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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

UN reports on the ‘immense’ global challenges of hunger

UN reports on the ‘immense’ global challenges of hunger

July 17, 2019

UN reports on the ‘immense’ global challenges of hunger

Hunger is fast growing worldwide despite various attempts to reach the Zero Hunger target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. A 2019 report by the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World shows that hunger has risen by 20% in Africa’s subregions and is slowly increasing from 7% in Latin America and the Caribbean; while undernourishment affects some 11% of the Asian population.

In light of the depressing statistics, the heads of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have jointly urged bolder actions and multisectoral collaboration to end hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition.

Their foreword to the report highlights, “Foster(ing) pro-poor and inclusive structural transformation focusing on people and placing communities at the centre to reduce economic vulnerabilities.”

Aside from hunger, food insecurity is just as likely to cause malnutrition or poor health. The latest report indicates an SDG monitor on the Prevalence of Moderate/Severe Food Insecurity which shows that 17.2% of the world’s population – some 1.3 billion people – lack regular access to “nutritious and sufficient food” and that women are slightly more food insecure than men.

Furthermore, income inequality is rising in many middle-income nations that rely heavily on international commodity trade – the uneven pace of economic recovery is in turn deriding efforts to end food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition. The poor, vulnerable or marginalised, in particular, have a hard time coping with economic slowdowns and downturns.

In contrast, the report discloses that no progress has been made in reducing low birthweight since 2012, as overweight and obesity continues to rise among school-age children. The 2030 target of halving the number of stunted children seems unlikely as well as the number of under-age-five children affected by stunting has only decreased by 10% globally in the past six years.

As for short- and long-term policies, integrating food security and nutrition concerns into poverty reduction efforts using pro-poor and inclusive structural transformations can be undertaken to safeguard food security and nutrition in preparation/during episodes of economic turmoil.

Tags: UN reports on the ‘immense’ global challenges of hunger

Category: Health alert

Younger female smokers at greater risk of deadly heart attack

Younger female smokers at greater risk of deadly heart attack

July 1, 2019

Smoking is an acquired habit, and while it may cause major heart attacks in men and women who smoke, it has been found to especially affect young women under 50. They risk a more deadly type of heart attack by a whopping 13 times. However, these risks can be eliminated by quitting smoking and so ensure longevity and good health.

Dr. Ever Grech, a Cardiologist at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, UK, studied five years’ worth of data on patients who came in with an ST elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI), a fatal type of heart attack –some 3,340 data sets were compared to 3 years of information gathered on residents aged 18 or older from the United Kingdom Office for National Statistics.

From this, the researchers determined that female and male smokers were 6.6 times and 4.4 times more likely to have a major heart attack than their nonsmoking counterparts. While a significant increase was noted in women,younger, female smokers saw the highest increase in risk. They were 13.2 times more likely to experience a STEMI compared to male smokers in the same age group (8.6 times) and their nonsmoking counterparts. Better still, the researchers found the risk of a STEMI in women who had quit smoking for at least a month dropped back to that of nonsmokers.

Dr. Grech thinks the increased risk of STEMI in younger women is attributed to the lesser protective effects of the hormone estrogen, overridden by the much more powerful effect of cigarette smoking.

Meanwhile, Dr. Omar Ali, Director of Cardiac Catheterisation at Detroit Medical Center’s Heart Hospital, US, said the study sheds new light on the relationship between women and heart disease. “We need to learn more about how heart disease affects women and how their risk factors change,” he adds.

Tags: Younger female smokers at greater risk of deadly heart attack

Category: Health alert

Paternal secondary smoke in pregnancy risks asthma in kids

Paternal secondary smoke in pregnancy risks asthma in kids

June 21, 2019

Smoke exposure from a pregnant mother has been a causative risk for childhood asthma, and it is now evident that the same exposure from fathers may likely lead to early asthma development in their kids.

This comes from Taiwanese research of DNA methylation, where three genes along the DNA strand that influences gene activity, such as immunity and asthma, are saturated (methylated) with smoke exposure. Children who had the greatest methylation increases of these three genes at birth were twice likely to have asthma by six years old.Of the 756 babies studied over six years, one in four was exposed to paternal prenatal tobacco smoke – about 35% of children with heavy-smoking fathers developed asthma; 25% of children of fathers who were light smokers; and 23% of children with fathers who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy.

Senior study author Dr. Kuender Yang of the National Defence Medical Center, Taipei, said asthma was notably more common in children with prenatal paternal tobacco smoke exposure corresponding to more than 20 cigarettes daily over less/no such exposure.

Moreover, the findings suggest that the risk of asthma from tobacco smoke is unlike allergic asthma, which is driven by allergies/allergic sensitisation from a specific antibody (total levels of said antibody was unaffected during the study).

Dr. Avni Joshi, from the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Minnesota, US, advises, “The study highlights that prenatal exposure to tobacco creates changes to the unborn child’s immune system, hence it is best to quit as a family decides to have children, even before conception.”

Tags: Paternal secondary smoke in pregnancy risks asthma in kids

Category: Features, Health alert

Too many eggs tied to cardiac disease, death

Too many eggs tied to cardiac disease, death

June 12, 2019

Eggs, consumed in large quantities daily, has been found to bode ill health – new research data has highlighted that every additional 300mg of cholesterol-in-eggs consumed over the usual  was associated with a 17% higher risk of cardiovascular disease and an 18% higher risk of death.

Study data accounting for the American participants’ exercise regimen and overall diet quality, including the amount and type of fat they consumed, did not change results linking cholesterol and cardiovascular disease and death.

The American Dietary Guidelines (USDA) does not offer advice on the number of eggs individuals should eat, as there still is debate on saturated fats and high cholesterol levels, but does recommend baseline consumption(300mg) of cholesterol a day. Similarly, as the new research does not offer specific recommendations on egg or cholesterol consumption, it is worth to know that one large egg contains nearly 200mg of cholesterol, qualling an 8-ounce steak, according to the USDA. Other foods with high cholesterol levels include processed meats, cheese and high-fat dairy products.

Katherine Tucker, a Professor in UMass Lowell’s Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, thinks having several eggs a week could benefit bone and eye health, and advises dietary moderation and balance to avoid potentially harmful effects.

Tags: Too many eggs tied to cardiac disease

Category: Features, Health alert

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