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Diabetic women risk heart failure more than men

Diabetic women risk heart failure more than men

July 22, 2019

Diabetes has been associated with an increased risk for heart failure – the incidence is exacerbated by sex difference, as women have been found to be more at risk. A new study, led by Dr. Toshiaki Ohkuma from the Georgia institute of Global Health in Australia, linked type-1 diabetes to a 47% increased risk of heart failure in women and type-2 diabetes to a 9% increased risk, when compared to men.

The data was collated from 14 studies and over12 million individuals from Australia, UK, Europe, and much of Asia, and showed that both type-1 and type-2 diabetes were strong risk factors for heart failure in women. Type-1 diabetes was associated with 5.15 times higher risk of heart failure in women but poses a lower risk (3.47 times) in men, while type-2 diabetes was associated with 1.95 times higher risk of heart failure in women, and 1.74 times higher risk in men. Diabetic women were also found to be at a five-fold increase of heart failure compared to women without it.

In addition to a 44% risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in diabetic women, differences in diabetes management are accounted for greater cardiovascular disease risks in diabetic women over diabetic men.

These recent findings are hoped to highlight the importance of a routine sex-specific approach in diabetes research and clinical practice in order to provide due treatment to the masses.

Tags: Diabetic women risk heart failure more than men

Category: Education, Health alert

This female CEO is trying to defeat loneliness — and robots are part of her plan

This female CEO is trying to defeat loneliness — and robots are part of her plan

Older people can more easily connect with their families

Older people struggle with technology for different reasons. They may be unable to use a tablet or a phone – perhaps because it’s too different to what they’re used to, but it also may be because they cannot see the screen properly, or it isn’t responsive to their fingers due to poor circulation.

No Isolation built a computer called KOMP that has just one button. Even people with dementia should be able to recognise a big button easily, Dolva said, so older people can push it on and off and be connected to the rest of the family in an instant.

“All of a sudden we’ve made them online,” she said. “We try and bring them into the same platform as everyone else, without changing the habits of the younger generations.”

The burden of loneliness is incredibly high. Studies have shown how the stress of being lonely has a bad impact on your heart, and it can affect your brain and body in many harmful ways.

Finding the ‘price tag’ of loneliness

This isn’t just bad for the people who are lonely, but for society too. That’s why Dolva says she wants to find the “pricetag of loneliness” to really push them forwards.

That means calculating the cost of what happens if a child gets diagnosed with cancer at eight, then isn’t able to go to school for two or three years.

“What’s the likelihood of dropping out of school, and what’s the likelihood of getting a job if you drop out of school?” Dolva said. “Same with the seniors. If we manage to increase [their] quality of life, and enable them to stay at home for a week, two weeks, maybe a couple of months longer, what does that mean for the government in numbers?

“I want those numbers because that’s the only way we can keep really pushing the market in front of us.”

The causes of loneliness are hard to measure, because there are so many different factors for different age groups. Older people are isolated from their family and have lost many of their friends. Younger people, like millennials, may be more affected by looking on social media.

Whatever it is, Dolva said the research shows a connection between loneliness and our expectations compared to reality.

“For example, you would feel more lonely if you were alone on a Saturday than on a Tuesday night,” she said. “Because your expectation level is much higher on a Saturday. And this might be something that social media has increased… We continuously see other people doing a lot of things, so we feel like everyone is doing something all the time, and we should too.”

Kids playing football, while their friend watches with an AV1.

Kids playing football, while their friend watches with an AV1.
No Isolation

But blaming technology for our problems isn’t the answer, she said. Instead, it’s about looking at where it falls short and demanding for it to be better.

“You could start to question whether or not social media is social at all,” Dolva said. “If you drill down and see what social media was meant to do, and what is at the core business there, it has nothing to do with long conversations or close relations… social networks have not been made to increase the value of the friends that you have.”

Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you have two, 20, or 100 friends. Your social satisfaction depends on how close you are to the ones you have, and to what extent you meet your expectation levels. If you’re happy with the amount of time you spend with your two close friends, then you won’t feel lonely.

“It’s the second you start thinking I want more, I wish I could do this tonight, but I don’t have anyone to talk to about that – that’s when we start experiencing that we’re lonely,” Dolva said.

