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'Progress in HIV care for kids, pregnant women nearly flat over past 3 years'

In time for World AIDS Day on December 1, the UNICEF has warned about progress in HIV prevention and treatment. The United Nations agency has said that the progress in children, adolescents, and pregnant women has nearly flatlined over the past three years, with many regions still not at pre-Covid service coverage. Around 1,10,000 children and adolescents (0-19 years) died from AIDS-related causes during 2021 while another 3,10,000 were newly infected, bringing the total number of young people living with HIV to 2.7 million, according to the latest UNICEF global snapshot on children and HIV/AIDS, which was released on Monday. This stagnation comes on top of an existing and growing gap in treatment between children and adults. "Though children have long lagged behind adults in the AIDS response, the stagnation seen in the last three years is unprecedented, putting too many young lives at risk of sickness and death," said Anurita Bains, UNICEF associate chief of HIV/AIDS. "Children are falling through the cracks because we are collectively failing to find and test them and get them on life-saving treatment. Every day that goes by without progress, over 300 children and adolescents lose their fight against AIDS," Bains added.  Despite accounting for only 7 per cent of overall people living with HIV, children and adolescents comprised 17 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths and 21 per cent of new HIV infections in 2021. Unless the drivers of inequities are addressed, ending AIDS in children and adolescents will continue to be a distant dream, warned UNICEF. However, the snapshot shows that longer-term trends remain positive. New HIV infections among younger children (0-14 years) dropped by 52 per cent from 2010 to 2021, and new infections among adolescents (15-19 years) also dropped by 40 per cent. Similarly, coverage of life-long antiretroviral treatment (ART) among pregnant women living with HIV increased from 46 percent to 81 per cent in a single decade. While the total number of children living with HIV is on the decline, the treatment gap between children and adults continues to grow. In UNICEF HIV-priority countries, ART coverage for children stood at 56 per cent in 2020 but fell to 54 per cent in 2021. This decline is due to several factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic and other global crises, which have increased marginalisation and poverty, but is also a reflection of waning political will and a flagging AIDS response in children. Globally, an even lower percentage of children living with HIV had access to treatment (52 per cent), which has only marginally increased over the past few years. Meanwhile, coverage among all adults living with HIV (76 per cent) was more than 20 percentage points higher than among children. The gap was even larger between children (52 per cent) and pregnant women living with HIV (81 per cent). Alarmingly, the percentage of children between the ages of 0-4 years living with HIV and not on ART has been rising over the past seven years, climbing to 72 per cent in 2021, as high as it was in 2012, shows the snapshot. Many regions -- Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Eastern and Southern Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and West and Central Africa -- also experienced drops in treatment coverage in pregnant and breastfeeding women during 2020, with Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa seeing further declines in 2021. Except for West and Central Africa, which continues to see the highest burden of mother-to-child transmission, none of the aforementioned regions have recovered to the coverage levels achieved in 2019. These disruptions put the lives of newborn babies at increased risk. In 2021, more than 75,000 new child infections occurred because pregnant women were not diagnosed and initiated on treatment, shows the snapshot. Also Read: 3.8 million people living with HIV in South-East Asia region, says WHO 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 December,2022 02:35 PM IST | United Nations | IANS
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Study reveals more young people died of Covid in 2021 as compared to 2020

According to a latest study, deaths due to Covid-19 were more prevalent in younger persons in 2021 as compared to the number of old people dying in 2020. Two investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US reveal that the increase in "years of life lost" was due to a shift toward younger people dying of Covid-19 during the first two years of the pandemic. In the pandemic's early phases, most deaths were among older adults, but in 2021, deaths in younger persons increased while deaths in older persons decreased, a new study has found. The increase in "years of life lost" was due to a shift toward younger people dying of Covid-19 during the first two years of the pandemic, according to the study by two investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US. Earlier in the pandemic, age and pre-existing conditions played a major role in developing public health advice. But by early 2021, the Covid-19 landscape had shifted completely and vaccines became available, treatments advanced and people's behaviours changed. While 2020 Covid death rates were high among older adults, those older adults exhibited a relatively higher vaccination rate and adhered more strictly to nonpharmaceutical interventions throughout 2021. Such systemic and behavioural changes in response to Covid-19 impacted mortality rates and determined what ages, in what years, were higher risk. "There were a lot of changes between the first and second years of the Covid-19 pandemic," said corresponding author Mark Czeisler in the study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Between March 2020 and October 2021, Covid-19 maintained a spot as one of the top-five causes of death for US adults. Its specific rank within that top-five, however, changed based on age, demonstrating a greater proportion of young people prematurely dying from Covid-19 in 2021. Researchers quantified this downward age-shift in Covid-19 deaths, using 'Years of Life Lost' (YLL) rather than mortality. Using these resources, the team calculated per cent of Covid-19 deaths and YLL per death. Despite 20.8-per cent fewer Covid deaths in 2021 versus 2020, YLL increased 7.4-per cent. "A shift in Covid-19 mortality to relatively younger people in the second pandemic year contributed to markedly increased premature mortality from this increasingly preventable death," said Czeisler. "Understanding the factors that contribute to this age shift is critical as we continue developing our knowledge of the Covid-19 pandemic," the researchers noted. Also Read: Covid-19: Mumbai logs eight new cases 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 December,2022 01:16 PM IST | New York | IANS
Every year, World AIDS Day is observed on December 1. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: Istock

