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  1. #2171
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Firstborns more likely to be nearsighted: study

    Firstborn children have a higher risk of developing nearsightedness than their younger siblings, partly because parents may be more invested in the education of their eldest kid, a new UK study suggests.

    Jeremy A Guggenheim, of Cardiff University, UK, and colleagues found that first-born individuals in a sample of adults in the UK were approximately 10 per cent more likely to be myopic or about 20 per cent more likely to have high (more severe) myopia than later-born individuals.

    The association was larger before adjusting for educational exposure, suggesting that reduced parental investment in the education of children with later birth orders may be partly responsible, researchers said.

    Major known risk factors for myopia (nearsightedness) are genetic background, time spent outdoors, and time spent doing "near" work (including educational activities).

    A prior analysis suggested myopia was more common in first-born children in a family compared with later-born children.

    One potential cause of the association between birth order and myopia is parental investment in education; on average, parents have been reported to direct more of their available resources to earlier-born children, resulting in better educational attainment in earlier-born than later-born individuals.

    Thus, parents may expose their earlier-born children to a more myopia-predisposing environment, according to background information in the study.

    Researchers conducted an analysis of UK Biobank participants who were 40 to 69 years of age, were of white ethnicity, had a vision assessment and no history of eye disorders. The researchers determined the odds for myopia and by birth order, adjusting for age and sex, and education.

    First-born individuals were approximately 10 per cent more likely to be myopic or about 20 per cent more likely to have high myopia than later-born individuals.

    After adjusting for either of 2 measures of educational exposure - highest educational qualification or age at completion of full-time education - the association between birth order and myopia was lessened (by approximately 25 per cent) and no dose-response relationship was evident.

    "Greater educational exposure in earlier-born children may expose them to a more myopiagenic [factors causing myopia] environment; for example, more time doing near work and less time spent outdoors," researchers said.
    The findings "support the idea that reduced parental investment in children's education for offspring of later birth order contributed to the observed birth order vs myopia association and produced the observed dose-response relationship," they said.

    The study was published by JAMA Ophthalmology.


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  2. #2172
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Some vegetarians turn non-vegetarian after getting drunk!

    A new study has revealed that over one third of vegetarians eat meat when they get drunk.

    A survey conducted by UK's Voucher Codes Pro stated that 'kebab meat and beef burgers' were the most popular cheat treat, E!Online reports.

    According to the company's blog, a team surveyed 1,789 people in the UK, all of whom were vegetarians, as part of the study.

    When the participants of the study were asked if they ate meat when they got drunk, 37 percent admitted that they did so and the remaining 67 percent were adamant that they never ate meat when drunk.

    George Charles, founder of the survey company's website, said that he could not believe the stats from the research, adding that it was important for friends of these vegetarians to support them when they drank and urged them not to eat meat.


  3. #2173
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Breast milk bought online 'contains potentially deadly bacteria'


    A reporter for the BBC programme Inside Out posed as the father of a six-month-old baby and bought milk from mothers across the country.

    The 12 purchases were then analysed by experts at Coventry University - where microbiologists discovered a third of the samples contained E.coli, two contained Candida (thrush) and one contained the deadly bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bug caused the deaths of four babies in a neonatal unit in Northern Ireland in 2012.

    Websites including onlythebreast.co.uk run classifieds sections for people buying and selling breast milk. There is also a section for men who wish to buy breast milk or who are interested in being breastfed.

    Dr Sarah Steele, from Queen Mary University of London, told Inside Out that parents have "heard the message breast is best, which is absolutely the case but this is stuff bought off the internet". "You don't know the seller, you don't know how they've been storing it, you don't know what it contains and, more pertinently, they're often doing this for profit and that poses the risk that they may tamper with it, water it down, be it with water, formula, cow's milk or soya milk," she added.

    Dr Steele said the issue was a "real problem for infant health", adding: "We don't want to see a situation where a baby dies as a consequence."

    Researchers from Queen Mary University warned in June that buying breast milk online - popular among fetishists, bodybuilders and cancer patients as well as mothers on websites and social media groups - was a danger to health, as it was unpasteurised and could carry dangerous germs. Some 93 per cent of breast milk sold online contains detectable levels of bacteria due to how it is expressed and stored, they warned.

    Women who wish to donate surplus breast milk for free can use NHS "milk banks" to help premature babies.

