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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Elderly victims of abuse often use alcohol or drugs, study says

Victims of severe traumatic elder abuse are more likely to be female, suffer from a neurological or mental disorder, and to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
"Past studies have shown that alcohol abuse by the perpetrator plays a substantial role and is strongly associated with physical abuse," says Lee Friedman, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lead author of the study. "Our findings indicate that alcohol abuse among the victims may be an important contributing factor as well."
Twenty-nine percent of abuse victims in the study tested positive for alcohol, compared to 13 percent of controls.
Local researchers examined medical record data at two Chicago-area Level I trauma units from 41 cases of elder abuse and compared them to a random set of other over-60 patients between 1999 and 2006.
The researchers found that elderly victims of physical abuse suffered more severe injuries than their non-abused counterparts. They also suffered disproportionately from pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, mental illness and alcohol abuse.
All the key measures of injury severity -- length of hospital stay, treatment in an intensive care unit, assisted breathing, injury severity scores, in-hospital case fatality rates -- were higher in the abuse cases, according to the researchers, and are associated with long-term adverse outcomes.
In the study, 20 victims of abuse returned to the environment in which the abuse occurred. In the majority of cases, the perpetrator had been arrested, but 17 percent of the victims expressed a desire to return to the perpetrator and not to press charges.
Eighty-five percent of the perpetrators were family members or intimate partners. In most cases, the abuse was not identified until after the admission process or several days into hospitalization.
The failure of medical staff to properly identify abuse victims and contact adult protective services in the majority of cases shows that clinicians need to better understand elder abuse, Friedman said.
Source:Eureka Alert

Ayurvedictalk Is the Hub of Infromation Regarding Ayurveda Kerala

Ayurveda in Kerala is renowned internationally for its healing and rejuvenating properties. The efficacy of undergoing the various natural and herbal treatments for various health problems and other medical conditions is well-known across the globe. The company Ayurvedictalk has a blog that is based on the ancient science of Yoga and Ayurveda. This resource center is a treasure trove of useful information regarding ayurvedic herbs, herbal remedies, natural cosmetics, rest and rejuvenation therapies, meditation, yoga postures, meditation, herbal diets and much more.‘God’s Own Country’ that best describes what the place Kerala is all about is acclaimed for its ayurvedic treatments. Health tourism has multiplied by leaps and bounds not only due to the immense reach and scope of online and offline advertising and marketing but also due to the long-term effects and advantages of this natural science of medicine and healing. Even two decades ago, the place was not among the most sought after centers for Ayurveda and was all but unknown. However, in recent times, a concerted effort made by the government of Kerela and professional medical practitioners of this ancient form of medicine has enhanced the popularity of Ayurveda in Kerala. There are a number of beach houses, hotels, resorts, guest houses, jungle lodges and wellness centers that tourists can opt for today. Ayurvedic spas have mushroomed all over the place and Kerela with its beaches, hill stations and backwaters makes the entire experience all the more incredible and unforgettable.
Numerous initiatives and other plans and projects are contributing to the growth of the Ayurvedic sector and an increase in the promotional efforts to boost health tourism. New and innovative herbal remedies and health packages offered by the various resorts in Kerela appear towards the onset of the monsoon. The months from June to August are the busiest months of the year with people arriving from all over the world to seek help and guidance for problems of the bones and joints, skin and other health issues related to stress and burnout. Detoxification and refreshment are guaranteed to enjoy the benefits of good health in the long run.
Source:PR media

Urine-derived Fertility Hormones can Cause Brain-wasting Disorder

Scientists have stated that women who are injected with certain fertility hormones are at a higher risk of developing the human form of mad cow disease. This treatment is prescribed to stimulate ovulation. Scientists were studying the presence of prions (protein bits) in urine-derived hormones because some of these hormones are extracted and purified from the urine of pregnant or post-menopausal women. They found that the risks of these urine based fertility drugs could outweigh its benefits. Prion proteins are present naturally in the human body are harmless in their normal forms. But mutant, misfolded proteins destroy brain cells causing degenerative brain disorders.
Scientists also cited the possibility of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) being transmitted through any body fluid tainted with the abnormally formed prions which are responsible for the brain-wasting disorder. However, so far no case of CJD has been reported due to the use of fertility hormones, so the risk is theoretical.
There is a synthetic alternative to urine-based fertility products. But still fertility doctors opt for urine-based treatment as these synthetic hormones do not work well for every woman. But still the scientists feel that manufacturers could consider replacing urine derived fertility hormones with better biosynthetic versions. Caution has to be maintained while screening urine donors for symptoms of neurological disease. There is no reliable test for screening the presence of prions in urine and prion diseases have a long incubation period during which the urine is infectious.


25 Percent of Health Messages in Spanish Text Books Are Unscientific

Most school text books in Spain contain messages about health, but 24.6% of these are not based on any scientific evidence, according to a study."We analysed a total of 844 health messages in primary and secondary school text books in order to identify the level of scientific evidence underpinning these texts, and we classified them into three categories – messages with a high, medium or low level of evidence, messages with an unknown level of evidence, and messages with no known evidence", Inés María Barrio Cantalejo, a researcher at Baza Hospital and the lead author of this study published in the journal BMC Public Health, tells SINC. 
The research team compiled the information between 1 March 2006 and 1 June 2007 based on text books being used at the time in the city of Granada. Texts written in languages other than Spanish, "teachers' guides", and books not containing any health-related messages were discounted."We drew up a table to classify the messages and we recorded the data about the year and subject matter of the text book.
We identified 237 books and we manually reviewed 129 that met the previously-stated requirements. Lastly, we used 80 as a sample", explains Barrio Cantalejo. Out of all the books in the sample, 73.7% (59 books) were aimed at primary school level and contained 548 messages. The average number of messages per book was 10.6, with the highest levels of health-related content being found in books for the third year of secondary education (37%), and in terms of subject matter in Biology and Geology books (32.5%).


First Hand Transplant in Australia

A man who lost his hands and feet to a bacterial infection four years ago has become Australia's first recipient of a hand transplant, a report said Thursday. Peter Walsh, 65, underwent the successful nine-hour operation in Sydney this week."Peter was wriggling his fingers today," Professor Wayne Morrison, who led the 20-strong surgical team, told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
"We actually don't want him to be moving his hand yet, but it's demonstrating everything is connected. Everything is on track." Walsh lost his hands, most of his left leg and part of his right foot four years ago to a bacterial infection which almost claimed his life. "I'm not one for holding hands but it would mean so much to have hands again," said Walsh, a grandfather of 16. "I don't know who gave it to me, but I am so thankful for what they have done."
Whether his body accepts the new hand will not be known for days, or even weeks.
More than 60 hand transplants have been performed around the world since New Zealander Clint Hallam became the first successful recipient in 1998 in an operation carried out in France.



Study Reveals Why Salad Helps You Say Yes to 'NO'

It is well-known that disorders of the circulatory system- vascular diseases- are common in the developed world, and can lead to heart attacks, strokes and even death.However, treatments for these disorders, such as bypass surgery and angioplasty, themselves induce vascular injury, after which the cells of the blood vessel can over-proliferate in a way that limits blood flow. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important molecule that helps maintain the contractility and health of vascular smooth muscle cells, and multiple studies have linked vascular pathology to a decreased level of NO. Therefore, therapies that increase the availability of NO could help protect vascular health.
NO is synthesized from arginine by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS). In new research, Brian Zuckerbraun and colleagues, of the University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, determined that after vessel injury in the rat, the NOS pathway is disrupted, but a secondary pathway that generates NO from nitrate is activated. Furthermore, supplementing rats with nitrate before inducing vessel injury markedly limited the extent of the damage, while a diet low in nitrate exacerbated it. In the accompanying commentary, John Cooke and Yohannes Ghebremariam of Stanford University in Stanford, California point out that high levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens, but warn that high dose supplementation could lead to the generation of carcinogenic molecules. 


