Here are a few of the most talked-about health stories of 2014. We wonder what we’ll be talking about in 2015…
1. Gastric balloon pill becomes available in the UK
A gastric balloon in pill form was bound to hit the headlines, and it certainly got everyone talking. The pill is swallowed before inflating in the stomach, meaning no need for surgery. Just how big the balloon pill will become remains to be seen. It is quite expensive and not available on the NHS.
2. Ebola threat to UK
Ebola was, unsurprisingly, one of the most talked about health stories of last year. The outbreak of the deadly flesh-eating disease in West Africa became headline news around the world and there was much discussion about the risks of an outbreak in the UK. Risks to the UK are still considered very low but no doubt this will be a bad news health story that will continue to run in 2015. No treatments or vaccines were available at the time of the Ebola outbreak but as the year drew to a close clinic trials were underway.
3. Home HIV testing kits become legal in the UK
The government changed the law making it legal to buy home HIV testing kits over the counter at your local chemist for the first time. However, red tape and licencing means the kits are still not available. Maybe sometime this year.
4. Calls for higher fruit and veg recommendations
There were calls to change five a day fruit and veg recommendations to seven or even ten a day following a study that showed adults with a high fruit and veg intake were less likely to die from any cause, especially cardiovascular and cancer.