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1 in 3 new mothers suffer lasting health problems after childbirth: Lancet

More than a third of women worldwide are likely to experience a long-term health problem such as depression, low back pain, among others, caused by childbirth, according to a new study published on Friday in The Lancet Global Health. The study shows a high burden of postnatal conditions that persist in the months or even years after giving birth, affecting about 40 million women each year. These include pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia), affecting more than a third (35 per cent) of postpartum women, low back pain (32 per cent), anal incontinence (19 per cent), urinary incontinence (8 per cent-31 per cent), anxiety (9 per cent-24 per cent), depression (11 per cent-17 per cent), perineal pain (11 per cent), fear of childbirth (tokophobia) (6 per cent-15 per cent), and secondary infertility (11 per cent). "Many postpartum conditions cause considerable suffering in women's daily life long after birth, both emotionally and physically, and yet they are largely underappreciated, underrecognised, and underreported," said Dr. Pascale Allotey, Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research at WHO. "Throughout their lives, and beyond motherhood, women need access to a range of services from health-care providers who listen to their concerns and meet their needs -- so they not only survive childbirth but can enjoy good health and quality of life," Dr. Allotey said. The study, based on a literature review spanning the last 12 years, showed that there are no recent high-quality guidelines to support effective treatment for 40 per cent of the 32 priority conditions analysed. The team called for greater attention to the long-term health of women and girls -- after and also before pregnancy. The researchers call for greater recognition within the health care system of the common problems, many of which occur beyond the point where women typically have access to postnatal services. Effective care throughout pregnancy and childbirth is also a critical preventive factor, they argued, to detect risks and avert complications that can lead to lasting health issues after birth. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

09 December,2023 12:15 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
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Getting Covid late in pregnancy may increase health risk for mothers: Study

Women who experience Covid-19 infections within a week before giving birth are at an increased risk for severe maternal morbidity (SMM) events, including acute renal failure and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), according to study. An international team of researchers from the US, Canada and Australia showed that the risk of SMM was 2.22 times higher among women with SARS-CoV-2 infection within 7 days of delivery and 1.66 times higher among those with infection 7-30 days prior to delivery compared to those who were uninfected. The highest risk observed was associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection for ARDS. The risks of sepsis and acute renal failure were 3-4 times greater for deliveries following SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to uninfected. In the study, published in the Open Forum Infectious Diseases, researchers used electronic records of 93,624 deliveries occurring from March 11, 2020, to July 1, 2021, to look for positive Covid-19 tests and 21 SMM conditions. "Those with SARS-CoV-2 infection within 7 days of delivery were more commonly younger (15-24 years old), Hispanic or non-Hispanic Black, resided in a rural area, had lower household income (<$40,000), and delivered after August 2020 compared to those without SARS-CoV-2 infections," said the researchers including from University of San Francisco in the US. At a population-level, the authors estimate that 2 per cent of SMM cases can be attributed to SARS-CoV-2 infection during the 7 days prior to delivery. The greatest burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection in terms of impact on SMM was observed among those with at least one pre-existing medical condition. Among those with a pre-existing medical condition, the risk of SMM was nearly three times higher following SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to no infection, and among those infected, SARS-CoV2 contributed to 66 per cent of SMM cases. The researchers said their findings should result in a more urgent push to vaccinate pregnant women. "Among this large, national, commercially-insured cohort of pregnant people who gave birth during a time when fewer than 24 per cent of pregnant people had received a Covid-19 vaccine, we found that SARS-CoV-2 infection around the time of delivery was associated with increased risk of SMM, especially ARDS, and contributed to 2-3 per cent of total SMM cases. "Covid-19 is preventable, and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection around the time of delivery could reduce the incidence of SMM and subsequent health burden, especially in high-risk groups," the researchers said. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

09 December,2023 10:53 AM IST | New York | IANS
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Mid-Day Premium Leaking while sneezing? Experts suggest Kegel's to strengthen pelvic muscles

