The Health News United Kingdom April 21 2018

  • The first ever international analysis looking at UK child health measures over time and across fourteen other comparable OECD countries concludes that despite some impressive progress in recent decades, the UK remains a long way short of its stated ambition to be an international leader in fostering a healthy start for children. The UK has considerably more overweight or obese children than the average amongst high-income countries and in 2013 it had one of the highest proportions of overweight girls aged 2-19, at 29% – second only to the US.
  • It has been reported that police are investigating after a stillborn baby was found in the boot of a car at a Northern Ireland hospital.  The Sun newspaper reports a young teenage woman arrived at Altnagelvin Hospital to report what had happened before she disappeared on Thursday.
  • Analysis of national data by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute found that over a million UK adults are both struggling with their mental health and housing costs – with one often feeding the other. The charity also found that people who are struggling with housing costs are one and a half times as likely to experience mental health problems – a squeeze in living standards is leaving many behind on rent and in need of mental health support.
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The Health News USA April 21 2018

  • An Overland Park company is recalling supplements sold for male sexual enhancement because they contain prescription drugs. Epic Products LLC announced a voluntary recall of its Euphoric capsules after an analysis by the Food and Drug Administration found they contained two prescription drugs — sildenafil and tadalafil — that are used to treat male erectile dysfunction.
  • Sen. Bernard Sanders took direct aim recently at opioid makers he said are fueling the drug-overdose crisis, proposing legislation that would impose crippling fines and even jail time on company executives who downplay the addictive nature of their product. Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent and hero of the progressive left, said opioid manufacturers reaped billions of dollars from painkillers sales over the past decade, but haven’t been held accountable for their role in an addiction crisis that claims tens of thousands of Americans each year.
  • According to researchers, more visits to the emergency room by teens in Colorado are related to marijuana use than in the past, suggesting an impact of the drug’s legalization that needs closer attention. The study team reported in Journal of Adolescent Health that between 2005 and 2015, the proportion of emergency department or urgent care visits by youth ages 13 to 20 for pot-related illnesses rose from 1.8 per 1,000 visits to 4.9 per 1,000.
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The Health News Australia April 20 2018

  • West Australian taxpayers are forking out almost $5,000 a day in electricity costs to run the new Perth Children’s Hospital before it has even opened its doors to patients. And the cost will increase from next month when the first patients move in, with health officials predicting electricity consumption will jump by another 15% once the hospital is fully commissioned.
  • An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report reveals two to three 15 to 24 year-olds are diagnosed with cancer in Australia every day on average, with melanoma the most commonly diagnosed cancer among this age group. More than 4800 new cases of cancer were diagnosed between 2010-2014.
  • A survey of thousands of Australians has found a third of workers are affected by mental illness, with depression the most common disorder. Australia’s Biggest Mental Health Check-In was conducted by mental health technology company Medibio, and it revealed 36% of respondents suffered from depression, 33% percent from anxiety and 31% from stress.
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The Health News United Kingdom April 19 2018

  • Families of children with ADHA are warning that too often medication is the only option they are offered to manage the condition. A survey of parents across Scotland found evidence of delays in diagnosing ADHD and inadequate support afterwards.The Scottish ADHD Coalition also uncovered concerns about inadequate training of school staff. The Scottish government said medication was offered in accordance with good clinical practice.It added that it was often accompanied by non-drug treatments such as counselling.
  • The UK is stepping up efforts to help eliminate trachoma, a painful bacterial infection that can lead to permanent loss of sight among some of the poorest people in the world. At this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London the UK’s international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, has pledged an extra £20 million to provide sight-saving antibiotics and surgery to people in 10 Commonwealth countries.
  • With around 62% of UK adults and 30% of children either overweight or obese, they are facing an imminent, devastating public health crisis that requires government action. Weight related, chronic health conditions – including Type 2 diabetes – continue to rise at alarming levels, placing significant strain on the health service and taking a serious toll on the health of the nation overall.  Childhood obesity, in particular, is an epidemic that requires decisive national action from government.
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The Health News USA April 19 2018

  • Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, is in stable condition after a surgery to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis over the weekend, according to a statement from his office. McCain was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in July 2017 following a procedure to remove a blood clot. He has remained in the Senate for the duration of his radiation and chemotherapy as part of his cancer treatment.
  • A multistate E. coli outbreak has sent at least 22 people to the hospital prompting health officials to advise consumers across the country to throw out any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, including prepackaged salads and salad mixes. The outbreak has been traced to the Yuma, Arizona growing region, but it is not yet pinned to a common grower, supplier, distributor or brand. Since the outbreak began in late March, the CDC has tallied a total of 35 infections across eleven states, including three cases of kidney failure.
  • A federal judge has ordered the government to inform all illegal immigrant children in federal custody that they have an unfettered right to an abortion in the U.S. Notices, in English and Spanish, must be passed out “to all unaccompanied minors” regardless of whether they are pregnant — or even girls. The order kicks in “immediately,” U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who has been overseeing a long-running dispute over illegal immigrants’ abortion rights, wrote in her ruling.
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The Health News Australia April 19 2018

