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Deaf and blind people 'may have higher dementia risk'

Deaf and blind people may be at higher risk of developing dementia, England's Chief Medical Officer has warned.

Dame Sally Davies said although the data was not conclusive, investigating a possible link between sight or hearing impairment and diseases such as Alzheimer's could aid doctors' understanding of dementia.

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A&E admissions rise in 'very busy week'

Admissions to emergency hospital units in England rose by over 1,000 last week in what the NHS called a "very busy" period.

Admissions to emergency hospital units rose last week, continuing a trend of higher A&E admissions
Admissions to emergency hospital units rose last week, continuing a trend of higher A&E admissions Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Emergency admissions rose to 106,230 from 105,053 the week before, and were over 6,000 higher compared to the same seven-day period last year.

The NHS missed its target of treating 95 per cent of patients within four hours, instead hitting 94.3 per cent, as 418,838 people went to A&E departments in the week ending 9 February.

Dr Sarah Pinto-Duschinsky, director of operations and delivery for NHS England, said the increase "is in line with the emerging trend, which has seen a 31 per cent rise in [the] number of people needing emergency admission to hospital over the last 10 years".

Supermarkets to reduce saturated fat in products

Sainsbury's have pledged to cut saturated fat in recipes. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons have pledged to reduce saturated fat from a number of products after a new health warning.

A new poll by Sainsbury’s suggests 84% of adults have no idea how much saturated fat they should eat a day.

Other companies are also on board, with Nestle promising to change the recipe of its Kit Kat bar.

Independent review could phase out end-of-life regime

An independent review of a controversial end-of-life regime is likely to recommend that it is phased out, it has emerged.

The review of the the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), chaired by crossbench peer Baroness Julia Neuberger, has been hearing evidence from patients, families and the health industry.

The LCP - which recommends that in some circumstances doctors withdraw treatment, food and water from sedated patients in their final days - has come under intense scrutiny.

Reports have suggested that doctors have been establishing "death lists" of patients to be put on the pathway. Articles have also claimed hospitals might be employing the method to cut costs and save bed spaces.

The independent review into end of life care system the Liverpool Care Pathway, commissioned last year by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb and backed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, is likely to recommend that the LCP is phased out over the next 6 to 12 months.

The review panel, set up by ministers following reports from families concerned about the care of their loved ones, is due to report back on Monday.

It is expected to say that when used properly the LCP can give people a dignified and peaceful death, but that they found numerous examples of poor implementation and worrying standards in care which mean it needs to be replaced.

– Department of Health spokeswoman

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Obesity in pregnancy 'could increase risk for children'

National Obesity Forum member Tam Fry, who chairs the Child Growth Foundation charity, has warned about the "tragic" dangers of obesity in teenagers during pregnancy.

He said: "Girls are not only getting fat, but getting pregnant.

"The result is not only distressing for the girls but threatening for their children."

Young obese mothers could be threatening their children. Credit: PA

Talking about the increase of child admissions related to pregnancy, Mr Tam added: "I'm not surprised by this leap.

"A lot of these young people are completely unaware that piling on the pounds will not only make them fat but give rise to these other conditions."

Medics 'more aware' about dangers of child obesity

The number of children being admitted to hospital for obesity related problems has quadrupled in less than a decade, a study has found.

Researchers from Imperial College London say the rise reflects increasing awareness among clinicians, who have become better at recognising obesity:

The burden of obesity is usually thought to have its serious consequences in adulthood, but we now see it manifesting earlier, in childhood.

It's clear that rising obesity levels are causing more medical problems in children, but the rise we observed probably also reflects increasing awareness among clinicians, who have become better at recognising obesity.

– Study leader Dr Sonia Saxena
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