The Health News United Kingdom March 3 2018

  • Research suggests that taking a daily fish oil capsule during pregnancy and the first few months of breastfeeding may reduce a baby’s risk of food allergy.  According to a large analysis of past trials by Imperial College London, this led to a 30% reduction in egg allergy risk by the age of one. Fish oil contains a special kind of fat called omega-3 that has a positive, anti-inflammatory effect. Experts said larger trials were needed that followed up children for longer. The supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are also present in oily fish.
  • A study has found that parents are putting their children’s teeth at risk by taking them to the pharmacy instead of the dentist. Research on 1,000 pharmacies shows 2 in 3 parents seeking pain medications for youngsters were doing so to relieve toothaches and mouth ulcers.  The study found that just 30% had tried visiting a dentist first. Almost as many had sought help from general practitioners, health visitors, school nurses or Accident & Emergency departments.
  • Research suggest that webcam GP services may not be safe and risk fuelling antibiotic resistance. The study by Imperial College London examined the work done by private online GP services, which have sprung up in recent years, offering near-instant appointments often via link-ups such as Skype. The research found such companies were heavily promoting access to antibiotics, sometimes “in minutes”. Internet searches for antibiotics also led consumers straight to the GP sites, none of which carried any warnings about overuse of the drugs.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43228242

Research suggests that taking a daily fish oil capsule during pregnancy and the first few months of breastfeeding may reduce a baby’s risk of food allergy.  According to a large analysis of past trials by Imperial College London, this led to a thirty percent reduction in egg allergy risk by the age of one. Fish oil contains a special kind of fat called omega-three that has a positive, anti-inflammatory effect. Experts said larger trials were needed that followed up children for longer.

But they said the research confirmed that diet in pregnancy could influence the development of allergies in early life. One in twenty children in the UK is affected by allergies to food, such as nuts, eggs, milk or wheat – and it’s a growing problem. These allergies are caused by the immune system malfunctioning and over-reacting to these harmless foods, and this triggers symptoms such as rashes, swelling, vomiting and wheezing.

The supplements contain omega-three fatty acids, which are also present in oily fish.Current advice is that pregnant women should eat no more than two portions of oily fish per week because of the levels of mercury in some fish, and avoid shark, swordfish or marlin altogether.

The researchers looked at  nineteen trials of fish oil supplements taken during pregnancy involving fifteen thousand people, finding that the reduction in allergy risk equated to thirty one fewer cases of egg allergy per one thousand children. They also looked at the impact of probiotic supplements taken during pregnancy and found a twenty two percent reduction in the risk of eczema developing in children up to the age of three. But they found no evidence that avoiding foods such as nuts, dairy and eggs during pregnancy made any difference to a child’s allergy risk.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/01/just-three-10-parents-take-children-dentist-toothaches-study/

A study has found that parents are putting their children’s teeth at risk by taking them to the pharmacy instead of the dentist. Research on one thousand pharmacies shows two in three parents seeking pain medications for youngsters were doing so to relieve toothaches and mouth ulcers.  

The study found that just thirty percent had tried visiting a dentist first. Almost as many had sought help from general practitioners, health visitors, school nurses or Accident & Emergency departments. Researchers said children’s teeth was being put at risk by parents taking them to the wrong place for help to relieve symptoms, when the cause of tooth pain required investigation.

The practice is estimated to be costing NHS England two point three million pounds a year.
The trend was even more extreme at weekends, when dentists were more likely to be closed.

Lead researcher Doctor Vanessa Muirhead, of Queen Mary’s Institute of Dentistry in London, said: “The fact only thirty percent of children with oral pain had seen a dentist before going to a pharmacy highlights a concerning under-use of dental services. Children with oral pain need to see a dentist for a definitive diagnosis and to treat any tooth decay.
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The study of nine hundred fifty one pharmacies – more than half of all those in London – collected information from six thousand nine hundred fifteen parents seeking painkillers for children or adolescents aged zero to nineteen during a ten-week period between November two thousand sixteen and January two thousand seventeen. Four-in-ten had toothache, a fifth pain from a newly erupting tooth and one-in-seven a painful mouth ulcer.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/01/video-gp-services-risk-fuelling-antibiotic-resistance-study/

Research suggest that webcam general practitioner services may not be safe and risk fuelling antibiotic resistance. The study by Imperial College London examined the work done by private online GP services, which have sprung up in recent years, offering near-instant appointments often via link-ups such as Skype. The research found such companies were heavily promoting access to antibiotics, sometimes “in minutes”.

Internet searches for antibiotics also led consumers straight to the GP sites, none of which carried any warnings about overuse of the drugs. Earlier this week health officials warned that at least one in five prescriptions doled out by family doctors are needless, fuelling the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, killing five thousand a year in the UK.

Researchers suggested the plethora of GP online sites advertising antibiotics could mean patients were even more likely to expect and be given the drugs by doctors who knew prescribing them might keep paying customers happy.
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The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, examined seven sites in detail. Four specified that they would prescribe antibiotics, with one appearing to use easy access to antibiotics as a marketing strategy. Researchers said the safety of such practices, lacking physical examinations was “largely untested” with risks heightened by lack of access to NHS notes, meaning drug interactions and allergies could be missed.

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Researchers said the prompt access offered by private services could increase patient expectations more generally, with average waits of thirteen days now to see an NHS GP. But it said the firms –  paying sixty pounds an hour on top of NHS salaries – could also contribute to an NHS workforce crisis, with widespread shortages of family doctors.

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