Daily digest March 13 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

Two more British military healthcare workers flown home for Ebola monitoring

Two British healthcare staff are being flown home from Sierra Leone amid concerns that an army worker infected with Ebola might have passed on the disease.

Health officials are scrambling to identify any other British nationals who might have come into contact with the infected patient. Authorities have so far identified four military healthcare workers who are believed to have come into contact with a British colleague contaminated with Ebola, according to Public Health England.

Two of those are being transferred with the infected patient back to the UK, but experts stressed they were being flown back on a precautionary basis and had so far not tested positive for the disease.

Read more on the Daily Express website: click here

Poor health among British Asians may be in the genes

Poor health among Bangladeshis and Pakistanis living in Britain could be partly explained by their genes, scientists believe.

In the world’s largest genome sequencing project, researchers will, over the next 20 years, collect saliva samples and health records from 100,000 south Asians living in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, which has some of the lowest life expectancies in the country.

Pakistani men have Britain's highest rates of heart disease and south Asian groups are twice as likely to die early from a heart condition as the rest of the population. Geneticists at Queen Mary University of London believe that analysis of the community's DNA could shed light on the role genes play in vulnerability to diseases.

(£) Read more on the Times website: click here

Older patients could be given power to decide where they die

Millions of older people in Britain will be able to decide where they die under government plans to rewrite the NHS constitution.

In the wake of the scandal at Stafford Hospital, ministers have decided to rewrite the NHS constitution – the charter setting out the principles of the healthcare system. A consultation document released by the coalition government has set out plans to give patients more powers to plan and make decisions about their 'end of life care'.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the new constitution, which is going out for consultation, would 'strengthen' the right for patients to be involved in more decisions about their own care.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website: click here

Cardigans and cocaine: rise of middle-aged drug addicts

Cocaine use in Britain has trebled in two decades, with a new 'phenomenon' of rising drugs consumption among people in their forties and fifties.

A new government report, launched amid concern that cocaine is seen as safe, found it is no longer 'the preserve of wealthy bankers and celebrities'. Its authors found the drug is now 'firmly embedded in UK society', and warned that launching an anti-cocaine campaign could encourage more people to take it.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said the drug has spread throughout all areas of society since the mid-1990s.

Read more on the Daily Mail website: click here



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