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Irregular heartbeat ‘riskier for women’

Having an irregular heartbeat poses a greater health risk to women than men, a review of 30 studies, involving more than four million patients, suggests. The women with atrial fibrillation (AF) were almost twice as likely to have fatal heart disease and strokes. Women may respond less well to AF drugs or are being diagnosed later than men. “One possibility ...

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Increased light exposure may make kids overweight

Children who spend too much time on tablets, mobile phone or television are more likely to gain unhealthy weight not just because of physical inactivity but also due to increased exposure to light, says a new study. Timing and intensity of light exposure is critical for metabolic functioning and weight status, the findings showed. “Artificial lighting, including light given off ...

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Junior doctors’ strike: Get back to negotiating table – Hunt

Junior doctors have been urged to return to the negotiating table by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who described their strike as “completely unnecessary”. NHS England said about 10,000 junior doctors had reported for duty out of 26,000 scheduled to work the day shift. Junior doctors in England are staging a 24-hour walkout, which began at 08:00 GMT, in a dispute ...

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Common painkiller with anti-cancer properties identified

Researchers have identified a low-cost and readily accessible painkiller that has significant anti-cancer properties. Diclofenac – a well-known cost-effective painkiller – has the potential to cut down the risk of post-surgical spread of cancer, which may prove to be a huge win in the fight against cancer, explained the authors. Following clinical trials on the use of diclofenac in cancer ...

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Babies learn turn-taking much before talking

Taking turns to respond to each other is a key part of conversation and babies learn the technique at around six months of age, long before infants know much about language, says a new study. The speed of response white taking turns – about 200 milliseconds on average, about the same time as it takes to blink — is astonishing ...

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Asthma may increase risk of painful skin rash

People with asthma may be at increased risk of shingles, a common form of painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus, says a new study. “The effect of asthma on the risk of infection or immune dysfunction might very well go beyond the airways,” said lead author Young Juhn, general academic pediatrician and asthma epidemiologist at the Mayo ...

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Guinea to be declared free of Ebola virus

Guinea is to be declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organization (WHO), two years after the epidemic began there. Guineans are expected to celebrate the landmark with concerts and fireworks. The disease killed more than 2,500 people in the country and a further 9,000 in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola in November, ...

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Daily Magnesium intake can prevent pancreatic cancer

Previous studies have found that magnesium is inversely associated with the risk of diabetes, which is a risk factor of pancreatic cancer. “But few studies have explored the direct association of magnesium with pancreatic cancer. Of those that did, their findings were inconclusive,” said Daniel Dibaba, PhD student at the School of Public Health-Bloomington, who led the IU study. Dibaba ...

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2,400 Brazil babies born with brain damage, emergency declared

Brazilian health authorities are sounding the alarm about a mosquito-borne virus that they believe may be the cause of thousands of infants being born with damaged brains. The pathogen, known as Zika and first discovered in forest monkeys in Africa over 70 years ago, is the new West Nile – a virus that causes mild symptoms in most but can ...

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Gonorrhoea ‘could become untreatable’

Gonorrhoea could become an untreatable disease, England’s chief medical officer has warned. Dame Sally Davies has written to all GPs and pharmacies to ensure they are prescribing the correct drugs after the rise of “super-gonorrhoea” in Leeds. Her warning comes after concerns were raised that some patients were not getting both of the antibiotics needed to clear the infection. Sexual ...

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