Hello and welcome back to the News Summary blog. This blog will cover the highlights in medical and health news that occurred from the 26th September to the 2nd October. This week has shown the release of an NHS study that indicates that mental illness in young women is increasing, an investigation that has found that online pharmacies and prescribing antibiotics and evidence that painkillers increase the risk of heart failure.
An inquiry conducted by the NHS found that more women aged 16 to 24 are experiencing mental health problems than ever before. The study showed that one in four women in this age group have self-harmed and the number of women suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has trebled since 2007. Young women are over three times more likely to suffer from PTSD than men in the same age group. This increase is thought to be due to sexual violence, childhood trauma and pressures brought by social media, yet is also due to better screening and diagnostic methods for mental health conditions. Experts have called for urgent improvements in NHS psychological and psychiatric services to meet the demands of the younger age groups suffering with mental illnesses.
The General Medical Council (GMC) launched an investigation that found that online pharmacies were over prescribing antibiotics. The investigation looked at 17 UK-based online pharmacies that were selling antibiotics. A reporter who posed as a patient was issued three prescriptions in 24 hours. The NHS has urged all health professionals to avoid over prescribing antibiotic drugs to help reduce drug resistance as it is estimated that antibiotic resistance could kill up to 10 million people by 2050. General Practitioners who took part in the study were concerned as prescriptions being given to the reporters posing as patients were not suitable to treat the conditions they were claiming to have. The Department of Health is working to raise public awareness to reduce the demand for antibiotics and increase public knowledge of antibiotic resistance.
A study published in the British Medical Journal has linked NSAIDs to an increased risk of heart failure. The study followed 10 million people aged 77 (on average) who took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and diclofenac. The UK experts found that the risk was mainly in those over the age of 65. The researchers found that taking NSAIDs increased the risk of heart failure by 19%. The British Heart Foundation has said that patients should be on the lowest dose of NSAIDs as possible and only take the drugs for the shortest possible time. Research also suggests that the risk is mostly in those who suffer from hypotension, diabetes and kidney problems.