Globally, pelvic floor dysfunction remains one of the largest unaddressed issues in women’s healthcare. According to a report by Indian Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the prevalence of pelvic floor dysfunction in postpartum women was 20.7 per cent, out of which urinary incontinence was 10.6 per cent. The study conducted by Dr Mili Rohilla and Dr Shakun Tyagi highlights that one out of five women undergo pelvic issues post-delivery, underscoring the need to address women’s pelvic health. In response to this, Kegel exercises have emerged as an essential tool to combat pelvic issues that include urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and other related conditions.With factors like pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, constipation, ageing and lifestyle disorders – the pelvic muscles undergo strain and turn weaker over time. Kegels provide a proactive and non-invasive solution to these myriad problems not just for women but men as well. To put it simply, Kegel refers to clench-and-release exercises meant to strengthen pelvic muscles. They play a crucial role in firming up the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. But, here’s a catch! Yasmin Karachiwala – A Mumbai-based celebrity fitness trainer emphasises that you cannot overdo Kegels as it may lead to more damage than good. “The trick is to put enough pressure to contract and expand the muscles and not contract them too tight!” Who can benefit from Kegels?1. Those who experience slight urine leakage during activities such as sneezing, laughing or coughing (stress incontinence).2. People who encounter a strong, sudden urge to urinate just before releasing a significant amount of urine (urinary urge incontinence).3. Anyone suffering from stool leakage (faecal incontinence). Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through Kegel exercises has been shown to effectively alleviate and prevent pelvic health issues, affirms Spoorthi S., a fitness expert from As more women become cognizant of the importance of pelvic floor health, the practice of Kegel exercises is becoming increasingly relevant given their sedentary ways of lifestyles. What’s good is that Kegels can be practiced anywhere, at any moment. Locating the pelvic floor muscles for KegelsFor womenSpoorthi shares that nailing Kegels means finding your pelvic floor muscles and working them the right way. One method to locate these muscles for women involves gently inserting a clean finger into the vaginal canal and engaging the vaginal muscles around the finger.Another approach is to identify the muscles by attempting to interrupt the flow of urine midstream. The muscles involved in this action constitute the pelvic floor muscles. “Familiarise yourself with the sensation of these muscles contracting and relaxing,” remarks Spoorthi.However, it's important to note that this method should be used solely for instructional purposes. It is not advisable to frequently interrupt urination or regularly perform Kegel exercises with a full bladder, as incomplete bladder emptying may increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs).If uncertainty persists about whether the correct muscles have been located, consulting with a gynaecologist is recommended. They may suggest the use of a vaginal cone, an object inserted into the vagina, relying on pelvic floor muscles to maintain its position.Another valuable technique for identifying and isolating pelvic floor muscles is biofeedback training. During this process, a medical professional will either insert a small probe into the vagina or place adhesive electrodes on the external area of the vagina or anus. Participants are then prompted to perform a Kegel, with a monitor displaying whether the correct muscles were engaged and the duration of the contraction.For menMen often encounter similar challenges in pinpointing the correct set of pelvic floor muscles. To locate them, one technique involves attempting to contract the muscles in the rectum — ensuring that the muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs remain relaxed.Another effective method is to engage the muscles responsible for preventing the release of gas. If difficulties persist, practising the interruption of urine flow can be helpful. Like with women, this proves to be a reliable method for identifying pelvic floor muscles, but it is advised not to make it a regular practice.For men struggling to locate these muscles independently, biofeedback is a beneficial option. Seeking guidance from a doctor may also be worthwhile if self-identification proves challenging.Step-by-step guide to performing Kegel exercisesEngage in contraction exercises by following these steps:Choose your positionBegin by lying on your back to familiarise yourself with contracting the pelvic floor muscles. Once comfortable, practice the exercises while sitting and standing.Contract and relaxContract your pelvic floor muscles for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax for an equal duration. Repeat this contract/relax cycle 10 times. Ensure that other muscles, such as the abdomen, legs, or buttocks, remain relaxed. Detect any unwanted abdominal action by gently placing a hand on your belly.Extend the timeGradually increase the duration of both contractions and relaxations. Progress to 10-second cycles, focusing on controlled and deliberate movements.Aim highStrive to incorporate at least 30 to 40 Kegel exercises into your daily routine. Distribute them throughout the day rather than performing them all at once. These inconspicuous exercises can be seamlessly integrated into moments like waiting at a stoplight, riding an elevator or standing in a grocery line.DiversifyEnhance your routine by incorporating short, 2 to 3 second contractions and releases, often referred to as "quick flicks." This variation adds diversity to your pelvic floor muscle training.Safety tips:1. If you experience discomfort in your abdomen or back following a Kegel exercise session, it indicates incorrect execution. Always ensure that, even while contracting your pelvic floor muscles, the muscles in your abdomen, back, buttocks and sides stay relaxed.2. Ensure to release tension in your pelvic floor muscles between each Kegel contraction. This interval is integral to the routine, and skipping it is crucial to prevent injury. 3. Keep the muscles in your stomach, back, thighs and buttocks relaxed during Kegel exercises, concentrating solely on your pelvic floor. 4. Maintain normal breathing and refrain from holding your breath during Kegels. 5. Avoid practising Kegel exercises while urinating, as this can potentially weaken the pelvic floor and pose risks to your kidneys and bladder.6. Avoid excessive strain during Kegel exercises. Overworking the muscles may lead to fatigue, rendering them incapable of performing their essential functions

