• Parents are taking children to A&E as getting a GP appointment is 'too difficult', survey finds
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Parents are taking children to A&E as getting a GP appointment is 'too difficult', survey finds

    Parents of toddlers are increasingly taking their children to A&E;, as they say securing a GP appointment is too difficult, research suggests.

  • Left-Handers Day 2019: The history behind the celebration and 13 facts about the wonderful left
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Left-Handers Day 2019: The history behind the celebration and 13 facts about the wonderful left

    Happy Left Handers Day! From scissors and smudged ink to spiral-bound notebooks and impossible-to-use tin openers, the lefties' life struggle is real.

  • Mental health services 'putting women at risk' by failing to ask them about domestic abuse
    Style
    The Independent

    Mental health services 'putting women at risk' by failing to ask them about domestic abuse

    Mental health services are “putting women at risk” by failing to ask them about their experience of domestic abuse, a new report has found.The study, carried out by Agenda, a charity which campaigns for women and girls at risk, found more than a third of NHS mental health trusts are failing to ask women about domestic abuse in spite of recommended guidelines.Campaigners argue it is especially important mental health services ask about domestic abuse given the high rates of violence and abuse suffered by those who access them. Some 38 per cent of women who have a mental health problem have experienced domestic abuse.The report found there is a postcode lottery in the support mental health services are providing to survivors – with one trust saying they asked just three per cent of patients about domestic abuse.This is at direct loggerheads with National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) guidelines which specifically stipulate everyone should be asked.The findings – based on Freedom of Information requests – show that more than a third of NHS mental health trusts that responded (42 of 58) have no policy on “routine enquiry” about domestic violence and abuse.Chlo, a domestic abuse survivor who now works for a domestic violence charity, was a teenager when she first started to experience such abuse but failed to receive the help she needed.She said: “I was in mental health services when it started, but no one talked to me about my relationship or picked up the warning signs.“It was police that first suggested what I was experiencing was domestic abuse. It hadn’t even occurred to me that’s what it was until then, I didn’t know about emotional abuse or coercive control. After that, I was referred to victim support and eventually, he was convicted.“I know that for other women experiencing abuse, it doesn’t always happen like that. The peer research showed that despite everything women are resilient and still try to engage with services, but often it’s the services who are ‘hard to reach’ or difficult to engage with, not the women themselves.”Another survivor said: “No one even bothered, even when I went to hospital when my tooth got knocked out, even then they never even bothered to refer you.”The report comes as charities, practitioners and other leading experts call for the Domestic Abuse Bill to ensure all public services ask about domestic violence.Agenda is calling for the government to amend the landmark legislation, which was introduced to parliament last month, to put a duty on all public authorities to make sure staff across the public sector are making trained enquiries into domestic abuse. This must include funding for training for public sector workers, they said.Jemima Olchawski, chief executive of Agenda, said: “Women who have experienced domestic abuse come into contact with a wide range of services – both while they are facing abuse and in the years that follow.“Whether it’s a local GP, job centre or mental health service, staff across our public services should be trained to ask about domestic abuse and act appropriately. If not, we are putting women at risk. A change in the law is needed to make sure we’re not missing opportunities to help.”The latest figures show that out of an estimated two million victims of domestic abuse in the last year, some 1.3 million were women. Research shows 85 per cent of survivors sought help five times on average from professionals in the year before they got effective help to stop the abuse, four out of five victims never call the police, but many will visit their GP as a result of the abuse they are suffering.Sophie Corlett, of mental health charity Mind, said: “A large proportion of women and girls coming into contact with mental health services either have experienced or are experiencing, abuse. Domestic abuse can significantly increase the likelihood of developing both common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression and severe and enduring mental health problems such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.“A thorough understanding of a woman’s experience of trauma can hugely improve the quality of mental healthcare that they receive and avoid services inadvertently re-traumatising them. Women must be asked the right questions and properly supported by those charged with their care.”Baroness Hilary Armstrong, chair of the National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, said she had heard from women across the country about the ”devastating impact” of domestic abuse.“For far too many, the legacy that trauma leaves is poor mental health, problems with substance use, homelessness, or a criminal record,” she said. “Women told me that services let them down. Time and again the signs of abuse were not picked up by professionals, and too often women were bounced around or even turned away from services.”The majority (70 per cent) of victims of domestic violence deaths are female. Every week in the UK, two women are murdered by a partner or ex-partner.In 2013-14, 93 per cent of defendants in domestic violence court cases were male and 84 per cent of victims were female.

