Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 12 November 2001
Young Athletes Run A Risk
Not good news for the more athletic among us this week. Published this week, a study, also presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions conference, suggests that young athletes are more than twice as likely as non-athletes to die of heart defects. Italian researchers studied sudden deaths in people aged between 12 and 35. The rate in athletes was higher – 2.5 per 100,000 per year compared with 0.9 in non-athletes. Two conditions were identified as risk factors. An abnormality in the coronary artery conferred a risk of death on athletes nearly 80 times higher than in non-athletes and a heart muscle disease multiplied the risks by more than five.
Pregnancy Concerns In The Winter Months
A new study from Norway, published this week suggests that women who are pregnant during the winter months are at greater risk of developing a relatively uncommon condition known as pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is characterised by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and fluid retention. Unless treated it may progress to seizures, risking the lives of mother and baby. The Norwegian study examined 1.9 million births in Norway, which is published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, suggests that risks increase by 26 per cent if the baby is born in December rather than August. There are hopes that the seasonal link may provide clues to the condition that affects 7 per cent of all pregnancies.
The Power Of Magnetism In Beating Pain
Man has always been fascinated by the power of magnetism – or at least for as long as it has been known to us. But in a new twist a magnetic device that is said to banish painful periods has been ordered by 485 girls’ boarding schools. The device, called LadyCare, is the size of a £2 coin and clips to underwear. According to the manufacturer, it sends out a magnetic field that penetrates up to seven inches into the body and is said to stimulate circulation in the pelvic region, thus helping uterine muscles work more effectively and reducing cramps and spasms. A nurse at North Foreland Lodge, a girls’ boarding school in Sherfield on Laddon, said: ‘I think it is great to have an alternative to drugs, and all but one of the girls who have tried LadyCare say it works.’
New Hospital Food Given The Thumbs Down
There was a resounding "yuk" for the new hospital food prescribed by the NHS this week. Indeed, the new hospital menus designed by none other than TV chef Lloyd Grossman have been described as ‘slop’ by nurses. Nurse research fellow Samantha Pollitt told a Royal College of Nursing conference yesterday that colleagues at Blackburn, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Health Care Trust thought the food was worse than before. She said: ‘The food at Blackburn has been described as slop. So far the nurses’ opinion is that the menu isn’t working.’ Ms Pollitt said that many hospital chefs simply didn’t have the ingredients to prepare the meals. The revamped menu, launched in May, includes ambitious dishes like lamb couscous and parmesan fried chicken. Another nurse from Blackburn said: ‘Some patients say they don’t like the new food but others say it’s lovely.’ Lloyd Grossman said yesterday that the menu was constantly under review, and a further 51 dishes would be announced next month. We await with anticipation?
The Daily Mail
Alcoholism Rates Reach New Heights
Britain did nothing for its reputation for being the drunken man of Europe this week. Astonishingly (and very worrying indeed) it is revealed that over one person in thirteen of us is dependent on alcohol, according that is to a report from the charity Alcohol Concern. Alcohol addiction is twice as common as addiction to illegal or prescription drugs – which affects one in 26. However, the charity says little more than £1 million is spent annually on the prevention and treatment of alcoholism. In comparison £91 million is spent on fighting drugs. The director of Alcohol Concern, Eric Appleby, warns that action is needed ‘sooner rather than later’ if the country’s serious alcohol problems are not to ‘deteriorate even further’. The charity’s report also warns that deaths directly attributable to alcohol have increased in Britain by nearly half over five years.
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