Health News

Subscribe to Health News feed
Updated: 31 min 18 sec ago

Advancells wins award for excellence in regenerative medicine at Corporate LiveWire Awards

Sat, 12/24/2016 - 06:19

New Delhi [India], Dec. 24 : Further fostering its leadership stance in modern medicine, Noida-based stem cells therapy solution provider, Advancells, won recognition at the recently concluded Corporate LiveWire Healthcare & Life Sciences Awards 2016.

The pioneer stem cell company was felicitated for its superior performance in regenerative medicine and for its consistent excellence in medical research.

The Healthcare and Life Science Awards celebrate the most innovative and successful projects carried out around the world over the past 12 months. These awards give an opportunity to scientists and healthcare professionals to showcase their efforts and ideas in the industry.

Different types of health care providers, health administration, insurance providers and pharmaceuticals, who have made a difference in patients' lives made it into the competing list.

Jake Powers, Awards Director of the 2016 Healthcare and Life Science Awards was delighted at the level of innovation and achievements the award winners displayed.

Commenting on the occasion, Jake said, "The healthcare awards are important to us because it gives us the opportunity to promote medical research that has helped improve treatments around the world. Each winner in this guide has played a pivotal part in biology, medicine, and life sciences that can benefit one and all. I look forward to seeing the global changes they make in the medical world over the next few years."

Advancells is changing the face of medicine, through its focus on stem cell therapy. Tapping into the unlimited potential of human stem cells in providing the natural cure for ailments, Advancells constantly strives to deliver technologies and effective treatment options to patients all over the world at the highest medical standards.

The stem cells therapy solution provider is also involved in several clinical trials and innovations across the world to consistently improve and further establish the safety and efficacy of its technology.

Vipul Jain, Founder, Advancells Said "Being recognized on such a platform motivates us at Advancells towards focusing more on the problem persisting in healthcare today. To me, catering to healthcare sector is not just a business but a chance to prove our merit and serve society. Advancells is working on stem cell therapy for the last 4 years. Getting nominated and winning the award in the first go give fruition to all our hard work."

In the past year, Corporate LiveWire had accepted nominations from those who have shown exceptional developments in the industry.

The judging panel at Corporate LiveWire considered the strengths of each shortlisted candidate and set its sights firmly on the most groundbreaking firms, teams and individuals who have transformed global healthcare.

The winners this year include Worldwide Clinical Trials for Best in Neuroscience Therapeutics, Inform Genomics, Soligenix, Rondol Industrie and NLS Pharma Group to name a few. (ANI)

Region: New DelhiIndiaGeneral: Health News

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Combating Antimicrobial Resistance

Sat, 12/24/2016 - 06:13

New Delhi [India], Dec. 24 : A call for action was raised at a Policy Roundtable on "Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)" organized by Neeti Foundation, an independent think tank.

Policymakers, researchers and experts recently called for coordinated action, stronger policies, greater awareness on combating addressing Antimicrobial Resistance towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals 3 for the good health and well-being of all.

The objective of the Roundtable was to initiate discussion on the serious health threat posed by indiscriminate and irrational use of antibiotics and the inadequate treatment of effluents discharged by the rapidly expanding pharmaceutical sector in India.

India is a signatory to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and meeting this commitment requires not only specific, monitorable indicators but also an enabling policy framework and implementation capacity at both centre and state level.

SDG 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life by addressing major diseases and health priorities, including access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines. It also calls greater R & D, increased health financing and strengthened capacity of all countries in health risk reduction and public health emergency management.

In the opening plenary session on "Addressing AMR- Imperative for Health and SDGs", Dr Suraj Kumar, Chief Mentor, Neeti Foundation, explained the workshop objectives and highlighted the potential risks of a "post-antibiotic society".

He stated that AMR was a risk not only for SDG 3 but across SDGs, including for agriculture and economic growth. The panel discussion in the plenary highlighted the fact that it is important to address the key causes of AMR. As the largest consumer and producer of antibiotics, if people are to use them responsibly, manufacturers should also make them responsibly.

Sustainable antibiotic manufacturing is the way for the future and should apply clean technology, treat waste responsibly, measure and monitor antibiotic activity in waste.

Hon'ble Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Shri C. K. Mishra and Shri Arun Kumar Mehta, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, delivered the plenary remarks. Shri C. K. Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, "AMR is a critical issue today and needs to be addressed urgently in India. Lifesaving devices should not become life threatening devices. Irrational use of medicines also raises the cost of healthcare for our country. In addition, very little research is happening on AMR which is a larger concern. We therefore need a protocol for rational drug use and antibiotic stewardship in the country and support it with the necessary regulatory framework. Doctors, communities, public health experts and manufacturers all need to come together to chalk a way forward. Public awareness also needs to be raised. The Ministry of Health is already coming out shortly a comprehensive plan of action, the Red Line Campaign on AMR with the National Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organisation (WHO)"

Shri Arun Mehta, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, "When we look at SDGs, we find that the 17 goals and 169 targets are all linked to one another. The issue of drug abuse is well-recognized in India and even infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates are closely linked to it. There is a need for stronger policies and awareness generation among all key stakeholders and the public. Although we have standards and limits laid down for emissions and industrial pollutants, we need to develop clear norms on pharma effluent standards and reexamine the issue vis-a-vis the rising concern of AMR today."

In the technical session on Rational Drug Use v/s SDG-3' and Sustainable Antibiotics, moderated by Dr Mira Shiva, All India Drug Action Network, panelists from Food and Agricultural Organization, Indian Medical Association, National Centre for Disease Control, CSE, PHFI and SAATHI called for steps - organizing a national consultation on AMR, giving technical support to the Government, offering incentives for R&D of new, safe antibiotics, fixing a ceiling/controlling price variations of vital antibiotics and advocating with medical experts to prescribe fixed dose combinations - to tackle AMR.

Closing this session, Dr Mira Shiva said, "AMR cannot be separated from the issue of rational drug use as it is an integral part of it. To tackle antibiotic resistance comprehensively, we need an effective primary healthcare system, rational drug policy and increased health literacy. I cannot emphasize enough the need for better healthcare service delivery systems so that people are not dependent on private chemists and over the counter medicines".

