This site is intended for health professionals only

Warning over low-carb diets, call for HPV vaccine to be given to gay men, and why we all need our full 40 winks

Despite the grim weather, plenty will be thinking about thier bikini bodies this month, and might be considering dieing. But the Telegraph warns of the negative effects of the Atkins diet on your heart. A study in Sweden, that tracked 140,000 people for 25 years, has found the high protein, low carbohydrate diet is linked to increased cholesterol levels.

Prof Ingegerd Johansson, who led the research, from the University of Gothenburg said: ‘While low carbohydrate/high fat diets may help short term weight loss, these results of this Swedish study demonstrate that long term weight loss is not maintained and that this diet increases blood cholesterol which has a major impact on risk of cardiovascular disease.

Elsewhere, ‘a group of influential doctors, men’s health charities and senior politicians is calling for the vaccination of gay men against a cancer-causing sexually transmitted virus from which the NHS already protects young heterosexuals’, reports the Guardian.

The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), backed by the British Medical Association and the Terrence Higgins Trust, say that if sexually active gay men are included in the HPV vaccination programme, which is currently restricted to adolescent girls, the number of deaths from preventable diseases could decrease.

‘We recognise that there’s a burden of disease, particularly for gay men, that is not being met and we recognise that there’s an effective intervention,’ said Dr David Asboe of BASHH.

If you struggled to get out of bed this morning it could just be the Monday morning blues, but it might also worth thinking about geting an early night tonight. The Daily Mail reports of a US study that has found that middle aged people who consistently get six hours of sleep or less are at increased risk of stoke – even if they are otherwise healthy.

According to the paper, Dr Megan Ruiter, lead author of the study, which will be presented today at the American Association of Sleep Medicine’s annual conference, speculated that lack of sleep could be a precursor to more traditional stroke risk factors.

Dr Clare Walton of the Stroke Association said: ‘Previous studies suggest that regularly getting fewer than six hours or more  than nine hours of a sleep a night can increase your chances of having a stroke but much more research is needed.’