Bedford Hill Family Practice

120 Bedford Hill
SW12 9HS
Tel: 020 8673 1720

Family Planning

All doctors are able to offer family planning advice during their normal surgery. Oral contraceptives: Please make an appointment with a practice nurse (or a GP).

  • Coils: Fitted at the Family Planning Clinic
  • Contraceptive implants: We do not fit these at the surgery and will ask you to attend the Family Planning Clinic at Balham Health Centre.
  • Contraceptive injections: Are administered by the practice nurses.
  • Emergency Contraception: Please contact a practice nurse (or a GP) as soon as possible.

The Family Planning Clinic at Balham Health Centre is held on the following days:

Tuesday 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Thursday 9.30am - 11.30am
Friday 5.00pm - 7.00pm



NHS Choices - Behind the headlines

  • Social care reforms announced

    Most of the UK media is covering the announcement made in Parliament by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, about proposed changes to social care.

    The two confirmed points to have garnered the most media attention in the run-up to the announcement are:

    • a ‘cost cap’ of £75,000 worth of care costs – after this...
  • Could a hearing test help diagnose autism in babies?

    "A hearing test is being hailed as a revolutionary technique to spot autism years earlier than current methods can," the Mail Online reports. The test is based on measuring how the inner ear reacts to sound.

    But while the test shows promise, the headline is premature. The study the report is based on only looked at boys aged...

  • 'Netflix and kill?' Binge watching box-sets linked to blood clots

    "Binge watching TV can actually kill you, study finds," The Independent reports in a somewhat exaggerated manner. The Japanese study its report is based on looked at prolonged TV watching and the risk of blood clots, and only found a very weak association.

    Researchers were specifically looking at deaths caused by ...

  • Smokers who try to quit 'drink less alcohol', too

    "How quitting smoking can be good for your liver: Those who have given up cigarettes 'drink less alcohol too'," the Mail Online reports.

    The news follows an analysis of two ongoing studies that aimed to investigate whether people who attempt to stop smoking are more likely than other smokers to report lowering their alcohol...

  • Alcohol 'a direct cause of seven types of cancer'

    "Even one glass of wine a day raises the risk of cancer: Alarming study reveals booze is linked to at least seven forms of the disease," reports the Mail Online.

    The news comes from a review that aimed to summarise data from a range of previous studies to evaluate the strength of evidence that...

  • Eating oily fish 'may boost bowel cancer survival'

    "Oily fish may reduce risk of death from bowel cancer, study suggests," reports The Telegraph.

    US research found people with bowel cancer who increased their intake of oily fish after diagnosis were less likely to die from...

  • The new guidelines on vitamin D – what you need to know

    "Experts recommend everyone consider vitamin D supplements over winter," says a headline in today's Daily Mail, while The Guardian urges "Tuck into tuna, salmon and eggs or take vitamin D pills – official health advice".

    The headlines were prompted by new advice on vitamin D from Public Health England (PHE), which...

  • Chlamydia vaccine research 'shows early progress'

    "Could a nose spray prevent chlamydia?" asks the Daily Mail, one of several media outlets reporting on promising research to develop a vaccine for the sexually transmitted disease (STI).

    Canadian researchers found mice treated with an experimental vaccine given as a nasal spray fought off infection with a mouse variant of...

  • 'Walk or cycle to work to lose wieght', says study

    "Pedalling the pounds away: Why cycling could be the best way to lose weight," says The Daily Telegraph, reporting on a UK study comparing how different methods of commuting affected obesity levels.

    People who cycled to work typically had a lower body...

  • 'Nine out of 10 strokes preventable,' claims study

    "Nine out of 10 strokes preventable if people follow 10 health rules," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    The news comes from a large study that found the top 10 risk factors for stroke are preventable.

    The 10 main risk factors for stroke are:

    • high blood pressure
    • smoking
    • too...
  • Zika virus epidemic to last 'another three years'

    "Zika epidemic to last another three years as 'too late' to control it, say researchers," reports the Telegraph Online.

    A team of researchers at Imperial College London aimed to explore the dynamics of the current Zika epidemic in Latin America and used this data to calculate the potential future spread of the virus...

  • Obesity 'now a leading cause of death; especially in men'

    "Being overweight or obese puts men at a greater risk of dying prematurely than women," BBC News reports.

