Spectator Health


Issue 1

Magic bullet or massive missfire?

Cholesterol-lowering statins don’t help most of the people who take them,  says Dr James Le Fanu and — despite recent reports — the side effects can be dire


Power lines have been cleared by Oxford researchers

Check up

Check up

31 May 2014

Environment No leukaemia link to power lines There is no increased risk of contracting leukaemia for children who live beneath high-voltage power lines compared with their counterparts who do not,… Read more


Editor's Letter

Editor’s letter

31 May 2014

Welcome to the first edition of Spectator Health, our new quarterly supplement designed especially for people who might never normally consider picking up a health magazine. This is for readers… Read more



Joint ventures

31 May 2014

Having bad arthritis is miserable, and it affects every part of people’s lives. As an orthopaedic surgeon, I sit in hospital clinics talking to people about their options, and whether… Read more



Pub vs pool

31 May 2014

Fancy a pint? I’ll get them. Let’s sit right over there, where we can observe the punters coming and going from the bar. Who do you admire most in here?… Read more


Health spa

Peak practice

31 May 2014

These days, people don’t simply go on holiday — they combine it with a trip to one of the increasingly popular medi-spas. These range from hotels which have adapted their premises… Read more


More weapons needed: cancer cells as seen under a microscope

A law to cure cancer

31 May 2014

All cancer deaths are wasted lives. The deceased do not advance scientific knowledge one iota. Yet as matters stand, those with terminal cancer receive only the standard procedure — the… Read more

Friend or foe? Middle-aged women are confronted by a bewildering array of medication and advice

HRT: The debate goes on

31 May 2014

Since as early as the 1940s, women of a certain age have had the option of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat the symptoms of the menopause. When it was… Read more


The doctor will Skype you now

31 May 2014

The average European visits their doctor six times a year. Each consultation lasts around ten minutes; add to that waiting and travelling time, and that’s around three and a half… Read more


Keep your hair on

31 May 2014

There is, in the pursuit of hirsuteness, a bewilderingly long menu of treatments, with results that range from the near miraculous to the nightmarish. Navigating the various options, knowing which… Read more

Shingles is a reactivation of varicella, the chicken pox virus

A very good jab too

31 May 2014

To very little fanfare, a new vaccination programme was launched by the NHS last year, bringing Britain up to speed with Europe and the US. But why was its introduction… Read more


Ten foods to tackle diabetes

31 May 2014

Diabetes is spreading to epic proportions in the UK. It affects 3.2 million people, a figure which has doubled since 1996 and is expected to rise to five million by… Read more


The truth about statins

31 May 2014

Forty years ago Henry Gadsden, chief executive of the drug company Merck, expressed his frustration that the potential market for his company’s products should be limited to those with treatable… Read more

A world of choice

31 May 2014

When you’re feeling a bit below par there’s nothing nicer than being tucked up at home, comfort foods and favourite telly close at hand, is there? So perhaps it will… Read more



Use your brain

31 May 2014

A while ago I was listening to the Today programme, as we’re all obliged to do. A neuroscientist was on it talking about how to use the findings of neuroscience… Read more


This is madness

31 May 2014

Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, recently drew attention to the financial difficulties faced by the psychiatric services in Britain. Just like cows, no bureaucracy, such… Read more


Keep it up

‘Er… I’ve got a touch of Ascension Deficit Disorder,’ said the patient in our consulting room.Over the years, we’ve heard every euphemism for potency problems: ‘insufficient lead in the pencil’,… Read more


Mind games

31 May 2014

Addressing an audience at the Second Half of Your Life Centre recently, I described myself as a 67-year-old (77 if you read the Mail, 47 if you read the Jewish… Read more


Zero tolerance

31 May 2014

There is an epidemic in parts of London that is in danger of engulfing communities, causing misery for schools, restaurateurs and doctors. Rumour has it that the situation started in… Read more

Focus On


Fixing broken hearts

31 May 2014

Let’s face it, your heart is pretty important. Treat it right and your cardiac muscle will expand and contract more than two billion times in your three-score-and-ten lifetime — for… Read more



31 May 2014

Q Both my parents died of heart attacks when they were relatively young. I am worried that the same might happen to me. Is there any test that I can… Read more


Welcome to the machine

31 May 2014

The eye may be the window to the soul but the heart is the engine that keeps it blinking. It is a four-chambered, ‘double circulation’ pump system. The heart, arteries… Read more