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Is children's asthma made worse by inhalers?

Read more..."Genetic tests could pave way to 'personalised' asthma drugs" the Guardian has reported, before warning that current treatments may make symptoms worse. The newspaper goes on to say that, "screening could help GPs tailor drugs to children as study confirms variations in response to asthma medications".

This headline is based on a small, proof-of-concept study that compared the effectiveness of standard treatment to an alternative asthma medication among children with poorly controlled asthma who were known to have a specific genetic variant (arginine-16 genotype).

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Washing hands helps to fight superbug

Read more...A national hand hygiene campaign "cut superbug infections," according to BBC News. The BBC and other news outlets have reported the success of a hand-washing campaign in cutting infection rates in hospitals.

The headlines stem from a study of hand-washing practices at 187 NHS trusts in England and Wales between 2004 and 2008. The Clean Your Hands campaign was introduced in 2004 and this study looked at its effects.

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Study probes weight gain after diets

Read more..."Trying to lose weight alters your brain and hormones so you're doomed to pile it on again," the Daily Mail reported today.

Many people struggle to maintain their new weight after a diet, and this news is based on a small study that investigated the biological reasons for this.

Researchers monitored the hormone levels of 50 volunteers who were given very low calorie diets, of around 500 calories a day, for 10 weeks alongside weight loss advice, a recommended exercise programme and supervision from a dietitian.

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Diabetes: cases and costs predicted to rise

Read more...These bold claims are based on a UK study which reported that the annual NHS cost of the direct treatment of diabetes in the UK will increase from £9.8 billion to £16.9 billion over the next 25 years. The predicted rise would equate to the NHS spending 17% of its entire budget on the condition, up from about 10% today.

"Diabetes could 'bankrupt' the NHS in 20 years," the Daily Mail has reported. The newspaper said that most spending on the condition is due to avoidable complications. Several other newspapers featured similar claims, saying that by 2035 a sixth of NHS funding will be spent on the disease.

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Mobile phone cancer link unproven, says HPA

Read more...There is "no convincing evidence" that mobile phones cause cancer, according to a major report issued by the Health Protection Agency. The report has received a great deal of press attention. Most newspapers stressed the lack of clear risks but others said that mobile phones present an unknown health risk.

The report was a comprehensive, independent review of the evidence on the possible health effects of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields.

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