    A survey of global trends found obesity was now second only to smoking as a cause of premature death in Europe. A study of almost 4 million people from 32 countries showed that being overweight (as well as being...

  • Pomegranate compound 'could combat' complications of ageing

    "Pomegranates slow down the ageing process by prompting cells to recycle and rebuild themselves, a study shows," The Daily Telegraph reports. But before you rush to stock up on the "food of the gods", the study in question only involved worms and rodents.

    Compounds called urolithins are produced by bacteria in the...

  • 'Secret ginger gene' may increase skin cancer risk for millions

    "People can carry a 'silent' red hair gene that raises their risk of sun-related skin cancer, experts warn," BBC News reports.

    Research suggests that carrying just one copy of a variant of the MC1R gene (having two copies causes red hair) increases skin cancer risk, even for people without red hair.

    The variant is...

  • Pregnancy supplements 'don’t help, just take vit D and folic acid'

    "Pregnancy multivitamins are a waste of money because most mothers-to-be do not need them, according to researchers," BBC News reports.

    A new report found that only the use of vitamin D and folic acid in pregnancy was supported by the evidence. Whereas expensive multivitamin supplements (often costing around £15 for a month...

  • Thumb sucking and nail biting not key to preventing child allergies

    "Children who suck their thumbs and bite their nails suffer fewer allergies, study finds," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Researchers have reported a link between these common childhood habits and a lower rate of positive allergy tests; with the important exceptions of ...

  • Could an obscure type of herpes virus trigger female infertility?

    "Obscure virus may be cause of unexplained infertility," The Independent reports.

    Italian researchers found copies of the HHV-6A virus – a type of herpes virus – in the womb lining of 43% of women with unexplained infertility compared to 0% in women with a history of successful pregnancy.

    This small study analysed...

  • 1 in 8 advanced prostate cancers may be linked to faulty genes

    "Nearly one in eight men who develop [advanced] prostate cancer carry mutations in genes which repair damage to DNA," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    One of the difficulties in detecting and treating prostate cancer is that some cancers...

  • Reduced antibiotic prescribing did not raise serious infection rates

    "Surgeries that handed out the fewest pills do not have higher rates of serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports.

    A new study looked at the impact of prescribing patterns of antibiotics by GPs. The researchers were particularly...

  • Study finds link between saturated fats and early death

    "Eating more saturated fats raises risk of early death, says US study," The Guardian reports.

    A major study involving more than 80,000 women would seem to contradict recent high-profile reports that a diet rich in saturated fat is safe.

    The latest – a long-term study conducted in the US including more than 120,000...

  • Pasta-rich diet may 'prevent pounds from piling on', says study

    "Pasta DOESN'T make you fat – it actually helps weight loss," the Daily Mail reports. In the latest round of the nutrition wars, carbs are fighting back, with a study showing that a diet rich in pasta was linked to lower body mass index (BMI).


  • Paracetamol in pregnancy 'link to autism and ADHD' not proven

    "Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy 'risk having a child with autism or ADHD'," the Mail Online reports. But the Spanish study it reports on provides no evidence of a direct link to either condition.

    Researchers assessed paracetamol use in more than 2,000 pregnant women, and then performed various developmental and...

  • Many women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygienic'

    "More women think shaving pubic hair is 'hygenic' [sic] despite greater health risks," The Independent reports.

    A US survey found more than half of women who groomed their public hair did so for hygiene reasons, despite evidence that shaving pubic hair can make the vagina more vulnerable to irritation and infection.


  • 'Stop demonising butter,' say researchers

    "Butter has been wrongly 'demonised' as unhealthy," reports the Daily Express following the publication of a study that found eating butter did not increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

    Researchers analysed the findings from nine studies published since 2005 involving more than 600,000 participants from...

  • Sports drinks may have adverse effects on teens' dental health

    "High numbers of younger teenagers are risking tooth decay and obesity by regularly having high-sugar sport drinks," BBC News reports.

    A survey of Welsh teenagers found high levels of consumption in teens, who seem unaware of their high-sugar content.

    One hundred and sixty young teenagers completed a questionnaire...

  • Heart attacks linked to media statin reports ... reports media

    "Don't give up your statins: Experts say warnings that made patients stop taking vital drug have put lives at risk," the Daily Mail reports.

