Medi Watch

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 January, 2007, 12:00am

Caesarean births 'riskier'

Babies delivered by planned caesareans are almost twice as likely to end up in intensive care or suffer lung disorders as those delivered normally, according to a six-month Norwegian study of more than 18,600 births. 'Vaginal delivery seems superior to elective caesarean delivery in many situations,' says team leader Toril Kolas, of Innlandet Hospital Trust, in Lillehammer. 'We emphasise the importance of limiting planned caesarean deliveries to cases with proven benefit.' Almost one in 10 babies delivered by planned caesarean was taken to intensive care, compared with 5.2 per cent of normal deliveries, Reuters reports. And about 1.6 per cent of planned caesarean babies had lung disorders, compared with 0.8 per cent otherwise.

Lung cancer in China to soar

China will have more than one million new lung cancer patients a year within two decades if smoking and pollution continue at current rates, according to the Ministry of Health. The mainland accounts for more than a third of the world's 1.3 billion smokers. But China Daily quoted Sun Yan, a cancer expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as saying lung cancer rates were also closely related to increased vehicle emissions. More than two out of every three Chinese adults smokes, and surveys have found as many as half are unaware of the cancer risk, AFP reports.

Brits blame luck of the draw

More than one in four British adults thinks getting cancer is simply bad luck, rather than due to lifestyle choices - and smokers are 50 per cent more likely to think so. In a poll of more than 4,000 people by the charity Cancer Research UK, 27 per cent said the risk of developing cancer was out of their hands, AFP reports.

Best medical advances shortlisted

Antibiotics, anaesthesia, the pill, sanitation and the discovery of the risks of smoking are among 15 contenders for the title of the greatest medical breakthrough of the past 167 years to be announced by British medical journal BMJ on Thursday. The 15 were selected from among more than 100 submitted last year by BMJ readers that included condoms, Viagra and soap (none of which made the shortlist), WebMD reports.

Married Americans happier

Marriage and money make you happier - well, if you're American, at least. And marriage makes you happiest of all, according to a US Gallup poll of more than 1,000 adults. Almost 65 per cent of married people said they were very satisfied with their lives, compared with 43 per cent of single people. And married people were as likely to report being happier than even the wealthiest unmarried adults, WebMD reports.

Jason Sankey is a tennis professional