The Health News United Kingdom November 16 2017

  • People who overdose on paracetamol could be helped by a blood test that shows immediately if they are going to suffer liver damage. Researchers in Edinburgh and Liverpool said the test would help doctors identify which patients arriving in hospital need more intensive treatment. The blood test detects levels of specific molecules in blood associated with liver damage.
  • Coca-Cola has been accused of undermining efforts to cut childhood obesity by targeting children in the poorest parts of the country with its Christmas truck promotional tour. Health watchdog Public Health England (PHE) said the campaign, in which free drinks will be handed out from the distinctive red trucks at 42 locations across the country. According to the company’s website, visitors will be able to enjoy “a snowy winter wonderland setting while enjoying a choice of Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Zero Sugar”.
  • Scientists have found that people with type A, B, or AB blood have a greater chance of suffering a heart attack or chest pain during episodes of high air pollution compared to those with type O. Researchers warned that people in those groups should consider staying indoors to minimise their risk if they had underlying heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 16th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-41969181

People who overdose on paracetamol could be helped by a blood test that shows immediately if they are going to suffer liver damage. Researchers in Edinburgh and Liverpool said the test would help doctors identify which patients arriving in hospital need more intensive treatment.
The blood test detects levels of specific molecules in blood associated with liver damage.
The three different molecules are called miR-one two two, HMGB one and FL-K one eight.
Previous studies have shown that levels of these markers are elevated in patients with liver damage long before current tests can detect a problem.

A team led by the Universities of Edinburgh and Liverpool measured levels of the three markers in more than one thousand patients across the UK who needed hospital treatment for paracetamol overdose. They found the test could accurately predict which patients are going to develop liver problems, and who may need to be treated for longer before they are discharged.
The test could also help identify patients who could be safely discharged after treatment, freeing up hospital beds. About fifty thousand people are admitted to hospital each year in the UK due to paracetamol overdose. Many people unknowingly consume too much by taking paracetamol at the same time as cold and flu medications that also contain the drug. Liver injuries are a common complication of drug overdoses. In some cases the damage can be so severe the patient needs a transplant and, in rare instances, can be fatal.
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Doctor James Dear, of the University of Edinburgh, said: “Paracetamol overdose is very common and presents a large workload for already overstretched emergency departments.
“These new blood tests can identify who will develop liver injury as soon as they first arrive at hospital. This could transform the care of this large, neglected, patient group.”

https://news.sky.com/story/coca-cola-slammed-over-uk-wide-christmas-truck-tour-amid-child-obesity-fears-11126390

Coca-Cola has been accused of undermining efforts to cut childhood obesity by targeting children in the poorest parts of the country with its Christmas truck promotional tour. Health watchdog Public Health England said the campaign, in which free drinks will be handed out from the distinctive red trucks at forty two locations across the country, is “the last thing children need”. The Coca-Cola trucks are modelled on the company’s well-known Christmas television adverts and will visit cities and towns across the UK.

According to the company’s website, visitors will be able to enjoy “a snowy winter wonderland setting while enjoying a choice of Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Zero Sugar”.
In a statement, PHE director Doctor Alison Tedstone singled out the campaign, saying local authorities should consider whether to allow the trucks to operate. She highlighted the link between obesity and deprivation and noted the Coca-Cola trucks will visit some of the poorest areas in the country.
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Earlier this year the Government introduced a tax on drinks containing added sugar that is estimated to raise more than five hundred million pounds in its first year, which will be used to fund school sport. PHE is responsible for implementing the Government’s anti-obesity strategy, and this year introduced new sugar reduction guidelines for confectionery, breakfast cereals and other foods.
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A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said: “The 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.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/11/14/air-pollution-bigger-risk-people-witha-b-ab-blood-types-study/

Scientists have found that people with type A, B, or AB blood have a greater chance of suffering a heart attack or chest pain during episodes of high air pollution compared to those with type O.
Researchers warned that people in those groups should consider staying indoors to minimise their risk if they had underlying heart conditions, such as coronary artery disease. Scientists have known for some time that pollution raises the chance of a heart attack but it is the first time that the risk has also been linked to blood type.

A study of fourteen years of patient data from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Utah, US,  found that the risk of a heart attack or chest pain doubled for people of type A, B, or AB blood when pollution hits high levels. In contrast the risk rose only rose by forty per cent for those with type O.
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Air pollution in Britain is thought to contribute to around forty thousand early deaths a year, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health. Recent research by the World Health Organisation found that forty four major UK towns and cities now breach WHO guidelines on air quality with particulate levels so high they cause six million sick days each year. Safe levels of air pollution are generally considered to be under twenty micrograms per cubic meter, but during levels of high pollution, the PM two point five count – the measure of small particulates in the air – raise to around sixty micrograms per cubic meter. In London it has been known to rise to one hundred ninety seven. The study found that for every additional ten  micrograms over twenty, the risk to people with type A, B, or AB blood increased by twenty five per cent, but only by ten per cent for people with type O. Around fifty five per cent of people are A, B, or AB and they are thought to be at greater risk of heart problems because their blood contains greater quantities of a clotting agent.

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