3.8 million people living with HIV in South-East Asia region, says WHO

On World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reiterated its commitment to achieving a world in which AIDS is no longer a public health threat. The UN agency said it aims to leave no individual, community or population behind in this attempt.  reiterated its commitment to achieving a region and world in which AIDS is no longer a public health threat, leaving no individual, community or population behind. In a WHO press release, WHO regional director for South-East Asia, Poonam Khetrapal Singh said that in the South-East Asia region alone, 3.8 million people are living under HIV accounting for 10 per cent of the global burden. "On World AIDS Day, WHO joins Member States and partners in the South-East Asia Region and across the world to highlight the urgent need for everyone, everywhere to be provided equitable access to quality HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care to end the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030," the release said. As per the release, an estimated 38.4 million people are living with HIV, globally. In 2021, an estimated 1.5 million people acquired HIV and around 650 000 people died from AIDS-related causes. In the South-East Asia Region, an estimated 3.8 million people are living with HIV, accounting for around 10 per cent of the global burden. In 2021, an estimated 82, 000 people in the region died of AIDS-related causes, accounting for more than 12 per cent of the global burden. Amid the Covid-19 response and recovery, the region continues to take targeted action to end HIV-related inequalities and expand service coverage, in line with its flagship priority of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and the Region's new Integrated Action Plan for viral hepatitis, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (I-RAP 2022-2026), launched in September 2022. Between 2010 and 2021, new HIV infections in the region declined by 42 per cent and HIV-related deaths reduced by 63 per cent. Whereas in 2010, coverage of anti-retroviral therapy in the region was just 17 per cent, by 2020 it had increased 3.6 times, to 61 per cent. In 2019, the Maldives and Sri Lanka were certified to have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis, which Thailand achieved in 2016 - the first country in Asia to do so. The release said that by the end of 2020, 75 per cent of people in the region living with HIV knew their status, 61 per cent were on anti-retroviral therapy, and 58 per cent were virally suppressed, meaning that despite strong progress, the region fell short of the 90-90-90 targets, which were also missed globally. In December 2020, both the region and the world committed to ensuring that by 2025, 95 per cent of all people living with HIV know their status, 95 per cent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection receive sustained anti-retroviral therapy, and 95% of all people receiving anti-retroviral treatment have viral suppression. We have people and populations to reach, and progress to achieve. Across the Region, almost 95 per cent of new HIV infections are among key populations such as sex workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, and transgender people. Only 22 per cent of young people know about HIV prevention, and coverage of testing for people who inject drugs has significant room for improvement. Access to game-changing innovations such as HIV self-testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis remains highly uneven, both within and between countries. WHO further called for actions by policymakers and leaders across the world to combat the disease. "WHO is calling for action in several key areas. First, policymakers and programme managers should rapidly increase the availability, quality and sustainability of HIV services, ensuring that everyone - especially key populations - are well-served and actively included in service provision. Second, political leaders and other key influencers should immediately reform laws, policies and practices that facilitate both direct and indirect discrimination, stigma and exclusion. The human rights of key populations and affected groups must be respected, protected and fulfilled," the release stated. "Third, policymakers and other national, international and global actors must accelerate access for all countries and communities to the best HIV science, technologies and tools, which should be accompanied by evidence-based information on how best to deliver them, including through increased South-South collaboration and learning. Fourth, programme managers and other health leaders should implement concrete actions to engage and empower communities, civil society and affected populations, whose experiences must inform both policy and service delivery, as well as ongoing progress monitoring," the release further stated. The inequalities which keep the AIDS epidemic alive are not inevitable. Together, we must end each and every inequality and accelerate progress towards our targets and goals. On World AIDS Day, WHO reiterates its commitment to achieving a region and world in which AIDS is no longer a public health threat, leaving no individual, community or population behind, stated the release.Also Read: Mumbai: HIV/AIDS treatment, counselling go online 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 December,2022 12:35 PM IST | New Delhi | ANI
The world observes World AIDS Day on December 1 every year. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