    This was the same newspaper that told us two weeks ago that "statins may be a waste of time", so you might be forgiven for being a little confused.

    In October 2013,...

  • Is 'Disney Princess culture' a bad influence on young girls?

    "Disney princesses such as Elsa from Frozen can damage young girls' body esteem," the Daily Mail reports – inaccurately.

    The study the news comes from actually found a more complex pattern of influences on both girls and boys.

    Disney Princesses™ – from Elsa all the way back to Snow White – have become both cultural...

  • Children's plastic toys can 'harbour viruses for hours'

    "Plastic toys 'can harbour nasty viruses for hours, raising risk of infection'," the Mail Online reports. New research suggests that enveloped viruses, which have a protective shell, may survive on toys for up to 24 hours.

    This laboratory study aimed to assess virus survival on a plastic toy at 22C and two different humidity...

  • Broccoli compounds may help combat chronic diseases

    "Eating broccoli could lower your risk of having coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several types of cancer, a new study suggests," the Daily Mail reports.

    But there is little hard evidence to back up this claim – the study it reports on involved plants, not humans.

    Phenols, which are compounds found in...

  • Study suggests that inflammation is behind period pain

    "Scientists have finally discovered why periods hurt so much, following a ground-breaking study into menstrual pain," The Independent reports.

    A new study suggests that the pain is caused by acute inflammation, as measured by the C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is a protein produced by the liver; its levels rise when there is...

  • Should we 'eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper'?

    "We should 'eat breakfast like a king' to fight obesity, scientists claim," the Daily Mirror reports.

    The headline was prompted by a new review into "chrono-nutrition", which involves seeing if when we eat is as important as what we eat.

    The review suggests eating more of our total daily food intake in the...

  • Diabetes drugs may be useful for Alzheimer's, mice research finds

    "Drugs prescribed to treat diabetes could cure Alzheimer's disease" is the significantly over-hyped headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    What this new research actually found is that there seem to be shared biological processes between Alzheimer's and diabetes. But the study concerned did not look at treatments for the disease,...

  • Drugs, ginger and acupuncture 'best for morning sickness'

    "Hundreds of thousands of pregnant women with morning sickness should be given drugs to ease their symptoms," the Daily Mirror reports.

    The recommendation comes from a set of new guidelines that also say ginger and acupuncture can play a useful role in treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, better known as morning...

  • Almost half of all UK adults may be living with chronic pain

    "Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain," the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain (pain that lasts for more than three months).

    The researchers...

  • Cranberry juice 'useful' for women with recurring UTIs, claims study

    "Drinking cranberry juice could reduce the worldwide use of antibiotics," is the somewhat optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph.

    A new study found some modest preventative benefit in women with a history of reoccurring urinary...

  • 5:2 diet 'could play a role in preventing breast cancer'

    "Women who follow the 5:2 diet 'could reduce their risk of breast cancer','' the Mail Online reports.

    A small study found some women who followed the diet experienced breast cell changes thought to be protective against breast cancer....

  • Coffee's cancer risk downgraded (as long as you don't drink it hot)

    "Very hot drinks may cause cancer, but coffee does not, says WHO," The Guardian reports.

    A review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that only beverages consumed at higher than 65C posed a possible cancer risk.

    The working group's report re-evaluated the cancer-causing properties of...

  • Brain scans find differences in 'badly behaved' teen boys

    "'Striking' structural differences seen in study which compared brain scans of young men with antisocial behavioural problems with their healthy peers," The Guardian reports.

    The results suggest these behavioural problems could have a neurological dimension.

    Researchers used brain scanning techniques to compare the...

  • Three servings of wholegrains a day 'cuts risk of early death'

    "Eating Weetabix for breakfast 'can slash your risk of dying early from any cause'," the Daily Mirror reports.

    A new study looking at wholegrain consumption (not just Weetabix) found a strong link between consumption and improved "long-term health and longevity" compared with people who ate little or no wholegrain...

  • Teens who vape e-cigs 'six times more likely to smoke cigarettes'

    "Vaping is a gateway to smoking," the Mail Online reports, seriously overstating the evidence of a new US study.

    While the study did find teens who experimented with e-cigs were more likely to smoke "traditional" tobacco products – mainly cigarettes – no direct link between the two was proven.

