Personalised testing for safety and effectiveness of common medicines must be offered throughout the NHS

Testing patients for genetic variations that affect how their body will respond to common medicines must be integrated fully, fairly and swiftly into the NHS, according to a report published by the British Pharmacological Society and the Royal College of Physicians. The report – Personalised prescribing: using pharmacogenomics to improve patient outcomes – explains how […]

Are statin side effects all in the mind? International experts recommend ways to improve adherence to statin therapy

For the first time, an international group of experts has issued recommendations to doctors about how to distinguish between true side effects caused by statins that have been prescribed in order to lower cholesterol levels and side effects arising due to patients’ expectations that they will occur. The position paper from the International Lipid Expert […]

Salt in soluble paracetamol linked to increase risk of cardiovascular disease and death

Doctors have warned that people should try to avoid taking dissolving, fizzy paracetamol that contains salt, following findings from a large study that shows a link with a significantly increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and death. The study of nearly 300,000 patients registered with UK general practitioners (GPs) is published in the […]

Smoking before and after conception is linked to delayed embryonic development

Smoking by mothers during the period immediately before and after conception is linked to a delay in embryonic development, smaller foetuses at the time of the 20-week ultrasound scan, and lower birth weight. The study, which is published in Human Reproduction [1], one of the world’s leading reproductive medicine journals, followed 689 women with singleton […]

Statin intolerance is “over-estimated and over-diagnosed”

World’s largest study shows less than 10% suffer side-effects caused by the drug As many as one in two patients stop taking statins, reduce the dose or take them irregularly because they believe the cholesterol-lowering drugs cause muscle pain and other side-effects. Now, a new study of over four million patients has shown that the […]

Death rates from ovarian cancer will fall in the EU and UK in 2022

Death rates from ovarian cancer are predicted to fall by 17% in the UK and by 7% in EU countries in 2022 compared to 2017, according to new research published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology [1]. Researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), a professor at the University of Milan (Italy), say […]

The use of polygenic risk scores in pre-implantation genetic testing is unproven and unethical, says ESHG

Some private fertility clinics have begun to sell polygenic risk scores1 (PRSs) analyses on embryos to prospective parents. This practice raises many concerns, representatives from the European Society of Human Genetics told a media briefing in London. In a paper published in the European Journal of Human Genetics*, they say that there is no evidence […]

Paediatric surgeons urge parents not to buy toys containing magnets for Christmas

Paediatric surgeons are urging parents not to buy toys that include small, often brightly coloured magnets as Christmas presents, following a dramatic rise in the number of children needing operations after swallowing them. The Children’s Surgery Foundation issued the warning as research showed a five-fold increase in children swallowing magnets in the last five years. […]

Atrial fibrillation and death are more common during the first year after breast cancer diagnosis

Women are significantly more likely to develop an abnormal and often rapid heart rhythm in the first year after being diagnosed with breast cancer than women without cancer, according to research published in the European Heart Journal [1]. The study also found that patients who developed the condition, known as atrial fibrillation, after a breast […]

Fewer cases of children’s cancer picked up during COVID pandemic

But cancer diagnosis following admission to intensive care was higher A study of cancer in children and young adults in England has found that fewer patients were diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research, presented at the NCRI Festival [1], also shows that children who were diagnosed with cancer during the first wave of the […]