World AIDS Day 2022: History, theme, and significance

The world commemorates World AIDS Day on December 1 every year. In addition to paying homage to AIDS patients, it is held to demonstrate support for those who are HIV-positive. As the initial international health day, World AIDS Day was created in 1988. In order to close the gaps and disparities that limit HIV testing, prevention, and access to care, this day also serves as a call to action for people to band together globally. Each year, UN-affiliated organisations, governments, and civil society organisations join together to promote campaigns based on certain HIV-related topics. The significance of this day and the year's topic should, therefore, be understood. HistoryIn 1987, the idea of World AIDS Day was introduced. This day is observed to promote communication about AIDS and HIV amongst local and state governments, international organisations, and private citizens. James W. Bunn and Thomas Netter, two public information officials at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, came up with it. It has been coordinated and promoted by UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) since 1996.  ThemeThe theme for World AIDS Day this year is "Equalize". It implies that everyone should try to end the injustices that, in the opinion of UNAIDS, are impeding the effort to eradicate AIDS. The subject chosen for this year is the most recent in a long line of concerns. SignificanceBy the end of 2021, there were over 38.4 million HIV-positive individuals worldwide, with 25.6 million of those individuals living in the WHO African Region. Over 4,139 people in the UK receive an HIV diagnosis each year, and stigma and prejudice are still commonplace for many of those who live with the disease. World AIDS Day is significant because it serves as a reminder to the public and the government that the issue is a serious one that demands immediate funding, education, eradication of discrimination, and better educational opportunities.Also Read: Mumbai: HIV/AIDS treatment, counselling go online 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

01 December,2022 10:02 AM IST | Washington | ANI
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World AIDS Day: A new global alliance formed to end AIDS in children by 2030

A new Global Alliance for Ending AIDS in Children by 2030 was announced at the 24th International AIDS Conference to ensure that no child living with HIV is denied treatment by the end of the decade and to prevent new infant HIV infections.The alliance is made up of Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Unicef, World Health Organization (WHO), civil society groups, governments, and international partners, reports Xinhua news agency.Twelve countries have joined the alliance in the first phase."No child should be born with or grow up with HIV, and no child with HIV should go without treatment," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus."The Global Alliance to End AIDS in Children is an opportunity to renew our commitment to children and their families to unite, to speak and to act with purpose and in solidarity with all mothers, children and adolescents."A UNAIDS report showed that globally only 52 per cent of children living with HIV are on life-saving treatment, far behind adults where 76 per cent are receiving antiretrovirals."The wide gap in treatment coverage between children and adults is an outrage," said UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima."Through this alliance, we will channel that outrage into action. By bringing together new improved medicines, new political commitment, and the determined activism of communities, we can be the generation who end AIDS in children. We can win this -- but we can only win together."The five-day conference taking place in the Canadian city of Montreal will end on Tuesday.According to the Unicef, about 2.8 million children and adolescents are currently living with HIV, nearly 88 per cent of them in sub-Saharan Africa.Only 54 per cent of infected children and adolescents were on HIV treatment as compared to 85 per cent of pregnant women living with HIV.In 2020, at least 300,000 children were newly infected with HIV, or one child every two minutes. That same year, 120,000 children and adolescents died from AIDS-related causes, or one child every five minutes. Also read: Monkeypox: Causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.

