NHS rolls out mass blood tests to find ‘universal donors’ after supply shortage alert

The first ones will be sent out this week by the NHS to identify 5,000 with the “universal donor” type that can be given to almost anyone.

It is the first-ever mass testing of its kind and will involve 30,000. The kit allows a few small drops of blood to be extracted.

A litmus-test style card and a chart allow identification of blood type within five minutes.

Those found to have O negative will be offered priority appointments to help ensure they become long-term donors and boost stocks for the winter and beyond.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien said: “This innovative pilot scheme means that donors can easily and conveniently book in and donate, ensuring that the NHS can remain stocked with the blood it needs to save lives and be more resilient in future.”

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  • 7 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Grip strength could indicate how long you have left to live, new research suggests

    The team of authors said that their new findings, published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and Muscle, demonstrated that grip strength corresponds with a phenomenon known as an epigenetic clock.

    An epigenetic clock is a biomarker which evaluates the age of someone’s DNA; it is believed that understanding these biomarkers in greater depth could help patients better manage their illnesses.

    The team examined data from around 1,300 people at or over the age of 50; this group was then followed for around eight to 10 years.

    In their conclusion, the team wrote: “Our findings provide some initial evidence of age acceleration among men and women with lower NGS (Normalised Grip Strength) and loss of strength over time. Preservation of muscle strength may positively influence healthy ageing by protecting against DNAm age acceleration.”

    They continued: “Future research is needed to understand the extent to which DNAm age mediates the association between grip strength and chronic disease, disability and early mortality, as well as the extent to which lifestyle/behavioural factors (e.g. physical activity and dietary status) can mediate the association between grip strength and accelerated/decelerated DNAm age.”

    Speaking to charity Diabetes.co.uk, lead author of the study Professor Mark Peterson said: “Grip strength has long been considered a biomarker of aging. However, very few studies have tried to understand the biological mechanism(s) that link weakness with negative health outcomes (including mortality).”

    Professor Peterson continued: “On the positive side, it is likely that greater grip strength is associated with lifestyles such as exercise and healthy dietary habits.

    “On the negative side, it is likely that weaker grip strength is associated with obesity-related chronic conditions, other noncommunicable diseases, and sedentary lifestyles.”

    Alongside noting an overall loss in grip strength, they also noted a difference between men and women. Doctor Peterson explained: “We have recently also demonstrated that muscle weakness and testosterone deficiency were highly correlated and independently associated with multi-morbidity in young and older men.

    “In our current study, there seemed to be a more pronounced/robust cross-sectional association [a comparison of a population] between lower grip strength and age acceleration in men.”

    On the other hand, Doctor Peterson added: “However, the opposite was true for the longitudinal association [a comparison over time], which was more pronounced/robust among women.

    “We cannot speculate what is driving that difference.”

    Yes, they can. This includes type 2 diabetes. According to a recent study published in May this year, diabetes speeds up brain ageing.

    The analysis was conducted on 20,000 people using UK Biobank data and observed a link between diabetes and increased neurodegeneration.

    They estimated that brain ageing was accelerated by around 26 percent.

    Primary author of the study Botond Antal said to eLife: “The neurological effects of type 2 diabetes may reveal themselves many years before they can be detected by standard measures, so by the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed by conventional tests, patients may have already sustained irreversible brain damage.”

    Senior author Lilianne Mujica-Parodi added: “Our findings suggest that type 2 diabetes and its progression may be associated with accelerated brain aging, potentially due to compromised energy availability causing significant changes to brain structure and function.

    “By the time diabetes is formally diagnosed, this damage may already have occurred. But brain imaging could provide a clinically valuable metric for identifying and monitoring these neurocognitive effects associated with diabetes.

    “Our results underscore the need for research into brain-based biomarkers for type 2 diabetes and treatment strategies that specifically target its neurocognitive effects.”

    As a result, this demonstrates the far-reaching impact of type 2 diabetes beyond high blood sugar.

  • 7 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Sternutation ‘without explanation’ is a sign of Covid targeting fully vaccinated Britons

    The pandemic has served as a masterclass in disinformation. Falsehoods have spread like wildfire as anti-vaxxers have sought to expose the “truth” about vaccination. It’s commonly said that health authorities claim the vaccines stop you getting Covid. This has never been claimed by the science community. In fact, you can catch Covid post-vaccination but its impact is significantly blunted by vaccine-induced antibodies. Curiously, one mild symptom has been shown to target the fully vaccinated.

    According to the Zoe Health study, which crunched data from 1.1 million app contributors who had logged one or both doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine in its app between 8th December 2020 and 14th May 2021, sternutation, also known as sneezing, “without explanation” was more likely to show up in the fully vaccinated when compared to the unvaccinated.

    Curiously, the Zoe team noticed that people who had been vaccinated and then tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to report sneezing as a symptom compared with those without a jab.

    “If you’ve been vaccinated and start sneezing a lot without an explanation, you should get a Covid test, especially if you are living or working around people who are at greater risk from the disease,” the team advised.

    Twitter users are also reporting this symptom after vaccination.

    One user tweeted: “Have had both doses of my covid vaccine (Sinovac) and still got Covid-19 with a terrible 100-102° fever that lasted 2 days, flu, lots of sneezing and joint/muscle pain. It’s the 4th day of symptoms and I finally feel better.”

    Another person wrote: “Day 2 post-COVID vaccine: stuffy sinuses, sneezing, coughing, headaches, and earaches. Took Tylenol and liquids to help alleviate the symptoms.”

    Generally, the Zoe team similar symptoms of COVID-19 being reported overall in the app by people who had and hadn’t been vaccinated.

    However, fewer symptoms were reported over a shorter period of time by those who had already had a jab, suggesting that they were falling less seriously ill and getting better more quickly.

    Here is the current ranking of COVID symptoms after two vaccinations:

    The symptoms appear to differ depending on if you’ve been vaccinated, and how many doses you’ve had.

    The ZOE team found the ranking changes again after one dose of the vaccination.

    Symptoms after one dose include:

    See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

    The symptoms rankings are based on user reports in the app alone and do not take into account which variant caused the virus or demographic information.

    “There are a few reasons why symptoms may be changing, including the fact that those who have been vaccinated experience less severe symptoms, as well as more cases being reported by younger people, who we have found experience different, less severe symptoms as well,” the ZOE team noted.

    Getting Covid symptoms post-vaccination should not deter you from getting vaccinated.

    The Covid vaccines have helped turn the tide of the pandemic.

    Covid is now responsible for just 3.3 percent of deaths, thanks to jabs.

    Over the last year, Covid has fallen from the third to the eighth leading cause of death in England.

    The autumn vaccine programme has helped suppress Covid, with millions of Britons rolling up their sleeves.

  • 7 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Man, 55, suffers two months of double vision and blurring due to vitamin B12 deficiency

    Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for our bodies. Found in many animal products such as meat and cheese, it has multiple functions in the body including helping to make DNA and red blood cells. Without enough B12 the body can’t produce healthy red blood cells, which are needed to carry oxygen around the body.

    Therefore, symptoms of a B12 deficiency can be severe and range from fatigue to memory loss.

    One case study, published in Case Reports in Medicine, detailed how a man suffered temporary sight problems as a result of a B12 deficiency.

    It said: “A 55-year-old male presented with a two to three month history of intermittent visual symptoms including diplopia (double vision) and blurring.

    “Each episode lasted approximately 30 minutes.

    “Patient denied any prior history of experiencing similar visual symptoms.

    “No other symptoms accompanied the visual disturbance. Each episode occurred at the end of a long tiring day at work.”

    Tests revealed his B12 levels to be 59 picograms per millilitre (pg/mL).

    Healthy levels are considered to be between 190 and 950pg/mL.

    After two months his B12 levels remained low.

    “Haematology was consulted and there his review of systems was also positive for increased appetite, moderate fatigue, memory problems, numbness in his hands when he sleeps and muscle stiffness,” the study said.

    “He also complained of palpitations, increased urinary frequency.”

    At first it was thought pernicious anaemia could be the cause of his deficiency.

    Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack the cells in your stomach, preventing your body from absorbing vitamin B12.

    But despite being given supplementation, his B12 levels remained low – ruling out pernicious anaemia as a cause.

    Exposure to nitrous oxide in his workplace was actually established to be the cause.