In the session on Sustainable Antibiotics moderated by Dr. Suraj Kumar, Neeti Foundation, panelists from Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Netherlands, University of Gothenberg, Sweden, WHO, Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, Toxics Link and media, the panelists during their presentations placed emphasis on closely related issues such as aligning with Government programmes, advocating for inter-ministerial coordination, stronger policies and norms on waste treatment and disposal, regulation and enforcement on urban and sewage waste, hospital and pharma solid and effluent waste, building a industrial consortium to tackle the issue, working with State Governments where Pharma hubs are located through state-focused action plans. Emphasis was also placed on enlisting regional and social media support to build public awareness.

Dr. Suraj Kumar, Chief Mentor, Neeti Foundation stated that "Anti-microbial resistance is a serious public health concern in our society today. If we are to work towards achieving the objectives underlined under SDG 3 which seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, we must devise a concerted action to tackle AMR. Deliberations at this roundtable by experts from various sectors today have will help us to prepare a more comprehensive policy note and recommendations to combat AMR. This will be submitted to the Government to assist it to chart a way towards achieving sustainable health and well-being for the present and future generations". (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Discrimination linked to poor sleep quality

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 10:45

Adults who perceive discrimination in daily life have higher rate of sleep problems, based on both subjective and objective measures, finds a study.

The findings, published in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, indicated that higher discrimination scores were associated with 12 percent higher odds of poor sleep efficiency and a nine percent increase in the odds of poor sleep quality.

"Discrimination is an important factor associated with sleep measures in middle-aged adults," said study author Sherry Owens from West Virginia University, Morgantown.

The study included 441 adults from a nationwide study of health and well-being in middle age and beyond.

The participants' average age was 47 years and the complete data was available for 361 participants.

The participants were asked to wear an activity monitor device for one week to gather data on objective sleep measures - for example, sleep efficiency, calculated as the percentage of time spent in bed that the person was asleep.

They also completed subjective sleep ratings - for example, how often they had sleep problems.

Perceived experiences of discrimination were assessed using a validated "Everyday Discrimination Scale." And were asked how often they were treated with less courtesy or respect than others or how often they were insulted or harassed.

Objective measures indicated that about one-third of participants had poor sleep efficiency. Subjectively, one-half of subjects rated themselves as having poor sleep quality.

The results indicated that the participants, who perceived more discrimination, had increased sleep problems, after adjustment for demographic, lifestyle and health factors.

Discrimination was also related to (objective) time spent awake after falling asleep and (subjective) overall sleep difficulties.

Older participants and men were more likely to have some types of sleep problems. Age, sex, and mental/physical health factors explained only a small proportion of the effects of discrimination.

The new study is the first to look at how discrimination affects both objective and subjective sleep measures.

"The findings support the model that discrimination acts as a stressor than can disrupt subjective and objective sleep," researchers wrote. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: Health

Are women avoiding pregnancy due to Zika virus?

Fri, 12/23/2016 - 10:26

A new study reveals that more than 50 percent of women in Brazil are avoiding pregnancy due to the Zika epidemic.

The study was published online in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care.

According to researchers, there is an urgent need to reconsider abortion criminalisation and also to improve reproductive health policies to ensure women have access to safe and effective contraceptives.

Since the outbreak of Zika in Brazil, there have been 1,845 confirmed cases of congenital Zika syndrome in babies.

A team of doctors, led by Professor Debora Diniz from University of Brasília, wanted to understand how the epidemic has impacted reproductive health practices.

A national survey conducted in June 2016 used face-to-face questionnaires to collect data about reproductive health and pregnancy and a secret ballot box to obtain information related to abortion experiences.

The data were collected from 2,002 urban and literate Brazilian women aged 18-39 years, corresponding to 83 percent of the total female population.

The study found that over half (56 percent) the women reported that they had avoided, or tried to avoid pregnancy because of the Zika epidemic.

"The results provide an important first glimpse into how the Zika epidemic has shaped pregnancy intentions among women in Brazil," the authors explained.

"Brazil must urgently re-evaluate its reproductive health policies to ensure better access to contraception information and methods" they argue.

This includes making available a wider range of contraceptive methods, including long-acting reversible contraception, which are either scarce, such as the copper intrauterine device, or not available, such as hormonal implants, through public health services.

"As indicated by the high proportion of women who avoided pregnancy because of Zika, the Brazilian government must place reproductive health concerns at the centre of its response, including reviewing its continued criminalisation of abortion," the authors concluded. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

Free sanitary pads, puberty lessons can improve girls' school attendance

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 07:11

Giving free sanitary pads and lessons on puberty to teenage girls can be an effective way in boosting their attendance at schools, which can have long-term economic implications for women in low and middle-income countries, reveals a new study.

The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Researchers from the University of Oxford in London indicated that in schools where sanitary pads and puberty education were not provided absenteeism among girls were 17 percent higher compared with schools where girls received pads, education or a combination of both.

The paper showed that there is now good evidence to back up such efforts to improve the education of girls and women, thereby raising their esteem and job prospects.

The research spanned 18 months, involving 1,000 girls at eight schools in Uganda.

The team found that schools where sanitary pads or puberty education were not provided missed school for nearly three and a half days.

"Many girls don't know about periods before they encounter their first one. They are totally unprepared because they receive no information or training on how to manage them," said lead author Paul Montgomery.

"Just by giving girls lessons in puberty or a purpose-built sanitary pad means they were more likely to stay at school during their periods, minimising the risk of disruption to their schooling. Simple interventions like these can have major long-term economic implications for women in low and middle income countries, which socially empowers them," Montgomery added.

"In developing countries, it is particularly important to be sensitive to the girls' social norms as we need to avoid stigmatising girls through singling them out for pads. There is therefore an urgent need to carry out further research examining this feature of possible intervention programmes," said co-author Julie Hennegan from the University of Oxford. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: Health

Another benefit! Sunlight can boost your immune system

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 10:51

The best-known benefit of sunlight is that it boosts our body's vitamin D supply, but a new study has revealed that sunlight also energises T cells that play a central role in human immunity.

This study, published in the journal of Scientific Reports, showed that sunlight directly activates key immune cells by increasing their movement.

"We all know sunlight provides vitamin D, which is suggested to have an impact on immunity, among other things. But what we found is a completely separate role of sunlight on immunity," said study's senior author Gerard Ahern from Georgetown University Medical Center in the US.

