Daily digest April 7 2015
Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here
Marked drop in women’s life expectancy
Life expectancy for women has experienced a drop on a scale not seen for decades, as their lifestyles become more like those of men, official figures show.
In 2012 there were falls in average life expectancy for females in their sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties; a drop in all these age groups had not been seen since 1995, the Telegraph reports.
Experts said the trend could be the result of changes in the lifestyles of the 'baby boomer' generation, with older women more likely to drink regularly and to have smoked than previous generations. Charities also raised concern that older people are having their lives cut short by reductions in social care spending and poor standards in care homes.
Read more on the Telegraph website: click here
Teenagers hit mental health care gap at 18
Children receiving support for mental health problems face a ‘cliff edge’ when they reach 18, according to a leading psychotherapist.
Young people are dropping out of the support system because there is ‘no smooth transition’ to adult services, said Stamatia Lorentzou, of Centrepoint, the homeless charity, and she added that about one third of the young people that Centrepoint works with have ‘formally diagnosed mental health problems’.
Around 80,000 young people aged 16 to 25 are homeless at some point each year and this can involve sleeping rough or more hidden forms of homelessness such as sleeping on friends’ sofas, floors or in B&Bs, the Times reports.
(£) Read more on the Times website: click here
Cancer could soon be diagnosed with sound waves
A blood test using sound waves to detect cancer may end the need to take tissue samples, the Mirror reports.
At present doctors trying to ascertain if a tumour is cancerous must do a biopsy to extract a sample, which can be painful for the patient and may mean a stay in hospital, stitches or a dressing.
But early tests in the United States, at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, found that a pioneering device using sound waves to spot the difference between tumour cells and white blood cells, works as well as existing methods.
Read more on the Mirror website: click here
Working up a sweat in middle age may help people live longer
Working up the occasional sweat while exercising in middle age will help you live longer than just going for a daily stroll, research suggests.
A major study found those who undertook even the odd period of vigorous activity were more likely to avoid an early death than those who stuck to only moderate exercise, the Daily Mail reports.
The findings call into question NHS guidelines which suggest the recommended weekly 150 minutes of moderate exercise for adults is just as good as 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
Read more on Mail Online: click here