    Following a...

  • Study says there's no link between cholesterol and heart disease

    "Controversial report claims there's no link between 'bad cholesterol' and heart disease," the Daily Mail reports, while The Times states: "Bad cholesterol 'helps you live longer',".

    The headlines are based on a new review which aimed to gather evidence from previous observational studies on whether LDL...

  • Risky stem cell treatment 'halts progress of multiple sclerosis'

    "New treatment can 'halt' multiple sclerosis, says study," BBC News reports.

    The treatment involves effectively destroying the existing immune system and creating a new one using stem cells. But this new treatment carries a high risk of complications.


  • Should we rethink the causes of anorexia?

    "Anorexia is not about a fear of getting fat, but rather a pleasure at losing weight, experts reveal," says the Daily Mail. The headline oversimplifies the results of a study that looked at women's responses to photos of women of varying weights.

    In the study, 71 women with ...

  • Green tea extract 'boosts mental ability' in people with Down's

    "Down's syndrome can be treated with green tea," says The Daily Telegraph, rather optimistically.

    A Spanish study found some improvement in thinking abilities among people with Down's syndrome who took a supplement of green tea extract, and...

  • Depression blood test could lead to personalised treatments

    "UK scientists have developed a blood test to help doctors pick the best drug for patients with depression," BBC News reports, somewhat prematurely.

    It is currently unproven whether such a test, based on measuring inflammation, would improve treatment outcomes.

    Previous research has suggested high levels of...

  • Women are more likely to suffer from anxiety than men

    "Women twice as likely as men to experience anxiety, research finds," The Guardian reports. A new review that attempts to get a global snapshot of the prevalence of anxiety disorders identifies a number of vulnerable groups.

    There are various types of anxiety disorder, but generally they involve feelings of unease, such as...

  • Ten years of hormone breast cancer drugs 'may benefit some'

    "Taking hormonal drugs for up to 15 years reduces the risk of breast cancers coming back," BBC News reports.

    A new study looked at 1,918 postmenopausal women with what is known as oestrogen receptor-positive (or ER+) breast cancers...

  • 'Friendly' virus repairs damaged liver cells (but only in mice)

    "Have scientists found a cure for alcoholism?," the Mail Online asks, missing the point of the research entirely.

    Researchers were able to improve liver damage in mice, but this does not amount to curing an addiction to alcohol.

    The study showed it was possible to create "bespoke friendly" viruses to infect...

  • Research raises hope of a 'Holy Grail' universal cancer vaccine

    "'Universal cancer vaccine' breakthrough claimed by experts," The Independent reports.

    Researchers extracted genetic code called RNA from cancer cells, embedded them in nanoparticles to make them appear like viruses or bacteria, and injected them into mice to "teach" immune cells to attack cancer cells.


  • Could statins prevent breast cancer returning?

    "Statins could be used in the treatment of breast cancer," Sky News report. Findings from a new study suggest the potential involvement of cholesterol in the recurrence of breast cancer following treatment.

    The researchers hope their discovery could pave the way towards new treatment targets, and say that the effect of...

  • Migraines linked to increased heart disease risk in women

    "Women who suffer migraines have a 50 per cent greater chance of developing a major heart … problem," the Daily Mail reports.

    Individual risks to women remain small, but because migraines are so widespread, this could be an issue of concern at a public health level.

    A study of more than 100,000 women from the US...

  • Treatment 'breakthrough' in man with advanced skin cancer

    "Skin cancer cure hope for millions as major treatment breakthrough sees man's tumours disappear 'completely'," the Daily Mirror reports.

    While the headline is premature, the case report it is based on does present interesting findings.

    The study involved a man with...

  • Leaving babies to cry 'will improve their sleep', study says

    "Babies do sleep better if you leave them to cry," the Daily Mail reports.

    A small study suggests that "graduated extinction" – better known as controlled crying in this country – increased sleep length and reduced the number of times babies woke up during the night.

    Controlled crying involves waiting a set...

  • Could cannabis damage DNA that is then passed down generations?

    "Smoking cannabis can alter a person's DNA, causing mutations that expose a user to serious illnesses," the Mail Online reports.

    A new review has looked at the role cannabis may play in what is known as chromothripsis.

    A relatively recent discovery, chromothripsis is when the DNA of a cell suffers large-scale damage...