"Some of the roles attributed to vitamin D on immunity may be due to this new mechanism," Ahern added.

The researchers found that low levels of blue light, found in sun rays, makes T cells move faster -- marking the first reported human cell responding to sunlight by speeding its pace.

What drove the motility response in T cells was synthesis of hydrogen peroxide, which then activated a signaling pathway that increases T cell movement. Hydrogen peroxide is a compound that white blood cells release when they sense an infection in order to kill bacteria and to "call" T cells and other immune cells to mount an immune response.

And while the human and T cells the researchers studied in the laboratory were not specifically skin T cells -- they were isolated from mouse cell culture and from human blood -- the skin has a large share of T cells in humans, he says, approximately twice the number circulating in the blood.

"We know that blue light can reach the dermis, the second layer of the skin and that those T cells can move throughout the body," he says.

The researchers further decoded how blue light makes T cells move more by tracing the molecular pathway activated by the light.

"We found that sunlight makes hydrogen peroxide in T cells, which makes the cells move. And we know that an immune response also uses hydrogen peroxide to make T cells move to the damage," Ahern says.

Ahern says there is much work to do to understand the impact of these findings, but he suggests that if blue light T cell activation has only beneficial responses, it might make sense to offer patients blue light therapy to boost their immunity. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

Heart attacks, strokes prevented through health checks-ups

Wed, 12/21/2016 - 10:28

A study led by Queen Mary University of London has revealed that health check-up programmes may prevent heart attacks, strokes or death from these causes in its first five years.

According to researchers, the NHS Health Check program in England may have prevented an estimated 4,600 to 8,400 heart attacks, strokes or death from these causes in its first five years.

"Those who attended NHS Health Checks were substantially more likely to be found with a diagnosis of a new disease, including hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease," said lead study author Dr John Robson.

"We saw a 30 to 80 percent increase in the number of disease cases found, compared to those who did not attend, and 40 per cent more people were prescribed Statins, so these are very substantial gains in public health terms," Robson added.

The programme, which has in the past been considered 'controversial', led to an increase in diagnoses of 30 percent for diabetes, 50 percent for hypertension and 80 percent for chronic kidney disease, and 40 percent more Statins were prescribed, but researchers say there is still room for improvement for treating those at higher risk.

This programme was to tackle prevention of heart attacks and strokes by offering a free check to every adult aged 40-74 years and offers professional advice on lifestyle changes and treatments, including Statins, to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

This study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, looked at the first five years in three London areas -- City and Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham.

The study found, in England, with 1.5 million attendees annually, this additional Statin use could prevent an estimated 4600 to 8400 heart attacks, strokes, or death from these causes in five years as a result of attending an NHS Health Check.

Treatment of hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease would add further reductions in cardiovascular events.

The coverage of 85 percent of eligible people found in this local study compares with around 50 percent nationally, indicating that better coverage is achievable in England.

Highest coverage and treatment were associated with efforts to target those at highest risk. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

World's first Chikungunya vaccine developed

Tue, 12/20/2016 - 09:28

US researchers have developed a vaccine for chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific virus that does not have any effect on people, making the vaccine safe and effective.

The study indicated that the vaccine quickly produces a strong immune defense and completely protects mice and nonhuman primates from disease when exposed to the chikungunya virus.

The findings were published in journal of Nature Medicine.

"This vaccine offers efficient, safe and affordable protection against chikungunya and builds the foundation for using viruses that only infect insects to develop vaccines against other insect-borne diseases," said senior author Scott Weaver from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus that causes a disease characterized by fever and severe joint pain, often in hands and feet and may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Some patients will feel better within a week but many develop longer-term joint pain that can last up to years. Death is rare but can occur.

Traditionally, vaccine development involves tradeoffs between how quickly and safely the vaccine works.

The researchers used the Eilat virus as a vaccine platform since it only infects insects and has no impact on people.

They used an Eilat virus clone to design a hybrid virus-based vaccine containing chikungunya structural proteins.

The Eilat/Chikungunya vaccine was found to be structurally identical to natural chikungunya virus.

The difference is that although the hybrid virus replicates very well in mosquito cells, it cannot replicate in mammals.

The findings indicate, within four days of a single dose, the Eilat/Chikungunya candidate vaccine induced neutralizing antibodies that lasted for more than 290 days.

The antibodies provided complete protection against chikungunya in two different mouse models.

In nonhuman primates, Eilat/Chikungunya elicited rapid and robust immunity - there was neither evidence of the virus in the blood nor signs of illness such as fever after chikungunya virus infection. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

New world record in effectively treating social anxiety disorders

Mon, 12/19/2016 - 05:57

A team of doctors at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have recently set a new world record in effectively treating social anxiety disorders.

"We've set a new world record in effectively treating social anxiety disorders," said researcher Hans M. Nordahl.

A team of doctors and psychologists from NTNU and the University of Manchester in England, led by Nordahl, examined the effects of structured talk therapy and medication on patients with social anxiety disorders.

This study has been published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

Until now, a combination of cognitive therapy and medication was thought to be the most effective treatment for these patients. The researchers' results show that cognitive therapy on its own has a much better effect over the long term than just drugs or a combination of the two.

Nearly 85 percent of the study participants significantly improved or became completely healthy using only cognitive therapy.

"This is one of the best studies on social anxiety disorders ever," said Nordahl.

He added, "It's taken ten years to carry out and has been challenging both academically and in terms of logistics, but the result is really encouraging."

Mistreating with "happy pills": To clear up some terms, social anxiety is not a diagnosis, but a symptom that a lot of people struggle with. For example, talking or being funny on command in front of a large audience can trigger this symptom.

On the other hand, social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, is a diagnosis for individuals who find it hard to function socially, and anyone with this diagnosis has high social anxiety.

Medications, talk therapy or a combination of these are the most common ways to treat patients with this diagnosis. NTNU researchers set out to examine which of these approaches is most effective.

"A lot of doctors and hospitals combine medications, like the famous 'happy pill,' with talk therapy when they treat this patient group. It works well in patients with depressive disorders, but it actually has the opposite effect in individuals with social anxiety disorders. Not many health care professionals are aware of this," said Nordahl.

