The Health News United Kingdom January 27 2018

  • A large BMJ study suggests that smokers need to quit cigarettes rather than cut back on them to significantly lower their risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers said that
    people who smoked even 1 cigarette a day were still about 50% more likely to develop heart disease and 30% more likely to have a stroke than people who had never smoked. Cardiovascular disease, not cancer, is the greatest mortality risk for smoking, causing about 48% of smoking-related premature deaths.
  • A study has discovered that pregnant women who are most at risk of giving birth prematurely could be identified by the microbes found in their reproductive tract. A team from Imperial College London carried out a study in which they collected swab samples from 250 pregnant women and further samples from 87 women who had suffered premature membrane ruptures. The scientists came to the conclusion that subtle changes to the vaginal bacteria could lead to premature birth before the 37th week of pregnancy.
  • The ‘sugar tax’ has been spoken about extensively in the media as one of the biggest pieces of health legislation in recent memory. It’s official name is the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, and it’s a surcharge on all soft drinks that have over a certain amount of sugar. The main reason for the tax is to reduce obesity in the hope that the increased cost will stop people from buying fizzy drinks as often, and therefore consuming less sugar. It is estimated that the sugar tax will potentially raise £520 million for the British Government in the first year alone.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 27th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42802191

A large British Medical Journal study suggests that smokers need to quit cigarettes rather than cut back on them to significantly lower their risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers said that people who smoked even one cigarette a day were still about fifty percent more likely to develop heart disease and thirty percent more likely to have a stroke than people who had never smoked. They said it showed there was no safe level of smoking for such diseases. But an expert said people who cut down were more likely to stop.

Cardiovascular disease, not cancer, is the greatest mortality risk for smoking, causing about forty eight percent of smoking-related premature deaths. While the percentage of adults in the UK who smoked had been falling, the proportion of people who smoked one to five cigarettes a day had been rising steadily.  Their analysis of one hundred forty one studies, published in the BMJ, indicates a twenty-a-day habit would cause seven heart attacks or strokes in a group of one hundred middle-aged people.
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The researchers said men who smoked one cigarette a day had about a forty eight percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease and were twenty five percent more likely to have a stroke than those who had never smoked. For women, it was higher – fifty seven percent for heart disease and thirty one percent for stroke.
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The researchers said it might be expected that smoking fewer cigarettes would reduce harm in a proportionate way as had been shown in some studies with lung cancer. However, they found that men who smoked one cigarette per day had forty six percent of the excess risk of heart disease and forty one percent for stroke compared with those who smoked twenty cigarettes per day. For women it was thirty one percent of the excess risk of heart disease and thirty four percent for stroke.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/pregnancy-bacteria-premature-births-health-baby-study-a8175306.html

A study has discovered that pregnant women who are most at risk of giving birth prematurely could be identified by the microbes found in their reproductive tract. A team from Imperial College London carried out a study in which they collected swab samples from two hundred fifty pregnant women and further samples from eighty seven women who had suffered premature membrane ruptures.

The scientists came to the conclusion that subtle changes to the vaginal bacteria could lead to premature birth before the thirty seventh week of pregnancy. Out of the two hundred fifty pregnant participants, twenty seven gave birth early. Doctor David MacIntyre, the lead scientist from Imperial College London, explained the significance of their findings. He said:  “This study is one of the first to show that around almost half of pregnant women may have an unbalanced vaginal microbiota before premature rupture, providing further evidence of the role of bacteria in some cases of premature births.”

Previous research has deduced that the bacteria found in the vagina becomes less diverse during pregnancy, with an increase of the Lactobacillus species noted.  However, when levels of Lactobacillus bacteria drop and levels of other types of bacteria rise, this can lead to an expectant mother going into labour earlier than expected.
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The study conducted by Imperial College London and published in the journal BMC Medicine could give doctors the tools they need to provide pregnant women with the specific antibiotic treatment that they need.

http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/24/sugar-tax-much-will-increase-drink-prices-will-start-7256076/

The ‘sugar tax’ has been spoken about extensively in the media as one of the biggest pieces of health legislation in recent memory. It’s official name is the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, and it’s a surcharge on all soft drinks that have over a certain amount of sugar. The main reason for the tax is to reduce obesity in the hope that the increased cost will stop people from buying fizzy drinks as often, and therefore consuming less sugar.

It’s also designed to offset the growing cost of treating obesity and related issues, with the tax going back into public coffers to pay for it. George Osborne estimated that the sugar tax will potentially raise five hundred twenty million pounds for the British Government in the first year alone. However, beverage producers such as Coca-Cola oppose the tax, and the British Soft Drinks Association say, ‘there is no evidence worldwide that taxes of this sort reduce obesity,’ and that the industry has already done enough by reducing the sugar in their drinks voluntarily by over seventeen percent since two thousand twelve.

The draft legislation has been published and the sugar tax will come into effect for consumers in the UK in April two thousand eighteen.  Drinks with total sugar content above five grams per one hundred millilitres will be taxed at eighteen p per litre and drinks above eight grams per one hundred millilitres at twenty four p per litre.

Pure fruit juices and milk drinks will be exempt from the tax. Some campaigners have already expressed concerns, saying this shows how the law has not gone far enough in its reach.

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