  • Patients waiting more than two weeks for routine appointments, GPs warn
    Style
    The Independent

    Patients waiting more than two weeks for routine appointments, GPs warn

    The average waiting time for routine appointments with a GP has reached almost 15 days, according to an annual poll of physicians – the first time the result of the survey has broken through the two-week barrier since its inception.The poll, carried out yearly by GP publication Pulse, found that more than 30 per cent of practitioners had waiting times for routine appointments of more than two weeks.Meanwhile 22 per cent of the 901 medical practitioners surveyed said waiting times stretched beyond three weeks, and 6 per cent said it took longer than four weeks for patients to be seen for appointments.Dr Richard Vautrey, GP committee chair at the British Medical Association, said the results highlighted “the reality of the capacity issues that many GP practices across the country are facing”.He added: “GPs’ number one priority is treating their patients and they work incredibly hard to do so, often outside of their contracted hours in practices that are understaffed.“What is clear however, is that despite the best efforts of practices, patient demand is continuing to grow and with it the rise in the number of those with increasingly complex and chronic conditions where longer and multiple appointments are necessary.”A government spokesperson said the poll reflected just a small number of MPs.However official data released by NHS Digital found that in October last year, 2.8 million people had not seen a doctor until at least 21 days after they had booked an appointment.Four in 10 were able to book same day appointments over the period, while more than two thirds were seen within a week.Waiting times were one of a range of issues acknowledged by Boris Johnson, who pledged to reduce waiting times in both GP surgeries and accident and emergency units in his first speech as prime minister.Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, said: “After years of Tory cuts and falling GP numbers it’s shocking, but unsurprising, that patients are now waiting longer than two weeks on average to see a GP“Whether it’s for surgery, in bursting A&Es, for cancer treatment or now in general practice, patients are facing unacceptably long waits.“The truth is, as Boris Johnson’s senior adviser confirmed, the Tories simply don’t care about the NHS and can’t be trusted with it.”A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “This survey represents a small fraction of GPs, and the latest official NHS data shows 2 in 3 appointments happen within seven days of being booked, but we are determined to reduce GP waiting times further.”

  • Government urged to impose 'calorie tax' on unhealthy food
    Style
    The Independent

