More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked ways to help the planet.
More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked ways to help the planet.
Codeine prescriptions for children who have had their tonsils and adenoids removed have decreased since the Food and Drug Administration began requiring a black box warning on the products four years ago, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, some children continue to be prescribed codeine, and other opioid prescriptions for children have continued to rise since then.
As CNN began setting up our on-camera interview with Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, our cameraman asked, “Do your wheels lock? Just for the interview.”
Children between the age of six months and five years should take vitamin A, C and D supplements, government advice says – do you find this surprising?
If you do, it seems you’re not alone.
Researchers in Wales found only 30% of parents and carers said they had ever been given advice by a health professional about giving young children vitamin supplements.
And nearly two-thirds (64%) of those asked said they didn’t give their children vitamin supplements.
The Department for Health (DoH) recommends all children aged six months to five years should be given supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day.
This advice has been in existence since the early 1990s, when it was endorsed by the then committee on medical aspects of food policy.
The DoH also says breastfed babies should be given a daily vitamin D supplement from birth.
The Welsh researchers wanted to find out how well known this advice was among parents and carers.
They surveyed adults accompanying children at paediatric out-patient clinics in two hospitals in Swansea.
A total of 101 filled out questionnaires designed to test their knowledge of the guidelines.
The researchers said the most common reasons given by parents for not giving their children vitamin supplements were:
“We are concerned that the majority of carers participating in our survey do not follow guidance around vitamin supplementation for their young children,” the report says.
“Many seem unaware of recommendations, suggesting that health professionals are not providing them with information.
“We feel that action needs to be taken to raise carers’ awareness and encourage a much wider use of vitamin supplements in the under-fives, with health professionals adopting a more proactive approach.”
Dr Bethan McMinn, paediatric registrar at the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said the complexity of the guidelines could be a barrier for effective information sharing between professionals and parents.
She said that while the DoH recommends all children aged six months to five years take a daily supplement, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recently updated its advice.
It now says that all babies from birth to one year should take a daily Vitamin D supplement – but this does not apply for infants having 500ml a day of formula milk.
Dr McMinn acknowledges her research is small scale, but says it could well reflect the situation across the UK.
“Our project was conducted in Swansea, Wales so it is difficult to comment on whether our findings reflect the situation across the UK in general.
“However it would not surprise me if this were the case.”
Prof Mary Fewtrell, nutrition lead at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the Swansea research suggested healthcare professionals were not routinely sharing the information with new parents.
“I suspect in large part this is due to the complex and conditional nature of the guidelines leading to confusion and that we would be likely to see a similar picture in other parts of the country.
“Further research is needed to establish if this is the case and, if so, how to best overcome these challenges so that our children can receive the best possible nutrition.”
Prof Louis Levy, head of nutrition science at Public Health England, said: “All children aged six months to five years should take a supplement containing vitamins A, C and D.
“This is a sensible step because growing children may not get enough of these vitamins – especially those not eating a varied diet.”
The research was presented at the Welsh Paediatric Society autumn clinical meeting.
Breast cancer can resurface after remaining dormant for 15 years following successful treatment, a study has found.
Women with large tumours and cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes had the highest 40% risk of it coming back.
Researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine said extending treatment with hormone therapy could reduce the risk of it recurring.
Scientists analysed the progress of 63,000 women for 20 years.
All had the most common form of breast cancer.
This is a type fuelled by the hormone oestrogen which can stimulate cancer cells to grow and divide.
Every patient received treatments such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors which block the effects of oestrogen or shut off the hormone’s supply.
Although after five years of treatment their cancers had gone, over the next 15 years a steady number of women found that their cancer spread throughout their body – some up to 20 years after diagnosis.
Women who originally had large tumours and cancer that had spread to four or more lymph nodes were at highest risk of the cancer returning the next 15 years, the study said.
Women with small, low-grade cancers and no spread to the lymph nodes had a much lower 10% risk of cancer spread over that time.
Lead researcher Dr Hongchao Pan, from University of Oxford, said: “It is remarkable that breast cancer can remain dormant for so long and then spread many years later, with this risk remaining the same year after year and still strongly related to the size of the original cancer and whether it had spread to the (lymph) nodes.”
Doctors have long known that five years of tamoxifen reduces the risk of recurrence by about a third in the five years after stopping treatment.
Recent research has suggested that extending hormone therapy to 10 years may be more effective at preventing breast cancer recurrence and death.
Aromatase inhibitors, which only work for post-menopausal women, are believed to be even more effective.
But there are side effects with hormone treatments which can affect patients’ quality of life and cause them to stop taking the pills.
These include menopausal symptoms, osteporosis, joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Prof Arnie Purushotham, senior clinical adviser at Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, said that since the research began, new drugs had been used to treat breast cancer and those worked in different ways to tamoxifen.
He said: “It’s vital that work continues to better predict which cancers might return.