09 December,2023 09:15 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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Mid-Day Premium Feeling sleepy at work? Doctors suggest hacks to fix it

Yawning or even feeling sleepy at work is considered unprofessional in most work cultures across the world. Yet, when drowsiness hits you at work, there is not much you can do to stop it. While feeling sleepy at work once in a while can be understandable if you have slept late the previous night, a regular occurrence of this indicates a lifestyle issue.  Sadly, drooping eyelids and constant yawning are common occurrences among most office-goers. Feeling sleepy at work each day can lead to irritation and disappointment. From wondering what makes us feel so sleepy during the day to battling drowsiness each day, this is a spiral we just can’t seem to get out of. Feeling sleepy at work can severely impact one’s productivity and performance.  To help you prevent this from happening, Mid-day Online only spoke to sleep experts who share hacks and lifestyle modifications necessary to tackle drowsiness at work.   “One major cause of feeling sleepy at work is hampered sleep quality and poor sleep hygiene. This coupled with an unhealthy diet high in sugar, consumption of processed food, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of physical activity can result in decreased energy levels and increased feelings of fatigue during working hours. These factors combined can cause one to feel drowsy,” says Dr Harish Chafle, pulmonology and critical care, Global Hospitals Parel Mumbai.  Dr Lancelot Mark Pinto, consultant pulmonologist and epidemiologist, P D Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, further adds, “Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is considered the bare minimum to feel adequately rested and refreshed. Most individuals fail to get a good eight hours of sound sleep. As a result, the restorative function of sleep is not served, and people feel sleepy during the day.” Chronic stress and anxiety arising from both work-related pressures and personal life challenges can significantly impact one's energy levels. Prolonged exposure to high levels of stress hormones like cortisol can disrupt the body's natural rhythm, affecting overall alertness. Poor air quality and inadequate lighting in the workplace too, can contribute to drowsiness, as they affect the body's circadian rhythms and overall well-being.   Additionally, one of the sleep-related diseases called Obstructive Sleep Apnea Hypopnea Syndrome(OSAHS) is another major reason why people feel sleepy at work. This condition is often triggered due to obesity and high body mass index. Sleep apnea causes obstruction to breathing due to excessive fat deposited around the neck. This disturbs one sleep and leads to people feeling drowsy the next day. Such individuals tend to doze off very easily in meetings or at their work desks. How does feeling sleepy at work affect one’s health and performance?  Chafle: Sleep deprivation causes heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Furthermore, chronic lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illness and infections. It also takes a toll on cognitive function and mental health. Insufficient sleep can impair decision-making abilities, memory retention, and emotional regulation. This can lead to decreased productivity and heightened feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.  Further, drowsiness impairs cognitive function, making it difficult to focus, concentrate, and make sound decisions. This can lead to errors, inefficiency, and rework, ultimately affecting the quality of work produced. Drowsiness often results in slower reaction times and decreased attention to detail, increasing the risk of accidents and workplace injuries.  Pinto: Besides other common health risks associated with sleep deprivation, the incidence of cancers has also been linked to chronic sleep deprivation. Sleep also has a role in the regulation of immunity. With regards to productivity at work, there is a growing realisation that productivity can vary based on factors such as attention span, reaction times, ability to perform deep work and other cognitive factors that are all adversely impacted by the lack of sleep. This is especially of serious concern in fields in which public safety is at stake like the airline industry, teaching profession, medical industry, etc.  What are some healthy ways to avoid feeling sleepy at work? Chafle: One healthy way to avoid feeling sleepy at work is to prioritise getting a good night's sleep. Creating a consistent bedtime routine, reducing screen time before sleeping, and setting up a comfortable sleep environment can all contribute to better quality sleep. Staying hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water is a good idea. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and a lack of focus, so keeping a water bottle at your desk as a reminder to sip regularly can help combat this.  Eating fruits and nuts, can provide sustained energy levels and prevent the mid-afternoon slump that often leads to drowsiness. Pinto:  Nothing can serve as a substitute for a good night’s sleep. Sleep hygiene entails a few common measures:  1. Having a fixed sleep/wake time.2. Limiting exposure to devices before bedtime 3. Avoid caffeinated beverages six to eight hours before bedtime, this includes tea, coffee and sodas. 