Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
News Beginning Wk 1 Oct 2001
Health Depreciation In UK Asylum Seekers
News of the health risks for those seeking asylum in the UK this week. A report has just been published by a team connected with the British Medical Association. According to the report’s chief, Dr Kate Adams of Homerton Hospital in London, 'people’s health deteriorates when they come to the United Kingdom.' Among the cases noted was an 18-month-old Kosovan boy who was unable to crawl due to lack of space in his bed and breakfast accommodation. Mothers had so little money that they were forced to water down their babies’ milk. Dr Adams claims that the government’s policy of dispersement of refugees meant that many children were never in one place long enough to be immunised. ‘That could cause major health problems for the rest of the community,' she said.
Stress Raised By Privatisation
Further proof that work-related stress is undermining the health of the nation. It is reported this week that the stress levels among public service workers in the 1990s increased sharply with the threat of privatisation, according to a study due to be published this month. The data was collected between 1991 and 1999 for the British household panel study and analysed by Jonathan Gardner and Andrew Oswald, researchers at Warwick University. The researchers identified ‘privatisation, compulsory competitive tendering and a shift towards more private sector style management’ as possible causes of much higher readings on stress tests. It was also found that levels of stress increased significantly more among civil and public servants, than among employees of companies, and that it seemed not to be related to pay.
High Fat Diet For Epilepsy
A breakthrough for those children who suffer from epilepsy was reported this week. US medical researchers have now developed a high-fat diet that can apparently prevent children from suffering fits. The long-term trial of the treatment involved 150 epileptic children who were given a high-fat diet instead of a mixed diet. Many showed remarkable improvements in their condition. After six years one quarter of them were completely cured of epilepsy and over half had a 50 per cent cut in the number of seizures. The team are not entirely sure why a high fat intake is beneficial, but it may be because it reduces the intake of foods containing glucose, which is linked to chemicals in the brain that can trigger fits. The scientist who led the research at John Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, Dr John Freeman, said: ‘Less than 10 per cent of these children would have been expected to ever achieve any seizure control. We have got exceedingly good results.’ Over 300,000 people in the UK suffer from some form of epilepsy. Doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Central Middlesex Hospital are now extending the American trial to 120 children in this country.
Yoyo Smoking Bad For Health
Contrary to previous views on the subjects, it is now revealed that failed attempts to give up smoking are just as bad for your overall health as not stopping at all – that is according to a new study carried out in Sweden. According to Bo Lundback, an associate professor in respiratory medicine at the Stockholm-based National Institute for Working Life, the study should encourage smokers to stick with their decision to give up. Professor Lundback and his colleagues analysed the lung functions and smoking habits of 1116 men and women of ages ranging from 35 to 68. Over a period spanning ten years, those who gave up smoking for more than a year but returned to cigarettes were found to have a 5 per cent decline in their lung function. There was a 3 per cent decline in lung function in those who smoked throughout. Those smokers who were successful in giving up during the ten years suffered a 1 per cent decline in lung function.
Alcohol On The Wane In UK
No longer is the UK the boozy neighbour in Europe, according to a new report published this week. Apparently we Brits are now purchasing and consuming less beer, wine and spirits than ever before and are now preferring the non-intoxicating effects of bottled water and soft drinks. New research examining the national sales of mineral water, organic juice and energy drinks suggest that these have dramatically grown in popularity at the expense of sales of alcoholic drinks. The study carried out by the consumer trends analysts, Mintel, indicates that the number of people drinking alcohol regularly fell by almost 5 per cent between 1990 and 2000. More than one in three adults questioned had cut down alcohol consumption and 14 were teetotal announced Rob Church, chief compiler of the research.
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