Weekly health roundup – 29th August

International health news

A new US study concludes that in order to reduce breast cancer deaths, women should begin having annual mammograms from the age of 40. The study, published in the international journal Cancer, estimates a 40% reduction in breast cancer-related deaths if screening takes place every year.

More and more children and teenagers are expected to be diagnosed with hypertension, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The condition can be easily managed, but can also lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems if not.

Country updates

In the USA, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced that they are looking to reduce the levels of nicotine in cigarettes to make them less addictive. Currently there are over 480,000 smoking-related deaths in the US every year. However, some experts suggest that the move could be met with a rise in black market cigarettes or increases in the number of cigarettes smoked in order to compensate for the lower nicotine levels.

A lack of exercise among middle-aged adults is a major cause of premature health conditions in the UK, Public Health England reports. It has been found that only 59% of adults between 40 and 60 years old walk continuously for 10 minutes, at least once a month. Walking for just 10 minutes a day it is thought to reduce the risk of premature death by 15%.

Extremely high levels of arsenic found in Pakistan’s drinking water, have put up to 60 million people at risk from arsenic poisoning. As a result, Pakistan could face severe related health problems including cancers, skin disorders and cardiovascular issues.

Health advice

Babies under one year old should always be put to sleep on their backs, never their fronts. The method has been found to dramatically decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), yet only 43.7% of mothers in the US follow the recommendation.

A new study has found a link between lung cancer and smokers that take B vitamins. Correlations were only apparent in males and those that consumed relatively high doses of vitamins B6 or B12.

The Google Search app has a new ‘depression screening’ feature, aimed to help those that search the term ‘clinical depression’. Though not to be used as a professional diagnosis, the clinically validated quiz indicates if someone should seek help and offers advice on what their next steps should be.

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