A lot more people need help

Four months after starting up, No Isolation rolled out 20 prototypes of the AV1 robot, and immediately the team were receiving emails from moms and dads. The same happened with the KOMP screen for older people. People were getting in touch saying how wonderful it was that they could now be connected to their grandparents in such an easy way.

“We’ve been saying amongst ourselves as long as we help one more kid we will succeed,” said Dolva. “If we can do that by bringing one more unit out then that’s a success.”

Somewhere between 20 and 40% of the population experience loneliness, so there’s more than enough people to take them.

“I think we have our hands full if we want to help them all,” Dolva said. “But that would be the end goal… That people aren’t suffering from loneliness anymore.”

NYU is offering free tuition to its students to fix one of the biggest problems in healthcare – but not everyone is convinced it’ll work

NYU is offering free tuition to its students to fix one of the biggest problems in healthcare – but not everyone is convinced it’ll work

“If six-figure debt were enough to motivate, I’d be surprised,” Mark Friedberg, senior physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation told Business Insider.

That’s because of the pay gap in lifetime earnings between primary care doctors and doctors that go into specialties. Over a lifetime, primary care doctors can make as much as $3 million less than their counterparts in other specialties, Friedberg said.

Getting a free medical school education

According to a 2018 report by the Association of American Medical Colleges, there will be a shortage of anywhere from 42,600 to 121,300 doctors by 2030. This is due in some part to the potential for staggering medical school debt that discourages some students from pursuing medicine. Several of the nation’s top medical schools, in response, already offer scholarships that cover some or all of the costs of attendance based on either need or merit.

  • UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, for example, has a $100 million fund that pays for the entire cost of medical school for all four years, including tuition, fees, books and living expenses for its high-merit students, which are approximately 20% of those enrolled.
  • The Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine in 2008 announced that it would cover tuition for all students admitted to their highly selective five year program, with one required research year tacked on at the end of the medical education. The class size for this program is capped at 32 students.

Other programs cover tuition – with a catch.

  • The National Institutes of Health‘s Medical Scientists Training Program covers the cost of attendance for 970 students across 49 schools, but students have to dedicate eight continuous years to get a MD and PhD, which means their medical education will be extremely research-oriented.
  • And students completing the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) or the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) can have their tuition waived on the condition of military service.
  • With a focus on motivating doctors to get into primary care, the National Health Service Corps covers tuition for students who agree to work for four to six years in an under-served area. These areas – geographic or population-based – tend to have shortages of primary care doctors.

Additionally, in-state tuition for many public medical schools in states like Texas are becoming affordable, costing around $15,000-$20,000 a year.

Other factors at play

Skeptics of NYU’s free tuition plan say it glosses over other issues that are creating a physician shortage.

One is the increasing difficulty of getting into medical school. From 2006 to 2016, the volume of medical school applicants has increased by 36%, but acceptance rates have either steadily decreased or stayed the same. This means medical programs are becoming increasingly selective about who they admit. NYU’s average GPA and MCAT scores for its current first year class are both in the 99th percentile.

NYU’s current freshman class is 93 students, a decrease from the class sizes of previous years, which were in the 120-130 range.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2017, of the 51,680 applicants who applied to medical schools, only 21,338 students matriculated. That means from the total populations of students who wanted to become doctors post-undergraduate, only 41% make it to medical school.

And even before pre-med students step into the doors of a medical school, there are a lot of costs.

The MCATs, standardized medical school admission tests, costs $315 dollars to take and is a grueling seven hours long. The application fee for each medical school is around $100, and on average, each student applies to about 16 schools each application cycle. That’s about a $2,000 investment up front. And not every applicant is successful.

After medical school, each student is matched to a residency program, where they’ll spend another four years at, and more if they choose to specialize. During residency, students make around $40,000-$60,000 a year, mostly to cover living expenses.

There’s no such thing as ‘auditory’ or ‘visual’ learners

There’s no such thing as ‘auditory’ or ‘visual’ learners

A teacher speaks to her students in a classroom on the first day of a new school term in Tripoli September 17, 2011 .

A teacher speaks to her students in a classroom on the first day of a new school term in Tripoli September 17, 2011 .
REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
  • People may prefer to learn in different ways, but research shows tailoring teaching to students’ preferences doesn’t help them perform better.
  • A method called “micro-teaching” is a more proven way to help students learn.
  • Good communication and trust between teachers and students is also important.

