Health news latest

Sun hatWearing a hat will help prevent sun stroke during heatwaves

Health warnings issued over high temperatures
Public Health England have issued health warnings following predictions that Tuesday and Wednesday are to be two of the hottest days of the year so far. They advise that children should not be left in parked cars; that ‘non-essential’ lights and electrical items be turned off as they generate heat; that people keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, and that they wear loose cotton clothing, sunglasses and a hat. [TELEGRAPH]

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Abdominal weight increases risk of heart disease and cancer
Scientists have found that carrying excess or abnormal stomach fat increases an individual’s risk of heart disease and cancer more than ‘bingo wings’ or being generally overweight. Fat carried in the stomach area is thought to be more dangerous than fat on the hips because it is ‘metabolically active’, releasing more inflammatory, toxic chemicals that raise the risk of cancer and heart disease. [DAILY MAIL]

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Supermarkets to abolish tempting checkout ‘guilt lanes
The Department of Health is drawing a new industry code of practice that will urge stores to remove ‘guilt lanes’ of unhealthy food found in supermarkets, as well as end cheap deals on fatty products. It will also encourage them to spend a fixed amount of their marketing budget on lower-calorie options. The new rulings will build upon 2011’s ‘responsibility deal’ which saw stores displaying the calorie count of 70% of fast food and takeaway meals. [TELEGRAPH]

Obese women may face higher risk of gallstones
Researchers from Rigshopitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, have found that obese women may have a higher risk of gallstone disease. Those who drink less alcohol and take hormone replacement therapy are also higher risk. Women are more likely to have gallstones than men. [HUFF POST]

Skin implant can reverse diabetes
Doctors are increasingly seeing weight-loss surgery as a way to fight the type 2 diabetes epidemic, it has been reported. The newest treatment is a gastric sleeve which involves removing parts of the digestive system called the EndoBarrier. 86% of those who undergo weight-loss procedures go into remission just two years later. However, the disease costs the NHS over £9 billion a year to treat, and there are now more than three million sufferers in the UK. [DAILY MAIL]

Air pollution responsible for nearly 2 million deaths a year
A new study claims that more than 2 million deaths a year are caused by air pollution. The deaths are linked with fine particulate matter (tiny particles that can get deep into the lungs) that are thought to contribute to early death from heart and lung diseases (including lung cancer). The study also found that 470,000 deaths annually are linked with human sources of ozone, notably respiratory diseases. Most of these deaths occur in East and South Asia, which have the largest populations and most severe air pollution. [HUFF POST]

Immune system can trigger cancer
The family of virus-fighting proteins in the body’s immune system produce gene defects linked to several cancers, new research has found. This is particularly surprising considering that one of the main functions of these molecules is to protect DNA from attack by viruses. In some samples, nearly 70% of mutations could be traced to these molecules. Cervical, head and neck cancers (associated with the HPV infection) had especially large numbers of mutations. [HUFF POST]

Potential Alzheimer’s treatment to be tested on human volunteers
A new Alzheimer’s drug, allopregnanolone, is already being shown to improve mental functioning in animals, and now, it is to be tested on human volunteers. The drug triggers the creation of new brain cells, and will be administered to a small number of patients with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s over a 12-week course that has been designed to establish a safe dose and check that humans tolerate the drug. There are 800,000 people with dementia in the UK; numbers are expected to reach a million within ten years. [HUFF POST]