“We also need to know what the difference for women might be in taking hormone therapies for 10 years instead of five, the side effects and how this affects patients’ quality of life.”
Sally Greenbook, from charity Breast Cancer Now, said it was essential that women discussed any changes in treatment with their doctor.
“We would urge all women who have had treatment for breast cancer not to be alarmed, but to ensure they are aware of the signs of recurrence and of metastatic breast cancer, and to speak to their GP or breast care team if they have any concerns.”
Wounds heal more quickly if they occur during the day rather than after dark, a study suggests.
It found burns sustained at night took an average of 28 days to heal, but just 17 for those that happened in daytime.
The team, at the UK’s MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said they were astounded by the difference they saw in 118 burns patients they studied.
The effect was explained by the way body clock ticks inside nearly every human cell across a 24-hour cycle.
The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, examined 118 patients at NHS burns units.
It showed the average 11-day difference in healing times between people hurt at night and during the day.
Detailed lab work showed skin cells called fibroblasts were changing their abilities in a 24-hour pattern.
Fibroblasts are the body’s first responders, rushing to the site of injury to close a wound.
During the day they are primed to react, but they lose this ability at night.
Dr John O’Neill, one of the researchers, told the BBC: “It is like the 100m. The sprinter down on the blocks, poised and ready to go, is always going to beat the guy going from a standing start.”
The researchers think they could use this knowledge to improve surgery.
Some drugs, such as the steroid cortisol, can reset an individual cell’s body clock and may be helpful in night-time procedures.
And everybody’s body clock runs to a slightly different pattern or “chronotype”.
So, it might make sense to schedule operations to keep in time with the patients’ 24-hour “circadian rhythms”.
Both ideas are still untested, though.
Dr John Blaikley, a clinician scientist at the University of Manchester, said: “Treatment of wounds costs the NHS around £5bn, which is partly due to a lack of effective therapies targeting wound closure.
“By taking these [circadian factors] into account, not only could novel drug targets be identified, but also the effectiveness of established therapies might be increased through changing what time of day they are given.”
Sudden cardiac arrest is associated with sexual activity far more often in men than women, research suggests.
But sex is a rare trigger for sudden cardiac arrest.
Only 34 out of the 4,557 cardiac arrests examined occurred during or within one hour of sexual intercourse and 32 of those affected were men.
Sumeet Chugh, of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, said his study is the first to evaluate sexual activity as a potential trigger of cardiac arrest.
The research was presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association.
A cardiac arrest happens when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. It causes someone to fall unconscious and stop breathing and unless treated with CPR, it is fatal.
This differs from a heart attack, where blood flow to the heart is blocked.
It is known that sexual activity can trigger heart attacks, but the link with cardiac arrest was previously unknown.
Source: American Heart Association
Dr Chugh and his colleagues in California examined hospital records on cases of cardiac arrest in adults between 2002 and 2015 in Portland, Oregon.
Sexual activity was associated in fewer than 1% of the cases. The vast majority were male and were more likely to be middle-aged, African-American and have a history of cardiovascular disease.
The study also found CPR was performed in only one-third of the cases, despite them being witnessed by a partner.
Dr Chugh said: “These findings highlight the importance of continued efforts to educate the public on the importance of bystander CPR for sudden cardiac arrest, irrespective of the circumstance.”
He said it shows the need for people to be educated about how to administer CPR.
Another study presented at the conference showed children as young as six can learn it.
After a heart attack or surgery, the British Heart Foundation suggests patients should typically wait four to six weeks before resuming sexual activity.
Scientists investigating links between heading footballs and dementia say there is an urgent need for more research.
It follows the screening of a BBC documentary “Dementia, football and me”, featuring Alan Shearer.
Last year, scientists at Stirling University found just one session of heading a ball could lead to an immediate decrease in brain function.
They said more work was needed to assess long-term effects.
The academics have called for funding for further studies looking at the risks of heading footballs.
The BBC documentary, which was screened on Sunday night, heard from current and retired professional footballers, the relatives of former players diagnosed with dementia, the Football Association (FA), the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and scientists in sports medicine.
Many of those interviewed raised concerns that there could be a link between heading the ball and brain health but said that more research was required.
The documentary included footage of former England international Shearer undergoing tests in a lab at Stirling, where academics have, for the first time, found direct evidence of brain changes immediately after heading a ball.
The FA and PFA have commissioned research into whether the degenerative neurocognitive disease is more common in ex-professional footballers than the rest of the population.
But cognitive neuroscientist Dr Magdalena Ietswaart and Dr Angus Hunter, reader in exercise physiology, said more funding was needed for scientific studies that would provide understanding of the risks associated with heading footballs.
Dr Ietswaart said: “We do not yet know whether there is a definitive link between football and dementia. This can only be discovered by carrying out research in this area.
“Scientific developments open up a new approach that is achievable but requires a robust funding drive. If you want real answers, you need to understand what is happening in the brain; what is cause and effect, the approach we use here at Stirling.
