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PR and Med Ed news in brief

Our weekly round-up of PR and medical education stories.

Schools ignore sex education

Some secondary schools in England do not provide any sex education or advice on other "vital" health issues, the education watchdog Ofsted says. A study based on visits to more than 60 schools and over 100 inspection reports found a shortage of specialist staff. Many schools used form tutors to deal with the subject and good lessons were described as "few and far between". The Department for Education said the government had provided extra cash to raise the number of specialist staff. Schools are required by law to provide "balanced and broadly based" personal, social and health education (PSHE).

New guidance shuns young women

New guidance published by the NHS watchdog in England and Wales is fuelling fears that younger women with osteoporosis may miss out on treatment. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said only women over 65 should have access to teriparatide, which reverses bone loss. But campaigners say younger women should also have access to the drug. Doctors agreed there was no reason why they should not be prescribed the medication. Around three million people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis, otherwise known as brittle bone disease. Experts say one in two women and one in five men over 50 are affected.

Over-60s in jeopardy

Older people are struggling to control their salt intake because of confusing food labelling say experts. Research shows that cutting down to less than six grammes a day ñ the recommended daily dose ñ reduces the chances of a stroke in men and women aged over 60 by almost a third and a heart attack by around a quarter. Last night, the campaign group Consensus Action on Salt and Health, called on the food industry to cut high levels of salt in processed food to help prevent 35,000 heart attack and stroke deaths a year.

The Stroke Association launches awards

The Stroke Association has launched its 2005 Life After Stroke Awards and is welcoming nominations for all categories. Sponsored by Pfizer, there are five different categories; the Courage awards, a Carer's award, the Susie Hulks Memorial award, the Richard Thomas Community Award and a Volunteer Award. Backing the awards, John Reid, Secretary of State for Health said: ìA stroke turns lives upside down, yet many people show extraordinary courage and determination in coping with its aftermath. It is for these reasons that The Stroke Association has created these important awards.î

2nd September 2008


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