01 December,2022 09:42 AM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Mumbai experts say Myositis means a group of rare conditions leading to muscle weakness, tiredness, and unbearable pain. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Myositis: All you need to know about the autoimmune condition

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South Indian film star Samantha Ruth Prabhu recently revealed that she suffers from an auto-immune disease called Myositis, on social media. While Prabhu mentions that she was diagnosed with the disease a few months ago, the actor was hoping to share it with fans after she went into remission, but it was taking longer than usual. In the same social media post, the actor, who is currently undergoing treatment, said her doctors have said that she will make a complete recovery soon. After the news left many surprised, more recently, Bollywood filmmaker Vikram Bhatt offered his support to the actor and even spoke about how he has also been dealing with an autoimmune disease called Fibromyalgia for the last 18 years. Even as the buzz is still on about the kind of treatment Prabhu is undergoing for the condition, many people are clueless because they have heard about the condition for the first time. According to city experts, Myositis is a group of rare conditions that causes inflammation, weakness, swelling and pain in the muscles. It is also a condition that can happen to people at any age and can take a toll on one’s overall wellbeing.   Mid-day Online spoke to Dr Vikrant Shah, consulting physician, intensivist, and infectious disease specialist, Zen Multispecialty Hospital in Chembur and Dr Manish Pendse, senior consultant physician, Medicover Hospitals in Navi Mumbai to understand more about the bone condition. They not only stress on the need for awareness but also include anti-inflammatory foods in one’s diet.  What is myositis? Shah: Myositis is any condition that invites inflammation in muscles. People suffering from the condition commonly experience weakness, swelling, and pain. It can occur to anyone at any age. Moreover, it is also a progressive condition that will take a toll on one’s overall well-being. Pendse: Myositis means a group of rare conditions leading to muscle weakness, tiredness, and unbearable pain. The word myositis indicates inflammation in one’s muscles. If something is inflamed, it is bound to get swollen but not many people are aware of this condition.  Can people identify myositis themselves or can it be only diagnosed by a doctor? Shah: Antinuclear antibody test (ANA) can be done to confirm the diagnosis of this condition. ENA (extractable nuclear antigens) and the anti-Jo-1 test can also be helpful in detecting this condition.  Pendse: Your doctor will take down your history and conduct a series of tests to confirm the diagnosis of this condition. It will be imperative for you to follow the guidelines given by the doctor only. What are the causes of myositis? Shah: Certain medications, vigorous exercise causing muscle pain, alcohol and drugs can lead to the onset of this condition. Even the common cold, HIV, and flu can lead to this condition. However, injury and infections are the main culprits behind it. Pendse: The exact cause behind the occurrence of this condition is not clear yet. According to the evidence available, this condition can be seen due to other inflammatory conditions such as lupus or arthritis. Are there different types of myositis? Shah: Juvenile myositis (JM) is commonly seen in children under 18 years. It is seen in the form of skin rashes and muscle weakness. Inclusion-body myositis is common in men over 50 years old when compared to women. It tends to begin with muscle weakness in the wrists and fingers and thigh muscles. Pendse: Toxic myositis happens due to prescribed medications and illicit drugs. Polymyositis (PM) initiates muscle weakness in the muscles that are near the trunk of the body. Which age group is more prone to getting myositis? Is it seen more in any particular type of body? Shah: Myositis is seen in people of any age, including children. The main muscles to be affected in this condition are around the shoulders, hips, and thighs. Pendse: This condition is commonly seen in children, adults, and older people. But, there are different types of myositis that affect different age groups and gender. It is better to speak to the doctor and get all your doubts cleared. Can people prevent the onset of this condition by consuming certain kinds of food? Shah: It will be imperative for you to stick to a well-balanced diet. Avoid junk, spicy, oily, canned, and processed foods. Cut down on smoking, alcohol, pizza, pasta, French fries, and bakery items that lead to pain and inflammation. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lentils, and legumes.  Pendse: One should eat anti-inflammatory foods to prevent this condition. Go for blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardine. Broccoli, spinach, avocado, green tea, mushroom, and grapes can also do the trick. These foods will lower inflammation in the body and boost immunity. What are the precautions that people can take in general? Shah: So, protective padding over an injured muscle will be helpful in keeping this condition at bay. Stretching can also prevent muscle strain, as well as wearing appropriate protective equipment can do the trick too.  Pendse: Do not do any high-intensity activities or over-exercise that can lead to muscle weakness and pain. Do not ignore any kind of pain and seek timely intervention. Try to maintain an optimum weight. What is the kind of treatment that people have to undertake? Do they have to follow a particular lifestyle post-diagnosis? Shah: Along with appropriate medication, one will also have to take physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and exercise on a daily basis. Try to follow a healthy lifestyle. Do not take your health lightly. Pendse: Antibiotics and drugs that suppress the immune system are prescribed to the patient. Even some patients will be given steroids if their condition is serious. Does Covid-19 have any kind of bearing on the condition? Shah: Covid has not only led to heart problems but even myositis. It can also raise one’s risk of myositis as it induces a systemic inflammatory response. One will encounter symptoms such as difficulty in walking, tiredness, tripping, and loss of balance. Pendse: Covid-19 can induce myositis as it causes inflammation in the body and can lead to infection of the muscle. One will have to be extremely careful after Covid infection and take utmost care of himself/ herself. Do people with other bone conditions need to take special care in case of such a condition? Shah: Get enough vitamin D by exposing yourself to sunlight early in the morning. Take supplements only recommended by the doctor. It is better to exercise every day without fail. Pendse: One needs to stick to a well-balanced lifestyle. Stay healthy, maintain optimum weight, and exercise daily. It is better to speak to the doctor and ensure you are taking all the measures to prevent any further issues.Also Read: Bladder infection has long-term health consequences if left unchecked: Experts on UTIs in women