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Ayurveda answer to healthcare challenge: Pitroda

Taking healthcare to the masses will be India's biggest challenge in the next two decades, and the ancient medicinal system of ayurveda is the only reliable way of doing so, Sam Pitroda, adviser to the PM, said. "We can't adopt the western model - the five-star culture of health delivery system.Health care reaches to the masses,"Pitroda Chairman of the National Innovation Council, said at the inauguration of the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (I-AIM) on Thursday.Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata inaugurated the 100-bed healthcare centre that aims to integrate traditional medicine with modern health science. The centre is wholly supported by Tata Trusts (Mumbai), the group's philanthropic arm.
Pitroda, who is also the co-founder and chairman of the Centre's precursor Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, said the integration of modern medicine and traditional health sciences was the best way to deal with challenges that lie ahead.Darshan Shankar, who along with Pitroda had floated the foundation 17 years ago, said the healthcare centre aspires to be a modern Nalanda University for traditional health sciences.The Nalanda University, one of the world's oldest centres of learning, had a highly regarded centre for medicine."I-AIM already has research centres in several disciplines including conservation of medicinal plants, pharmacognosy, pharmacology and pharmaceutics, community health, clinical medicine, botany, medical manuscripts. It plans to establish a museum on the contemporary history of India's medical heritage," Shankar said.

AyurVAID stresses on combining ayurveda with allopathy to reduce TB drug side-effects

AyurVAID, the only Ayurveda hospital in the country to receive the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH)  accreditation, has stressed on the need to integrate ayurveda with modern medicine to avoid side effects of tuberculosis treatment and help in  faster recovery.On the occasion of World TB Day observed annually on March 24, AyurVaid has stressed on the need to control side effects resulting from TB treatment.  The hospital chain has successfully treated several patients suffering with side effects of TB treatment, stated Dr Narayanan Namboodiri, Sr. Physician at AyurVAID Hospitals.“Since the science of Ayurveda focuses on the  whole body and not just symptomatic management of side effects, we  can work jointly with allopathy in giving a TB patient the best of both medical systems for fastest recovery,” he added.Classical Ayurveda has proven solutions to prevent potential side effects and accelerate patient recovery. While allopathic therapies are effective in treating TB currently, it has been reporting to manifest several side effects. TB drug  Isoniazid that is effective in controlling the TB bacteria is known to cause  side effects. Ayurveda has shown effectiveness in decreasing magnitude and frequency of fever, damage to liver & kidney, peripheral neuropathy, sleep disorder, rashes, itching, fatigue and debility, among patients suffering from the deadly disease, he explained.Along with conventional allopathic drug therapy, classical ayurveda  treatment is recommended which may help the patient improve his immunity and fatigue levels besides preventing organ damage with the first-line anti-tuberculosis modern medication. “Classical Ayurveda therapeutic inputs is to improve the ‘agni’ or digestive fire. There is diet-medicine-treatment mode customized to the individual’s constitution and health status. Ayurveda medicines help in improving the bio-fire at the deep tissue level through ‘Snehapanam’ or administration of specific medicated ghee and mild to moderate cleansing therapies. There  are different varieties of classical Ayurveda cleansing therapies  like panchakarma kizhi, sirovasthi, sirodhara, along with virechana, vamana and  vasthi, are useful to cleanse, detoxify and activate the immune system. AyurVAID Hospitals joins the world today in observing ‘World TB Day’ and calls to lead a healthy lifestyle to build immunity”, stated Dr Namboodi.

Vitamin B Stops Infants Crying?

Vitamin B 12 could be the answer a mother-to-be needs to have a calm and relaxed baby in the first months of its life, feel researchers. Babies do cry for no reason, and this can cause great anxiety in a new mother. But researchers report if women eat foods like steak, eggs, chicken that are high in vitamin B 12 during the first three months of pregnancy, their babies, when born, are less likely to cry and fret.
Researchers from Public Health Service in Netherlands, studied 3,000 pregnant women and the levels of the vitamin in their blood stream. When the babies were born and their crying was monitored, it was seen that the women who had had the lowest level of vitamin B 12, had babies who cried eight times more. 
The researchers feel that this is the first study, reported in Early Human Development, that links nutrition to infant crying behavior. They state that a lack of vitamin B12 could impede the development of nerve cells in the brain, increasing irritability in babies. It could also interrupt the natural sleep cycle of infants, because low levels meant the release of the sleep hormone melatonin was delayed.
Vegetarians and vegans are particularly vulnerable to vitamin B12 deficiency – a condition that leads to anaemia, tiredness, weight loss and constipation. Hence, pregnant women have been advised in the study to include in their diet red meat, chicken, dairy products and fortified breakfast cereals, along with liver and shellfish natural sources of the vitamin


Sexual Addiction - A Mental Disorder?