    Government urged to impose 'calorie tax' on unhealthy food

    Health campaigners are urging the government to introduce a new “calorie tax” to tackle childhood obesity, diabetes and cancer.A levy on companies producing processed food with high levels of fat and sugar would encourage them to create more nutritional snacks, according to campaign groups Action on Sugar and Action on Salt.Their call for further tariffs, which is backed by the Liberal Democrats, comes after Boris Johnson vowed during the Tory leadership campaign to freeze so-called “sin taxes”, which include levies on alcohol, tobacco and soft drinks.The existing sugar tax has been widely praised by doctors and health experts but campaigners want to go further by targeting sweet, fatty foods such as chocolate confectionery, ice creams, puddings, chocolate spreads and milk-based drinks.Katharine Jenner, campaign director for Action on Sugar and Action on Salt, said: “Manufacturers are simply not doing enough. If the Government is really committed to helping the less well-off, they need to tackle the food industry and a feasibility study needs to be undertaken without delay.“An ‘excess calorie levy’ would encourage manufacturers to improve the nutritional quality of their unhealthy foods and, most importantly, tackle the thousands who suffer the consequences of a poor diet, leading to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.”The tax on sugar in soft drinks is said to have taken 90 million kilos of sugar out of the nation’s diet since it was introduced in April 2018. Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Queen Mary University of London, and chairman of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt, said it was imperative that the tax continued.“The UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy has been remarkable and unique in that it allows for significant product reformulation by manufacturers in order to avoid paying the levy,” he said.“This has already resulted in a much bigger reduction of sugar content of drinks in the UK than originally anticipated, as well as ring-fencing £340 million of income directly from manufacturers, not the public, to spend on improving children’s health.“Additionally, the same could be achieved in creating a levy to reduce excess calories, but we need a firm commitment from HM Treasury and the Department of Health and Social Care to make this a reality and to implement a robust evaluation system to fill in the evidence gaps.“This levy should be invested back in a much more comprehensive approach to prevent obesity in both children and adults.”Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Judith Jolly said she supported calls for a government levy on companies producing food with excessive calories.“With rising rates of obesity for children, which leads to higher rates of health problems in the future such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, more needs to be done to improve the health outcomes for our children.“Manufacturers should be doing more to reduce excessive levels of calories in unhealthy food. Instead of holding them to account however, Boris Johnson is happy for companies to keep earning profits on products with hidden and addictive sugar at the expense of children’s health. Liberal Democrats demand better.”The Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement there were “no plans to introduce a calorie levy”.“We are already reducing exposure to fatty and sugary foods, and are now consulting on further plans to offer clear labelling and more support for individuals to manage their weight,” a spokesperson added.Details of its review of the tax on sugar in soft drinks are “still being worked out”, according to the department, and it remains unclear whether this will be in addition to the expert review funded by the National Institute for Health Research.Last month it published a green paper consultation document containing proposals to ban the sale of energy drinks to under-16s and extend the sugar tax to milkshakes.The issue has divided Conservative ministers. When Liz Truss, a prominent Johnson supporter, claimed that scrapping the tax would “help Britain’s poorest”, health minister Caroline Dineage responded with the word “bollocks”. Former public health minister Steve Brine vowed to rebel against any attempt to abolish the levy. Professor MacGregor said it was “scandal” that Mr Johnson was questioning the effectiveness of taxes on food and drinks products.However the Food and Drink Federation, which represents the food industry, claimed taxes were far less effective than other measures such as portion control and product reformulation.Tim Rycroft, FDF chief operating officer said: “At the moment the industry is focused on trying to prevent food shortages and rising food prices in the case of a no-deal Brexit.“The industry is working hard to implement what has already been asked of them in the three Childhood Obesity Plans that have been published in just three years.“There is no evidence that additional food taxes can change consumer behaviours over the long-term. Food and drink companies should focus efforts where they can have the maximum impact, instead of managing the impact of wrong-headed legislation.”Additional reporting by Press Association

  • Dame Barbara Windsor urges Boris Johnson to review 'devastating' dementia care
    Style
    The Independent

    Dame Barbara Windsor urges Boris Johnson to review 'devastating' dementia care

    Dame Barbara Windsor has thrown her support behind an open letter calling on new PM Boris Johnson to review the “devastating” state of dementia care.Speaking as a new ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, she said: “My heart goes out to the many, many people who are really struggling to get the care they so desperately need.”Her husband, Scott Mitchell, added: “Seeing the true state of our social care system has shown me how people, who aren't as fortunate to be in the same position as myself and Barbara financially, are facing a constant battle to get what they need. I want to do everything I can to help them.”Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, but her diagnosis was only made public last year.He said: “I want the public to know because they are naturally very drawn to Barbara and she loves talking to them. Rather than me living in fear she might get confused or upset, they’ll know that if her behaviour seems strange, it’s due to Alzheimer's and accept it for what it is.”

  • John Lewis cancels make up masterclass aimed at 12-year-olds, amid backlash over 'wrong and worrying' event
    Style
    The Telegraph

    John Lewis cancels make up masterclass aimed at 12-year-olds, amid backlash over 'wrong and worrying' event

    John Lewis has cancelled a 'back-to-school' make-up masterclass aimed at 12-year-olds after charities and parents called it "wrong and worrying".

  • Cadbury chocolate bars to be brought under 100 calories to combat obesity
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Cadbury chocolate bars to be brought under 100 calories to combat obesity

    One of Britain’s largest confectionery makers is to cut the number of calories in its chocolate snacks in a bid to help tackle the childhood obesity crisis.

  • McDonald's admits 'eco-friendly' paper straws that replaced plastic are not recyclable
    Style
    The Telegraph

    McDonald's admits 'eco-friendly' paper straws that replaced plastic are not recyclable

    McDonald's have admitted that their 'eco-friendly' paper straws cannot be recycled, while previous plastic ones could be.