30 November,2022 06:26 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
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Effective workout routines for new mothers

Motherhood is a magical experience. New mothers face a plethora of issues after birth.  The following postpartum signifies a period of revivification, and the hormonal turbulence can be fatiguing for the body. In such a state, it becomes even more important for new moms to plan ahead to secure health and well-being for themselves, given the responsibilities they're faced with. Thanks to the age of information, the journey of postpartum needs little demystification, and a plan with ample conviction and steady dedication can go a long way for new moms. The benefits of physical exercise on the mind and body are no longer a thing of speculation, evident from its empirical impact on people from across the world. The task to choose the right routine for oneself, a routine that balances convenience and efficacy, is what the new mom needs. Getting back to fitness can be hard, and the type of pregnancy and delivery determine when is a good time to start, and a consultation with the doctor is imperative. Let's take a look at two workout routines that can help new moms adapt to the growing responsibilities of motherhood while ensuring that they stay healthy to tend to their little ones. Postpartum Functional Training, the postpartum period requires new moms to focus on movement and feel good. Functional training is one of the most common exercises, practiced by amateurs and athletes alike, and can aid the recovery from pregnancy in an immensely effective manner. A combination of strength training, cardio, and low-intensity aerobic exercises can help new moms strengthen their muscles, boost energy, promote better sleep, relieve stress, and help them lose the extra weight from pregnancy. A combination of exercises mentioned below can form a routine that helps moms strengthen their core, achieve states of relaxation and revive energy levels to take the responsibility of motherhood head-on: Pelvic Floor Exercises: Core strength can be greatly affected due to pregnancy, and it becomes more important for mothers to focus on building the strength back to return to the fitness levels before conceiving. Pelvic floor exercises such as planks, side-planks leg-lifts, Cat-Cow table tops, glute bridges, and other exercises are some of the options that can be done easily at home, without equipment. Walking: Walking is a simple, refreshing, and effective way to stay active, increase energy, and improve blood-oxygenation levels, and can be done anywhere at any time. This form of low-intensity steady-state cardio can help increase stamina and make new moms proactive, and mindful, and alleviate stress levels, affected by the topsy-turvy hormonal bodily state. Postnatal Yoga, the myriad asanas, breathing techniques, and transcendental meditation are another elaborate system that new moms can access in order to take control of the period of recovery following delivery. Depending on the nature of the delivery, new moms can start yoga within a few days or weeks from childbirth. Postnatal yoga is a modified, low-intensity yoga practice that increases calmness, reduces irritability and anger, lowers blood pressure, reduces tension in the muscles, and can even benefit moms experiencing depression and anxiety. Pranayam: 'Prana' in Pranayam is defined as the 'life-force', and control over the breath is one of the main ways in which the practice of yoga helps individuals achieve states of awareness and calmness. The postpartum period for mothers can be full of severe mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, and a range of other psychological problems that bear negative effects on the baby and the mother as a whole. Remaining calm and relaxed becomes imperative in the company of infants, as the propensity for fear is greater for a newborn. The various breathing exercises from yoga can help mothers to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression to achieve and in return impart the feeling of calmness and serenity that a baby needs. Asanas: Yoga asanas can help greatly with building back strength, remaining active, and attaining rest and relaxation in the postpartum period. Some common poses from Yoga include the cat-cow pose, child's pose, legs-up-the-wall, and the corpse pose (sravasana). Being mindful of the body postpartum is as crucial as remaining mindful during the time of being pregnancy. New moms should prepare in advance, and consult a doctor to know when the right time to exercise begins. Exercising can be fruitful but oftentimes needs supervision. Trained professionals can help new moms choose the right programs that aid the mother in their postnatal journey of healing and being healed. Also Read: Five dietary switches you can adapt for a healthy lifestyle 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