4. Avoid vigorous exercise in the evening.5. Having a light dinner and limiting the consumption of alcohol. While alcohol may help people fall asleep more easily, it interferes with the quality of sleep and leaves people feeling lethargic in the morning. Those who smoke cigarettes also tend to have a poorer quality of sleep.  If one starts to feel sleepy or drowsy at work, what can they do to fight it?  As quick fixes, both Chafle and Pinto suggest doing the following:  1. Take a brisk walk outside or even around the office. This can help to get your blood flowing and increase alertness. 2. Incorporate short bursts of physical activity, such as stretching exercises or quick desk yoga sessions. This can re-energise both your body and mind. 3. Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly throughout the day as dehydration can contribute to feelings of fatigue.  4. Consider increasing natural light exposure or using a daylight lamp, as this is believed to improve mood and productivity. 5. It's also important to practice good posture while seated at your desk to prevent slouching-induced fatigue. Consider using an ergonomic chair if possible. 6. In case you are someone who feels sleepy post-lunch, try to do small bursts of activity such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing some desk exercises, which can also combat drowsiness. Taking a few minutes to meditate, focus on deep breathing, or simply relax and clear the mind can rejuvenate energy levels and improve mental clarity. What role does workplace ergonomics play in helping fight drowsiness?  Chafle: Poorly designed workstations, uncomfortable chairs, and improper lighting can contribute to feelings of drowsiness and fatigue. A poorly positioned computer screen can strain the eyes and lead to headaches, while an uncomfortable chair can cause discomfort and decrease productivity. To improve workplace ergonomics and combat drowsiness, consider implementing adjustable desks and chairs to support proper posture and reduce physical discomfort. Incorporating natural lighting or installing lighting that mimics natural daylight can help regulate employees' circadian rhythms. Pinto: Encouraging the use of stairs, using devices such as pedometers or smart watches that encourage people to have more steps a day, having flexible workstations, considering the use of standing desks, and having gyms at work can all encourage individuals to fight sleepiness at the workplace. Is the consumption of sugar and caffeine the right way to fight off drowsiness? Chafle: Having sugar or excess caffeine to combat drowsiness is a common strategy for many people, but it may not be the most effective approach. While sugar and caffeine can provide a temporary energy boost, they often lead to a subsequent crash, leaving individuals feeling even more tired than before. Relying on these substances as a solution for drowsiness can contribute to long-term health issues such as weight gain, insulin resistance, and disrupted sleep patterns.  High sugar intake is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. It can also lead to tooth decay, inflammation, and impaired immune function. Caffeine, when consumed in large quantities, can cause anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure. It may contribute to digestive issues such as acid reflux and stomach ulcers. Both substances can also disrupt hormone balance and contribute to mood swings and irritability.  An infusion of fresh mint leaves and ginger steeped in hot water can provide a revitalising boost without the caffeine jitters. Herbal teas like Tulsi (holy basil) release stress and have cognitive enhancement properties that help to rejuvenate the mind. A cup of golden milk made with turmeric, warm milk, and honey not only provides calming effects but also contributes to overall brain health. Have protein-rich snacks like nuts, Greek yoghurt, or hummus with vegetables to avoid energy crashes. Incorporating small amounts of caffeine strategically, like a cup of green tea or black coffee mid-morning, can also help stay awake without leading to a post-caffeine crash.  Making mindful food choices at work can have a significant impact on productivity and overall well-being throughout the day. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and chia seeds, can provide sustained energy and improve cognitive function. Pinto: Caffeine in moderate quantities is not harmful. Caution needs to be exercised if one suffers from hypertension or cardiac disease. Consuming sugar is not advisable as it has consistent and long-term adverse effects that cannot be justified. Caffeine when taken in excessive amounts can cause tremulousness, and irritability and can cause an increase in the heart rate and blood pressure. It can interfere with sleep, perpetuating the cycle of sleepiness leading to more consumption. One also tends to get resistant to the effects of caffeine, making individuals consume more over time, leading to more adverse effects.  Disclaimer: This information does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified specialist or your physician for personalised guidance.