We all like to do things in our own ways.

That’s especially true in the White House, it seems, where presidents choose to receive top-secret information in different formats.

Former President Barack Obama got his daily briefing on a tablet, whereas President Donald Trump reportedly prefers to have oral briefings. According to a Washington Post report, that’s because reading isn’t Trump’s “preferred ‘style of learning.’”

For decades, there’s been an idea that people have set “learning styles,” which are often categorized into three types: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Some people also believe that some learners are more concrete while others are abstract. According to this logic, a teacher should pin down which learning style works best for their student and modify how they teach accordingly to help the pupil perform better.

There is a grain of truth here: people do tend to enjoy getting information in specific, distinct formats. A 2008 study articulated this, saying “people differ in the degree to which they have some fairly specific aptitudes for different kinds of thinking and for processing different types of information.”


Carlos Barria/Reuters

But just because Trump may prefer to listen and Obama prefers to read doesn’t mean either is better at receiving information in that format.

In fact, research shows that teaching students according to different learning styles has no effect on how they perform on assessments. Every time scientists have tried to prove this theory, they’ve failed.

One research team in 2012 simply labeled their paper: “Learning styles, where’s the evidence?”

But the perception that lessons or briefings should be tailored to certain styles of taking in information persists, unfounded. In 2015, neuroscientist and teacher trainer Philip Newton from Swansea University in Wales found that 64% of US college professors still believed that teaching to a student’s learning style would help them learn better.

“It’s unfortunate that the people who are perhaps most enthusiastic about improving things for their students are the teachers who then seek out these tools which, alas, don’t work,” Newton told Business Insider.

The ‘learning styles’ myth is dangerously flawed

Promoting the idea that some people learn better in certain ways is not only ineffective, it’s also harmful and potentially discriminatory.

One team of physiologists used the myth in their research to suggest that there are gender differences in learning styles that teachers should take into account. A 2017 study of Iranian medical students suggested that female medical students do more group learning than men. And a group of health care researchers argued that catering to different learning styles could improve patient care.

But imagine, Newton said, if at 6 years old you were told you’re a visual learner.

“You might easily think well, I’m never going to be a musician,” he said, adding that pigeon-holing “does have the potential to be harmful.”

That’s not just an issue for kids. Studies have shown that women perform worse on math problems that they’d otherwise do well on, relative to men, when they feel they’re being judged as less capable.

math class green chalkboard

REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Of course, everybody has preferences about how they like to do work or study. Newton said he likes to be alone, and typically reading. Others might like to take in new information via a podcast or an informal discussion with friends while strolling.

But trying to learn most things according to one single “style” isn’t practical. Learning a complex skill like how to play a musical instrument, for example, requires many different inputs. Reading music is visual, listening to the sounds is auditory, and playing the instrument itself is kinesthetic work. It’s all part of a required skills package for anyone who wants to sound good and make music.

So what does work?

Newton’s research shows that effective, evidence-based strategies to help students learn include giving practice tests, encouraging peer teaching, and working through problems and examples out loud. It also helps if students can connect what they’re learning to information they already know, fitting new knowledge into their understanding of the world.


Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The bedrock of good teaching, Newton said, is always good communication.

“If you tell your students that you’re going to do something, and you don’t do it, then your credibility is reduced,” he said. And that’s a time when students’ learning can suffer. “They actually don’t do as well in class, because they don’t believe you, and they don’t trust you as much as they should,” he added.

But there’s one key thing that can help improve student learning more than almost any other technique: the practice of “micro-teaching”. This requires a teacher to set up a camera in the classroom while they’re teaching, record the class, then watch the tape later with their colleagues. That exercise pushes instructors to take a closer look at themselves, reflect, and change how they teach.

The first time Newton did this himself, he was horrified.

“I noticed I was walking up and down, I was repeatedly tapping my teeth, plucking my hair. These are all distracting my students,” he said.

Such lessons can be pretty uncomfortable – few of us enjoy watching ourselves on tape, especially as a roomful of colleagues look on and dissect the ways we might improve. But unlike learning styles, micro-teaching really works. It has been shown to encourage students to participate, behave better, study more diligently, and improve their understanding of material.

Perhaps that teaching strategy could even yield results for the people who brief President Trump each day.

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