30 November,2022 06:09 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Vitamin C supplements are found to have these benefits

Vitamin C is extremely important and contributes to overall health. Packed with a wide range of impressive health benefits, the water-soluble vitamin is present in numerous fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach. Nutritionists recommend a daily Vitamin C intake of 75 mg for women and around 100 mg for men. Although it's generally suggested that one should meet their vitamin C requirement from the food one eats, a number of people switch to supplements to address their nutritional needs. Before you consume any type of Vitamin C supplements, it is essential to consult a medical practitioner to avoid any discrepancies. Here are some highly significant medically-tested advantages of consuming vitamin C: Vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis. As we know, Collagen is an integral structural component of connective tissue, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, gums, skin, teeth, and bones. It helps in maintaining the skin natural elasticity to render a younger-looking skin and reduce skin-sagging. Vitamin C also assays a cardinal role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, 'norepinephrine' which is crucial for optimal brain functioning and impacts mood sensations. Vitamin C also has a critical role in enhancing the body's immune function, which can get hindered on account of nutritional scarcity. Vitamin C is also an extremely efficient antioxidant. Even in small traces, vitamin C aids in safeguarding various essential molecules in the body like proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) from damage by free radicals. The free radicals damage can be produced during routine metabolism as well as through contact with various toxins and air pollutants i.e. smoking. It has also been ascertained that vitamin C can also restore other antioxidants like vitamin E. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which extends scientific recommendations to facilitate medical policymakers, has corroborated the following health benefits that come with the regular dietary intake of vitamin C in one's diet: It assists in safeguarding essential cell constituents from the damage caused by free radicals It improves the rate of collagen formation and assists in the normal functioning of blood vessels, skin, bones, cartilage, gums, and teeth It further helps in increasing the rate of non-heme iron (found in plant-based foods) absorption It also regulates the standard operation of the nervous system Vitamin C also proves instrumental in bolstering the body's natural immunity It also assists in preserving the routine functions of the immune system both before and after an intense physical workout. It also supports the redevelopment process of the abridged form of vitamin E Furthermore, it also aids in curtailing tiredness and fatigue levels in the body. Having understood the importance of Vitamin C in our lives, we must strive to include Vitamin C in our everyday diet to ensure the proper functioning of the body and enjoy healthy disease-free living. If you are unable to receive the prescribed amount of Vitamin C from your conventional diet, you can also resort to using over-the-counter and safe-to-use Vitamin C supplements. However, it is prudent to consult a doctor or a nutritionist before consuming any form of supplements. Also Read: Film buffs across India can now watch the European Union Film Festival online 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

28 November,2022 06:24 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Bladder infection has long-term health consequences if left unchecked: Experts

