All Stories in Health

Malaria deaths hugely underestimated

Worldwide malaria deaths may be almost twice as high as previously estimated, a study reports.The research, published in the British medical journal the Lancet, suggests 1.24 million people died from the mosquito-borne disease in 2010. This compares to a World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate for …

Diabetes quadruples birth defects risk

Diabetes quadruples birth defects risk

The risk of birth defects increases four-fold if the pregnant mother has diabetes, researchers say.The Newcastle University study, published in the journal Diabetologia, analysed data from more than 400,000 pregnancies in North East England. The risk of defects such as congenital heart disease and spina …

Science decodes ‘internal voices’

Science decodes ‘internal voices’

Researchers have demonstrated a striking method to reconstruct words, based on the brain waves of patients thinking of those words.The technique reported in PLoS Biology relies on gathering electrical signals directly from patients’ brains. Based on signals from listening patients, a computer model was used …

Ulcer drugs ‘link to fractures’

Ulcer drugs ‘link to fractures’

Women who take certain ulcer drugs have a small increased risk of hip fractures in later life, particularly if they smoke, US research suggests.A study published in the British Medical Journal found a link between long-term use of proton pump inhibitors and bone fractures in …

Brainwaves ‘show risk from age of six months’

Brainwaves ‘show risk from age of six months’

It may be possible to detect autism at a much earlier age than previously thought, according to an international team of researchers.A study published in Current Biology identified differences in infants’ brainwaves from as early as six months. Behavioural symptoms of autism typically develop between …

Fried food if cooked with olive oil is good for heart

Fried food if cooked with olive oil is good for heart

Eating fried food may not be bad for the heart, as long as you use olive or sunflower oil to make it, experts say.They found no heightened risk of heart disease or premature death linked to food that had been cooked in this way. But …

Meningitis jab ‘protection hope’

Meningitis jab ‘protection hope’

A vaccine against one of the most common forms of childhood meningitis could reduce the number of deaths in the UK even further.The current vaccination programme protects against only some of the bacterial types involved. A Chilean study, reported in The Lancet medical journal, found …

Rise in number of ‘younger’ knee replacements

Rise in number of ‘younger’ knee replacements

Data suggests there has been a big rise in knee replacement operation rates, particularly for younger patients.Figures for the UK, US and Finland show an emerging trend of requests for arthritic ‘baby boomers’ in their 50s. UK experts believe the nation’s growing obesity problem is …

Processed meat ‘linked to pancreatic cancer’

Processed meat ‘linked to pancreatic cancer’

A link between eating processed meat, such as bacon or sausages, and pancreatic cancer has been suggested by researchers in Sweden.They said eating an extra 50g of processed meat, approximately one sausage, every day would increase a person’s risk by 19%.But the chance of developing …

Health warning for deskbound workers

Health warning for deskbound workers

Office workers need to get out of their chairs more and talk to people face-to-face instead of using email, according to researchers.They are warning that people are spending too long sitting at desks. A study, to be presented at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Occupational …

More time at school ‘boosts IQ’

More time at school ‘boosts IQ’

  Spending more time at school may increase intelligence, according to a study of Norwegian men.The research, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggested that an extra year in the classroom could boost IQ by nearly four points. The authors said that extra …

Ice skating can be a dangerous sport

With temporary ice rinks appearing in towns and cities across the UK, the Society of Sports Therapists is reminding people that ice skating can be a dangerous sport.It warned of a risk of serious injury and advised people take precautions. It recommends jogging to warm …

Test ‘improves cancer screening’

HPV is now known to cause the vast majority of cervical cancers in the developed world. Smear tests designed to cut deaths from cervical cancer could be improved by adding a further test looking for signs of a virus which causes it. When smears from …

Sun ‘stops chickenpox spreading’

Exposure to sunlight may help impede the spread of chickenpox, claim researchers.The University of London team found chickenpox less common in regions with high UV levels, reports the journal Virology. Sunlight may inactivate viruses on the skin, making it harder to pass on.However, other experts …

Marathon training ‘may pose a heart risk’

Marathon training ‘may pose a heart risk’

Doing extreme endurance exercise, like training for a marathon, can damage the heart, research reveals.MRI scans on 40 athletes training for challenging sporting events like triathlons or alpine cycle races showed most had stretched heart muscles. Although many went on to make a complete recovery …