Health Check

BBC World Service

Health, Fitness & Nutrition, Technology

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Health Check grapples with health issues on a global scale, investigates discoveries and solutions in healthcare, and looks at how to deliver a healthier world. Presented by Claudia Hammond.


People with autism die decades before general population

March 23rd, 2016

Episode 80 of 118 episodes

A large and troubling study from Sweden has confirmed that people with autism live shorter lives on average than other people; in some cases those affected only live to the age of 40. The team looked at the health records of 27,000 adults with autism and compared them with 2.7 million people in the general population in Sweden. Dr Tatja Hirvikoski, from the Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Karolinska Institute, tells Health Check what they discovered. Hungary health In Hungary there is a growing shortage of doctors and nurses, as more and more leave the country for jobs in northern Europe, earning up to six times as much. The healthcare system is currently short of around 20,000 nurses and in nine years it is predicted that half of the country will not have a proper GP system. But it is not just about money. Another reason for the exodus is because of what some regard as a moral crisis in Hungarian health care. Many doctors feel humiliated by the widespread practice of ‘gratitude payments’, the semi-illegal envelope cash that some doctors expect from their patients after, or sometimes before they receive treatment, in order to supplement their low wages. The BBC’s Budapest correspondent Nick Thorpe has been investigating. Cash for exercise Now if you have ever tried sticking to a new exercise regime, you will know that it is easy to start with good intentions, but harder to keep going week in week out. But what if you were paid each time you did it or promised a sum of money and then fined if you did not manage to complete your goal that day? Which do you think might work better? A team at the University of Pennsylvania in the US has just tried this out. Dr Mitesh Patel, assistant professor of medicine and healthcare management at the Perelman School of Medicine, tells Claudia what was involved with the experiment. (Main Image: An autistic teenager hugs his mother. Photo credit: LOIC VENANCE / AFP /Getty Images)

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