What was once considered as an excuse for promiscuousness is now being discussed by experts as a psychiatric disorder.
Sex addiction is about to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as a genuine mental disorder.
Although the problem has been accepted as a real mental health issue in America, the National Health Service in Britain does not recognize it as such as yet. Gambling has been treated as an addiction and has been formally considered as a mental illness in Britain. Now, an initial project for sex addiction treatment has been launched in the country. 

The Priory chain of clinics reports that its regimen includes patients working on themselves for eight or nine hours a day ‘in group therapy, in individual sessions with their psychiatrists and with a wide range of trained therapists.’
Clinics in the US treat sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, relationship addiction and sexual trauma. In Australia too, as in the US, sex addiction cases are on the increase. Experts feel it could trigger off intense business activity as drug companies re-package anti-depressants and sex-drive-suppressants.
The addiction has become a popular problem because of celebrities like Tiger Woods and Russell Brand. 



Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Ayush Dept drops long-pending bill to set up pharmacy council in view of proposed NCHER

With the government firm on its move to establish the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER), the much-awaited bill to set up a different pharmacy council for streams under Ayush with a view to standardise the education system for pharmacists under different branches of alternative medicines has gone redundant.Though a revised version of the original bill --the Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy Pharmacy Council Bill, 2005 - aiming to set up a separate pharmacy council is ready for Cabinet approval, the Department of Ayush has now dropped the bill itself as the proposed NCHER is expected to cover the education courses including the pharmacy training also among other things.The bill, introduced in August 2005 in the Parliament, was planned to regulate education and practice of pharmacists in Ayush, as there was no standardisation and uniform education system of curriculum available for training pharmacists in the sector. The standing committee attached to the health ministry examined and submitted the report in July 2006, but it has been pending ever since.Finally the bill was revised by the Ayush department, as per the recommendations of the committee, and was sent to the Ministry of Law and Justice for vetting. Sources said the bill was cleared by the law ministry and was ready for submission to the cabinet for final clearance, but the new proposal of NCHER has made it totally irrelevant. The proposed NCHER will have under its jurisdiction also the proposed activities which pharmacy council could take up and there was no need for another statutory body like pharmacy council, sources said.Meanwhile, the HRD Ministry has already circulated the draft of the revised Higher Education and Research Bill, aiming to regulate the education sector including medical education under a single overarching body, among the various ministries for comments. Initially the Health Ministry had opposed inclusion of medical education under it but an expert group of the ministry has now accepted the revised bill, it is learnt.

Nature cure training

In Mysore Karnataka ;AYUSH in association with Vijaya Foundation will conduct a three-day nature cure training workshop from March 25.The programme on yoga, naturopathy and acupressure for AYUSH doctors, alternative therapists, natural therapists and NGOs will be held under the National Rural Health Mission. Emphasis is on pain management, diagnosis and treatment of chronic illness through acupressure, thus making cost effective remedies available to common man.The workshop intends to train both AYUSH and allopathic doctors working in primary health care delivery system. Over 200 participants are expected to take part in the workshop. Registration will be based on the first come first served basis. Call 9980556244.

Gynaecologist Used Ultrasound Probe Like Sex Toy, Reveals Patient

A woman in New South Wales has revealed that a gynaecologist under investigation used an ultrasound probe like a sex toy while examining her. The former patient, who broke down while giving evidence, also said the doctor's fingers repeatedly touched her genitalia, "at times like a caress" like one might have with a partner.
She was giving evidence in the NSW District Court at the trial of the gynaecologist, who cannot be named for legal reasons. He has pleaded not guilty to indecently assaulting five female patients under his care between June 2002 and May 2003. Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen SC told Judge Greg Woods, who is hearing the trial without a jury, that the doctor touched or manipulated the clitoris of each of the women.
"In each case that was done during the course of an internal pelvic examination of each patient," the Herald Sun quoted her as saying. The doctor allegedly told one woman she had built up tension and "you need to have an orgasm". Defence barrister John Stratton SC said the women only came forward after a massive publicity campaign which was, to some extent, orchestrated by two firms of lawyers.
Significantly, he said, some of the women had returned for consultations with the doctor after the alleged assaults had taken place.
The first witness was 33 when she was referred to the doctor, whom she saw twice for gynaecological problems.


