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Mental health and diet published 16th January 2006

Malnutrition costs the UK more than 7.3 billion of actual expenditure each year - double the projected 3.5 billion cost of obesity

Editor's choice of news

Healing foods beat statin drugs for lowering high cholesterol http://www.NewsTarget.com/008310.html

Alert after everyday painkillers linked to danger of heart attack

Cancer drug delay 'will cost lives'

Nuclear stations 'do not cause child cancer

http://www.newstarget.com/008191.html white bread and diabetes

Alert after everyday painkillers linked to danger of heart attack
Source: The Times
Date: 10/06/2005
A major story today details the results of a study by Julia Hippisley-Cox and Carol Coupland from Nottingham University. The study suggests that common painkillers, taken daily by hundreds of thousands of arthritis sufferers, significantly increase the risk of having a heart attack. A trial using data from across the UK indicates that all drugs classed as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the risk of heart attack by at least 20%, and some by as much as 50%. This class includes ibuprofen, the prescription drugs diclofenac and naproxen, as well as Celebrex. The study was published in the British Medical Journal and calls for drug regulators to disclose all confidential safety data on painkillers. The BMJ's editorial stresses caution in interpreting the latest results, but said it highlighted the need for full disclosure by the US Food and Drug Adminstration of the safety data, much of which remains classified as commerical secret. Neil Betteridge, the chief executive of Arthritis Care, called on the medical profession to "...take a lead in helping people with arthritis decide what treatment is right for them."

Cancer drug delay 'will cost lives'
Source: Daily Telegraph
Date: 10/06/2005
The medical editor in the Daily Telegraph reports that a delay in assessing the market readiness of breast cancer drug Herceptin, made by Roche, will mean that the drug will not be made available for about two years. Jeremy Hughes, the chief executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: "If it takes (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) one to two years to make its recommendation, 1,000 to 2,000 women could lose their lives unnecessarily". Herceptin is already licensed to treat advanced cases of breast cancer, however new studies have shown the drugs effectiveness in treating newly diagnosed women.

Nuclear stations 'do not cause child cancer'
Source: The Guardian
Date: 10/06/2005
The Guardian, the Telegraph and the Independent report that the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment, an independent group of scientists, have cleared Nuclear Power stations of responsibility for childhood cancers. Looking at an area in a 25 mile radius of each power station they found cancer rates to be no more than would normally be expected. However, higher than average rates were found close to certain atomic research facilities, weapons assembly plants and waste processing centres, but these clusters are unlikely to have been caused by radiation from the plants. Anti-nuclear campaigners have claimed that the study's methodology was flawed


The shorter the index finger is compared to the ring finger, the more boisterous he will be, University of Alberta researchers said.
But the same was not true for verbal aggression or hostile behaviours, they told the journal Biological Psychology after studying 300 people's fingers.
The trend is thought to be linked to testosterone exposure in the womb.
It has been known for some time that there is a direct correlation between finger lengths and the amount of the male sex hormone testosterone that a baby is exposed to in the womb.
Other studies looking at finger length ratio have suggested that, in men, a long ring finger and symmetrical hands are an indication of fertility, and that women are more likely to be fertile if they have a longer index finger.
One study found boys with shorter ring fingers tended to be at greatest risk of a heart attack in early adulthood, which was linked to testosterone levels.
In the current study, Dr Peter Hurd and his student Allison Bailey measured the fingers of 300 undergraduates at their university.
Men with the shortest index fingers scored higher on measures of physical aggression than those with longer index fingers, but the study's findings did not apply to women.
He said: "Finger length can tell you a little bit about where personality comes from.
"A large part of our personalities and our traits are determined while we are still in the womb."
But he said finger length should not be used to draw too many conclusions about an individual person.
Professor John Manning from the University of Central Lancashire's department of psychology, who first realised that sex hormone exposure in the womb influences finger length, agreed.


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