  • Samsung Galaxy Fold release date set for September after folding screen fixed
    Style
    The Independent

    Samsung Galaxy Fold release date set for September after folding screen fixed

    Samsung has announced its long-awaited Galaxy Fold device will finally be released in September following issues with its folding design.The South Korean electronics giant announced its first foldable phone earlier this year, describing it as "the foundation of the smartphone of tomorrow".Its launch was postponed after a number of reviewers of the $2,000 (£1,600) device reported broken screens after a short period of use.In a statement published on Thursday, Samsung said all problems have now been addressed and the Galaxy Fold will go on sale in September."We've made improvements to Galaxy Fold to ensure consumers have the best possible experience," the statement read."Samsung has taken the time to fully evaluate the product design, make necessary improvements and run rigorous tests to validate the changes we made."One of the main issues reviewers faced was with a protective layer, which some removed in the belief that it was a standard film that comes with most new smartphones.In order to avoid confusion, Samsung said it extended the layer beyond the bezel, "making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not be removed".Other changes to the design include additional reinforcements to the top and bottom of the hinge area, as well as reducing the space between the hinge and body of the Galaxy Fold.Samsung is one of a number of smartphone makers planning to introduce folding phones to the market, with Huawei among its biggest competitors to announce its own entry to this new device category.The Huawei Mate Flex was also delayed by the Chinese tech firm in an effort to avoid the same issues faced by Samsung.

  • School which changed uniform policy to make outfit 'gender neutral' now faces legal challenge from parents who say it discriminates against girls
    Style
    The Telegraph

    School which changed uniform policy to make outfit 'gender neutral' now faces legal challenge from parents who say it discriminates against girls

    A school which banned female pupils from wearing skirts, forcing parents to fork out for a “gender neutral” uniform, has been threatened with legal action.

  • Number of overweight children rises by a fifth because of lazy summer holidays spent staring at screens
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Number of overweight children rises by a fifth because of lazy summer holidays spent staring at screens

    Obesity levels are soaring over school summer holidays because children are spending four hours a day staring at their screens, research suggests.

  • Cheap flights blamed as skin cancer rates soar by 45 per cent in a decade
    Style
    The Independent

    Cheap flights blamed as skin cancer rates soar by 45 per cent in a decade

    Rates of melanoma skin cancers have soared by 45 per cent in the past decade as cheap international flights have fuelled a new generation of sun chasers, charities have warned.Melanomas are rarer but more serious than non-melanoma skin cancers and rates have risen most steeply among men and the under-50s, a Cancer Research UK analysis found.In a warning to holidaymakers, who are now able to jet off to warmer climes several times a year, the charity said skin damage in your earlier years can permanently increase your cancer risk.Melanoma begins in pigment-producing melanocyte cells and is the UK’s fifth most common cancer, with 16,000 people diagnosed annually.However, it is the second most common in people aged 25 to 49 and experts warn as many as 90 per cent of cases could be prevented with simple sun protection.Cancer Research UK has launched a campaign to encourage people to embrace their natural skin tone and warn of the perils of chasing the perfect tan.“While some might think that a tan is a sign of good health, there is no such thing as a healthy tan,” Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the charity, said. “It’s actually your body trying to protect itself from harmful rays.“These statistics highlight the importance of our Own Your Tone campaign, which encourages people to embrace their natural skin tone and adopt sun-safe behaviours.”Between 2004/06 and 2014/16, the most recent data available, melanoma rates have risen by 55 per cent in men and 35 per cent in women. Across all cases, the rise was from 18 cases per 100,000 people in the population to 26 per 100,000.While melanoma is still more common in those aged over 65, rates for 25- to 49-year-olds have increased by 70 per cent since the 1990s.The jump has been from nine cases per 100,000 people in 1993/1995 to 16 per 100,000 in 2014/2016.According to Cancer Research UK, the rise of package holidays in the 1970s and a more recent surge in cheap flights has seen more people going abroad, sometimes several times a year, putting their skin at risk from strong sun.Improved awareness of the disease, has also been a factor with more people seeking a diagnosis for suspect moles and blemishes.Getting sunburnt just once every two years triples the risk of melanoma.Karis Betts, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “Sun safety is not just for when you’re going abroad, the sun can be strong enough to burn in the UK from the start of April to the end of September.“We want to encourage people to embrace their natural look and protect their skin from UV damage by seeking shade, covering up and regularly applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and four or five stars.”Susannah Brown, head of research interpretation at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “These figures are shocking, but a positive message to take out of this research is that skin cancer is preventable.“Our own research has shown that unlike many other cancers, diet and exercise patterns do not appear to be strongly associated with your risk of skin cancer and that it is the sun that continues to be the main cause.”