  • Exam stress linked to teen suicide

    "First detailed study into 130 [teen] suicide cases in England finds range of common anxieties," The Guardian reports, citing factors including exam stress, bullying and bereavement.

    The study into teenage suicide also found there was a history of ...

  • Link between stillbirth and air pollution 'inconclusive'

    "Air pollution may raise risk of stillbirth and pregnant women should consider leaving cities, say scientists," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    This is somewhat radical advice given the study that prompted the headline produced no significant or conclusive results.


  • Proof opiates are useful for chronic back pain 'lacking'

    "Powerful painkillers doled out in their millions are ineffective against back pain," the Daily Mail reports.

    An Australian review found evidence for the effectiveness of opiate-based painkillers, such as tramadol and oxycodone, for chronic back pain was "lacking".

    The review pooled the findings of 20...

  • Report attacks official guidance on low-fat diets

    "Low-fat diet bad for your health and cutting back on meat, dairy and eggs a disastrous mistake," the Daily Mirror reports.

    That is the main message of a controversial report attacking official UK guidelines on diet and weight loss.

    The report suggests it doesn't matter how much saturated fat we eat, and doesn't...

  • Healthier lifestyles 'could cut cancer death rates'

    "Half of all cancer deaths could be avoided if people simply adopted a healthier lifestyle," the Daily Mail reports.

    A new study adds to the weight of evidence that says combining simple lifestyle changes can dramatically cut cancer death rates.

    More than 100,000 health professionals from the US were asked to...

  • Review calls for global action to tackle antibiotic resistance crisis

    "Superbugs will kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now," BBC News reports.

    A review commissioned by the UK government says wide-ranging action is required at a global level to prevent a post-antibiotic future.

    The review panel, chaired by economist Jim O'Neill, warns that without global...

  • Study: 'mini strokes should be treated immediately with aspirin'

    "People should consider taking aspirin immediately after a minor stroke," BBC News reports.

    A review of existing evidence found people treated with aspirin after a mini stroke (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA) were less likely...

  • Magic mushroom ingredient tested as depression treatment

    "Magic mushrooms 'promising' in depression," BBC News reports. Magic mushrooms is an umbrella term for fungi that contain psilocybin, a psychoactive substance that can cause intense LSD-like hallucinations, as well as reported feelings of euphoria and...

  • Are broken bones, loneliness and poor sleep really hidden killers?

    "Revealed, the five hidden killers that could send you to an early grave," the Daily Mail reports. These "hidden killers" include loneliness and poor sleep. But this is a simplistic take on complex research aiming to identify new ways of classifying health and wellbeing.

    The research assessed the health and...

  • Women who regularly attend religious services 'live longer'

    "Going to church could save your life," reports the Daily Mail, adding that, "Women who worship once a week are '25 per cent less likely to die early'."

    Perhaps surprisingly, while the first part of the headline is overly simplistic, it may not technically be wrong – according to new research from the US, anyway....

  • Dad's age, diet and lifestyle may cause birth defects

    "Men are being warned to become fathers by 40 or face a greater risk of having children with serious illnesses," the Daily Mail reports after a new review looked at some of the evidence about paternal influences on the risk of childhood diseases.

    The review discusses several research findings found previously, including some...

  • Immune system 'plays a role in dementia'

    "Scientists have identified a new cause of devastating neurological conditions," the Mail Online reports – but this is entirely inaccurate.

    A review of existing evidence makes the case that the innate immune system may be involved in neurodegenerative conditions, which are associated with progressive damage to brain cells,...

  • No evidence probiotics are beneficial for healthy adults

    "Probiotic goods a 'waste of money' for healthy adults, research suggests," The Guardian reports. A new review of previously gathered data found no evidence that probiotics improved the balance of gut bacteria in healthy adults.

    Probiotics are...

  • Is a pint of beer a day good for the heart?

    "Pint of beer a day could protect you from heart attacks," The Independent reports. A new review on the alleged protective effects of moderate beer drinking has been warmly welcomed by the UK media – but nobody reported that it was funded by an Italian beer trade association.

    Researchers reviewed the existing evidence about...

  • BMI categories may need adjusting, argue researchers

    "Being overweight may not be as unhealthy as it was 40 years ago," BBC News reports.

