Mental health coverage rises after Clegg's 'Prozac nation'

Coverage of cardiovascular health and mental health issues more than doubled during January and February, according to the latest Health Watch rankings.

Cancer has continued to hold on to the top spot, but cardiovascular health and mental health appear to be closing the gap.

Cardiovascular health ranked second in the table with 2,363 articles, with obesity making up 679 of the references and heart disease receiving 422.

Coverage of mental health issues also more than doubled from the previous two months - up from 1,018 references to 2,173.

Comments by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg contributed to this when he warned Britain had become a 'Prozac nation' with the use of antidepressants spiralling out of control amid a crisis in mental healthcare (The Guardian, 8 February).

Immunology and anti-virals ranked fourth with 1,801 articles. Flu, MRSA and malaria references were the main contributors with 331, 286 and 141 articles respectively. Diabetes dropped a place to fifth, with 951 references.

Cancer remained the most widely covered health issue with 2,888 articles in national newspapers and magazines over the previous two months - up from 2,426 in the previous Health Watch chart.

Breast cancer was still the most featured type of cancer, with 447 references in newspapers and magazines. One prominent cancer story was a study into the possibility of hormone replacement therapy increasing the risk of developing early signs of breast cancer after one year (The Daily Telegraph).

Lung cancer was the second most mentioned type of cancer during the two months with 207 references.

Health Watch is compiled by TNS Media Intelligence from articles across national newspapers and 300 magazines, including periodicals.

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