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Medical News, September 27, 2015

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the Medical News Summary. This edition will cover highlights in medical and health news from the 21st to the 27th of September.

This week has seen the continuing dispute between junior doctors and the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt over the new proposed contract. On Saturday the British Medical Association announced that it would be asking members across England whether they wanted to take action. The new contract proposed is due to come into action in August 2016, it involves re-classing normal working hours as being from 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday. Currently, extra payments are given to junior doctors who work outside the hours of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday. Several thousand junior doctors gathered to protest against the new contract outside the Department of Health. The government has defending its actions by describing the current contracts as “outdated” due to the fact they were introduced in the 1990s. Dr Johann Malawana the British Medical Association junior doctor committee chairmen is due to meet with the Department of Health to discuss the new contract. The British Medical Association has asked its 53,000 junior doctor members about considering industrial action should negotiations fail.

New research has suggested a link between feeling dizzy at least three minutes after standing and a future increased risk of both death, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Feeling faint and light-headed after standing can be caused by dehydration, low blood pressure and medication, however, the study indicates that if light headedness after standing becomes a long term condition then it can be a sign of a more serious condition. The study included 165 people with an average age of 59. Researchers found that those who had delayed orthostatic hypotension had higher death rates and increased levels of degenerative brain diseases.

Fruit & Veg - Weight Gain?
Fruit & Veg – Weight Gain?

The Harvard School of Public Health have linked different vegetables and fruits to both weight loss and weight gain. The study shows the certain fruit and vegetables were making participants overweight. A handful of blueberries were linked to a pound and a half of weight loss, this is thought to be due to the fact that they contain polyphenols, a metabolism-altering compound. In addition to this, it is thought that blueberries were often replacing a high fat dessert. In contrast to this, potatoes were linked to weight gain and researchers have suggested swapping potatoes for wholegrain substitutes.

Coca-Cola announced on Tuesday the 22nd of September that it had spent over $118 million dollars on health research and health partnerships over the past five years. Coca-Cola are supporting the Energy Balance Network a group that promotes the idea that the media focuses on how much people are eating and blaming fast food rather than focusing on how much people are exercising. The company have vowed to be more transparent in documenting their contributions to health research.

Two new treatments for advanced kidney cancer have been shown to increase survival rates in clinical trials. The results published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that both drugs were effective. One of the drugs, nivolumab, increases the immune response whilst the other, cabozantinib, blocks growth signals in the tumour. Kidney cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the UK and if the cancer metastasises then only one in ten people live beyond five years.

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