  • Nadiya Hussain wants you to make roast potatoes from a tin
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Nadiya Hussain wants you to make roast potatoes from a tin

    It is a decade since Delia Smith scandalised the nation when her ‘How to Cheat’ series recommended - horror of horrors - frozen mashed potato. Now Nadiya Hussain is risking the same fate by getting her roast potatoes from a tin.

  • Black women almost twice as likely to suffer stillbirths, study shows
    Style
    The Independent

    Black women almost twice as likely to suffer stillbirths, study shows

    Black women are almost twice as likely to experience a stillbirth as white women according to ‘alarming’ research which experts said show the effects of racial and social inequalities in society.Researchers from Queen Mary University London reviewed data from more than 15 million pregnancies across 13 studies run in countries including the US and UK.While stillbirths are rare complications, the study found black women were 1.5 to two times more likely to experience them.The researchers also found pregnancies which were overdue and went beyond 41 weeks' gestation were significantly more likely to be stillborn.The risk increased from 0.11 stillbirths per 1,000 pregnancies at 37 weeks, to 3.18 per 1,000 pregnancies at 42 weeks, regardless of ethnicity.But experts said the increased risk for black women is just the “tip of the iceberg” of a range of health inequalities experienced by members of minority groups.“The alarming feature is the persistence of this gap, and the fact we do not know what the causes are because we’re not doing the research,” Dr Jenny Douglas, of the Open University, and founder of the Black Women’s Health and Wellbeing Research Network, told The Independent.“It’s not just stillbirth, in terms of maternal mortality black women in the UK are five times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than white women.”She said that the causes are complex and other health issues like obesity, blood pressure and diabetes play a role and are closely linked to socioeconomic factors like poverty and education.Cultural differences in the way women from black communities access healthcare are also likely to be a factor, as is their treatment by health staff, employers and other parts of society.“We also need to look at the social factors in terms of the experiences black women have of racism, discrimination and racialised sexism.”While small studies can identify these issues she said the UK needs an equivalent of the 59,000-strong Black Women’s Health Study which has been running in the US since 1995.Professor Shakila Thangaratinam, who led the research published in the journal PLOS Medicine, said: “The increase in stillbirth risks for black women could be attributed to various factors such as social and environmental conditions, reduced access to antenatal care, and potential increased rates of foetal growth restriction.”

  • Obesity beats cigarettes as cause of four types of cancer, analysis finds
    Style
    The Independent

    Obesity beats cigarettes as cause of four types of cancer, analysis finds

    Obese people now outnumber smokers by two to one, Cancer Research UK has warned, as it said obesity causes more cases of some cancers than cigarettes.The charity said more needs to be done to help people lose weight to reduce their risk of cancer.Smoking is still the UK’s biggest preventable cause of cancer and carries a much higher risk of the disease than obesity.But obesity is a cause of 13 different types of cancer, and trumps smoking as a leading cause for four of these types, Cancer Research UK said.Its analysis shows that excess weight causes around 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year.It also causes 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer, 460 more cases of ovarian cancer and 180 cases of liver cancer.National data shows that around one in three adults in the UK are obese, while around a third more are overweight.One in 10 children are obese by the age of five, rising to one in five by age 11.The Cancer Research UK analysis used data from 2017 to show there were around 13.4 million non-smoking adults who were obese.Meanwhile, 6.3 million adult smokers were not obese and 1.5 million adult smokers were.Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “As smoking rates fall and obesity rates rise, we can clearly see the impact on a national health crisis when the government puts policies in place – and when it puts its head in the sand.“Our children could be a smoke-free generation, but we’ve hit a devastating record high for childhood obesity, and now we need urgent government intervention to end the epidemic. They still have a chance to save lives.“Scientists have so far identified that obesity causes 13 types of cancer but the mechanisms aren’t fully understood.“So further research is needed to find out more about the ways extra body fat can lead to cancer.”The charity is calling on the government to act on its ambition to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030 and introduce a 9pm watershed for junk food adverts on TV and online.Other measures should include restricting promotional offers on unhealthy food and drinks, it said.Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, said: “There isn’t a silver bullet to reduce obesity, but the huge fall in smoking over the years – partly thanks to advertising and environmental bans – shows that Government-led change works.“It was needed to tackle sky-high smoking rates, and now the same is true for obesity.”PA