Life Expectancy Grows in Europe

In a new study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, that analyses trends over the past four decades, it has been seen that life expectancy is rising in Europe.
Professor David Leon, a population expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, leading the study observed, "Despite what many may have assumed, and without being complacent, current trends in European life expectancy are in a positive direction."Different factors influence the life expectancy in different countries. While in the UK, a person born in 2011 can hope to live 80.05 years, being born in Angola would mean just 38.76 years of life. Living conditions, nutrition and healthcare are some of the conditions that influence a longer life expectancy.
In the UK, there has been a big leap in life expectancy, for, while in 1901, women could hope to live to be 49 and men, to 45, in 2011, women live up to an average of 82.1 years and men, 77.7 years. Again, this is because of better living conditions and medical care.
Another interesting feature is the always-existing gap between men and women in life expectancy is closing up, as health and life risk-factors such as alcohol, tobacco, accidents and wars are becoming increasingly common between the sexes.
Although the increased life span has been contributed by a better quality of life, experts still feel that the actual factors have not been identified yet. Added to this is the fact that a longer life expectancy does not necessarily mean a healthy life expectancy. In fact, old age and other health risks like obesity diminish the quality of life.
So, the question remains – is a longer life expectancy really something to be desired? 



State-of-the-art panchakarma huts soon in Mumbai

After Kerala and Goa, Mumbai will soon boast state-of-the-art panchkarma huts in the heart of the city. In an attempt to boost ayurveda and tourism, the state is building these huts in the RA Poddar Ayurveda College in Worli.
Dr PV Deshmukh, dean of Podar Ayurveda college, said, “The project of building huts is done to attract more tourists. Ayurveda is in demand with foreign tourists. Being in the centre of the city, it will have accessibility to the people visiting the city.
Presently, the state is planning to have three 5-star huts and the work is already in progress. “Ayurveda is also popular in the high class society in the city. But they prefer 5-star treatment and place. The total project cost is Rs1.21crore.”
The hospital also has a popular special panchkarma centre and massage centre which caters to nearly 150 patients daily.
The Podar Hospital has also started a unique immunity building drive called Swarna Pashan campaign for infants next month on an auspicious day. The doctors of the hospital will give “immunisation” drops to infants that will boost immunity, mental and physical strength.“It is a collaborative effort of the six Ayurvedic colleges in Mumbai. Our first camp will start at RA Podar Ayurvedic Medical hospital,” said Dr Kuldeep Kohli, director of Ayurveda department.
As per the scriptures, 2-4 drops are fed to the child once a month on the auspicious Pushanakshatra day. “We have so far got very good response from people. More than 3,000 people visited in the beginning of the programme. We do this every month,” said Dr Kohli.

Swarna Pashan, considered an Ayurvedic vaccination, is a mixture of different medicinal herbs mixed with cow milk ghee and honey. The drops will be thicker than the regular polio drops, but will be fed to the child the same way.
Source:DNA News

Risky Drugs Gatifloxacin and Tegaserod banned in India

Two drugs, namely Gatifloxacin and Tegaserod have been banned by the Government of India; the reason to ban these drugs in India is that these drugs are likely to involve risk to human beings. Also the safer alternatives to both the drugs are available in the market, hence banning them sounds to be a logical decision.What risk are involved with these drugs
 –Gatifloxacin –
As the name itself indicates, Gatifloxacin is an Antibiotic, generally sold under the names like Gatiflo, Tequin and Zymar. Gatifloxacin poses high risk of developing serious hyperglycemia (high blood sugar or serious diabtes).
Also can be responsible for liver damage, purpura and might cause Halucinations.
-Tegaserod –
Marketed with the name Zelnorm, by Novartis, is a drug used to cure irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, can be responsible for increased risks of heart attack or stroke, though researches have shown a very low adverse effect rates on the patients treated with Tegaserod.Thanks to Indian Government for taking this step, We have been hearing about the side-effects of some very commonly used drugs and very well-known pain killers, I hope we soon get to hear about the news to ban them as well.