“Until now, we did not have sensitive or direct ways to identify how moving a ball with your head can impact brain health.
“However, we now have stronger neuroscience emerging that can look directly at what goes on in the brain as a result of heading the ball.”
She added: “We have applied these techniques here at Stirling but there is a lot more that we, and others, can do to give definitive answers on the dangers of heading.
“Current neuroscience has substantial promise in providing the evidence-base on the effects playing football has on brain health that is currently lacking.”
The tests undertaken by Shearer showed immediate brain changes after heading the ball – the same changes observed in participants who took part in the landmark study.
The research, published in EBioMedicine, is the first to show direct evidence for short-term sub-concussive changes in the brain following any sport-related impact.
After meeting the Stirling team, Shearer said: “Football should be encouraging these universities to do as much research as possible but, like everything else, these universities need funding.
“There’s enough money around nowadays in football but not enough of it is being given to research. It is about time we had more definitive answers.”
Dr Hunter said: “As conveyed by the BBC documentary, our study is the first to show changes in brain function after heading the ball.
“Combined with the anecdotal evidence, our research and this documentary should provide the stimulus for further scientific research to be carried out in this area.”
The research was funded by the National Institute of Health Research.
Drivers should have compulsory eye tests every 10 years, the Association of Optometrists has said.
One in three optometrists say they have seen patients in the last month who continue to drive with vision below the legal standard, their association said.
Motorists must read a number plate from 20m (65ft) in the practical driving test, but there is no follow-up check.
The Department for Transport said changes to eyesight should be reported by motorists to the DVLA.
“All drivers are required by law to make sure their eyesight is good enough to drive,” a spokeswoman said.
Data from the Department for Transport shows seven people were killed and 63 were seriously injured in accidents on Britain’s roads last year when “uncorrected, defective eyesight” was a contributory factor.
Nine out of 10 optometrists believed the existing rule – that put the onus on motorists to report themselves to the DVLA if they develop eyesight problems – is insufficient.
When drivers pass the age of 70, the emphasis changes a little. Drivers must actively make a declaration every three years that they are fit to drive. As part of that they must confirm that they meet the minimum eyesight requirement.
Brenda Gutberlet, whose 28-year-old niece Natalie Wade was killed in 2006 by a 78-year-old driver who was blind in one eye, says she wants the “outdated laws on drivers’ medical fitness” changed.
Ms Gutberlet, from Canvey Island, Essex, said her niece died just months before her wedding and that she does not want other families “to go through what we have”.
Optometrist Dr Julie Anne-Little said Britain “falls behind many other countries” because of the initial number plate test and the self-reporting of eyesight problems.
“Because sight changes can be gradual, often people won’t realise that their vision has deteriorated over time,” she said.
Many people living with diabetes are struggling with related emotional problems – an issue that needs support and recognition, a charity says.
Diabetes UK surveyed 8,500 people about diabetes and how it affected their daily life.
Three in five said their condition made them feel down.
Of those in employment, 16% felt discriminated against at work – and 7% had not even told their employer about their diabetes.
Clare (not her real name), 26, says she had to quit her job as a management consultant as a direct result of her diabetes.
She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13.
Despite being one of 4.5 million people affected by the condition in the UK, she says the “lack of understanding” she encountered in the workplace left her feeling “frustrated, anxious and stressed”.
“I was constantly undermined and told that my diabetes wasn’t that serious,” says Clare.
“This included being told off for having medical appointments during the day, and being made to feel bad for talking about my diabetes.
“I don’t want to be treated differently, but sometimes I need to be treated differently,” she tells BBC News.
“You’re young and in your 20s and people on the Tube look at you and ask, ‘Why do you need a seat?’
“No-one knows I have an insulin pump attached to my bra, my blood sugars are being monitored and I am constantly thinking about food.”
She says her employers “never sat down and talked to me about it”.
In an appraisal, she was told she needed “to manage her health anxiety”.
“Eventually, I decided that enough was enough, and I quit my job so I could spend some time taking care of myself,” she says.
She says diabetes “is not a dirty secret – it’s part of my life”.
“There needs to be more talking in the workplace – and more flexibility.”
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes – type 1 and type 2 – is on the rise.
According to Diabetes UK, about 700 people are diagnosed every day.
And it’s a life-changing diagnosis.
Those affected often have to check their blood sugars up to 10 times a day and plan their meal breaks – and what they will be eating – factoring in any exercise they may be doing.
Trips to the toilet can break up a night’s sleep.
And then there can be hypos – when blood sugars drop dangerously low.
Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high.
The latest research – published to mark World Diabetes Day – cites six areas where Diabetes UK believes treatment could be improved, including:
“Effective diabetes care requires that a person’s emotional needs are taken into account alongside their physical care needs,” said Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK.
“We want to see a system where specialist support – from people who understand diabetes – is made available to those who need it.”
Healthcare professionals can provide help and support.