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Daily digest July 14 2015

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Government's plans to tackle sugar intake delayed

Ministers have shelved the publication of a report on whether it is possible to tackle the obesity crisis through measures such as taxing sugary drinks and banning two-for-one supermarket offers on sweet treats.

Public Health England was this week due to publish a detailed assessment of the likely success of a range of initiatives to curb the nation’s intake of sugar, which health experts say is too high.

But the agency’s year-long examination of the evidence for 23 different sugar reduction policies has been delayed, the Department of Health confirmed.

Read more on the Guardian website

Statins linked to aggression in women

Taking statins to lower cholesterol and prevent heart problems can make some women aggressive and violent, according to research published in the journal PLOS ONE.

About seven million people in Britain take statins every day, and the NHS warns side-effects can include headaches, nausea and pain in muscles and joints. But a University of California study of 1,000 people found a link between statins and aggression, particularly in postmenopausal women aged over 45.

Curiously, the women most likely to become aggressive were usually more placid than average. Among men on statins, however, only three displayed a large increase in aggression, according to study lead and professor of medicine Beatrice Golomb.

Read more on the Mail Online

NHS cancer surgeon dismissed after patient deaths

A senior cancer surgeon under police investigation following the deaths of patients in his care has been sacked by an NHS trust three years after colleagues first raised concerns about his performance.

Colorectal surgeon Sudip Sarker has been dismissed by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust amid claims of medical negligence.

He is currently under investigation by West Mercia Police over the deaths of at least three patients aged in their 80s.

The surgeon, who specialised in keyhole colon and bowel surgery, was suspended from practising medicine in the UK by the General Medical Council in June last year. 

He had been working at the trust for one year when he was referred to the Royal College of Surgeons in 2012, after it emerged that he had a patient death rate double that of his colleagues.

The college subsequently reported that one in five of Mr Sarker's patients had to be readmitted to hospital for further treatment.

Read more on the Express website

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