    The NHS recommends that breastfeeding is best for babies as they are less likelihood of becoming obese, have fewer chest and ear infections and less chance of becoming ill with diarrhoea and vomiting.


  4. #2174
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    First 'in womb' stem cell trial next year

    The first clinical trial to inject fetal stem cells into babies still in the womb to lessen the symptoms of incurable brittle bone disease will begin in January next year. The trial will be led by Sweden's Karolinska Institute and in the UK by Great Ormond Street Hospital and the stem cells will come from terminated pregnancies. Officially called osteogenesis imperfecta, brittle bone disease affects around one in every 25,000 births.

    It can be fatal for babies born with multiple fractures. Even those who survive face up to 15 bone fractures a year, brittle teeth, impaired hearing and growth problems. The disease is caused by errors in the developing baby's DNA, that means the collagen supposed to give bone its structure is either missing or of poor quality . It is hoped the stem cells, which are able to transform into a range of tissues, will lessen symptoms of incurable brittle bone disease.

    The donated stem cells should provide the correct instructions for growing bone, BBC News reported. "This is a very serious disease. Our objective is to see if in utero (in the womb) stem cell therapy can ameliorate the condition and the number of fractures," professor Lyn Chitty, from Great Ormond Street Hospital, said. A type of stem cell which develops into healthy bone, cartilage and muscle will be infused directly into the affected fetuses. Fifteen babies will have the infusion in the womb and again after they are born. A further 15 will only have the treatment after birth and the number of fractures will be compared with untreated patients.

    "It is the first in-man trial and, if successful, it will pave the way for other prenatal treatments when parents have no other option," Dr Cecilia Gotherstrom, from the Karolinska Institute added. She said muscle disorders such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other bone disorders could one day benefit from such therapies.


  5. #2175
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    உங்கள் உயரத்திற்கு நீங்கள் பிறந்த மாதம் காரணம்?

    உங்கள் உயரம் அதிகமாக இருக்கவோ, குறைவாக இருக்கவோ நீங்கள் பிறந்த மாதம் காரணமாக இருக்கலாம் என்று சமீபத்திய ஆராய்ச்சி ஒன்றின் ஆரம்பக்கட்ட முடிவில் தெரிய வந்துள்ளது.

    இங்கிலாந்தின் கேம்பிரிட்ஜ் பல்கலைக்கழகம், ஜான் பெர்ரி என்ற மருத்துவரின் தலைமையில் நடத்திய ஆராய்ச்சியில் இது தெரிய வந்துள்ளது. மேலும், குழந்தை கருத்தரிப்பது என்பது எந்த மாதத்தில் வேண்டுமானாலும் நிகழலாம். இதற்கு பெற்றோரின் சமூகச் சூழலோ, வயதோ, உடல் நிலையோ காரணமாக அமைவதில்லை. மாறாக குழந்தையை அடையாளப்படுத்துவதற்கு, அது பிறந்த பின் வாழும் சூழல் மட்டுமன்றி பிறக்கும் மாதமும் முக்கிய காரணமாக இருக்கலாம் என்று ஆரம்பக்கட்ட ஆய்வில் தெரிய வந்திருக்கிறது.

    கோடைக்காலத்தில் பிறக்கும் குழந்தைகள் ஆரோக்கியமான எடையுடன் பிறந்து, அதிகம் விளையாடுவது, நன்றாக உணவு உண்பது என ஆரோக்கியமாக இருக்கும். ஆகவே, பருவ காலத்தில் சீரான உயரமாக வளரும் என தெரியவந்துள்ளது.

    குறிப்பாக கோடைக்காலத்தில் பிறக்கும் பெண் குழந்தைகளும், மற்ற குழந்தைகளைக் காட்டிலும், ஆரோக்கியமாகவே இருப்பதால், பூப்படைவதும் முறையாக இருக்கும். இதற்கு மாறாக, குளிர்காலத்தில் பிறக்கும் குழந்தைகள் எடை குறைவாகவும், பின்னாளில் உயரம் குறைவாகவும் இருக்கும் எனவும் இந்த ஆய்வில் தெரிய வந்திருக்கிறது.

