United Kingdom

HEALTH NOTES: Thousands of children miss out on jabs because their mothers have mental health issues

At least 5,000 children in the UK miss out on potentially lifesaving vaccines every year because their mothers have mental health problems, research has revealed. 

Conditions such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders leave mothers less likely to attend routine appointments where injections are given to protect under-fives against measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough and diphtheria. 

The Manchester University team tracked almost 480,000 families over 12 years and found infants whose mothers had psychiatric struggles were 14 per cent less likely to get all their jabs than those whose mothers were healthy. 

Dr Cemre Su Osam, from the university's Centre for Women's Mental Health, who co-authored the study, said the findings were a 'public health concern'.

At least 5,000 children in the UK miss out on potentially lifesaving vaccines every year because their mothers have mental health problems, research has revealed (stock photos)

Blowing away sleep apnoea

Learning to play a wind instrument could help the five million Britons blighted by the condition sleep apnoea. 

Research shows that blowing into instruments that use two reeds, such as the oboe, firms up muscles in the airways. In sleep apnoea, soft tissue in the throat restricts intake of air, causing snoring. 

Learning to play a wind instrument could help the five million Britons blighted by the condition sleep apnoea (stock photo)

This disrupts breathing and wakes sufferers every few minutes, putting them at risk of high blood pressure. Scientists at the Academic Centre for Dentistry in Amsterdam used data from studies involving patients who took up wind instruments.

The results, in the Journal Of Clinical Sleep Medicine, showed they snored less and woke less often. 

A charity project that is posting free family photographs to dementia patients is hoping they'll ease lockdown isolation and spark buried memories. 

Research shows that looking at pictures of loved ones can increase feelings of comfort and safety among people with early-stage dementia. 

The joint initiative, by the Alzheimer's Society and printing firm Citizen Systems, is offering 25,000 free photo postcards. 

Family members can simply upload their pictures at myphotomessages.com and type in a message, and the card is delivered in a few days.

Twice as many younger smokers have quit the habit due to Covid-19 fears compared with those over 50, according to research by University College London (stock photo) 

Young smokers fear Covid

Twice as many younger smokers have quit the habit due to Covid-19 fears compared with those over 50, according to research by University College London. 

Despite facing half the risk of death from the virus than their elders, the study shows that Britons under 30 were much more likely to give up smoking in an effort to avoid becoming seriously ill. 

Pressure group Action On Smoking And Health suggest several factors could be behind the pattern, including less peer pressure in pubs and bars, financial insecurity and moving back to the family home.

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