Welcome to this week’s edition of the Medical News blog, which covers from the 19th to the 26th of October. Below you’ll find the all the main medical news stories relating to health. For this week, there have been several advances in both health research and also in public health aspects.
First of all, the World Health Organisation published a report that ranks processed meat as a major cause of cancer. The report states that 50g of processed meat per day increases the chance of developing bowel cancer by 18%. This is the equivalent of eating one sausage per day. Global health experts now list processed meat as one of the highest causes of cancer alongside alcohol, asbestos and cigarettes. The report was published following a meeting with ten different countries to discuss the available evidence. The World Health Organisation recommends consuming processed meats only occasionally. There is little evidence to suggest that fresh red meat causes cancer. However, some links have been found to bowel, pancreatic and prostate cancer. As this is relatively new medical news, this is an area that needs further research to clarify.
In more bizarre medical news, a man in America has failed a paternity test after the genes taken from his saliva did not match those found within his sperm. After further investigation doctors found that the man’s unborn twin (who was miscarried during pregnancy) was the genetic father of the child. The 34 year old is the first reported case of a paternity test being failed due to human chimera. Human chimera is when someone absorbs genes and cells from a twin that is lost in early pregnancy. It is thought that around one in eight childbirths are believed to have started as multiple pregnancies, and on occasion cells from the miscarried twin are sometimes absorbed in the womb by the surviving foetus. Human chimera cases have occurred in the past, for example, a woman from Boston discovered that her blood cells had a different set of genes to those from her ovaries.
Public Health England have published a report stating that people in the UK are consuming too much sugar. It is thought that people get between 12 to 15% of their daily energy from sugar, however, experts recommend that this figure should be less than 5%. The report has suggested several strategies to combat the increasing sugar consumption in the UK. Some of the strategies include a 10 to 20% sugar tax, reducing the advertising of high sugar food and drink as well as implementing sugar reduction in everyday food and drinks. A spokesman for David Cameron has said that he does not want to see a sugar tax in the UK. Public Health England has called for a “rebalancing” in terms of food and drinks promotions. Currently, the food and drink on promotion tends to be on unhealthy foods rather than healthy products.
A Japanese study has shown thatnewborn babies who passive smoke are 50% more likely to suffer from poor dental health. The study looked at 76,920 children in Japan between 2004 and 2010. The study showed that those who had experienced passive smoking at four months were twice as likely to experience poor dental health in later life. The study emphasises the need to reduce the prevalence of smoking around young children and babies. The study also showed that mothers smoking during pregnancy did not have an impact on a child’s dental health in later life.
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