Vaccine-related kids' deaths trebled

The number of children dying due to immunization-related complications has more than tripled after the government closed down three public sector vaccine labs in January 2008.The government has no clue about the causes while children continue to die, the latest being that of five infants in Gujarat on Wednesday. Details given by the Union ministry of health and family welfare in reply to an RTI query filed by Dr K V Babu of Payyanur show that 111 children died in 2008 due to "adverse effect after immunization (AEFI)". The AEFI is a general term that covers various reasons, including bad vaccine quality due to break in cold chain, contamination and complications due to pre-existing conditions of the child.In 2009, the latest year for which the ministry has given details, 116 children died due to AEFI. In contrast, 32 children lost their lives to AEFI in 2007. The government closed down its three labs — Central Research Institute in Kasauli, BCG Laboratory in Chennai and Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor — in January 2008, citing the non-compliance of good manufacturing practices. To make up for the demand of 75 lakh vaccines doses of six kinds needed for its universal immunization programme, the government has been procuring them from a private firm.The ministry has not found anything amiss."In a country where 25 million children are born every year, it won't be proper to jump into conclusions. We are following the protocol of investigations," health secretary K Chandramouli told TOI.Experts don't think so. "India is not following the Brighton Collaboration criteria, adopted by WHO to deal with AEFI deaths," said Jacob M Puliyel, head of paediatrics at Delhi's St Stephen's Hospital. The WHO protocol says that an AEFI death should be considered 'certain/very likely' if it occurs immediately after vaccination and if no other disease or drug is found as reason. "Here, we just test the vaccine and say there is nothing wrong," said Dr Puliyel. Child health and immunization deputy commissioner Ajay Khera said, "About 20 lakh children under 5 die every year. This converts to approximately 5,000 deaths every day, and a few deaths after immunization cannot be linked to the vaccine.An RTI query filed in Payyanur shows that 111 children died in 2008The government closed down its three labs — Central Research Institute in Kasauli, BCG Laboratory in Chennai and Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor — in January 2008, citing the non-compliance of good manufacturing practicesTo make up for the demand of 75 lakh vaccines doses of six kinds needed for its universal immunization programme, the government has been procuring them from a private firm.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Ibuprofen May Cause Fatal Potassium Deficiency

Ibuprofen-containing painkillers could cause a fatal potassium deficiency, researchers at three hospitals in Perth and Sydney are reporting. They arrived at this conclusion following a case-series review of four patients. They arrived at the emergency department with symptoms including lethargy, muscle weakness and evolving paralysis.All patients had a history of long-tern use of ibuprofen and were diagnosed with hypokalemia, which causes abnormal heart rhythms, the breakdown of muscle fibres, fatigue, muscle weakness, spasms, and paralysis.
Lead researcher Dr Jennifer Ng, an endocrinology registrar from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, revealed that the potassium deficiency resulted from renal tubular acidosis (RTA), "Excessive ingestion of ibuprofen, in combination with codeine or alone, can result in ibuprofen toxicity, including RTA," Dr Ng said.
The details of the cases are published in the Medical Journal of Australia.


Too Much Salt Not Good!

The World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) has sponsored the World Salt Awareness Week, March 21 to 27, 2011, the theme of which is "Salt and Men's Health."
 The Food and Grocery Council CEO, Katherine Rich, has announced that reputed food Companies like Kellogg’s have removed many hundreds of tons of salt from their food products. Consuming too much salt brings on cardiovascular disease (CVD).  According to the World Action on Salt & Health (WASH), a diet high in sodium can promote obesity and osteoporosis, damage to the kidneys and heart, and increased risk of cancer. 
CVD attacks more men than women as men consume more salt than women, and have higher blood pressure. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that an average American consumes around 3,400 milligrams of sodium, which is double of the recommended limit.
The American Dietetic Association suggests using salt very sparingly. It also advises trying low sodium versions of favorite foods and salt substitutes to help the tastebuds adapt. 


Dieting Makes People More Irritable

American scientists have found that dieting actually makes people more likely to be irritable and angry. Aggressive behavior is provoked by the effort involved in resisting food cravings and being disciplined about their dietary intake.When scientists compared the attitudes of the participants who were on a diet with those who ate what they wanted, they found that people on diet were quicker to express irritation. David Gal of Northwestern University and Wendy Liu of the University of California have found that people who were dieting and who picked up an apple instead of a chocolate bar were more likely to prefer anger or revenge-themed movies. Scientists also noted that people on a diet preferred to read more controlling and demanding public policy messages than sad messages that appealed to their emotions.
The study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research.


