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Medical News, November 1st, 2015

Welcome back to this week’s new edition of the Medical News summary blog. This week’s edition will cover the latest in health and medical news from the 27th of October to the 1st of November.

A study published by Harvard University has concluded that dieters should cut out carbohydrates, not fat, if they want to lose weight. The Harvard University study involved analysis of 53 studies that assessed dieters. 68,128 dieters were investigated in total. Those who cut back on fat rather than carbohydrates were two and a half pounds heavier after one year in comparison to the dieters who cut back on carbohydrates. Several studies have examined the differences between a low fat verses a low carbohydrate diet. This study, that was published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, gives evidence that a low carbohydrate diet is more effective. One of the possible reasons for the outcome of the study is thought to be that dieters find it easier to reduce carbohydrate intake in comparison to fats.

The British Medical Association has stated that the job of a junior doctor is becoming “undoable”. Workforce data suggests that one in three junior doctors suffer from work-related stress. Junior doctors will be balloted to decide whether they will take industrial action against the new contract. This balloting will begin from next week. The British Medical Association has confirmed that a strike will involve junior doctors walking out of all services except emergency work. The British Medical Association has also suggested that full withdrawal of all junior doctors could occur at a later date. The most recent NHS staff survey that was carried out in 2014 indicated that more than 30% of junior doctors stated that they have experienced work-related stress in the past year. The British Medical Association is concerned that this will increase if the planned changes to the NHS go ahead. They are especially concerned over the potential removal of financial penalties for hospitals that work their doctors beyond contracted hours.

The World Health Organisation has released data showing that two-thirds of the world’s population under 50 have the herpes simplex virus type 1. This is a virus that causes cold sores around the mouth and it is now thought to be present in over 3.7 billion people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed that most individuals catch the virus in childhood. Along with data published about the herpes simplex virus type 1, WHO published data on herpes simplex virus type 2. This is the form of the disease that causes genital herpes and it is thought that 417 million people in the 17-49 age group suffer with this form of the herpes virus.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has expressed that he wants to save the NHS millions by charging foreign patients for emergency treatment or for calling out an ambulance. Overseas visitors can currently receive accident and emergency treatment as well as GP visits free of charge. However, if the plans go ahead then this treatment could be withheld until fees are paid. The Department of Health has said that exemptions to the policy would be put in place. For example, refugees, asylum seekers and pregnant women would not be turned away if they had not paid upfront. The British Medical Association disagrees with this notion. It has stated that doctors are meant to treat patients, “not act as a border guard”.

Uploaded by Alessandra on November 4th, 2015

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