08 December,2023 06:30 PM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
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Depression, constipation & UTI may signal multiple sclerosis risk

People who later develop multiple sclerosis (MS) are more likely to have conditions like depression, constipation and urinary tract infections five years before their diagnosis, according to a new study. The study, which is published in the online issue of Neurology, also found that sexual problems and bladder infections, or cystitis, are more likely in people who later develop MS. The conditions were also more likely to occur in people who had other autoimmune diseases, lupus and Crohn’s disease. MS, Crohn’s disease and lupus are all autoimmune diseases. They all affect women more often than men and affect young adults. “Knowing that these conditions may be prodromal symptoms or even early-stage symptoms of MS would not necessarily lead to earlier diagnosis of the disease in the general population, since these conditions are common and could also be signs of other diseases, but this information could be helpful for people who are at a higher risk of developing MS, such as people with a family history of the disease or those who show signs of MS on brain scans but do not have any symptoms of the disease,” said Celine Louapre from Sorbonne University in France. The study involved 20,174 people newly diagnosed with MS. They were each matched with three people who did not have MS of the same age and sex, for a total of 54,790 people. Then the people with MS were also compared to 30,477 people with Crohn’s disease and 7,337 people with lupus. Then researchers used the medical records database to see whether the participants had any of 113 diseases and symptoms in the five years before and after their diagnosis, or before that matching date for the people who did not have an autoimmune disease. The people with MS were 22 per cent more likely to have depression five years before their diagnosis than the people without MS. They were 50 per cent more likely to have constipation, 38 per cent more likely to have urinary tract infections, 47 per cent more likely to have sexual problems, and 21 per cent more likely to have cystitis, or bladder infections. For depression, 14 per cent of the people with MS had prescriptions for antidepressants five years before diagnosis, compared to 10 per cent of the people who did not have MS. By five years after diagnosis, 37 per cent of people with MS had antidepressant prescriptions, compared to 19 per cent of those without MS. “Of course, not everyone who has these symptoms will go on to develop MS,” Louapre said. “We’re hoping that eventually these early signs will help us understand the biological mechanisms that occur in the body before the actual symptoms of the disease develop.” This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