    அதிலும், அம்மாவின் வயிற்றில் குழந்தை இருக்கும்போது கோடைச் சூரியனின் மூலம் அந்தக் குழந்தைகள் விட்டமின் டி சத்தைப் பெறுகிறது. மேற்கொண்டு இந்த ஆராய்ச்சியை நடத்தும்போது இன்னும் பல புதிய தகவல்கள் தெரியவரலாம் என்று தலைமை ஆராய்ச்சியாளர் கூறி உள்ளார்.


  6. #2176
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Most anti-depression apps don't work: Study

    There is no proof that 85% of the depression apps currently approved in the UK for patients o manage their condition actually work, researchers say. Approval from the National Health Service (NHS) may falsely reassure patients, many of whom are opting to fund their own treatment in the ace of overstretched mental health services and the associated lengthy waits, researchers said.

    Until such time as evidence is forthcoming on he clinical effectiveness of these apps, and they ha ve been properly evaluated, such apps should be removed from the NHS library, said Simon Leigh from he Management School at the University of Liverpool, and Steve Flatt, from Liverpool Psychological Therapies Unit Community Interest Company.

    In eractive online and app based treatments for men al health are becoming popular and accessible as a result of the growing use of smartphones, researchers said. These options need to be "scientifically credible, peer reviewed and evidence based" and should match a validated performance criteria.


  7. #2177
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Study says wine is healthy, but desi doctors unconvinced


    Should diabetic patients drink wine? This controversial debate got a fresh lease with a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine on Tuesday stating that a daily dose of red wine improved cardiac health and controlled cholesterol levels in patients with controlled type II diabetes.

    "Both red and white wine can improve glucose control, depending on (the patient's) alcohol metabolism and genetic profiling," said the study conducted in Israel's Ben Gurion University and supported by the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes. Wine is increasingly seen as the alcohol with health benefits: studies have shown it's good for the heart of people eating the Mediterranean diet; it has antioxidant qualities to control aging and controls symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. However, the correlation between wine and diabetes has always been a grey zone.

    As wine is derived from fruits, it has been considered too sugary for diabetic patients. But the new study found otherwise: it randomly assigned 224 patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes to drink 150 mL of mineral water, white wine, or red wine with dinner for two years and then measured their lipid and glycemic control profiles.

    "After two years, patients who drank wine had decreased cardiometabolic risks compared to patients who drank mineral water. The red wine drinkers experienced the most significant changes in lipid variables, suggesting the potential synergy of moderate alcohol intake with specific nonalcoholic wine constituents," said the study.

    Would Indian doctors recommend wine for their patients with diabetes? No, they said. Dr Shashank Joshi, an endocrinologist with Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, said, "It's ridiculous to suggest that Indians who don't have the Mediterranean diet (which includes wine) should take wine. Moreover, the American Diabetes Association too restrains wine intake and recommends only 60 ml twice a week."

    Dr Anoop Misra, an endocrinologist with Fortis Hospital in Delhi, said, "We knew, from a few previous studies, that mild-moderate alcohol consumption may not be harmful for the body. However, this study must be interpreted carefully in Indians since they have overload of fat in liver and pancreas, and alcohol may increase it."

    Dr Joshi further said that such improvement can be achieved with any health food/ intervention in patients whose sugar is in control. Dr Misra added that those with moderate alcohol consumption should be allowed to continue after physician's assessment of state of liver, pancreas and foot nerves is normal.


  8. #2178
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Enjoy black coffee? You may be a psychopath, says study


    A fondness for bitter-tasting food and drinks, such as black coffee, may be a sign of dark personality traits, including Machiavellianism, sadism and narcissism, according to a new study.

    Christina Sagioglou, study author and psychologist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and her colleague Tobias Greitemeyer, studied how bitter taste preferences may be associated with antisocial personality traits.

    About 1,000 particpants with an average age of 35 were analysed in two experiments. In the first, 500 men and women were shown a long list of food with equal numbers of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter and were asked to rate them on a six-point scale ranging from "dislike strongly" to "like strongly".

    The participants then completed four separate personality questionnaires that measured their levels of aggression. Participants were also asked to rate how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements that assessed personality traits of psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism. The second experiment assessed their preferences for food tastes — sweet and bitter.

    Based on both experiments, the researchers concluded bitter taste preferences were linked to malevolent personality traits.


