Welcome back to this week’s edition of the news summary at The Medic Portal. This blog brings you the key health stories that occurred from 1st to 7th May. This week, a study has shown that baby boomers are consuming too much alcohol and contributing to alcohol related hospital admissions, health experts feel that NHS prescriptions should be free for students with mental health conditions and more than half of British vapers have now quit smoking tobacco.
Baby boomers have been warned about their alcohol consumption as alcohol-related hospital admissions increase. Alcohol related hospital admissions is at its highest ever level having increased by 64% in the last ten years. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that people aged over 45 are frequently drinking at more hazardous levels. Married or cohabiting individuals are more likely to consume alcohol on five or more days a week. The data overcomes the idea that drinking is a “young person problem”. Alcohol is linked to over 60 illnesses such as heart disease, liver disease, cancer and dementia. Additionally, the number of people who binge drink is thought to be as much as 7.8 million, the highest risk individuals being high earning men.
Currently if you are 19 or over and study in England, you pay £8.60 per prescription item. One in 50 students at university have a registered mental health condition, often requiring them to take regular medication. Helen Stokes-Lampard, the chair of the Royal College of GPs, is supporting the idea that students with mental health problems should get free prescriptions. The idea behind it is that any barrier that prevents students from taking prescribed medication should be removed. Often treating mental health conditions requires a trial and error process with medications, as there is a lot of variability with how different people respond to the medication, which means that the cost of prescriptions adds up.
Over half of British vapers have now quit smoking tobacco a new study has shown. Some vapers still use both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes whereas almost three million people use e-cigarettes only. When questioned, many of those in the study said that they switched to e-cigarettes to save money or help them to quit smoking altogether. The survey indicated that people were over-estimating the dangers of vaping, as only 13% of those asked recognised that e-cigarettes were less harmful than smoking.