08 December,2023 08:42 AM IST | New York | IANS
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Over 4 hours of smartphone use daily may affect mental health: Study

Adolescents who indulge in smartphones for more than four hours daily could be at higher risk of adverse mental health and substance use risk, according to a study. Prior research has shown that smartphone use among adolescents has increased in recent years, and that this usage may be associated with higher risk of adverse health -- such as psychiatric disorders, sleep issues, eye-related problems, and musculoskeletal disorders. To deepen understanding of the relationship between adolescents' use of smartphones and health, the team from Hanyang University Medical Center, Korea analysed data on more than 50,000 adolescent participants. The data included the approximate number of daily hours each participant spent on a smartphone as well as various health measures. The statistical analysis employed propensity score matching to help account for other factors that could be linked to health outcomes, such as age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Adolescents who used a smartphone for more than four hours per day had higher rates of stress, thoughts of suicide, and substance use than those with usage below four hours per day. However, adolescents who used a smartphone one to two hours per day encountered fewer problems than adolescents who did not use a smartphone at all, revealed the findings published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The authors note that this study does not confirm a causal relationship between smartphone use and adverse health outcomes. Nonetheless, the findings could help inform usage guidelines for adolescents -- especially if daily usage continues to rise. "This research shows the impact of using smart devices for more than four hours a day on adolescent health," said Jin-Hwa Moon and Jong Ho Cha of Hanyang. “The adverse effects of smartphone overuse became prominent after 4 hours of daily usage time. These results can help establish smart device usage guidelines and education programmes for appropriate media use,” they added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

08 December,2023 08:36 AM IST | Seoul | IANS
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Exposure to PFAS may affect bone health in adolescents & young adults

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), manufactured chemicals used in products such as food packaging and cosmetics, can lower bone mineral density, which can lead to osteoporosis and other bone diseases, according to a study. A growing body of research has also linked the chemicals to reproductive problems, increased cancer risk and other health issues. In the study, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC) examined two groups of young participants -- 304 adolescents. For each doubling of baseline perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), one type of PFAS, participants had an average decrease in bone mineral density of .003 g/cm2 per year at follow-up. When baseline levels of PFOS doubled, participants had an average of .032 g/cm2 lower baseline bone mineral density, though no significant change was observed over time. “Many existing studies haven’t included participants this young, but we’re now able to see that this association is already happening at a time when bones are supposed to be developing,” said lead author Emily Beglarian, doctoral student in the Keck School of Medicine. The researchers said the findings, published in the journal Environmental Research, highlight the need for stricter regulation of PFAS, which have contaminated public drinking water, food and soil. “PFAS are ubiquitous -- we are all exposed to them,” said Vaia Lida Chatzi, Professor of population and public health sciences at the Keck School. “We need to eliminate that exposure to allow our youth to reach their full potential in terms of bone development to help them avoid osteoporosis later in life. “It’s important to regulate PFAS as a class, because we are not just exposed to one chemical, we are exposed to thousands of chemicals,” Chatzi said. Bone mineral density increases during adolescence, peaks between the ages of 20 and 30, then slowly decreases throughout adulthood. Peak bone mineral density helps predict whether a person will get osteoporosis later in life, prompting the researchers to investigate how PFAS can affect young people. “We want to make sure we’re not exposing ourselves to things that harm our bone development, because it has implications over the rest of our lives,” Beglarian said. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

08 December,2023 08:30 AM IST | New York | IANS
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Light therapy may improve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease: Study

