Main content
This episode will be available soon

Live longer with a doctor in the family

How a doctor in the family helps people live longer; Poor sense of smell linked to higher risk of death; Maggie’s Centre in Hong Kong providing comfort for cancer patients

Could having a doctor in the family help you to live longer? New research from Swedish families says it does - it means you are 10% more likely to live to the age of 80, be less likely to have a heart attack, lung cancer or type 2 diabetes. Because so many people apply to study medicine in Sweden there is now a lottery system – so researchers can then study the impact on family health.

A new study of 2,000 older adults given a “smell test” has revealed a link between those with a poor sense of smell and a higher risk of dying. The test examined the ability to recognise smells like chocolate, lemon, onion and petrol. The strongest link was with deaths from degenerative brain conditions like Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Getting the right treatment for cancer is important – but it can mean spending time in buildings with few creature comforts. Maggie’s Centres are set up close to hospitals so patients and their families can relax or get advice while waiting for appointments. The first in Asia was built in Hong Kong and Health Check meets some of its visitors on a tour around the building and its gardens.

(Photo caption: Examining an elderly patient - credit: Getty Images)

Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond with comments from Dr Ayan Panja

Producer: Paula McGrath

27 minutes

Broadcasts