Drugs camouflage the problem: 'Happy pills,' like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may have strong physical side effects. When patients have been on medications for some time and want to reduce them, the bodily feelings associated with social phobia, like shivering, flushing and dizziness in social situations tend to return. Patients often end up in a state of acute social anxiety again.

"Patients often rely more on the medication and don't place as much importance on therapy. They think it's the drugs that will make them healthier, and they become dependent on something external rather than learning to regulate themselves. So the medication camouflages a very important patient discovery: that by learning effective techniques, they have the ability to handle their anxiety themselves," said Nordahl.

World record in treating social phobia: NTNU researchers set up the project to compare the most recognized methods for treating social anxiety disorders. Well over 100 patients participated in the study and were divided into four groups.

The first group received only medication, the second group received only therapy, the third group received a combination of the two, and the fourth received a placebo pill. The four groups were compared along the way, and researchers conducted a follow-up assessment with them a year after treatment ended.

During treatment and right afterwards, the patients in groups two and three were managing equally well. But after a year, it was clear that the group two participants, those who had only received cognitive therapy, were faring the best.

Only with the help of cognitive therapy have researchers managed to increase the recovery rate in patients with social anxiety disorders by 20 to 25 percent, as compared with the norm for this group.

"This is the most effective treatment ever for this patient group. Treatment of mental illness often isn't as effective as treating a bone fracture, but here we've shown that treatment of psychiatric disorders can be equally effective," said Nordahl.

Many patients don't get adequate treatment: Torkil Berge is a psychologist at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo and head of the Norwegian Association for Cognitive Therapy. He says that social anxiety disorder is a public health problem with major negative consequences for the individual and for society. Nearly twelve percent of the population will be affected by this illness during their lifetime.

"This is a hidden disorder, and many patients find it difficult to communicate their struggle to their healthcare providers. Thousands upon thousands of individuals end up not receiving adequate treatment. Of those who do get treatment, most are probably offered drug therapy," Berge said.

"I can well imagine that the combination of drug therapy and cognitive therapy isn't the best approach, as NTNU researchers have determined in this study," he said.

Using metacognitive therapy: Nordahl and the rest of the research team have also worked to improve standard cognitive therapy. They have added new processing elements, which have shown greater effectiveness.

"We're using what's called metacognitive therapy, meaning that we work with patients' thoughts and their reactions and beliefs about those thoughts. We address their rumination and worry about how they function in social situations. Learning to regulate their attention processes and training with mental tasks are new therapeutic elements with enormous potential for this group of patients," said Nordahl.

The researchers now hope to develop standardised cognitive therapy further for patients who suffer from social anxiety disorders. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: Health

Rushing into surgery can up death risk in some uterine cancer patients

Sun, 12/18/2016 - 06:08

New Delhi [India], Dec. 18 : For those diagnosed with uterine cancer, delaying surgery may not be a good idea, but for some, rushing into an under-the-knife session can be as detrimental, according to a recent study.

In the Penn Medicine study, women who had surgery (usually to remove the uterus) within the first two weeks after diagnosis had a significantly increased risk of death within five years, compared to those who had surgery three or four weeks after their initial diagnosis.

The investigators examined more than 200,000 cases in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of the cases studied were considered low-risk cancers. Of those, patients who had surgery in the first or second week after diagnosis had a 14 percent increased risk of death within five years compared to patients who had surgery in week three or four. For women with high-risk cancers, that number jumped to 20 percent.

The risk, the authors suggested, is likely rooted in the delivery of care, rather than the cancer itself. In both risk groups, patients undergoing early surgery were more likely to die within 30 days of their operation. These patients were also more likely to be black, have advanced stage disease, have no insurance or be on Medicaid, and receive care at low-volume hospitals.

"We suspect that physicians diagnosing endometrial cancer may believe, not unreasonably, that the best thing they can do for those patients is to operate as soon as possible, because if they wait too long the cancer could progress, resulting in a worse outcome," said senior author David I. Shalowitz.

"But, the results of our study suggest that pre-surgical care and referring patients to a gynaecologic oncologist may be more important," he added.

Researchers also observed higher mortality rates in women with low-risk cancers whose surgery took place eight weeks or more after diagnosis. Long wait times have been associated with poorer survival outcomes in breast, rectal and bladder cancers; however, past studies of endometrial cancer have produced mixed findings. Factors such as poor access to care, insurance status, and pre-existing conditions like heart disease, could delay surgeries.

Five-year survival rates worsened as time-to-surgery increased, the study found: from 84.5 percent at eight weeks to 82.1 percent at week 11, to 78.6 percent at week 15, for example. There was no increased risk of death for women with high-risk cancers who had surgery after the third week, suggesting that for these women, the type and extent of disease at diagnosis contributes more to survival outcomes than progression of disease during the wait for surgery, the authors said.

The team recommended that the target interval between diagnosis and treatment be less than eight weeks, especially for women with low-risk cancers. They also called on gynaecologic oncologists and policy makers to make use of these findings to help develop national practice standards for uterine cancer care delivery.

The study is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: HealthResearch

Medikoe teams up with Yogaksema clinic to promote stress-free lifestyle!

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 10:31

Medikoe, the first online medical platform to provide value-added offers on 360-degree Healthcare and Wellness products and services has tied up with a first-of-its-kind international chain of Integrative Medicine Clinics - Yogaksema Clinic for Stress-Pain-Lifestyle and Nutrition.

This novel joint venture with Yogaksema Clinic would enable Medikoe users in availing the evidence based services to prevent and manage Metabolic Diseases, Degenerative Diseases, Cancers and Common Mental Diseases through Integrative Medicine i.e., combing the best of conventional medicine with that of evidence based Indian Medicine.

Yogaksema Clinic is an international specialty chain of clinics offering medically prescribed solutions for Stress-Pain-Lifestyle-Nutrition.

It uses StressMetrix, a reliable medical tool for quantifying the impact of mental stress on the nervous system and employs it as a predictor of stress and lifestyle diseases and also as a marker of progress made in managing and reversing lifestyle diseases. Doctors at Yogaksema examine the diseases and evaluate personality type; stress, lifestyle and nutrition and then provide a Lifestyle Intervention Prescription (LIP) that is personalized, disease-specific evidence based traditional medicine. Yogaksema Clinics is present in three locations of Bangalore, including Indiranagar, Brookfield and Marathahalli and has a wellness center in San Jose, California, USA.

