Heart attack rates halve
A report in the BMJ has shown that the number of heart attacks halved between 2000 and 2010. This has been put down to better medical interventions and better lifestyles. Just shows what can be achieved with a bit of effort.
Men at greater risk of oral HPV than women.
This piece of research has found that oral HPV infections can be found in 10% of men and only 3.6% of women. This virus is one of the major causes of cervical cancer in women and a risk factor for head and neck cancers. Head and neck cancers are becoming far more common and the researchers have suggested that trials of the HPV vaccine, which is currently given to teenage girls, should be carried to see if it protects both sexes from oral HPV as well.
This is an interesting use of Twitter. Apparently researchers have shown that Twitter is a better way to follow disease outbreaks than official monitoring. Just count the Tweets and you can get a good idea of how a disease is spreading 2 weeks before more traditional methods.
Obesity, where the US goes we follow.....
The latest obesity statistics from the US are available here and they are truly scary. In some populations 75% of men are obese. Let’s hope this US craze does not come over here or the health and cost implications will be huge.
"High Normal" blood pressure risks AF
Normal ranges can be very helpful when trying to diagnoses a patient and always appear very clear cut. The problem is that these ranges are worked out for a population rather than the individual. Consequently we each have our own set of normal ranges which will be a lot narrower than those for the population we belong to. Consequently it is quite possible that a result that is abnormal for one person may be within the normal range for the population. This has always been a justification for having annual medicals as they are more likely to spot a trend than a one off test done when you are ill. I also think that this may explain the results of research like this has found people with high normal blood pressure are at risk of AF (Atrial Fibrillation).
Incurable TB strain in India
According to doctors in Mumbai, India, here they have found 12 cases of TB which are incurable with antibiotics. Given that this is probably only the tip of the iceberg we could be looking at a serious threat to the control of this disease.