The temperature has suddenly dropped around the UK, which could have implications for the nation’s health services.

Hospitals bed occupancy in the ‘red zone’

With Christmas Day less than two weeks away, health experts have already warned that hospitals are so full that people’s health is at risk. According to the BBC, almost 95% of hospital beds are full – an occupancy rate above 85% is deemed unsafe and in the ‘red zone’. Last week, eight accident & emergency departments had to send ambulances to other hospitals because they were too full.

Catch up with the story on the BBC.

New acne study is a world first

Breaking news from Britain’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) claims that researchers “have found 15 genome regions linked to acne, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for the condition”. The skin condition affects around 80% of 11 to 30-year-olds.

The NIHR’s article about the findings states, “Previously acne has been thought to be caused by skin inflammation. This new research suggests that hair follicle formation is a significant yet previously unknown risk factor for developing the condition.”

The NIHR website has the full story.

Support from talkhealth.

If you wish, you can sign up to our myacne support programme, which we’ll be launching next year. In January 2019, talkhealth will host an Ask The Expert clinic on ‘children’s skin conditions’, supported by the BSF (British Skin Foundation). Visit our online clinics page to find out more. You can still read the questions and answers given in our Ask the Expert clinic on acne from July 2018. And anyone can discuss their acne issues at any time on our talkacne forum.

Asthma breakthrough

Researchers supported by the NIHR have made a breakthrough which could help the 10-15% of people with asthma who have a severe form of the condition. The team compared the genes of around 10,000 people with asthma to nearly 50,000 people who have normal lung health. “The work uncovered several new genetic variants associated with moderate-to-severe asthma and also a person’s risk of developing the condition,” stated the NIHR website.

Professor Ian Sayers from the University of Nottingham, who led the study, said, “We know environmental factors can trigger the condition but genetic predisposition, we believe, also plays a significant role. This is why genetic research is so important. If we can identify genes that cause the disease, we may eventually be able to improve treatment or even find a cure.”

Visit the NHR website for the details.

Anyone can discuss their asthma issues with others in a similar situation on talkhealth‘s talkrespiratory forum.

Drivers exposed to more pollution than cyclists

A study conducted in Leeds city centre has found that drivers and passengers in vehicles are exposed to more traffic pollution than cyclists. Researchers used portable pollution monitors at rush hour to collect their data.

James Tate, of the University of Leeds, and who led the work, said, “On more congested routes, the cyclist would come out with the lowest inhaled dose.”

Read the full article on the Guardian to learn more.

Restaurants more unhealthy than fast-food chains

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that, on average, meals served in restaurants contain many more calories than those sold in fast-food chains. The organisation counted the calories in 13,500 meals served in 21 sit-down restaurants and six fast-food outlets. It found that the average calorie count in the former was just over 1,000 calories, while in the latter it is around 750. Public Health England recommends meals to be 600 calories, but only one tenth of the meals studied met this target.

Read more about this on the BBC.

talkhealth will soon be launching the myweight support programme ,which you can now sign up for. The programme is suitable for anyone living with weight-gain issues, whether they have recently become overweight or they have been overweight for a significant length of time, and the carers of anyone who has weight-gain issues.

News from talkhealth

Did you know you can sign up to become a member of talkhealth for free at any time. Just visit the homepage of our website and click on the link at the top right of the screen. Once you’re a member you can access a whole range of health services – all for free!

Wherever you are in the world, enjoy the weekend!




This is the talkhealth blog spot, where we post on a wide range of health conditions, topics, issues and concerns. We post when we see something that we believe is of interest to our visitors. Our posts do not reflect any particular view or standpoint of talkhealth, but are merely to raise attention and awareness.

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