    The study explained: “In conjunction with previously reported cases of B12 deficiency in health care workers due to exposure to nitrous oxide, possible role of chlorofluorocarbons and other freon gases was hypothesised especially in the light of his occupation.

    “To determine this association, the patient was recommended to wear a tightly fitting naso-oral mask when working and his B12 supplementation was continued.

    “On follow-up visit his symptoms had resolved and significant improvement was noted in his B12 level to 554 pg/mL.

    “To validate this hypothesised association, the patient was asked not to wear the mask while at work and significant drop in B12 levels was noted on followup.”

    Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include:

  • 7 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    ‘Terry’s nails’ could be hinting at life-threatening liver damage due to fat buildup

    Fat buildup in your liver, known as fatty liver disease, can become dangerous. In its late stages, the disease can damage the organ to the point where it stops functioning properly. When this happens, there are loads of possible signs that could show up – including in your nails.

    Fatty liver disease – which can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption and obesity – doesn’t normally show symptoms.

    But as the condition enters its final stage, known as cirrhosis, your body is affected in many ways.

    Cirrhosis, sometimes called end-stage liver disease, is when your liver has become inflamed and scarred.

    When this happens, you may experience something known as “terry’s nails”.

    The Cleveland Clinic explains: “Terry’s nails is when most of your fingernail or toenail looks white, like frosted glass, except for a thin brown or pink strip at the tip.”

    The symptom is named after a doctor called Richard Terry who noticed the symptom in roughly 80 percent of Cirrhosis cases.

    Pale nails could be down to a lack of red blood cells in your body (anaemia). Your liver helps to create proteins that are essential for your blood.

    When the organ’s function is reduced by cirrhosis, so too is the production of red blood cells.

    The dysfunction of your liver may also cause mental red flags, including forgetfulness, memory loss, confusion, and drowsiness, the British Liver Trust explained.

    Your liver is responsible for breaking down toxins, such as ammonia. During cirrhosis, these toxins start to build up in your blood.

    They eventually reach your brain, causing noticeable cognitive issues. This impact on your brain is described by doctors as hepatic encephalopathy.

    Having dark, tarry stools is also another sign of cirrhosis.

    The colour is down to blood seeping into your stools from your portal vein, the main blood vessel that runs through your liver.

    In cirrhosis, blood has difficulty passing through your liver. As a result, blood pressure in your portal vein increases.

    The blood vessel can rupture (known as varices), which allows the blood to enter your stool.

    This may also cause you to vomit blood – another common symptom of late-stage cirrhosis.

    If you notice any symptoms of cirrhosis, you should seek emergency medical attention because it can become life-threatening.

    The British Liver Trust states: “The aim of treatment is to stop the cirrhosis getting worse, to reverse any damage (if this is possible), and to treat any disabling or life-threatening complications.”

    One of the things doctors will recommend is to cut alcohol out of your diet for life, especially if you have alcohol-related liver disease.

    The NHS states: “Stopping drinking is the only way to prevent your liver damage getting worse and potentially stop you dying of liver disease.”

  • 7 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Hyperbilirubinemia is a sign of pancreatic cancer you might miss

    One of those symptoms is hyperbilirubinemia. If this term sounds unfamiliar, then it’s a more common term may not be.

    Also known as jaundice, the National Library of Medicine defines it as “a yellow discolouration of the body tissue resulting from the accumulation of excess bilirubin”.

    It continues: “Deposition of bilirubin happens only when there is an excess of bilirubin, and this indicates increased production or impaired excretion.”

    Speaking to the Independent, Pancreatic Cancer UK nurse Jeni Jones said: “Not everyone with pancreatic cancer will get jaundice, although it is very prevalent. It’s a red flag symptom – you might notice it when the whites of your eyes turn a bit yellow, before your skin starts to get that yellow tinge.”

    According to the charity, jaundice only tends to occur in those pancreatic cancer patients whose tumour is towards the head, or top, of the pancreas.

    Other symptoms which could be easy to dismiss include indigestion, tummy or back pain, unexplained weight loss, appetite loss, itchiness, changes to bowel habits, and recently diagnosed diabetes.

    Also included are nausea, blood clots, fatigue, fever, difficulty swallowing food, depression, and anxiety.

    On itchiness, this is often related to jaundice, with itchiness developing just before the yellowing. The reason for this is because of the build-up of bile.

