, a cancer diagnosis is a stronger factor.

It is becoming ‘virtually impossible’ to recruit care workers for the elderly as the result of five years of budget cuts and efficiency drives means many workers would be better paid stacking shelves.

The Telegraph reports that local council care bosses have warned that the cuts are now threatening to drive private care agencies and care homes out of business – despite attempts to shield private providers from the full cost of the cuts.

A survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) on councils’ care budgets found 45% thought they had mitigated the cuts’ impact on care, but just 7% thought this could continue in future.

And finally the Mail reports half of British women would consider using a once a month contraceptive pill, that scientists are prohibited from developing because of the UK’s ‘archaic’ abortion laws.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service surveyed women and found just 25% would oppose the treatment, which could work by detaching any fertilised egg from the lining of the womb, but innovation is being stifled by the 1967 abortion act which makes ending a pregnancy a criminal offence.

Ann Furedi, BPAS chief executive, said: ‘Women need new ways to plan their families that fit in with their lives in the 21st Century.’