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Daily digest May 8 2015

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

Statins offer longer life to prostate cancer patients

Statins can slow the advance of prostate cancer, raising the prospect that the drugs could one day be used to treat the disease, the Times has reported. 

Patients with advanced cancer who were on statins went an extra ten months before their tumours grew after hormone treatment, a study found. 

Harvard researchers believe they have identified one of the ways in which the cholesterol-lowering drugs deprive tumours of the male hormones they need to spread. 

(£) Read more on the Times website

Atkins diet ‘raises risk of dying early’

Low-carb diets that are high in protein are popular with millions of slimmers but they may not help weight loss and could even cause harm, research suggests.

A study found that those who followed Atkins-style regimes were almost twice as likely to gain weight as others, the Daily Mail has reported.

They were also at greater risk of dying during the course of the research than those who ate a more balanced diet.

The Spanish scientists said that despite their popularity, there is actually no proof that high-protein diets help people lose weight in the long term.

Read more on the Mail Online website

22-week babies can pull through

Babies born at 22 weeks may be more likely to survive than was previously thought, new research suggests.

The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that one quarter of those who were born at 22 weeks, and given active treatment such as ventilation, survived, as reported in the Daily Telegraph.

Current guidelines say doctors should neither resuscitate nor provide intensive care to babies born at 22 weeks or below - and should only attempt treatment of those born between 22 and 23 weeks if parents and physicians believe this is for the best.

Read more on the Telegraph website

Live the high life to stay healthy, study finds

A good diet, exercise and cutting back on booze all come highly recommended, but scientists have identified another possible strategy for preventing obesity: head for the hills.

Research in Spain has found that people who live at high altitudes are 13% less likely to become overweight or obese.

Experts believe the phenomenon may result from the body’s natural response to low-oxygen environments, suppressing hunger and enabling us to obtain energy from less oxygen and less food.

Read more on the Independent website

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