Contraceptive pills a risk for women`s hearts

Before you pop an emergency birth control pill, think again. Contraceptive medication might be a quick way to prevent pregnancy, but it increases the risk of heart disease among women, say experts.
A vascular disease called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is on the rise and doctors say it has a lot to do with the increase in sales of over-the-counter contraceptive pills.
`Due to changing lifestyles, it has been seen that over-the-counter contraceptive pills can lead to DVT. The chances of DVT multiply for women who smoke and drink,` said Rajiv Parakh, chairman of the division of peripheral vascular and endovascular sciences at Medanta hospital.After five decades, does the pill pose risks?
`DVT is a serious vascular disease where the blood clot is formed in the deep veins that are the blood carriers, usually in the leg,` added Parakh.
With aggressive advertising of over-the-counter contraceptive pills, cases of DVT have also seen a noticeable rise in recent times, believe experts.
`The percentage of DVT in women has seen an increase and frequencies of the disease are found in women taking birth control pills or contraceptives without any prescription,` points out Parakh.
According to statistics by the government, the sale of nearly 8.2 million over-the-counter emergency contraceptive pills was reported in 2009, a 250 percent increase over 2008. The pills claim to prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.
But experts explain how the estrogen content in pills, produced naturally in a woman`s body, becomes the reason for DVT occurrence.
`Any amount of estrogen that is not required by the female body is harmful for her. The pills tend to increase the hormone level, resulting in pain and swelling caused by blood clot formation in the veins,` explained Nutan Agrawal, professor of gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Gyneacology experts believe it is not just over- the-counter contraceptives that have caused a spurt in DVT cases but also the sedentary lifestyle.
`Sedentary lifestyle and changing work culture are some other reasons behind DVT. Sitting for long hours, erratic work hours, no exercise, smoking and junk food make up for some of the causes that have caused a shift in the hormonal imbalance,` Agrawal said.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over seven percent of adolescent girls smoke cigarettes as opposed to 12 percent of adolescent boys.
`The reason that the problem of DVT and contraceptives is serious is that we are seeing a lot of young girls in their 20s coming up with cases of the disease,` points out Parakh, who said he gets over 15 cases of DVT in a month.
Fight cervical cancer
Agrawal cautioned on how over-the-counter contraceptive drugs have dominated birth control measures for the teen population: `Because of the availability of drugs with retailers, these contraceptives have become the quick fix to abortions in a very short span of time. There is certainly a need for awareness among young girls about sexual health.`
DVT is diagnosed through a host of symptoms that includes pain in the chest, swelling and pain in muscles and legs, and pulmonary or heart-related complications.

India: Potential Market for Homeopathic Treatment

The Indian homeopathy treatment is the point of discussion nowadays. If statistics from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) are to be believed, the India domestic homeopathy market has taken a leap from RM1.5 billion and is expected to hit RM2.7 billion.
Contrary to the allopathic treatment, most of the people prefer homeopathic treatment. Standing next to France in terms of homeopathic market share, Indian market is expected to grow by 30%.
Citing the response of people, D. S. Rawat, ASSOCHAM's Secretary-General, reportedly claimed that more than 75% patients have expressed their commitment to homeopathic treatment in comparison to the allopathic treatment.
However, there are cases where people have switched to allopathic treatment; Rawat claimed that there are certain medical cases where homeopathic treatmentis not the best option.
There is a common belief in the market that homeopathic treatment allows patients to openly interact with their homeopathy physicians about their health problem. Moreover, there are apartment signs that homeopathic treatment is highly affordable as compared to allopathic treatment.With Britain's homeopathic physicians struggling to make their place in the growing market of homeopathy, the Indian market is all geared up match up the International standards.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

