Male Health News August 2015

Five million adults in England risk developing diabetes

New data from Public Health England suggests that up to five million people in England risk developing Type-2 diabetes.

As reported by BBC News, Public Health England’s latest analysis outlines that around five million people in England are ‘pre-diabetic’, meaning that their blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Diabetes can have very serious impacts, with long-term effects including ‘blindness, amputations or early death’, according to Diabetes UK Chief Executive Barbara Young.

However, a number of doctors and organisations question the diagnosis of ‘pre-diabetes’, stating that this is potentially unhelpful as a category, and only a minority with pre-diabetes will go onto develop diabetes.

Nonetheless, if you are worried about your risks of developing Type-2 diabetes, you can take action to reduce your risks. Exercising regularly, eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight can all help stave off the development of diabetes, as well as have a range of other benefits for you. Some research has also suggested that men are more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes than women, so it is vital for men to understand their risks and take action. You can find more details on our information pages, and Diabetes UK has some great resources to help you both reduce your risk of Type-2 diabetes as well as manage the condition. We have also been tweeting about diabetes symptoms and risks over the last fortnight, so check out our Twitter feed for more inspiration!

(28th August 2015)


Stroke risk increased by working long hours

A major international study has concluded that people working more than 55 hours a week have a 33% higher risk of stroke than those working 35-40 hours a week.

The research, published in the Lancet, looked at both heart disease and stroke, pulling together longitudinal studies involving over a million men and women in total from Europe, Australia and the USA. As reported in the Guardian, the researchers concluded that “the longer the working week, the higher was the risk of stroke”, even controlling for factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Working long hours was also associated with a 13% increased risk of coronary heart disease. The researchers suggested that these risks may be because many people who work longer sit for long periods at work and so are less physically active; experience “repetitive triggering of the stress response” due to work challenges; and may be more likely to ignore symptoms of disease.

This study reinforces the wisdom that working yourself into the ground is never a good plan for your long-term health. It’s important to be mindful of the impact of your working hours on your wellbeing, and take steps to reduce stress at, or as result of, work wherever possible. It’s also important to continue to motivate yourself to keep active, and find time to do exercise. We’ve covered good pointers to keep yourself motivated on our blog and Twitter feed – check them out if you’re looking for inspiration!

(21st August 2015)


Cutting fats from diet better for weight loss than carbs

A new study has questioned the conventional wisdom that cutting carbohydrates from diets is the best means to lose weight.

A US based study, published in Cell Metabolism, looked at a small sample of obese people. As reported by the BBC, the study offered diets that cut a third of the participants’ calorie intake, either by reducing fat or carbohydrates. Both diets helped cut fat, but the metabolic response of the body was greater when fat was cut down, leading to an average of 80% more body fat lost by those participants. The researchers acknowledged that the long-term impact was to be determined.

If you’re looking to lose weight as part of plan to improve your health, there are a wealth of useful resources out there, including the NHS’ Healthy Eating site and the UK Association of UK Dietitians (BDA). Remember if you are dieting, it is vital to have a clear set of goals, but also to plan carefully so that you maintain your momentum, as well as not push yourself too hard or too fast to lose weight. As Dr Kevin Hall, the study lead stated: “If it’s easier to stick to one diet than another, and to ideally do it permanently, then you should choose that diet”.

We’re sharing tips on how to keep motivated to be active on Twitter this week – why not join the conversation?

(14th August 2015)


England cancer survival lags behind other countries

A recent study has suggested that cancer survival rates in England remain lower than rates in countries with similar health systems.

As reported by the BBC, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used 5-year figures on breast, lung, ovarian, rectal, stomach and colon cancers in England, and compared these figures to data from Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. While improvements have been made across all six cancers between 1995 to 2009, England’s 5-year survival rate was lower than Canada, Australia, Sweden and Norway.

The researchers suggested that reasons could include poorer access to treatment, lower investment in health support and later cancer diagnosis. Cancer Research UK, who funded the research, also highlighted the variation across England in the speed of diagnosis and availability of treatments. However while acknowledging the findings, Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England emphasised that survival rates have never been higher and that “survival rates were improving faster than in other countries”.

While improvements need to be made in the overall health system, we can also take responsibility for our own health and keep an eye for signs and symptoms of cancer. We has been running a series of tweets about common cancers and their symptoms, as well as covering this information on our Facebook page and our information pages.  Know your risk, and see the doctor if you have any concerns about your health – always better to be safe than sorry.

(August 7th 2015)