Commenting on this association, Sreevalsan Menon, Founder and CEO of Medikoe said, "Being a reliable platform for 360-degree healthcare and wellness services, our tie-up with a unique player in the market like Yogaksema will allow users to get accustomed to medically prescribed and appropriate therapeutic approaches to achieve optimal health and healing for any Stress-Pain-Lifestyle-Nutrition related issues. We will further be able to expand the ambit of our services by providing Lifestyle Intervention Prescription to the users of Medikoe, which includes Yoga Therapy, Biofeedback Training, Clinical Acupuncture, Therapeutic Massage and Panchakarma and Clinical Nutrition. This collaboration will enable health buffs all over India to stay healthy and will also help us in setting a new benchmark in the sphere of Indian wellness & healing services."

Yogaksema CEO, Dr Naveen K Viseweswariah, BNYS, PhD, DSc says, "We want to capitalize on Medikoe's wide reach and by joining hands with it, we aim to educate more and more people about the importance of embracing Integrative Medicine powered by traditional medicine in dealing with Uncontrolled Stress; Untreated Pain; Unhealthy Lifestyle and Unmindful Nutrition. With Medikoe, we will be able to spread this message to a much larger consumer spectrum and enable them in preventing, managing and in some cases reversing any form of Stress & Lifestyle Diseases which needs chronic care."

Modern medicine has gained the status of mainstream medicine and has replaced Traditional Medicine to a large extent in almost every part of the world because its' life-saving methods and devices successfully reducing the prevalence of infectious diseases and significantly improve the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic ailments. Despite all its' achievements among all other health systems in the world, modern medicine has its own restrictions. It fails to work on preventive and rehabilitative strategies, and thus is unable to provide lasting solutions for most of the chronic diseases. This makes patients dependent on medicines for life. However, people today have started realizing these limitations and are now turning towards traditional and Integrative medicine for their holistic healthcare. Medikoe aims to further this understanding through this latest strategic tie-up. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: Health

Keep your joints healthy and strong this winter

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 10:51

With a drop in the mercury, there is a whole set of health issues which suddenly pop up from nowhere. The problem of joint pains is one of them. That's why people struggling with the issue dread the onset of the winter season. During winters, joints become painful, extremely inflexible, and creaky, making it difficult to move. People with orthopedic problems like arthritic knees, issues in shoulders and hip joint struggle the most.

Dr Anil Arora, Head of Unit and Lead Consultant,Department of Orthopaedics Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, Delhi, while citing the cause of joint pains in Winters, said that due to the cold temperature, the pain threshold of the body decreases as the nerve endings become sensitive, exceeding the pain tremendously. Another reason for joint pains is that the blood doesn't circulate properly in the body parts causing pain and stiffness in the joints.

In winters, the physical activity of the body also decreases and hence, the joints start paining.

Dr Arora further gives us some amazing tips that will keep your joints healthy and strong this winter season.

Maintain a Balanced Diet- A well-balanced diet is of utmost importance especially for people suffering from joint pains. Foods rich in Vitamin D, C and K are good for joint pains. Orange, cabbage, spinach, tomato are superfoods when it comes to getting relief from knee pains. For those who have extremely low levels of Vitamin D, can also take supplements after prescription from the doctor. Adding sulphur rich food in your diet is another plus point!

Drink Plenty of Water- Many associates it with combating dehydration but water is essential for joint pain relief as well. In winters, we tend to reduce our water consumption but it is necessary because the cartilage between the joints has to be smooth and in order to maintain the right amount of friction, the body needs to be hydrated.

Wear Knee Guards or Knee Supports- In order to protect your knees in winters and reduce pain, wear knee guards. There are a plenty of varieties of knee protectors in the market that provide comfort in knee pain and protect it from serious injury.

Physiotherapy- People having osteoarthritis should regularly go for physiotherapy to maintain flexibility in the joints and get relief from the pain. The session provides the right amount of movement, warmth, and medication to sooth your knees.

Regular exercise or physical activity- Winters should not be a reason to skip your exercise regime. Due to lack of movement and physical activity, joints become stiff and start paining even on a slight movement. To avoid this, indulge in regular exercise.

Warm-up before Exercise is Important- Exercise is important but makes sure that you warm-up before starting any rigorous exercise. This will avoid injury and make your body more flexible. The warm-up also increases your blood circulation that increases the effect of exercise.

Check your shoes- Many people tend to ignore this point but wearing a right size shoe is good for your knees, ankles and joints. Avoid wearing high heels for long hours and make sure that your toes have enough space to allow you comfort while walking.

Change Positions While Standing For Long Hours- People with certain jobs need to stand for a long time. For those, it is advisable to keep on changing positions to avoid putting strain on only one foot.

Avoid Smoking- It is a lesser known fact that people who smoke tend to have lower bone density and hence, are at higher risk of issues related to bones and joints. Quit smoking for a healthier lifestyle and robust bones!

Calcium Intake- Keep a watch on your calcium intake. Foods rich in calcium are great for your joints and bones.

Apart from following all these things, keep yourself warm. Maintaining the right body temperature during winters will be great for your joints. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: HealthResearch

That lemon slice in your drink can do more harm than good

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 09:35

That pre-sliced pieces of lime in your festive gin or non-alcoholic beverage in bars and restaurants might not be the best thing as these slices may cause infectious diseases at various body sites, warns a new study.

The Journal of Environmental Health conducted and published a study that investigated how hygienic lemon slices in bars and restaurants are.

Researchers from New York University's school of medicine swabbed lemon slices which accompanied drinks at 21 different restaurants.

The unappetising findings revealed almost 70 percent of the samples produced some sort of microbial growth, including 25 different microbial species.

"The microbes found on the lemon samples in our investigation all have the potential to cause infectious diseases at various body sites, although the likelihood was not determined in this study," the researchers wrote.

"Restaurant patrons should be aware that lemon slices added to beverages may include potentially pathogenic microbes," they added.

While the alcohol in your drink may be strong enough to kill these nasties, there is further bad news.

"People are touching the lemon in your glass, handling it, cutting it, placing it in a container or a cup, or a glass; and then picking up those slices at a later point in time and dropping them into a drink and putting them on the rim of a glass," said lead author Philip Tierno.