India aims to have a doctor for every 1,000 people by 2031

India  has just one doctor for 1,700 people. In comparison, the doctor population ratio globally is 1.5:1,000. An internal note prepared by Medical Council of India's 'Undergraduate Education Working Group' said the target being put in place for India is 1 doctor for 1,000 population by 2031.The note, available with TOI, also looked at the situation in other countries. Somalia has one doctor for 10,000 population, Pakistan has one doctor for 1,923 population and Egypt has one doctor per 1,484 population. China's doctor population ratio stands at 1:1063, Korea 1:951, Brazil 1:844, Singapore 1:714, Japan 1:606, Thailand 1:500, UK 1:469, US 1:350 and Germany 1:296.The note said an in-depth analysis of the number of doctors in the country was done. The next exercise that the working group undertook was to estimate the number of doctors needed to achieve this target. The working group looked at the existing number of medical colleges, the current intake of these colleges and the critical mass of doctors that would be needed to achieve this target.Currently, there are 330 medical colleges with an intake of approximately 35,000 students. With this intake, the shortfall of doctors by 2031 is estimated to be 9.54 lakh.The note said that in view of the projected increase in population, the existing medical colleges would be unable to meet this need and the current intake of medical colleges and the critical mass of doctors needed to be at least doubled to achieve the target.The working group also looked at the problem of teacher shortage in medical colleges. India at present needs 29,400 teachers but there is a shortfall of 6,340 teachers. There will be an additional need for 35,740 teachers in India soon, the report said.According to the detailed break-up, subjects like anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, pathology, surgery, medicine and forensic medicine each need 2,000 faculty members. But almost all these departments have a current shortfall of 500-1,500 teachers. Additionally, all these departments would each need 2,100-3,500 teachers in the near future.Community medicine at present needs 2,400 teachers and has a shortfall of 500 teachers and would additionally need 2,900 teachers.Gyneacology currently requires 1,600 teachers and would need an additional 1,760 faculty members.

With Scots living longer, is 75 the new middle age?

Many more Scots are enjoying an active retirement and a longer life, thanks largely to modern medicine, according to a survey
Four out of 10 75-year-olds consider themselves to be "middle-aged", according to research carried out for think-tank Scotland's Futures Forum.However it found longer lifespans were presenting challenges as well as opportunities.Professor June Andrews, director of the Dementia Centre at Stirling University, said the fact that Scotland has got an ageing population is a "great success story".But she added: "It means that we're surviving the things people used to die of, but it does mean we're going to have to make arrangements to deal with the normal effects of ageing and the disabilities which are more prevalent, such as dementia."One in five people in the Borders are over retirement age, compared to one in six in Scotland as a whole.Dr Alan Mason has been a GP in Eyemouth for 30 years."When I first came here 30 years ago there were 60 or 70 over-75 year-olds," he said."Now we have 600 over-75s and 60 people who are over 90."In the old days we used to see people with acute illnesses - something which would come on quite suddenly and we could get better quite quickly."Now it's much more about managing chronic diseases: heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, diabetes."But it is not just the state which needs to prepare for our longer lifespans.As an independent financial advisor, John Douglas sees many people who wait too long before preparing for their retirement.He said: "I do, sadly, see cases that are referred to me where the frustration - from a financial advice point of view - is that I know that their circumstances would be radically different if I had met them 15 or 20 years ago."In just a decade, half of us will be over the age of 50.The over 50s will be the biggest consumer group, the biggest users of healthcare and the people most likely to vote in elections.With the next Scottish Parliament elections on 5th May, it is food for thought for Scotland's politicians.
Courtesy:BBC News

Installation of ATM-like Drug Dispensing Machine

About 40 new drug-dispensing machines manufactured by PharmaTrust, which will fill out prescriptions 24 hours all 7days a week, will soon be available in Ontario. In order to ensure patient safety, the machines have undergone rigorous testing.As the machines are designed to mimic the interaction between the patients and pharmacists, it would also enable the Ontarians in rural communities to have one-to-one consultations with a pharmacist. Patients feed their prescriptions into a slot. Via a two-way video monitor patients can consult a real pharmacist. After the prescription is validated by the pharmacist, the pharmacist authorizes and supervises the dispensing of medicines.
Narcotics may be available in the machines located in hospitals but will not be dispensed by these dispensing machines.


AYUSH students stir

Students of National Institute of Ayurveda in Jaipur, the only Central institute of Ayurveda under department of AYUSH, launched a protest on Monday demanding implementation of residency system in PG and PhD courses in all national institutes under AYUSH.As part of the protest, the students boycott the national seminar NIACON being held in the city. Delegates and research scholars also supported the stir and did not present their papers in the seminar. The students claimed that out of 550 delegates , about 450 boycotted the conference.Meanwhile, PG and PHd Doctors' Welfare Association president Saurabh Singh Hada strongly condemned the police action against the agitating students. Assocation members later met the Gujarat Governor and sought her support.

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