    New research has found a body mass index (BMI) of 27 is linked to the lowest rate of death – but someone with a BMI of 27 is currently classed as being overweight.


  • 33,000 deaths 'linked to failings in NHS heart attack care'

    "Thousands of heart victims killed by poor care," claims the Daily Mail.

    A review of clinical data from the last 10 years in England and Wales looked at patients with a history of what are known as non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) heart attacks.

    NSTEMIs describe a class of ...

  • Are we sleepwalking into a 'global sleep crisis'?

    "We are facing a global sleep crisis because we don't go to bed early enough, say scientists," the Mail Online reports.

    The warning comes from a study produced by a research team using a smartphone app (Entrain) to track sleep patterns from around the world.

    The findings reveal that as people age, they tend to go to...

  • Study finds no link between mobile phones and brain cancer

    "Mobile phones don't increase the risk of brain cancer, 30-year study concludes," the Mail Online reports.

    The Australian study found the massive increase in mobile phone use over the past 30 years was not matched by a similar rise in...

  • Exercise benefits you - even in polluted city air

    "Why walking is good for you ... even in the smog. Health benefits of a stroll found to outweigh harm caused by chemicals and dust pumped out by traffic," says the Mail Online.

    The report in question was carried out to see whether the harm caused by exposure to air pollution outweighs the benefit of doing exercise.


  • Can you really 'catch' obesity?

    "Obesity could be contagious like superbug C diff, suggest scientists," The Daily Telegraph reports. This rather alarming headline follows a study that explored characteristics of bacteria living in the human gut.

    The study did not, however, look at any link to obesity. There's no reason to think that you can "catch...

  • Diluted apple juice 'as good as' rehydration drinks for children

    "Scientists have revealed which fruit can stop toddlers crying due to stomach pains," says the Daily Mirror, missing the point of the study it reports on.

    The study looked at the use of diluted apple juice to prevent dehydration in children with...

  • Gene breakthrough promises 'bespoke' breast cancer treatment

    "Breast cancer treatment breakthrough after 'milestone' genetic discovery," says The Independent, about widely reported research investigating genetic mutations in people with breast cancer.

    The researchers took samples of cancer cells from 560 people with breast cancer (556 women and four men). They compared the DNA from...

  • Does 'ginger gene' offer key to younger looking skin?

    "'Secret' of youthful looks in ginger gene," BBC News reports. Dutch researchers have found evidence that a gene associated with red hair – the MC1R gene – may also have an impact on how young or old a person looks for their age.

    This study examined the facial appearance and genetics of thousands of Dutch elderly adults....

  • Short bursts of intense exercise 'as good' as endurance training

    "Researchers have found that short bursts of intense exercise produce similar results to traditional longer-duration workouts," the Mail Online reports.

    Researchers compared two types of exercise programme over a 12-week period with a control. The two programmes were:

    • a 10-minute "intense" workout...
  • Yoga 'probably good for asthma symptoms and quality of life'

    "Yoga could help asthma sufferers, research finds," reports The Independent.

    A major review of existing data found there is "moderate-quality evidence" that yoga improves both symptoms and reported quality of life in people with asthma....

  • Vitamin D, fish oil and folates may enhance antidepressants

    "Do antidepressants work better when taken with supplements?," the Mail Online asks.

    A new review of existing evidence suggests that, "Omega-3 fish oils, certain amino acids, folate and vitamin D" may boost the beneficial effect of antidepressants, the Mail says.

    There was also tentative evidence that S-...

  • Bedbugs 'prefer certain colours'

    "Bed bugs appear to have a strong preference for particular colours," BBC News reports. A new study suggests the pests prefer red and black and "hate yellow and green".

    It's unclear whether changing the colour of your bed sheets would prevent an infestation of bedbugs, though certain colours could prove useful for...

  • Med diet best for heart disease (but some junk food won’t hurt)

    "People with heart disease have a lower risk of heart attack and strokes if they eat a Mediterranean-style diet," The Guardian reports.

    The study it reports on also suggests that the occasional Western-style treat probably doesn't pose much of a risk for people with...

  • 'Transformational managers' may be bad for workplace health

    "Managers who pressurise their staff to go that extra mile risk harming their employees' health," the Daily Mail reports.

    New research suggests "transformational managers" – charismatic high achievers – may increase levels of sickness in the workforce.