"You can easily see how those lemon slices and lemon wedges can be contaminated," he explained.(ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

15 percent of people with HIV remain unaware

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 05:41

In a recent study published in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, researchers have estimated that some 15 percent of people living with HIV remain unaware of their infection.

Despite evidence that HIV incidence rates in the United States are decreasing modestly in recent years, at least 44,000 people are still infected with HIV each year.

However, the socioeconomically disadvantaged African American/Black and Hispanic persons are disproportionately affected by HIV and thus over-represented in the HIV epidemic in comparison to their numbers in the general population.

"Undiagnosed HIV is a serious public health issue," said Marya Viorst Gwadz, the study's Principal Investigator.

"At least a third of new HIV transmission events are linked to those with undiagnosed HIV, yet finding people with undiagnosed HIV is very challenging," she added.

Nationally, heterosexual sex is the second most common route of HIV transmission after male-to-male sexual contact, accounting for an estimated 24 percent of newly reported infections annually and is the main route of transmission among women.

"Compared with other risk groups, heterosexuals are less likely to be tested for HIV over their lifetimes, and less likely to be tested annually, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends," noted Charles M. Cleland, the Co-researcher.

Adding, "As many as 25% of HIV-infected heterosexuals are undiagnosed - a substantially higher rate of undiagnosed HIV than among other risk groups."

"We are interested mainly in heterosexuals considered at high-risk for HIV because they live in urban geographical areas with high rates of poverty, a primary risk factor for HIV infection, and high rates of prevalent HIV," said Noelle R. Leonard, another Co-Investigator.

Adding, "These 'heterosexuals at high-risk' for HIV, who are mainly African American/Black and Hispanic, have serious barriers to regular HIV testing. Many of the barriers are related to race/ethnicity and lower social status, including: fear of HIV stigma; distrust of medical settings; substance use problems; and the sense that heterosexuals are not at risk for HIV compared to other risk groups--such as men who have sex with men or persons who inject drugs."

"To substantially reduce the numbers of persons living with HIV who remain undiagnosed, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has spearheaded a research initiative on interventions to seek out persons with undiagnosed HIV, test them, and then, link those with HIV infection to health care in a timely fashion, called the 'Seek, Test, Treat, and Retain' (STTR) model," said Alexandra Kutnick, the study's project director.

In an effort to identify the best approaches to uncovering undiagnosed HIV, Gwadz and her research team compared the efficacy of three social/behavioral intervention strategies for heterosexual individuals at high risk (HHR) for HIV within an urban high-risk area (HRA) in central Brooklyn, New York.

The study looked at the relative yield of three Seek/Test methods: Respondent Driven Sampling with Anonymous Single-session Testing (RDS-AST); Respondent Driven Sampling with Confidential Two-session Testing (RDS-CTT); and Venue-based Sampling (VBS).

"The three interventions were designed to address the specific barriers to HIV testing that HHR experience, and all three interventions were culturally appropriate for African American/Black and Hispanic HHR," said Gwadz.

The researchers stressed that efficient and potent active approaches to detect undiagnosed HIV among HHR are sorely needed to achieve the goal of elimination of HIV transmission in the U.S. and the present study addresses this gap in available HIV prevention programs.

"We examined the efficacy of these three intervention strategies to uncover undiagnosed HIV infection among HHR by seeking them out in their communities and providing HIV counseling and testing, said Gwadz.

Adding, "Moreover, the CDC and others use both respondent-driven sampling (RDS), a peer-to peer recruitment method, and venue-based sampling (VBS) in their surveillance studies, but this is the first direct comparison of RDS and VBS to identify undiagnosed HIV prevalence among HHR."

Participants in all three interventions evidenced high rates of risk and behavioral factors such as poverty, unemployment, substance use, and incarceration - factors that place individuals at risk for HIV - but low rates of regular, annual HIV testing.

The prevalence of confirmed newly diagnosed HIV infection was higher in the RDS-AST (4 percent) and RDS-CTT (1 percent) interventions than VBS (0.3 percent).

Those in RDS-AST were least likely to have regular, annual HIV testing and most likely to have both sexual and substance use risk factors compared to RDS-CTT and VBS.

For example, 60 percent of those in RDS-AST evidenced substance use problems at a clinically significant level in the past year, compared to 37 percent in RDS-CTT. RDS-AST and RDS-CTT yielded comparable overall HIV prevalence rates (10.3 percent and 7.4 percent) - substantially higher than national estimates among HHR.

VBS was feasible but produced a sustainability lower proportion of newly diagnosed HIV than the two RDS approaches.

"Our study findings suggest VBS is not an optimal approach for HHR, perhaps because heterosexuals at high-risk for HIV are embedded in physical spaces that include lower-risk individuals, and VBS is an inefficient means of gaining access to those at highest risk," said Leonard.

Adding, "These findings, on the other hand, underscore the utility of peer-to-peer recruitment methods such as RDS, particularly in conjunction with low-threshold and easy-access interventions that provide HIV testing at the first contact, and which directly ameliorate potential barriers such as perceived HIV stigma."

The researchers note that rates of newly diagnosed HIV found in this study were lower than initially hypothesized at the time the study was planned, which may be a result of the set of effective HIV prevention strategies implemented in New York City during the study period.

As of 2012, New York State had one of the lowest rates of undiagnosed HIV (7 percent) in the U.S. Lower rates of newly diagnosed HIV in RDS-CTT intervention compared to RDS-AST also suggest that variations in the timing and content of intervention components can impact sample composition and the intervention's efficiency with respect to uncovering undiagnosed HIV infection.

This study is the first to prospectively demonstrate the value of potentially replicable Seek and Test interventions to identify HHR with undiagnosed HIV; namely, peer-referral methods focused in large socially-networked populations with high HIV prevalence.

Thus it provides further support for utility of social network approaches to identify undiagnosed HIV in vulnerable populations.

"Implemented on a continual basis in urban HRAs, such approaches can complement institutionally-based HIV testing programs and play a vital role in eliminating HIV transmission by promoting regular HIV testing among populations at high risk for HIV, including substance users," said Gwadz. (ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

User-friendly designs in medication packaging can reduce probability of errors

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 07:20

Washington D. C. [US], Dec. 11 : A recent research published in the journal Human Factors suggests that a simple redesign of medication packages can lead to a decrease in the frequency of patient errors and accidental overdoses.