  • Anyone with more than 30,000 social media followers considered a celebrity, advertising watchdog rules
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Anyone with more than 30,000 social media followers considered a celebrity, advertising watchdog rules

    Anyone with more than 30,000 social media followers is now considered a celebrity and subject to advertising rules, a watchdog has ruled in a landmark case.

  • Facebook announces crackdown on misleading health content
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Facebook announces crackdown on misleading health content

    Facebook is cracking down on posts pushing miracle cures, misleading health claims and weight-loss pills.

  • Cervical cancer ‘could be eliminated’ by widespread HPV vaccination programmes, study finds
    Style
    The Independent

    Cervical cancer ‘could be eliminated’ by widespread HPV vaccination programmes, study finds

    Cervical cancer could be eliminated by widespread human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programmes, according to scientists who reviewed studies of 60 million people in affluent countries.The treatment was linked to a huge reduction in the two types of HPV - 16 and 18 - which cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers, research found.Rates of both types of HPV in high-income countries, among girls aged 13 to 19, plummeted by up to 83 per cent following five to eight years of vaccination, while a reduction of 66 per cent was found in women aged 20 to 24.A significant decrease was also seen in anogenital wart diagnoses and precancerous cervical lesions which can develop into cancer."Because of our finding, we believe the World Health Organisation (WHO) call for action to eliminate cervical cancer may be possible in many countries if sufficient vaccination coverage can be achieved," said Professor Marc Brisson, a member of the research team. The researchers, whose work was published in The Lancet journal, analysed 65 studies from 14 high-income countries.Declines in the HPV "endpoints" were found eight to nine years after girls-only vaccination.The findings support the recently revised WHO position on vaccinating multiple age groups, rather than a single cohort, when introducing the vaccine.The NHS currently offers the first dose of the HPV vaccine to girls aged 12 and 13, with a second six to 12 months later.Earlier analysis of studies for four years post-vaccination has also shown substantial decreases in HPV 16 and 18.The studies looked at for the new research compared levels of one or more HPV endpoints across pre and post-vaccination periods.An overall 54 per cent reduction was also found in three other types of HPV - 31, 33 and 45 - in girls aged 13 to 19. Meanwhile, a decrease in anogenital warts of 67 per cent was seen in girls aged 15 to 19, 54 per cent in women aged 20 to 24 and 31 per cent in those aged 25 to 29.Reductions of 48 per cent were found in boys aged 15 to 19 and 32 per cent in men aged 20 to 24 years.Five to nine years after vaccination, precancerous cervical lesions decreased by 51 per cent in screened girls aged 15 to 19 and by 31 per cent in women aged 20 to 24.Co-researcher Melanie Drolet, from the CHU de Quebec-Laval University Research Centre, said: "Our results provide strong evidence that HPV vaccination works to prevent cervical cancer in real-world settings, as both HPV infections that cause most cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions are decreasing."She said the research "reinforces WHO's recently revised position on HPV vaccination".Prof Brisson, from Laval University, Canada, said "it will be crucial" now to continue to monitor the impacts of vaccination programmes.But the findings should not be extrapolated to low and middle-income countries where the burden of disease was far greater, the team warned.Their research also found there were greater and faster impacts, and herd effects, in countries with both multi-cohort vaccination and high vaccination coverage.Anogenital wart diagnoses declined by 88 per cent among girls and 86 per cent in boys aged 15-19 in these countries, compared with 44 per cent and 1 per cent respectively in countries with single-cohort or low coverage.Likewise, after five to eight years of vaccination, precancerous cervical lesions decreased by 57 per cent in girls aged 15 to 19, while there was no decrease in countries with single-cohort vaccination or low routine coverage.Professor Silvia de Sanjose, from the PATH organisation in the USA, said optimising HPV vaccination programmes could make it "a hallmark investment of cancer prevention in the 21st century".Press Association

