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Weekly News Summary – 14th August 2017

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the news summary blog. This blog keeps you up to date with all the latest medical news. This edition will cover the key health stories from 7th to 13th of August. This week, data revealed that the number of children living with type 2 diabetes is increasing, depression could double the risk of death from coronary heart disease and the health inequality gap in England is growing.

Figures released this week from a child health report has indicated that the number of children living with type 2 diabetes is increasing. The data showed that there were 110 more cases of type 2 diabetes in those under the age of 19 than there was two years previously. The youngest children affected are as young as five. Type 2 diabetes is heavily linked to obesity as being overweight is the biggest risk factor for developing the disease. Childhood obesity in England is still rising: currently one in five children in year 6 of primary school are overweight. Parents are being encouraged to book an appointment with their GP if they are concerned about their child’s weight as they are able to refer them to weight loss services or to a paediatrician.

Research published this week has indicated that suffering with depression may double the risk of dying from coronary heart disease. Almost 25,000 people with coronary artery disease were tracked over a period of ten years and around 15% of them were also diagnosed with depression at some stage in the study. Those patients who suffered with depression were found to have twice the risk of dying in comparison to those who did not suffer from depression. Surprisingly, depression was found to be the strongest risk factor for dying over other factors such as age, heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The Department of Health has released data that indicates that the health inequality gap is “still growing” in England. The government has pledged to reduce inequalities in health, especially those relating to disability, disease and life expectancy. Those living in deprived areas in Britain are more likely to die prematurely, have a child die soon after birth and end up in hospital accident and emergency. The gap was narrowing prior to 2010, however, recently it has seen an increase. The figures released in 2015 showed that men living in deprived areas are expected to live 9.2 years less than those from wealthy areas. Experts suggest that the figures indicate how the NHS are failing to take effective action in reducing health inequalities.  

Words: Joelle Booth

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