EMEA Health and Science Correspondent
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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.

Nov 26, 2013

‘AIDS in Africa’ tag out of date as progress differs: campaigners

LONDON (Reuters) – Progress in the battle against AIDS is widely divergent in different African countries, so much so that to talk about “AIDS in Africa” as one epidemic needing a single approach has become an anachronism, campaigners said on Tuesday.

In an analysis of the state of the global fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, the advocacy group ONE said that while some African countries had reached a “tipping point” against the disease, others lag far behind.

Nov 22, 2013

Steroid injections for pre-term babies linked to mental health risk

LONDON (Reuters) – Steroid injections given to pregnant women before they deliver a premature baby may increase the risk of the child developing behavioural and emotional problems later in life, researchers said on Friday.

Mothers who are expected to give birth prematurely are often given an infusion of glucocorticoids, steroids that mimic the natural hormone cortisol, to try to help the baby’s lungs mature more swiftly.

Nov 21, 2013

Bangladesh makes ‘exceptional’ health progress despite poverty

LONDON (Reuters)- Bangladesh has had 40 years of exceptional progress in health, with infant mortality down, life expectancy up and good disease control, all despite being one of the world’s poorest countries, researchers said on Thursday.

Most often in the news for its poverty or natural or manmade disasters, such as a factory fire that killed 1,129 people in April, Bangladesh was described in studies published on Thursday as a “remarkable success story” and one of the “great mysteries of global health”.

Nov 20, 2013

Health spending growth slows as economies struggle-OECD

LONDON (Reuters) – Total health spending fell in one of three OECD nations between 2009 and 2011, with poor people in countries hardest hit by the financial crisis at risk of longer-term problems due to reduced access to medicines and check-ups, the OECD said on Thursday.

The drop is a sharp reversal of strong growth in health spending in the years prior to the financial crisis, the Paris-based organization said, and makes it all the more important that governments work to make healthcare systems more productive, efficient and affordable.

Nov 13, 2013

New Taiwan bird flu shows animal virus risk to humans

NEW DELHI, Nov 14 (Reuters) – A woman in Taiwan has become
the first person in the world with a confirmed case of a new
strain of bird flu, adding to a growing body of evidence of the
potential threat from animal viruses that mutate to be able to
infect people.

Scientists from Taiwan said the infection – with a bird flu
strain called H6N1 – appeared to be one isolated human case and
probably posed little threat for the moment. But it showed how
this virus, like others in the past, had been able to acquire
genetic changes allowing it to jump across species.

Nov 8, 2013

Syria, neighbors to vaccinate 20 million children against polio

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – More than 20 million children are to be vaccinated in Syria and neighboring countries against polio to try to stop the spread of the crippling infectious disease following its re-emergence there after 14 years, United Nations agencies said on Friday.

The mass vaccination against polio, which can spread rapidly among children, is already under way in the Middle East a week after the region declared a polio emergency, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN children fund UNICEF said.

Nov 7, 2013

Syria polio outbreak “may threaten Europe”, experts warn

LONDON (Reuters) – Vaccinating only Syrian refugees against polio may not be enough to prevent the crippling viral disease from re-infecting Europe where it has not been seen for decades, German scientists warned on Friday.

Writing in The Lancet medical journal, they said the risk to Europe from a re-emergence of polio in Syria was partly due to the type of vaccine generally used in regions that have not had the disease for many years.

Nov 7, 2013

Concussed rugby players being put at risk, say experts

LONDON (Reuters) – Rugby players with brain damage are regularly being sent back onto the field of play because the sport’s governing bodies are not taking concussion seriously enough, medical experts said on Thursday.

The long-term risks of this could be higher rates of dementia, major depression and other neurodegenerative conditions later in life, the experts said, with evidence of such problems already being found among American football players who suffer similar rates of knocks to the head.

    • 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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