Medication errors are a common patient safety issue in the United States, with 1.5 million adverse drug events reported annually, often occurring in a home or other outpatient setting.

Past research has indicated that inadequate or confusing labeling on packages of over-the-counter (OTC) medications is a likely contributor to many unintentional overdoses, particularly among the elderly population.

Lead researcher Tor Endestad reported, "Although human factors guidelines for the design of medication packages exist, they do not ensure that patients are receiving consistent information about the medicine they take. We were surprised by the variation and inconsistency of the drug information presented on medication packages and decided to manipulate design elements to evaluate whether that could reduce the risk of labeling-related user errors."

Endestad, along with coauthors Laura Wortinger, Steinar Madsen, and Sigurd Hortemo, evaluated user responses to the original packages of generic OTC medication compared with packages that they redesigned in a number of ways.

The redesigned packages featured a reduction in the size of the brand name, varied placement of the active ingredient and dosage information, and several different color schemes.

The researchers presented 84 adults ages 18 to 86 with sets of computer images showing different packages of the same medications in the original packaging.

The participants were then asked to indicate - within three seconds - whether the medications contained the same active ingredient. Researchers repeated the process using images of the redesigned packages.

Error rates were high with the original packaging but decreased for the redesigned packages: from 41 percent to 8 percent among younger users and, significantly, from 68 percent to 16 percent among elderly users.

The authors found that minor changes such as highlighting the drug information on a high-contrast background color and positioning it in a dedicated place on the package helped users identify the medications faster and more accurately.

"Our study found an enormous potential for patients to believe that they are taking two different medications, when in fact they're taking a double dose of the same one," added Endestad.

"A simple redesign of medication package labels to highlight the name and dosage of the active ingredient on a high-contrast background reduces the probability of user errors," he said. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonUnited StatesGeneral: Health

Shooting exposure can lead to PTSD in women

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 06:15

New York, Dec 11 : Witnessing shooting incidents or gang violence can lead post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women, warns a study.

Those with PTSD had more severe depression symptoms than other women in the study who did not exhibit signs of PTSD, said principal investigator Inger Burnett-Zeigler, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, US.

"Even if you do not meet the full criteria for PTSD, you can have enough symptoms to impact your well-being," Burnett-Zeigler said.

"There is a substantial proportion of people who fall below the PTSD diagnosis line who might be getting lost in the cracks. It's important for mental health providers to develop a greater awareness around this because untreated PTSD symptoms affect mental health, quality of life and functioning," Burnett-Zeigler said.

The neighbourhood from which women in the study were recruited ranked 7th for property crime, 26th for quality of life crime and 35th for violent crime among 77 Chicago neighbourhoods.

The traumatic experiences reported in the study were often violent or sexual in nature.

Thirty-six per cent of women in the study had PTSD or sub-threshold PTSD (substantial trauma symptoms that might not have met the full PTSD diagnostic criteria).

A significant percentage of women in a general population who experienced trauma (20 per cent) develop PTSD, Burnett-Zeigler said.

"But the prevalence of PTSD symptoms is particularly acute in impoverished neighbourhoods," she noted.

The findings were published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. (IANS)

Region: New YorkGeneral: Health

Depression drug cuts joint pain for women with breast cancer

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 06:00

New york, Dec 11 : A drug typically used to treat depression and anxiety can significantly reduce joint pain in postmenopausal women being treated for early stage breast cancer, says a study.

The researches conducted a trial to test whether duloxetine, a depression and anxiety drug, could alleviate pain caused by aromatase inhibitors, a common breast cancer treatment that's particularly effective with postmenopausal women.

"We've shown that this treatment is a potential option for women," said N. Lynn Henry, a SWOG investigator from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in the US.

SWOG is the international cancer clinical trials network funded by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI).

"Taking this drug may help them tolerate their breast cancer treatment. And it's important for their health that they stick with their treatment," Henry noted.

Tens of thousands of postmenopausal women each year are treated with aromatase inhibitors (AIs), pills that stop the production of estrogen and essentially starve hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells.

Many women - as many as 50 per cent -- experience joint pain and stiffness as a side effect of the therapy.

Henry said some women stop taking their medication to get relief.

"A lot of 60-year-old women report feeling like they're 80," Henry said.

"The pain can really interfere with daily life. And this is a big problem. The length of treatment with AIs can be five to 10 years, so we're asking a lot of women to manage significant discomfort for a very long period of time," Henry noted.

Results of the trial involving nearly 300 women showed that patients taking duloxetine saw their average pain drop on the scale from 5.5 to about three.

Improvement was rapid, and relief persisted through the end of the 12-week trial.

Improvement in pain was also seen in the placebo arm of the trial, suggesting a robust placebo effect.

The findings were presented at a special plenary presentation at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in the US. (IANS)

Region: New YorkGeneral: HealthResearch

Here's how to keep joints healthy and strong this winter

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 06:23

With a drop in mercury, there is a whole set of health issues which suddenly pop up from nowhere. The problem of joint pains is one of them.

During winters, joints become painful, extremely inflexible, and creaky, making it difficult to move. People with orthopaedic problems like arthritic knees, issues in shoulders and hip joint struggle the most.

What Causes Joint Pains in Winters?

Due to the cold temperature, the pain threshold of the body decreases as the nerve endings become sensitive, exceeding the pain tremendously.

Another reason for joint pains is that the blood doesn't circulate properly in the body parts causing pain and stiffness in the joints.

In winters, the physical activity of the body also decreases and hence, the joints start paining.

Dr. Anil Arora, Head of Unit and Lead Consultant,Department of Orthopaedics Max Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi gives us some amazing tips that will keep your joints healthy and strong this winter season.

1.Maintain a Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet is of utmost importance especially for people suffering from joint pains. Foods rich in Vitamin D, C and K are good for joint pains. Orange, cabbage, spinach, tomato are superfoods when it comes to getting relief from knee pains. For those who have extremely low levels of Vitamin D, can also take supplements after prescription from the doctor. Adding sulphur rich food in your diet is another plus point!

