In a year with too many troubling news headlines, the health group at Say has been reflecting on the stories that gave us hope or made us smile in 2023. We’re wary of breakthroughs and hyped results, and we know progress tends to happens in fits and starts.
Yet despite the many healthcare challenges — NHS staff strikes, growing antibiotic resistance and the healthcare fallout from climate change to name just a few — we are cautiously optimistic about the direction of travel. Is this a year that will be remembered for the advancements in cancer and Alzheimer’s treatments? Are we on the verge of seeing an end to cervical cancer? Will mRNA technology give humanity access to new vaccines for different diseases? Will stem cell and gene therapy move out of the preserve of the wealthy? Furthermore, the symbiotic nature of the gut microbiome is having a moment, and menopause has moved out of the shadows and into polite conversation. AI and medicine are a marriage made in healthcare heaven, and advances in monitoring personal health have us excited about making better decisions to increase our health-span.
Our Top Ten:
Couples’ benefits: A marriage that isn’t happy is still healthy, The Times, 6 February
Gene therapy win: Girl with deadly inherited condition is cured with gene therapy on NHS, The Guardian, 15 February
Microbiome milestone: US regulators approve first human pill derived from faecal matter, Financial Times, 26 April
mRNA technology harnessed: Covid vaccine research now helping cancer patients, BBC, 4 July
“People want to shake it out”: Dance away the tears at a ‘grief rave’ in a pink disco kiosk, The Guardian, 9 July
Promise for preventive cardiology: Anti-obesity drug also protects against heart disease — what happens next?, Nature, 10 August
Moving towards a malaria-free future: Cheaper, more effective malaria vaccine wins WHO approval, The Guardian, 2 October
Neural prosthetics breakthrough: ‘Groundbreaking’: Woman receives bionic hand that merges with her nerves and skeleton, The Express, 11 October.
Men officially the weaker sex: Man flu ‘real’ as experts conclude men ‘suffer more’ than women, The Express, 29 November
Gaming can enhance mental health: Video Games and Mental Health: A Surprising Ally, from the U.N. news desk
Updated 4 January 2024:
And the winner is…
We’ve tallied your votes and can now reveal: your favourite health story was number nine from our list: man flu is real!
Thank you to everyone who voted through email, socials and the Say website.
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