  9. #2179
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Cure for cancer might accidentally have been found

    Scientists might have accidentally made a huge step forward in the search for a cure for cancer — discovering unexpectedly that a malaria protein could be an effective weapon against the disease.

    Danish researchers were hunting for a way of protecting pregnant women from malaria, which can cause huge problems because it attacks the placenta. But they found at the same time that armed malaria proteins can attack cancer, too — an approach which could be a step towards curing the disease.

    Scientists have combined the bit of protein that the malaria vaccine uses to bury into cells and combined it with a toxin — that can then bury into cancer cells and release the toxin, killing them off.

    The scientists have found that in both cases the malria protein attaches itself to the same carbohydrate. It is the similarities between those two things that the cure could exploit.

    The carbohydrate ensures that the placenta grows quickly. But the team behind the new findings have detailed how it serves the same function in tumours — and the malaria parasite attaches itself to the cancerous cells in the same way, meaning that it can kill them off.

    Scientists said that they had been searching for a long time for a way to exploit the similarities between the placenta and the tumour.

    "For decades, scientists have been searching for similarities between the growth of a placenta and a tumor," said Ali Salanti from University of Copenhagen. "The placenta is an organ, which within a few months grows from only few cells into an organ weighing approx. two pounds, and it provides the embryo with oxygen and nourishment in a relatively foreign environment. In a manner of speaking, tumors do much the same, they grow aggressively in a relatively foreign environment."

    The process has already been tested in cells and on mice with cancer, with the findings described in a new article for the journal Cancer Cell. Scientists hope that they can begin testing the discovery on humans in the next four years.

    The biggest questions are whether it'll work in the human body, and if the human body can tolerate the doses needed without developing side effects," said Salanti. "But we're optimistic because the protein appears to only attach itself to a carbohydrate that is only found in the placenta and in cancer tumors in humans."

    In the tests on mice, the animals were implanted with three different types of human cancers. It reduced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma tumours to about a quarter of their size, got rid of protstate cancer entirely in two of six mice and kept alive five out of six mice that had metastatic bone cancer compared to a control group all of which died.

    "We have separated the malaria protein, which attaches itself to the carbohydrate and then added a toxin," said Mads Daugaard, a cancer researcher at Canada's University of British Columbia and one of the scientists that worked on the research. "By conducting tests on mice, we have been able to show that the combination of protein and toxin kill the cancer cells."


  10. #2180
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Half of those with sitting jobs suffer lower back pain: Survey


    The daily routine of a majority of urban Indians—driving over bad roads, sitting hunched over workstations or fiddling with their smartphones for hours—seems to be fuelling an epidemic of spine-related problems.

    A new three-month survey of 1,300 people with spine-related problems across Mumbai, Pune and Delhi showed that patients with desk jobs were four times the number of patients with field jobs. Worse, every fourth patient with a desk job had more than one spine-related problem: some had neck pain along with back pain, while some shoulder pain along with numbness in fingers, etc.

    "Our data shows that half the patients with sedentary jobs had lower back pain," said Garima Anandani of Qi Spine, the clinic that conducted the survey.

    The World Health Organisation's Global Burden of Diseases study 2010 said lower back pain arising from ergonomic exposures at work is an important cause of disability. The study said lower back pain was emerging as a leading cause of absenteeism at workplace and had resulted in 21.7 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2010. The largest number of DALYs (measure of years lost due to ill-health) occurred in east Asia and south Asia.

    "Back pain is the price we humans pay for an erect posture,'' explained spine surgeon Dr Samir Dalvie from Hinduja Hospital, Mahim. "However, most pains resolve by themselves and need nothing more than a slight change in lifestyle and exercises,'' he said.

    Experts say patients who suffer pain for more than six weeks should go to a doctor, preferably a specialist, for detailed investigation. "Less than 2% to 3% of the patients with chronic back problem will need surgical intervention,'' said Dr Dalvie, adding that patients shouldn't opt for quick fixes or magic cures.

    Anandani said people's lifestyles are to blame for this seeming epidemic of spine problems. "People sit on chairs for 10 to 12 hours, youngsters who take up field jobs either have to keep standing for hours or ride motorcycles rashly. Moreover, they tilt their heads to cradle a phone while typing. These factors affect the biomechanics of the body,'' she added, indicating that minor adjustments to lifestyle could go a long way in preventing spinal problems.


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