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Urinary tract infections or UTIs are a common occurrence mainly affecting women’s health. According to a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, UTIs occur in both men and women, but the incidence rate in women is higher when compared to men. Nearly half of the women population experience at least one episode of UTI in their lifetime, with 20-40 percent of them exhibiting recurrent episodes. Several studies in the past have recorded a higher prevalence of such infections among females in different parts of India. As Dr Manzer Altamash Shaikh, consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist and fertility specialist at Masina Hospital explains, the urinary tract or system comprises of kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra and infections of any of these parts is called as urinary tract infection. The commonest UTI is infection of the bladder and is generally termed as urinary tract infection or UTI. However, Dr Manjiri Mehta, consultant gynaecologist  and obstetrician at Hiranandani Hospital cautions, “Bladder infection is essentially limited to the urinary bladder and has no progression to the upper organs. Hence, these terms should not be used interchangeably.” Mid-day Digital reached out to city-based experts Shaikh and Mehta to understand more about the bladder infection and its impact on health. What are the most common causes of bladder infection among women? Shaikh: Infections of the bladder are more common in women due to shorter length of the urethra that means the bacteria have a shorter length to travel to bladder and proximity of the urethral opening to vaginal and anal orifice which help the bacteria from bowel to reach the urethra and the bladder. It could be due to washing from back to front after defecation. In younger women increased sexual activity is a major risk factor. In older women, general debility, diabetes, antibiotic use or catheterisation predisposes to bladder infection. The act of urination flushes out bacteria from the urethra and prevents them from ascending to the bladder. In metro cities like Mumbai due to busy work culture and sometimes due to unhygienic state of health faucets women avoid drinking water, this coupled with hot and humid weather results in women urinating less frequently resulting in increased chances of getting urinary tract infections. Mehta: Poor hygiene, use of harsh skin products, diabetes, post-coital infections (occurring during or after sexual intercourse), use of vaginal diaphragm and non-lubricated condoms can also lead to UTIs. It can occur throughout the year, but we do see a small rise during summer. This is due to multiple factors like sweating, lack of adequate water intake and dehydration. The lifetime incidence of UTI is 50-60 per cent. This happens most commonly in the age group of 18-30 years. What are the common symptoms? Mehta: Common symptoms of bladder infection are: 1.  Increased frequency of passing urine 2. Painful urination 3. Burning sensation while passing urine 4. Passing urine frequently but just few drops 5. Cloudy or blood-tinged urine in severe cases 6. Pain in the suprapubic region (centre of lower abdomen) 7. Mild fever, body ache and nausea The prevalence is mainly observed among which age-groups of women? Are children equally susceptible? Shaikh: The prevalence of urinary tract infection increases with age and in women more than 65 years the rate is almost doubled. It is more common in women during the reproductive age group and elderly women however it can be seen during childhood as well. In women of reproductive age group, in addition to above mentioned risk factors, others include unclean sanitary practices during menstruation, catheterisation, kidney stones, using diaphragm or sponges as birth control etc. In young girls, the commonest cause is immature lining of the urethra and the bladder. How does it affect the menstrual cycle and pregnancy? Shaikh: Urinary tract infections per say do not affect menstruation except for pain and discomfort. UTI during pregnancy can have serious sequelae. UTIs are one of the commonest reasons for preterm labour, infection of the ureters and kidneys, needing hospitalisation and intravenous antibiotics. UTIs if not treated effectively have a very high recurrence rate especially in pregnancy. Recurrent UTIs can cause ascending bacterial infection in the kidneys leading to severe pain and pyelonephritis, infection in the blood and even high blood pressure. What are the long-term impacts of a prolonged bladder infection in women? Elaborate Mehta: In many cases, UTI remains undiagnosed, and in other cases, the treatment process is not completed entirely. Although UTI can be simple to treat, it can affect the well-being and health of a person in the following ways: 1. UTI can damage the bladder (urine bag) and progress to other organs, including the kidneys. 2. When it affects the kidneys, it can cause severe problems, including Pyelonephritis, an inflammation caused by bacterial infection. Also, repeated kidney infections can lead to permanent damage to the organ. 3. Undiagnosed UTI can also lead to blood infection, causing Septicemia - a life-threatening condition that can even lead to septic shocks and requires immediate medical attention. Please list important measures to prevent the infection. Shaikh and Mehta suggest a few lifestyle and dietary changes, which can help women in preventing UTI: 1. Drink a lot of fluids, especially water, as it dilutes urine, which means when a person pees more frequently, it will most likely flush out the infection. 2. Do not hold urine in the bladder for a long time. 3. Use water or an intimate wipe to clean your intimate area from front to back after passing urine or motions. This will prevent the bacteria from anus (opening for stool) spreading near the urethra (urinary opening). These bacteria are the commonest cause of UTI. 4. Avoid using irritating skin care products like powders, creams, and douches. This may irritate the skin and urinary opening, which makes a person prone to getting UTI. 5. Urinate and wash before and after having sex. 6. Change the type of birth control method that a person is using, like a diaphragm, and unlubricated condoms, which can sometimes be a cause of UTI. 7. Dry thoroughly after washing and don’t wear damp undergarments. Frequently change sanitary napkins or tampons. Are there any readily available antibiotics that one can keep ready in an emergency? Mehta: Urine infections should not be treated with any random kind of antibiotics. The best way to treat a UTI is to consult a specialised doctor who will ask you about your symptoms (frequent, burning, and painful urination), diagnose the condition after the necessary tests and then start you on the correct medication. It is important to remember that random, uncontrolled, unauthorised use of antibiotics leads to resistance in the microbes and makes treatment more difficult. Also Read: A new technology aims to detect early-stage Alzheimer's disease: Report