    As to how itchy, Jones said: “It’s insanely itchy. I’m not talking about a little itch, it would have you scratching to a crazy degree.”

    With regard to recently diagnosed diabetes, Jones added that some recently diagnosed with the condition should be wary as cancer can stop the pancreas producing enough insulin, leading to diabetes.

    Jones explained: “If you have some of the pancreatic cancer symptoms and you’re suddenly diagnosed with diabetes, then that ought to be a red flag symptom for your GP to think about whether you need a scan to check your pancreas.”

    One symptom one might miss of pancreatic cancer is also a symptom present in one of the most common cancers.

    A change in bowel habit is most commonly associated with bowel cancer; it is one of the three main symptoms of the disease.

    However, it can also be a sign of pancreatic cancer. Jones said: “This is a very, very important one because there are many, many causes of diarrhoea, but this is something we call steatorrhea – when there’s fat present in the stool, which makes it go a yellowy colour, which also happens in jaundice.

    “This greasy, yellowy poo that doesn’t flush away is a sure sign that there’s something wrong higher up in the digestive system. If the patient doesn’t describe the specifics of their diarrhoea, it can waste time for diagnosis, and time is of the essence.”

    In contrast, in bowel cancer, the stool is more likely to become dark red or tarry as a result of bleeding in the upper bowel.

    While these are some of the symptoms a potential patient might miss, it is always ideal to be wary of the main symptoms as the NHS explains.

    These include:• Jaundice• Loss of appetite• Unexplained weight loss• Feeling tired or having no energy• A high temperature• Feeling or being sick• Diarrhoea or constipation• Pain at the top part of the tummy and your back• Symptoms of indigestion.

    The NHS added: “If you have another condition like irritable bowel syndrome, you may get symptoms like these regularly.

    “You might find you get used to them. But it’s important to be checked by a GP if your symptoms change, get worse or do not feel normal for you.”

  • 7 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Expert says popular spice could help reduce visceral fat – backed by study

    Visceral fat is stored deep in the belly unlike subcutaneous fat, which can be seen under the skin. A certain amount is needed to protect and insulate the vital organs. However, too much of it can be dangerous.

    Having an excessive amount of visceral fat is known to result in a range of issues including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

    The main causes of excess visceral fat include an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

    But a certain addition to your diet could help eliminate visceral fat.

    Speaking with Express.co.uk, registered dietitian at JustCBD – Nataly Komova – recommended the spice cumin for weight loss.

    She said: “Cumin can lower triglyceride levels, promoting healthy cholesterol levels. Having healthy cholesterol levels reduces the likelihood of gaining weight.

    “Cumin can also help you get rid of visceral fat by elevating your metabolic rate and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.”

    This was backed by a study published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice journal in 2014.

    As part of a trial, 88 overweight or obese women were randomly assigned into two groups.

    One group was given three grams of cumin powder with yoghurt a day over three months.

    The others were given the same amount of yoghurt without the cumin.

    The study said: “Cumin powder reduced serum levels of fasting cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein (‘bad’ cholesterol) and increased high-density lipoprotein (‘good’ cholesterol).

    “Weight, body mass index, waist circumference, fat mass and its percentage significantly reduced.”

    Researchers explained why they focused on the effect of cumin on fat.

    The study said: “Using of medicinal plants can be a viable alternative for synthetic drugs. Extensive studies have been performed on the effects of different medicinal plants on plasma lipids and weight loss.

    “Cumin, as one of these medicinal plants, contains more than 100 different chemicals, including essential fatty acids and volatile oils

    “Some studies have shown that cumin may have decreasing effects of blood lipids and weight.

    “However, to the best knowledge of us, the majority of these studies have been done on animals and the published human studies have been conducted on patients suffering from diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.”

    It concluded: “Cumin powder in a weight reduction diet showed improvement in anthropometric and biochemical parameters in overweight/obese women.”

    You are unable to know exactly how much visceral fat is hidden in your body without imaging tests, however, it is possible to get a rough estimate by measuring your waist using the belly button as a marker.

    For women 35 inches or more can signal visceral fat, whereas for men it is 40 inches or more.

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Health Care NHS rolls out mass blood tests to find 'universal donors' after supply shortage alert