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Thu, 28 May 2020
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Health

Study: Breast cancer genes can come from father

A deadly gene's path can hide in a family tree when a woman has few aunts and older sisters, making it appear that her breast cancer struck out of nowhere when it really came from Dad.

A new study suggests thousands of young women with breast cancer - an estimated 8,000 a year in the U.S. - aren't offered testing to identify faulty genes and clarify their medical decisions.

Health

Study finds staggering cost of treating diabetics

One out of every eight U.S. federal health care dollars is spent treating people with diabetes, a study found, and advocates are calling for the creation of a government post to oversee coordination of spending on treatment and prevention among federal agencies.

Light Sabers

UK: Level of abortions reaches record high of 200,000 a year

More than 200,000 women had abortions last year, the highest number ever, figures show today.

Almost 4,000 of the 201,173 procedures carried out in England and Wales were on girls under 16, the legal age of consent for sex.

The total rose by almost four per cent last year on 2005. The increase is being blamed on a crisis in contraception services.

Lambeth had the highest rate of abortions among under-18s - 44 for every 1,000 women having a termination. Across London, 24 in every 1,000 under-18s had an abortion last year.

Attention

Six-year-old boy treated for anorexia

A six-year-old is the youngest boy to be treated for anorexia, a study reveals today. It also shows more young boys than girls are being treated for eating disorders such as anorexia.

Figures show 51 hospital admissions last year of boys under 11 with eating disorders and 36 admissions of girls.

Dr Jon Goldin, a consultant child psychiatrist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: "There is a whole range of eating disorders that young children suffer from, including compulsive overeating, food phobias or fear of swallowing, and refusing to eat.

"Young boys are more likely to be suffering from selective eating, where they will only eat a very narrow range of foods.

Bulb

Attention Training May Help Older Adults Improve Concentration

Can a fitness program for your brain improve thinking and concentration the way lifting weights can increase muscle strength? Early results from a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center study suggest that attention training can change brain activity so older adults can block out distractions and improve concentration.

Health

Is America Too Sweet On Sugar?

Dr. David Ludwig treats childhood obesity at Boston Children's Hospital and he is stunned by America's consumption of empty calories. In fact, he says that the average convenience store is a nutritional disaster area.

"All sugar-containing foods aren't bad," he told CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer. "For example, an apple has its main calories come from sugar. But it's surrounded by fiber, so it digests slowly and keeps blood sugar under control."

Including refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, the average American wolfs down 142 pounds a year, or roughly 2 ½ pound a week. That is up 23 percent in the last 25 years, and is a major factor in soaring rates of obesity and diabetes.

Book

Scots more likely than English to reach university, though background still counts

Whilst young people in Britain increasingly value education and stay on at school, the proportion gaining qualifications and going to college and university over the past 20 years has been 'consistently and substantially' greater in Scotland, according to a unique study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

But the project, led by Dr Linda Croxford with Professor David Raffe of the University of Edinburgh, found that while the Scottish system encouraged young people to study beyond the age of 16, middle class students took most advantage.

Using carefully constructed sets of data drawn from ongoing surveys of thousands of young people aged 16-19, researchers were able for the first time to analyse the effects of social change on their experiences through and beyond the education system, and to map trends across Britain.

The report says that more than half of Britain's 16-year olds in the mid-1980s felt that school had done little to prepare them for life, compared with just a third by 1999. And those feeling it had helped give them confidence to make decisions rose from 52 to 70 per cent.

The research compared the success rates of young people from working-class and middle-class backgrounds. Their findings for England present a more positive picture than other recent studies which show class inequalities remaining stable or even increasing. Inequalities in attainment at age 16 changed little over the period, but at 'A' level and entry to higher education in England, they narrowed slightly over the period.

Health

Dietary calcium is better than supplements at protecting bone health

Women who get most of their daily calcium from food have healthier bones than women whose calcium comes mainly from supplemental tablets, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Surprisingly, this is true even though the supplement takers have higher average calcium intake.

Adequate calcium is important to prevent osteoporosis, which affects an estimated 8 million American women and 2 million American men. Another 34 million Americans have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Calcium consumption can help maintain bone density by preventing the body from stealing the calcium it needs from the bones.

The researchers' conclusions about calcium intake, published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, came from a study of 183 postmenopausal women. The researchers asked the women to meticulously detail their diet and their calcium supplement intake for a week. "We assumed that this sample represented each woman's typical diet," says senior author Reina Armamento-Villareal, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases and a bone specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "In addition to analyzing the volunteers' daily calcium intake, we tested bone mineral density and urinary concentrations of estrogen metabolites."

The researchers found that the women could be divided into three groups: one group, called the "supplement group," got at least 70 percent of their daily calcium from tablets or pills; another, the "diet group," got at least 70 percent of their calcium from dairy products and other foods; and a third, the "diet plus supplement group," consisted of those whose calcium-source percentages fell somewhere in between these ranges.

Vader

Colombia-ECcuador: Studies Find DNA Damage from Anti-Coca Herbicide

U.S.-funded aerial spraying of coca plantations in Colombia near the Ecuador border has severely damaged the DNA of local residents, a new study has found.

Blood samples from 24 Ecuadorians living within three kilometres of the northern border had 600 to 800 percent more damage to their chromosomes than people living 80 km away, found scientists from the Pontificia Catholic University in Quito, Ecuador.

Health

Coffee 'could prevent eye tremor'

Drinking coffee protects against an eyelid spasm that can lead to blindness, a study suggests.

Italian researchers looked at the coffee drinking and smoking habits of 166 people with blepharospasm.

Sufferers have uncontrollable twitching of the eyelid which, in extreme cases, stops them being able to see.

One or two cups of coffee a day seemed to reduce the risk of the condition, the team reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.