The Health News United Kingdom December 1 2017

  • NHS watchdogs have warned that 1 in 3  people diagnosed with asthma may not have it and they urge general practitioners to carry out “objective tests” on patients. New guidance from NICE tells doctors to run spirometry and breath tests, to improve accuracy of diagnosis and treatment. The new NHS guidance advises GPs to carry out a series of tests to ensure that other conditions, such as allergies or other lung conditions, are not mistaken for the inflammatory disease.
  • A minimum price for alcohol in Wales could hit drinkers on low incomes and lead to some young people turning to drugs. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) will also claim it is “impossible” to predict how consumers will react. The Welsh Assembly’s health and social care committee is taking evidence on the proposed minimum 50p unit price. It comes as updated research claims the policy will lead to 66 fewer deaths and 1,281 fewer hospital admissions a year.
  • The chief executive of Public Health England has warned that Coca-Cola should reflect on whether it should stop its red truck tour as it hampers efforts to tackle childhood obesity. PHE said 61% of the towns and cities the tour is visiting have higher-than-average rates of tooth decay in 5 and 12-year olds, and levels of obesity and being overweight among children starting secondary school.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/29/one-third-diagnosed-asthma-may-not-have-nice-says/

NHS watchdogs have warned that one in three people diagnosed with asthma may not have it and they urge general practitioners to carry out “objective tests” on patients.  New guidance from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) tells doctors to run spirometry and breath tests, to improve accuracy of diagnosis and treatment. The new guidance says better testing could avoid patients being needlessly prescribed medication, and save the NHS up to fifteen million pounds a year. Around four point five million people in England currently receive treatment for the inflammatory lung disease which causes wheezing, breathing problems and chest tightness. But research suggests that many of those regularly using inhalers in fact may  have grown out of the condition – which is more common in children – or never have had.

The new NHS guidance advises GPs to carry out a series of tests to ensure that other conditions, such as allergies or other lung conditions, are not mistaken for the inflammatory disease. The guidance calls for a radical shift in the way asthma is diagnosed, relying far more on tests and less on descriptions of symptoms. “Studies of adults diagnosed with asthma suggest that up to thirty per cent do not have clear evidence of asthma. Some may have had asthma in the past, but it is likely that many have been given an incorrect diagnosis,” the guidance says.

Drugs used to manage asthma can have significant side-effects including muscle cramps, throat infections, tremors, vomiting and nausea.
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Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK welcomed the guidelines, warning that three people die from an asthma attack each day.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-42154887

A minimum price for alcohol in Wales could hit drinkers on low incomes and lead to some young people turning to drugs. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) will also claim it is “impossible” to predict how consumers will react. The Welsh Assembly’s health and social care committee is taking evidence on the proposed minimum fifty p unit price. It comes as updated research claims the policy will lead to sixty six fewer deaths and one thousand two hundred eighty one fewer hospital admissions a year. Sheffield University’s alcohol research group, which will also be giving evidence to AMs, was asked to update its modelling and original study.

In the most deprived areas, they make up zero point six percent of the drinker population. But it is estimated they will experience forty five percent of the averted alcohol-attributable deaths and twenty four percent of the averted alcohol-attributable hospital admissions.  They buy almost a half (forty six percent) of their alcohol for less than fifty p per unit. They account for four percent of the drinker population, drink twenty seven percent of, and are responsible for twenty percent of all spending on, all alcohol consumed in Wales.

In contrast, moderate drinkers buy twenty two percent of their alcohol for less than fifty p per unit – so it is estimated the proposals will only cost them eight point thirty pounds extra per year.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said the latest findings were further evidence of a “very clear and direct link” between excessive drinking and the availability of cheap alcohol.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/29/coca-cola-should-reflect-whether-should-stop-red-truck-tour/

The chief executive of Public Health England has warned that Coca-Cola should reflect on whether it should stop its red truck tour as it hampers efforts to tackle childhood obesity. Duncan Selbie said local authorities which are allowing the signature red truck to stop in their towns and cities should “reflect on whether it’s in the best interests of the health of local children and families”.

The drinks giant’s UK truck tour is now in its seventh year, visiting forty two locations. PHE said Coca-Cola is visiting some of the country’s “tooth decay and obesity hot spots” during the tour.

PHE said sixty one percent of the towns and cities the tour is visiting have higher-than-average rates of tooth decay in five and twelve-year olds, and levels of obesity and being overweight among children starting secondary school. When the drinks giant launched its truck tour earlier this month, Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “Our nation is in the grip of an obesity epidemic and sugary drinks are a big part of the problem – they account for thirty percent of four-to-ten-year-olds’ daily sugar intake.

A can of Coca-Cola Classic contains around seven teaspoons of sugar, according to information on the Coca-Cola website. Figures from the National Child Measurement Programme in England show that in two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen almost a quarter of pupils starting their schooling were overweight or obese. This rose to over a third among those in year six. Among children in reception, nine point three per cent were deemed to be obese. This rose to twenty per cent among children who were about to start secondary school.​ A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “The Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour is a one-off, annual event where we offer people a choice of one hundred fifty milliliter samples of Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or Diet Coke – so two of the three options are no sugar drinks.

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