Light therapy leads to significant improvements in sleep and psycho-behavioural symptoms for people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. The cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease is often accompanied by sleep disturbances and psycho-behavioural symptoms including apathetic and depressive behaviour, agitation and aggression. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, used photobiomodulation -- a non-pharmacological therapy that uses light energy to stimulate the suprachiasmic nucleus (SCN) -- a sleep modulator in the brain. The team from Weifang Medical University in China concluded that light therapy is a promising treatment option for some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. "Light therapy improves sleep and psycho-behavioural symptoms in patients with Alzheimer's disease and has relatively few side effects, suggesting that it may be a promising treatment option for patients with Alzheimer's disease," Qinghui Meng from the varsity said. Despite light therapy receiving increased attention as a potential intervention for Alzheimer's, a systematic evaluation of its efficacy and safety has been unavailable. To explore, researchers analysed 15 high-quality trials related to light therapy for Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The included trials were published between 2005 and 2022, performed in seven countries, and included a combined 598 patients. The meta-analysis of all 15 trials found that light therapy significantly improved sleep efficiency, increased interdaily stability (a measure of the strength of circadian rhythms), and reduced intradaily variability (a measure of how frequently someone transitions between rest and activity during the day). In patients with Alzheimer's disease, light therapy also alleviated depression and reduced patient agitation and caregiver burden. Given the limited sample sizes in studies included in this meta-analysis, the authors advocate for larger future studies, which could also explore if bright light exposure could cause any adverse behaviour in patients. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

08 December,2023 08:29 AM IST | Beijing | IANS
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Plant-based foods lack key vitamins necessary for healthy pregnancy: Study

Pregnant women are not getting the essential nutrients they and their babies need from modern diets, said scientists, who have warned that the situation will likely worsen as more people turn to plant-based foods. A study looking at the health of expectant mothers from high-income countries, including the UK, New Zealand and Singapore, found that 90 per cent were lacking key vitamins necessary for healthy pregnancies and the well-being of unborn infants. Scientists from the University of Southampton in the UK, working with experts worldwide, surveyed more than 1,700 women and found that most were missing essential nutrients found in abundance in meat and dairy products. These included vitamins B12, B6 and D, folic acid and riboflavin which are essential for the development of foetuses in the womb. “The prevalence of vitamin deficiencies among women attempting to become pregnant in wealthy countries is a serious concern,” said lead author and Professor of Epidemiology, Keith Godfrey, from the University of Southampton. "The push to reduce our dependence on meat and dairy to achieve net-zero carbon emissions is likely to further deplete expecting mothers of vital nutrients, which could have lasting effects on unborn children. Our study shows that almost every woman trying to conceive had insufficient levels of one or more vitamin, and this figure is only going to get worse as the world moves towards plant-based diets. "People think that nutrient deficiency only affects people in underdeveloped countries -- but it is also affecting the majority of women living in high-income nations," he added. The study, which was published in PLOS Medicine, assessed 1,729 women between the ages of 18 and 38 at conception and followed many during subsequent pregnancies. Results showed that nine out of ten women had marginal or low levels of folate, riboflavin, vitamins B12 and D around the time of conception, and that many developed vitamin B6 deficiency in late pregnancy. Co-author Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology Wayne Cutfield, from the University of Auckland, said while folic acid is recommended for women planning conception and during pregnancy, expecting mothers should be given over-the-counter multivitamins to reduce nutrient deficiencies. "The well-being of a mother ahead of conceiving and during a pregnancy has a direct influence on the health of the infant, their lifelong physical development, and ability to learn," he added. The PLOS Medicine trial was the first to show that supplements, available over the counter, can reduce vitamin insufficiencies during the preconception, pregnancy and lactation periods. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

07 December,2023 08:28 AM IST | London | IANS
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Fatty foods can dent body's ability to fight stress: Study