2.Drink Plenty of Water - Many associates it with combating dehydration but water is essential for joint pain relief as well. In winters, we tend to reduce our water consumption but it is necessary because the cartilage between the joints has to be smooth and in order to maintain the right amount of friction, the body needs to be hydrated.

3.Wear Knee Guards or Knee Supports- In order to protect your knees in winters and reduce pain, wear knee guards. There are a plenty of varieties of knee protectors in the market that provide comfort in knee pain and protect it from serious injury.

4.Physiotherapy: People having osteoarthritis should regularly go for physiotherapy to maintain flexibility in the joints and get relief from the pain. The session provides the right amount of movement, warmth, and medication to sooth your knees.

5.Regular exercise or physical activity: Winters should not be a reason to skip your exercise regime. Due to lack of movement and physical activity, joints become stiff and start paining even on a slight movement. To avoid this, indulge in regular exercise.

6.Warm-up before Exercise is Important: Exercise is important but makes sure that you warm-up before starting any rigorous exercise. This will avoid injury and make your body more flexible. The warm-up also increases your blood circulation that increase the effect of exercise.

7.Check your shoes: Many people tend to ignore this point but wearing a right size shoe is good for your knees, ankles and joints. Avoid wearing high heels for long hours and make sure that your toes have enough space to allow you comfort while walking.

8.Change Positions While Standing For Long Hours: People with certain jobs need to stand for a long time. For those, it is advisable to keep on changing positions to avoid putting strain on only one foot.

9.Avoid Smoking: It is a lesser known fact that people who smoke tend to have lower bone density and hence, are at higher risk of issues related to bones and joints. Quit smoking for a healthier lifestyle and robust bones!

10.Calcium Intake: Keep a watch on your calcium intake. Foods rich in calcium are great for your joints and bones.

Apart from following all these things, keep yourself warm. Maintaining the right body temperature during winters will be great for your joints. (ANI)

Region: IndiaGeneral: HealthResearch

Unconditional love of pets helps manage mental health problems

Fri, 12/09/2016 - 09:02

The unconditional love and support of pet provides an immediate source of calm and therapeutic benefits for owners with long-term mental health conditions, says a new study.

The findings were published in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry.

Researchers from the University of Manchester suggested that pets should be considered as main source of support in the management of long-term mental health problems.

"The people we spoke to, through the course of this study, felt their pet played a range of positive roles such as helping them to manage stigma associated with their mental health by providing acceptance without judgement," said lead study author Dr Helen Brooks from the University of Manchester.

"Pets were also considered particularly useful during times of crisis. In this way, pets provided a unique form of validation through unconditional support, which they were often not receiving from other family or social relationships. Despite the identified benefits of pet ownership, pets were neither considered nor incorporated into the individual care plans for any of the people in our study," Brooks added.

The team interviewed 54 participants, aged 18 and above, who were under the care of community-based mental health services and had been diagnosed with a severe mental illness.

The participants were asked to rate the importance of members of their personal network including friends, family, health professionals, pets, hobbies, places, activities and objects, by placing them in a diagram of three concentric circles.

Anything placed in the central circle was considered most important; the middle circle was of secondary importance and the outer circle was for those considered of lesser importance.

The pets played an important role in the social networks of people managing a long-term mental health problem, as 60 percent placed their pet in the central most important circle and 20 percent placed their pet in the second circle.

The participants stated that their pet helped by distracting them from symptoms and upsetting experiences such as hearing voices or suicidal thoughts.

"These insights provide the mental health community with possible areas to target intervention and potential ways in which to better involve people in their own mental health service provision through open discussion of what works best for them," Brooks explained.(ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

Do yoga daily to prevent prehypertension

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 06:49

Practicing yoga for one hour daily can reduce blood pressure in people with prehypertension, says a new study conducted by Indian researchers.

The study was presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI) in Kochi, India.

"Patients with prehypertension (slightly elevated blood pressure) are likely to develop hypertension (high blood pressure) unless they improve their lifestyle," said lead author Dr Ashutosh Angrish, a cardiologist at Sir Gangaram Hospital in Delhi, India.

"Both prehypertension and high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure," Angrish added.

"Our research suggests that patients with prehypertension should be advised to practice hatha yoga (a combination of asanas, pranayam and meditation) for one hour daily. It may prevent the development of hypertension and in addition give a sense of well-being," he explained.

Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure (BP) 140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP 90 mmHg, while prehypertension is a systolic BP 120-139 mmHg or a diastolic BP 80-89 mmHg.

The researchers investigated the impact of hatha yoga -- a system of physical exercises and breathing control used in yoga -- on blood pressure in 60 patients with prehypertension, who were otherwise healthy.

The average age of the participants was 56 years in the yoga group and 52 years in the control group.

Briefly, the patients were randomised to two groups of 30 each, to assess the effect of three months of yoga plus conventional lifestyle changes versus conventional lifestyle changes alone on 24 hour ambulatory blood pressure.

Yoga included stretching exercises (asanas), breath control (pranayam) and meditation.

It was taught by a yoga instructor for one month and then patients subsequently followed it at home.

Yoga practice was for one hour every day. Conventional lifestyle changes consisted of moderate aerobic exercise, diet, and smoking cessation.

The 24 hour mean BP at baseline was 130/80 mmHg in the yoga group and 127/80 mmHg in the control group.

The study found that in the yoga group, both 24 hour diastolic BP and night diastolic BP significantly decreased by approximately 4.5 mmHg and 24 hour mean arterial pressure significantly decreased by around 4.9 mmHg.

The control group did not show any significant change in blood pressure.

"Although the reduction in blood pressure was modest, it could be clinically very meaningful because even a 2 mmHg decrease in diastolic BP has the potential to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by six percent and the risk of stroke and transient ischaemic attack by 15 percent," Dr Angrish explained.(ANI)

Region: United StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

Pages

Popular Stories

Waymo seeks injunction against Otto and Uber

Google Inc. parent firm Alphabet-owned Waymo has... Read More

Great Barrier Reef experiencing coral bleaching for second consecutive year

The health of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in... Read More

Google Cloud acquires Kaggle

The Google Cloud Platform announced on Wednesday... Read More

NOAA budget cut could put lives at risk by hindering research: experts warn

As the Trump administration is reportedly mulling... Read More

Environmental pollution kills 1.7M children under 5 every year

A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO... Read More