EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
Kate's Feed
Dec 6, 2013

Study casts doubt on whether extra vitamin D prevents disease

LONDON (Reuters) – Researchers cast doubt on the prevailing wisdom that vitamin D supplements can prevent conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, saying on Friday low vitamin D may be a consequence, not a cause, of ill health.

The findings could have implications for millions of people who take vitamin D pills and other supplements to ward off illness – Americans spend an estimated $600 million a year on them alone.

Dec 5, 2013

Dementia epidemic looms with 135 million sufferers seen by 2050

LONDON (Reuters) – Many governments are woefully unprepared for an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than treble to 135 million people by 2050, health experts and campaigners said on Thursday.

Fresh estimates from the advocacy group Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) showed a 17 percent increase in the number of people with the incurable mind-robbing condition compared with 2010, and warned that by 2050 more than 70 percent of dementia sufferers will be living in poorer countries.

Dec 3, 2013

Health disparities ‘could be eliminated in a generation’: study

LONDON (Reuters) – Health disparities between rich and poor nations could be banished in a generation by investment in research, vaccines and drugs to combat diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, global health experts said on Tuesday.

In a report setting out a plan for a “grand convergence” in health, the experts said world leaders needed to press for a concerted increase in research and development (R&D) investment to develop new medicines, vaccines and health technologies.

Dec 2, 2013

MERS virus infects family in UAE, kills two in Qatar: WHO

LONDON (Reuters) – Another three people in the United Arab Emirates are sick with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus and two people infected with it in Qatar have died, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.

The new cases in UAE were in a family in Abu Dhabi – a mother, father and an 8-year-old boy – the United Nations health agency said in a disease outbreak update. The parents are both in a critical condition in hospital, the boy has mild respiratory symptoms.

Nov 28, 2013

Journal withdraws controversial French Monsanto GM study

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – The publisher of a controversial
and much-criticised study suggesting genetically modified corn
caused tumours in rats has withdrawn the paper after a yearlong
investigation found it did not meet scientific standards.

Reed Elsevier’s Food and Chemical Toxicology
journal, which published the study by the French researcher
Gilles-Eric Seralini in September 2012, said on Thursday the
retraction was because the study’s small sample size meant no
definitive conclusions could be reached.

Nov 28, 2013

MERS virus found in camels in Qatar, linked to human spread

DOHA/LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Scientists have found cases
of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in camels in Qatar,
health officials said on Thursday, fuelling speculation that
camels might be the animal reservoir that allowed the virus to
infect and kill humans.

The SARS-like coronavirus, which emerged in the Middle East
last year and has killed almost 40 percent of the around 170
people so far infected, was found in three camels in a herd in a
barn also linked to two human cases of MERS infection.

Nov 27, 2013

Opioid over-regulation can leave cancer patients in intolerable pain

LONDON (Reuters) – A “pandemic of over-regulation” of opioid-based painkillers such as morphine and fentanyl means billions of cancer patients around the world suffer intolerable pain, researchers said on Thursday.

Describing what they said was a “scandal of global proportions”, researchers from the Global Opioid Policy Initiative (GOPI) said governments that over-regulate should consider the unintended consequences of restricting access to medicines and change their approach.

Nov 27, 2013

AIDS proves stubborn in Europe as new HIV infections rise

LONDON (Reuters) – Some 131,000 people were newly infected with HIV in Europe and nearby countries in 2012, an 8 percent rise from a year earlier and a worrying reversal of a recent downward trend in AIDS cases in the West.

A report published by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) European office and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) showed a steady increase in new HIV cases over the last year, but by far the majority of cases were in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Nov 26, 2013

Study links high sodium “fizzy” medicines to raised heart risks

LONDON (Reuters) – Millions of patients worldwide taking effervescent, dispersible and soluble medicines have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes because of the high salt content of such drugs, scientists said on Wednesday.

Researchers from Britain’s University of Dundee and University College London found that with some “fizzy” versions of painkillers, vitamin supplements or other common medicines, taking the maximum daily dose would on its own exceed daily recommended limits for sodium, the main component of salt.

Nov 26, 2013

Britons start sex young and experiment into old age

LONDON (Reuters) – Britons are having sex from their teens until well into their 70s and experimenting with experiences and techniques once dismissed as deviant, according to a major series of scientific studies of sexual behavior.

But while people may have expanded their sexual repertoire over the past decade, both men and women also told researchers they were having sex less often.

    • About Kate

      "I cover health and science news for the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa -- from flu pandemics to the newest planetary discovery to the latest drug and research developments. I joined Reuters in 1993 and worked in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt before moving to BBC television to work on European politics for Newsnight for 2 years. Since returning to Reuters, I have also worked as a parliamentary correspondent in Westminster and on the main news desk of the London bureau."
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