Eating fatty foods during stressful periods can impair the body's 'recovery' from the effects of stress, new research suggests. The study, published recently in Frontiers in Nutrition and Nutrients, showed that consuming foods high in fat before a mentally stressful episode can reduce brain oxygenation and cause poorer vascular function in adults. Researchers from the University of Birmingham took a group of young, healthy adults and gave them two butter croissants as breakfast. They then asked them to do mental math, increasing in speed for eight minutes, alerting them when they got an answer wrong. They could also see themselves on a screen while they did the exercise. The experiment was designed to simulate everyday stress that we might have to deal with at work or at home. The team found that eating high-fat foods attenuated cerebral oxygenation in the pre-frontal cortex, with lower oxygen delivery (39 per cent reduction in oxygenated hemoglobin) during stress compared to when participants consumed a low-fat meal. Furthermore, fat consumption had a negative effect on mood both during and after the stress episode. The scientists were also still able to detect reduced arterial elasticity -- which is a measure of vascular function -- in participants up to 90 minutes after the stressful event was over. "When we get stressed, different things happen in the body: our heart rate and blood pressure go up, our blood vessels dilate, and blood flow to the brain increases. We also know that the elasticity of our blood vessels declines following mental stress," explained Rosalind Baynham, doctoral researcher at the University. "We found that consuming fatty foods when mentally stressed reduced vascular function by 1.74 per cent (as measured by Brachial Flow-mediated dilatation, FMD)." "Previous studies have shown that a 1 per cent reduction in vascular function leads to a 13 per cent increase in cardiovascular disease risk. Importantly we show that this impairment in vascular function persisted for even longer when our participants had eaten the croissants," Baynham said. For people who already have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the impacts could be even more serious, the researchers said. "We all deal with stress all the time, but especially for those of us in high-stress jobs and at risk of cardiovascular disease, these findings should be taken seriously," said Jet Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University. The research also suggested that by consuming low-fat food and drinks, people's recovery from stress is less affected. After eating a low-fat meal, stress still had a negative effect on vascular function (1.18 per cent decrease in FMD), but this decline returned to normal 90 minutes after the stressful event. Further research has shown that by consuming 'healthier' foods, particularly those rich in polyphenols, such as cocoa, berries, grapes, apples and other fruits and vegetables, this impairment in vascular function can be completely prevented. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

07 December,2023 08:22 AM IST | London | IANS
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Doctors warn against removing ear wax, say could lead to hearing loss

Medical experts have warned against using cotton swabs, ear picks, pens, or fingers to remove ear wax since this could lead to hearing loss. During the fourth Voice-Con and Airway Conference, organised by the Association of Otolaryngologists (AOIENT surgeons), experts said that hundreds of such cases are reported every month in the city, where individuals unintentionally cause damage to their ears. President of the Association of Otolaryngologists, Lucknow chapter, Dr Rakesh Srivastava said that the human ear has a self-cleaning mechanism and no routine maintenance was required. "Earwax, or cerumen, serves as a natural protector for eardrums and inner ear against dust and dirt. Improper cleaning pushes wax deeper into the ear canal, resulting in heightened pressure, reduced hearing, and painful ear and infections. Five-six such cases come to light every month," he added. Another otolaryngologist, Dr Sumit Sharma, urged the people to refrain from putting mustard oil in children's ear. This is a common practice in north India. "Putting oil in the ear canal does nothing good. On the contrary it might flare up infection, if any," he added. Regarding excessive wax, he said, "Only some people have this problem because of the design of their ear canal. These individuals, if necessary, may contact doctors who use suction techniques and a syringe filled with warm water and saline or diluted hydrogen peroxide to remove wax." Highlighting another negative aspect of wax removal, Dr Ashish Chandra of RMLIMS said that wax protects the ear from infection from water in ear canal. "It also protects the eardrum from dirt. There should be some wax in the ear for its wellbeing. Even in case of infection, we clean wax when the infection is cured," he added. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/ reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

07 December,2023 08:19 AM IST | Lucknow | IANS
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