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Immigrants Gave Me Diabetes: exploring a week of Daily Express front-page headlines

by | 7th, March 2015

Immigrants gave me diabetes

Immigrants gave me diabetes

 

Immigrants Gave Me Diabetes: a look at the news behind this week’s Daily Express front pages:

Monday: “Asylum Bill Hits £726,000 A Day”

The Express says it cost the “taxpayer” £726,000 a day to house and feed asylum seekers”. These are people seeking refuge in the UK. The Express then says this is becasue “of the strong desire by migrants from around the world  to live here”. The paper soon turns aslyum seekers and the cost of caring for them into a story on legal migrant workers.

The Government says:

You must apply for asylum if you want to stay in the UK as a refugee. To be eligible you must have left your country and be unable to go back because you fear persecution… You won’t usually be allowed to work while your asylum claim is being considered.

Migrant workers are legal and can work.

The story continues on Page 7. There readers learn “one in three Met arrests is a migrant”.

The Express makes no mention of how many of these arrests end up with a charge or conviction nor how many migrants were arrested more than once. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty seems to have gone out of the window.

The Express then invites a source to opine:

Steven Woolfe, Ukip’s migration spokesman said: “It is inevitable that with high levels of immigration comes a high level of crime.”

A story on asylum seekers has been conflated with evils of migration and immigration. It’s as if the paper and its sources have an agenda.

In 2009, research concluded:

Immigrants from the eight Central and Eastern European countries that joined the European Union in May 2004 are less likely to be claiming welfare benefits and less likely to be living in social housing than people born in the UK, according to a new paper from UCL. What is more, they have made a positive contribution to the UK fiscal system, paying more in taxes than they receive in direct and indirect public transfers (such as benefits, NHS healthcare and education).

Not all criminals, then.

 

Tuesday: “Paracetamol In New Health Alert”

TAKING a daily paracetamol tablet could put you at risk of deadly heart disease and kidney failure, a new study suggests.

The study was, reportedly, by Professor Philip Conaghan, MBBS, PhD, professor of musculoskeletal medicine, University of Leeds. He was aided by Emmert Roberts, from South London and the Maudsley Mental Health Trust, Maudsley Hospital, London. What the Express fails to note is that Prof. Conaghan told one medical organ:

Because this literature review was based on long-term observational data, there are many potential biases that could influence the results, so it cannot be called ‘hard’ data at all,” study author Philip Conaghan, MBBS, PhD… told Medscape Medical News.

“For example, one confounder that is impossible to measure is the use of over-the-counter medicines, which are usually not recorded and can include drugs with significant side effects, such as ibuprofen. Of course it’s almost impossible to get long-term data from clinical trials: They usually don’t run for many years, so we are dependent on this sort of imperfect data to explore long-term potential drug side-effects…

“[W]e should consider the benefit-risk ratio for particular conditions, and would need to see where paracetamol has demonstrated benefits. A recent study in Lancet suggested paracetamol wasn’t effective for treating acute lower back pain, although its safety was good over the 4-week period of that study,” Dr Conaghan said.

Such are the facts. And why let them stand in the way of a scary hadline?

 

Wednesday: “Arthritis Cure Is On The Way”

Just as it was in 2012.

The story tells of  cartiledge replacements within five years. Great news. It cannot come fast enough. But nowhere in the study is “five years” mentioned. And Giles Sheldrick’s front-page scoop is a rehashed press release from Arthritis Research UK.

 

Thursday: ‘How Statins Can Cause Diabetes”

But it is ok becasue in 2014 the Express reported that Diabetes has been cured. Now the paper leads:

“Pills raise the risk of getting disease by 46% say experts”

One expert says:

London cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said: “Although the benefits are clear in reducing the risk of death in those with established heart ­disease this is not the case for a low-risk population. Millions see them as a magic pill but they are not. This research shows you are more likely to develop irreversible Type 2 diabetes than prevent a non-fatal heart attack if you are at low risk.”

If you are at low-risk…

The Express fails to record this from the research’s senior author Markku Laakso, MD, from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital:

“Even if statin treatment is increasing the risk of getting diabetes, statins are very effective in reducing cardiovascular risk. Therefore I wouldn’t make a conclusion from my study that people should stop statin treatment, especially those patients who have a history of myocardial infarction or so on.

“But what I would say is that people who are at the higher risk, if they are obese, if they have diabetes in the family, etc, should try to lower their statin dose, if possible, because high-dose statin treatment increases the risk vs lower-dose statin treatment,” he continued.

And another expert adds:

Asked to comment, Alvin C Powers, MD, from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, explained that there were limitations to the conclusions that could be drawn from this study.

Speaking as part of the Endocrine Society, he said: “The first thing is that this study did not examine the benefits of statin therapy, it examined only the risk of diabetes.”

And:

Dr. Gil Ross had these thoughts: “Based on several studies over the past five years, I’d come around to the belief that there was indeed an increased risk of diabetes consequent to statins — in the 10-15 percent range.”

 

Friday: “Keep Positive to Live Longer”

“Staying postive is the key to a longer life, scientists hve found”

So. The key to longevity is not the “the pill“, fat, butter or walking, or any other secret the Express has shared?

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and University College London studied the mental attitudes of 369 patients admitted to hospital with unstable angina and heart attacks and monitored their health for 46 months…

Professor Andrew Steptoe, who led the study, said: “Our research shows optimistic people are more likely to take advice about lifestyle changes on board, like quitting smoking and eating more healthily, and this results in better outcomes.”

So positive thinking is not the secret of long er life. Getting ill people to quit smoking and eat better might be.

“Our findings could be used to ­identify pessimistic patients and encourage them to make the necessary changes to their lifestyle that can ­ultimately lead to better health.”

Another medic adds:

“Suffering from a serious con­dition such as angina or heart attack can take a drastic emotional toll, which we know can lead to depression, further lowering the chances of a full recovery.”

And:

In their decade-long study, the researchers found 37 per cent of the most ­pessimistic patients went on to suffer further heart attacks, heart ­surgery or death in the four years after they were discharged from hospital compared with 19 per cent of the most optimistic.

This reserch – which involved asking patients who they felt about things – comes ahead of No Smoking Day on 11 March, when the BHF are urging smokers to quit for good. The Express does not mention that.

Professor Steptoe works with the British Heart Foundation. On their website you learn:

Professor Steptoe and team have found that people from lower socio-economic groups tend to suffer the biological effects of stress for longer than more affluent people, which in turn influences heart health. The researchers are now studying if a person’s socio-economic position, work stress, social support and social isolation might be important risk factors for developing heart disease.

There might be reasons why peopls are more or less positive.

Such are the facts…



Posted: 7th, March 2015 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink