Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 8 July 2002
Campaign For Alzheimer’s Launched
The Alzheimer’s Society says more than half of people caring for someone with dementia waited three years before seeing a doctor after first noticing symptoms of the condition. The findings come as the society launched a week of events to raise awareness of the illness. Professor Murna Downs, from the University of Bradford’s Dementia Group and one of the researchers, says, 'We need to let people know that there are many new services and drug treatments for people with dementia. For those who may benefit from the new drug treatments, the earlier these are prescribed, the better.'
The Daily Express
Pets Source Of Food Bug
Pet dogs are believed to be the cause of a dramatic rise in cases of a deadly food poisoning bug. Evidence suggests that up to half of them carry campylobacter, an infection that can lead to paralysis or death. Humans can apparently contract the bug simply by stroking their pet. Government advisor Professor Hugh Pennington said this week that the UK’s 6 million dog owners must always wash their hands after touching their pets. Professor Pennington is applying for state funding to develop genetic profiling techniques at Aberdeen University.
The Daily Mail
Panic Due To Allegries?
Study findings from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York suggest that people with allergies may face an increased risk of panic attacks. The study of more than 3,000 US adults conducted between 1995 and 1996 found that those who reported having hay fever were nearly twice as likely to say they had also experienced panic attacks. A possible explanation is that breathing difficulties associated with allergies may increase the risk of panic, according to the study reported in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The Daily Mail
The standard of GP services is varies widely across the country and could fall as recruitment problems intensify, according to a report by the Audit Commission. Inner city areas are more likely to be short of GPs and have poorer facilities. The report says that plans to modernise the service, which include a new employment contract for GPs and greater devolution of NHS funds down to GP-led groups, should improve matters. Dr John Chisholm, chairman of the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee, says, "The Audit Commission report rightly highlights the pressures GPs and their staff are working under and the dire recruitment and retention problems they face." He believes the new GP contract will make sure that money going into general practice matches the needs of patients.
Stoke Risk In Women Linked To High Cholesterol
US researchers say having even moderately high levels of cholesterol can raise the risk of stroke in women as young as 30. Researchers from Columbia University in New York who looked at data gathered in eight large, long-term studies, involving more than 24,000 women with no history of heart disease, found 568 stroke deaths. They found the average cholesterol level in the women, who ranged in age from 30 to 97, was higher than recommended. The study, published in the journal Stroke, says the younger the stroke patient, the more likely she was to have had high cholesterol.
Stoke-Causing Bugs Identified
A potent strain of bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers may also increase the risk of stroke, according to researchers from Tor Vergata University in Rome. They found that patients who have suffered atherosclerotic stroke – caused by narrowed arteries in the brain – are more likely to be infected with the cytotoxin-associated gene-A strain of H. pylori bacteria than either patients who had experienced a stroke caused by a blood clot or healthy volunteers. The study is reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The Daily Telegraph
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