  • Men who go to bed earlier have better sperm, study concludes
    Style
    The Independent

    Men who go to bed earlier have better sperm, study concludes

    Getting an early night could help men conceive, according to a new a study which found those who hit the hay before 10.30pm were up to four times more likely to have good quality sperm.Men who got around eight hours a night were also more likely to have healthy sperm than those who got less than seven, the researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark.Fertility experts said the findings suggest couples looking to conceive should consider limiting distractions that might keep them up at night, such as checking emails or sitting in front of a Netflix box set.The latest findings study looked at sleep patterns of around 100 male volunteers who were attending fertility clinics in Denmark, 48 of whom had healthy sperm and 56 with low quality sperm.Men who went to bed before 10.30pm were four times more likely to have healthy sperm than night owls who stayed up past 11.30pm.They were 2.75 times more likely to have healthy sperm than men who went to bed at a “normal time” between half past 10 and half past 11.Not getting enough sleep could be even more harmful, as the research suggests men who got less than seven hours sleep a night were as much as six times more likely to have poor sperm.Sleep plays a key role in moderating hormones and stress levels that can affect fertility, and sleep deprivation stress can cause the immune system to overreact and attack sperm.“These were men who had been trying to have a baby for about two years and an early bedtime was likely to be important because it allowed them to get more sleep,” said Professor Hans Jakob Ingerslev, co-author of the study from Aarhus University.“The reasons could be psychological as sleep-deprived men suffer mores stress and that can have an impact on fertility.”Professor Ingerslev and his colleagues also looked at overall sleep quality, but did not find a link between disrupted sleep – from getting up in the night to use the toilet, for example – and sperm quality. The findings were presented as a poster at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Vienna and have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.However independent experts said they offered sound advice for men struggling to conceive.“They should think about what is keeping them up and try to change their habits, whether it’s binge-watching Netflix or sending emails,” said Dr Raj Mathur, a consultant gynaecologist at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.“Going to bed earlier with their partner may also increase their opportunity for sex, improving their chances of success further.”

  • Doctors with almost no training in eating disorders leave anorexics feeling under pressure to get thinner
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Doctors with almost no training in eating disorders leave anorexics feeling under pressure to get thinner

    Doctors with just a couple of hours’ training in eating disorders are leaving anorexics feeling under pressure to get thinner to receive help,  experts have warned.

  • Infant mortality rates rise for third consecutive year, hitting poorest communities hardest
    Style
    The Independent

    Infant mortality rates rise for third consecutive year, hitting poorest communities hardest

    Infant mortality rates in England and Wales have risen for the third year in a row with families in the poorest communities worst affected, official data shows.Between 2016 and 2017 the infant mortality rate rose from 3.8 deaths per 1,000 births, to 3.9 per 1,000, data from the Office of National Statistics shows.This means the infant mortality rate has risen "significantly" since it hit a record low in 2014, and in the most deprived communities it stands as high as 5.2 deaths per 1,000.Overall 2,636 babies died before their first birthday in 2017, the ONS shows.While this is fewer deaths than in 2016, the birth rate has also fallen and that means the proportion of newborns surviving to age one has fallen.“The infant mortality rate had been reducing since the 1980s, but since an all-time low in 2014 the rate has increased every year between 2014 to 2017," said Vasita Patel, from the ONS Vital Statistics Outputs Branch."These changes are small and subject to random fluctuations but when compared directly, the rate in 2017 is significantly higher than 2014."More follows...

  • Majority of mums say exercise makes them feel guilty
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Majority of mums say exercise makes them feel guilty

    The majority of mothers do not exercise because they feel too guilty about taking time away from their children, Sport England has found.

  • Swapping one portion of red meat a day for fish or nuts could cut risk of early death by almost a fifth
    Style
    The Telegraph

    Swapping one portion of red meat a day for fish or nuts could cut risk of early death by almost a fifth

    Swapping one portion of red meat for fish or nuts daily could cut the risk of early death by almost a fifth, research in the British Medical Journal suggests.