    Supporters of transformational management would say it...

  • Daily low-dose aspirin may help combat cancer

    "Aspirin could help beat cancer: Daily pill can 'cuts odds of dying of breast, bowel and prostate cancer by a fifth'," the Daily Mail reports.

    A review of previous studies suggests low-dose aspirin could play a useful role in treating some cancers.

    The review looked at 47 studies and attempted to combine the results,...

  • Attending all-girl school linked to increased risk of eating disorders

    "Anorexia could be 'contagious' in girls' schools," the Daily Telegraph reports, while the Mail Online claims that, "Pushy parents are driving children to eating disorders."

    The study, which took place in Sweden, found that girls attending schools where more parents had a higher education and more pupils were...

  • UK dementia rates have fallen sharply in men

    "Dementia rate falls as men behave themselves," The Times reports. A UK study of dementia trends over the last 20 years suggests that the number of men developing the condition has dropped significantly, possibly as a result of lifestyle changes....

  • Natural protein 'restores memory in mice with Alzheimer's'

    "Alzheimer's symptoms could be reversed by restoring protein in brain," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    Researchers say mice with Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms showed improvement in memory tasks after being given the protein interleukin 33 (IL-33), which is thought to boost immune function.

    They used mice bred to...

  • Warning issued over alarming rise in 'super-gonorrhoea' cases

    "Doctors have expressed 'huge concern' that super-gonorrhoea has spread widely across England," BBC News reports.

    Public Health England issued the warning about the rise of a strain of gonorrhoea that has developed resistance to a widely used...

  • Child head injuries could harm relationship with parents

    "A simple bang on the head can alter a child's relationship with their parents claim academics," the Daily Mail reports.

    A Canadian study found children who had experienced even a mild traumatic head injury, may have developed changes to their mood and behaviour.


  • Zika virus 'does cause birth defects'

    "The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention … has confirmed that the Zika virus causes severe birth defects," BBC News reports.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that "a causal relationship exists between prenatal Zika virus infection and...

  • Would you trust a smartphone app as a contraceptive?

    "An innovative new app might provide a more effective form of birth control than the contraceptive pill," The Sun reports.

    The Natural Cycles fertility app combines the use of a thermometer to measure body temperature with calendar calculating methods – often referred to as the rhythm method – to work out the days when a...

  • Study argues ditching butter for veg oil won't prevent heart disease

    "Ditching butter for veg oil may not be better for heart," the Daily Mail reports.

    An analysis of previously unpublished data from the 1960s and 70s found no benefit in replacing sources of saturated fats with vegetable oils.


  • Obesity epidemic blamed for rise in womb cancer

    "Obesity 'likely culprit' behind womb cancer rise," reports BBC News.

    Cancer Research UK has released data showing a marked increase in cases of ...

  • Mystery of the 13 people with 'superhero DNA'

    "Some people appear to be born with 'superhero DNA' that cancels out genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis," BBC News reports.

    A study of more than 500,000 people found 13 people who should have developed genetic conditions, but apparently didn't.

    The study turned on its head the traditional use of genetics by...

  • Anti-smoking drug may also help combat sugar cravings

    "Anti-smoking drugs could stub out your sugar cravings," the Daily Mail reports.

    A study in rats suggests that varenicline (Champix), used to relieve nicotine cravings, could also help reduce the desire to consume sugary foods and drinks.

    Varenicline targets what are known as the "reward pathways" of the...

  • Pregnancy diabetes screening should be 'performed earlier'

    "Tests for diabetes in pregnancy – which affects the developing baby – are taking place too late," BBC News reports.

    Screening often takes place during the 28th week, but a new study suggests that diabetes-related changes to the baby can occur before that time.

    Diabetes that develops during pregnancy – known as...

  • Fruit may be good for you, but don’t ditch the statins

    "Daily fresh fruit lowers heart death risk as much as statins," The Daily Telegraph reports.

    A study of over a half a million Chinese people found that a diet rich in fresh fruit was linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.

    But don't ditch the statins in favour of an "apple a day", if they have...

  • 'Exercise labels' should be added to food packets, expert argues

    "Food and drinks should carry labels showing how long it would take to walk or run off the calories, a leading health expert suggests," the Daily Mail reports.

    In an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal, Shirley Cramer, chief executive of...

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