  • Bowel cancer kills conversation, but it doesn’t have to kill you. That’s the message behind a new campaign urging Australians aged 50-74 to use their government-funded, home-delivered bowel cancer screening kit as soon as they receive it in the mail. Currently, only 39% of Australians who receive the free and potentially life-saving test use it. Data released by the Cancer Institute of NSW found 40% of people surveyed who had received a kit, but not used it, said the main reason was because they “didn’t have time”.
  • Experts are calling for greater awareness about the impact gas stoves and damp houses have on the lung health of children. Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia investigated the links between the common indoor exposures and asthma in children. Living in a damp home is also quite common in Australia and can also adversely affect children’s lungs. The study identified the presence of dampness in 26% of Australian homes. With childhood asthma rates in Australia among the highest in the world, the researchers have called for greater awareness of these household hazards.
  • The 2018 flu season is “unlikely” to be as severe as last year’s, which was responsible for a record number of influenza-related deaths in Australia. However, influenza remains a major global pandemic threat, and experts say people must get vaccinated to protect the vulnerable from the deadly virus. At the start of this week there had been a total of 11,057 laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza in Australia for 2018, according to data recorded by the Immunisation Coalition.
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The Health News United Kingdom April 18 2018

  • New research suggests that women who are hoping to conceive should go on a diet years before. Writing in The Lancet, medics said the vast majority of women of reproductive age were not nutritionally prepared for pregnancy – putting the long-term health of their children at risk. Those thinking about starting a family are often advised to make lifestyle changes, such as cutting out alcohol, and taking dietary supplements, around 3 months before attempting to conceive.
  • Hundreds of military veterans are set to benefit from a nationwide scheme to tackle the most complex mental health needs of ex-armed forces personnel, launched by NHS England. The Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service has been designed after veterans and their families from across England were invited to tell the NHS how services would work best for them. Backed by £3.2m of funding a year, the new service aims to help 450 veterans every year.
  • According to new research, women from European descent are twice as likely to be naturally blonde as men. The largest ever genetic study on pigmentation looked at nearly three hundred thousand people of European descent. It found 124 new genes that play a major role in determining human hair colour variation. The discovery of one hundred twenty four genes connected to hair colour also revealed some links to cancers such as skin, testicular, prostate and ovarian.
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The Health News USA April 18 2018

  • The board of trustees for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has voted to move forward with a federal application for a reinsurance program. The board voted Monday to proceed with the program that Gov. Larry Hogan and state lawmakers approved to hold down consumer costs to Maryland’s individual market for health insurance for 2019 and 2020.
  • An estimated 5 million Americans are illegally using prescription stimulants, with the majority seeking to boost their concentration and mental stamina over extended periods of time, according to new research shedding light on amphetamine use among adults. Sixteen million Americans over the age of 18 are using prescription stimulants. About 400,000 people are thought to abuse stimulants.
  • A new survey shows restaurant and hotel workers smoke the most pot in Colorado. State health officials have reported that the first breakdown of marijuana use in Colorado shows that 30% of people employed in the restaurant and hotel industry admit to using cannabis. People working in the arts, recreation and entertainment come in next, with 28% saying they currently use pot.
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The Health News Australia April 18 2018

  • According to experts, women who want to get pregnant need to lose weight first, or they risk their future child’s health. A study published in The Lancet medical journal found obesity and poor nutrition were “rife” among women of childbearing age, and efforts to curb diet during pregnancy were too little, too late. The international study included data on women aged from 18 to 42. Statistics from Australia showed only 10% of Australian women ate what they should.
  • Patients with a form of Hodgkin lymphoma will have the cost of a breakthrough drug slashed by thousands from next month. Keytruda would have cost $200,000 for each course of treatment but the federal government’s move to list it on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme means patients won’t pay more than $39.50 a script.
  • Teaching school children about pelvic pain will form part of a proposed national plan to tackle endometriosis, the debilitating condition that affects hundreds of thousands of women. The health minister, Greg Hunt, will push the states and territories to commit to the plan, which was discussed at the recent Council of Australian Governments meeting in Sydney. Studies suggest endometriosis affects at least 1 in 10 women of reproductive age.
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The Health News United Kingdom April 17 2018

  • One in 8 middle-aged adults in the UK could have a potentially serious form of liver disease – because they are overweight. Scans of nearly 3,000 individuals from the UK Biobank research project showed that 12% had inflamed, fatty livers. The British Liver Trust said the “very alarming” findings were a ‘wake-up call’ because the condition can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and death. Hepatologists said there was a silent epidemic of fatty liver disease.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people with mental health conditions and physical disabilities could be given the option of a personalised NHS budget for their own care needs under government proposals. People with learning difficulties and dementia are among around three hundred fifty thousand who could have the right to select and pay for treatments that improve their health and wellbeing through a bespoke care plan agreed with medical professionals. For children and people unable to manage the money, parents or carers will be able to manage the budget.
  • Scientists say they have identified genes that cause a deadly heart condition that can only be cured by transplants of the heart or lungs. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) kills fifty percent of those affected within five years, but little was known about what caused the condition in some people. Now experts say they have discovered five genes that cause the illness. Researchers say that the findings could lead to earlier detection of the disease and ultimately new treatments. PAH currently affects around 6,500 people in the UK.  
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