NHS is unprepared for risks posed by climate change, warn leading UK health bodies

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A newly formed coalition of leading UK health bodies has written to England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to urge that the NHS should be better prepared to deal with climate change risks.

The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, which includes numerous royal colleges and The BMJ among its members, said that NHS services were ill equipped for dealing with the risks posed by extreme weather events, such as flooding and heatwaves, that were becoming more intense and frequent as the climate changes.

Diabetes prevention counseling is cost effective, US study finds

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Medicare, the US insurance program for elderly people and people with disabilities, announced plans on 23 March to cover diabetes prevention programs that focus on lifestyle counseling, after an independent evaluation found that a pilot program had successfully reduced participants’ risk of developing type 2 diabetes while creating savings that more than covered the program’s cost.

Earlier this week, NHS England announced that it was launching a national lifestyle education program to reduce the risk of diabetes, with a similar approach to that taken in the US. The initiative, called the Healthier You: the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, will begin this year and will eventually enroll 100 000 participants a year by 2020.

Abrupt quitting is more likely to work than gradual reduction of cigarettes, study finds

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Quitting smoking abruptly is more likely to lead to sustained abstinence than reducing cigarette use gradually, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has found.

Although most current guidelines recommend stopping smoking abruptly, many people take a gradual approach to giving up.

New report spotlights GP-physician innovations

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A new report has shown how GPs and physicians are innovating together to improve patient care.

Published by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of General Practitioners, Patient care: A unified approach highlights nine case studies where GPs and physicians have worked closely to produce new and integrated services.

Eating peanuts in early years reduces allergy risk even with later abstinence

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Children at high risk for peanut allergy who are treated with early peanut exposure from infancy to age 5 remain at low risk even after avoiding eating peanuts for a year, shows a UK study that indicates long lasting benefit from early exposure.

Peanut allergy is a common and potentially life threatening food allergy. A study published last year found that sustained peanut consumption beginning in the first 11 months of life reduced the rate of peanut allergy at age 5