28 November,2022 02:52 PM IST | Mumbai | Sarasvati T
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Five dietary switches you can adapt for a healthy lifestyle

'Healthy lifestyle' a common phrase that has come under much scrutiny over the last couple years, has some of us checking our calorie count with every meal intake, and most of us aiming to achieve it, but never being able to. Despite alarming facts that reveal the sorry state of the Indian population's heart health, and India accounting for approximately 60 per cent of the world's heart diseases, it becomes an important consideration. We know that hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity can impact our health negatively. These can be caused by our poor lifestyle choices. Our sedentary lifestyles have led to reduced levels of physical activity, coupled with the lack of moderation and imbalance in our food habits that include excess consumption of processed foods high in refined sugar, salt and high-in fat consisting of saturated and trans-fat. The key to minimising health risks is not as hard as you may think. Starting small and adopting simple dietary and lifestyle changes can help in maintaining overall heart health. Choose granola bars over Indian dessert We Indians have a sweet tooth and crave for something sweet with our meals, but most of the time we go overboard with the consumption of desserts which have excessive amount of sugar. Over consumption of sugar for long period of time accumulates as fat in the body causing weight gain. Even though sugar is part of our regular diet one needs to be mindful about the consumption pattern, portion sizes and should go for a snack which is more ideal. Granola bars are a quick snack for those who need a power boost but make sure you use low amounts of sugar. Homemade granola bars can be made at home with oats, berries, edible seeds and dry fruits that are high sources of fibre and protein. Soluble fibre helps to reduce LDL levels i.e., bad cholesterol and blood pressure which will keep your heart healthy. Swap fruit juices with whole fruits Consuming whole fruits in the morning helps in better absorption of vitamins from the fruits. However, people choose the convenient option and consume fruit juices. Natural and canned fruit juices are a concentrated sources of sugars without the benefit of fibre. Hence, it is advisable to include whole fruits as part of your breakfast, which have nutrients like fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Seasonal fruits can be a good way to include fruits in your breakfast every day. Choose blended oils over single seed oils Our day-to-day cooking requires oil in almost all our meals, therefore choosing the right oil is a simple change for overall health. Though single seed oils like ground nut, soybean, canola etc. do have health benefits, they are not enough to provide the right balance of fatty acids which are recommended in our diet. A healthier switch would be opting for multi-source oils, also known as blended oils. Blended oils with antioxidants have multiple benefits like providing nutrition from fats and improving immunity. It is prepared by combining two or more oils into one to obtain benefits of two oils in one. They are scientifically blended to provide good balance of MUFAs and PUFAs that help manage cholesterol. Choosing a blended oil like Saffola Gold Blended Oil as part of your everyday diet can help in keeping your heart healthy. It has natural antioxidants that help build immunity and gives you benefits of oryzanol that helps lower your cholesterol. Additionally, it has LOSORB technology which helps in absorbing lower quantities of oil during frying compared to other cooking oils. The oil is a blend of Rice Bran Oil which is rich in MUFA and Sunflower Oil which is rich in PUFA; and hence, gives you a good balance of MUFA and PUFA, which is beneficial for your heart health. Lower sodium and saturated fat rich snack foods The American Heart Association and Indian Council of Medical Research recommend ideal consumption of sodium to be no more than 2000 mg a day. Processed foods like chips, crackers or white bread as an evening snack has become a norm amongst adults these days and these foods are usually high in sodium and saturated fat. It is important to check nutritional labels before purchasing processed foods to assess the amount of sodium and saturated fat you are consuming. You can also opt for a healthy switch and consume foods like fruits, sprouts, oats, yogurt or millet based foods for snacks. Swap fast food with healthy alternatives Working professionals living sedentary lifestyles tend to depend on fast food to satisfy their hunger pangs. Fast food could have excess amounts of saturated fats, refined sugar and sodium, increasing the possibility of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol imbalance. To counter this, a simple habit of eating healthy alternatives like hummus wrap, savoury oatmeal, and millet dosas can be relished. Chickpeas, oats, millet flour and veggies have great source of plant-based protein and fiber which improves your good gut bacteria and have low glycemic Index that helps to control blood sugar levels. Leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, fenugreek leaves, kale and collard greens are high in fibre, vitamins and minerals that promote overall health and heart health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming, especially with all the information out there. However, breaking down your health goals and making simple, easy changes to your everyday habits can help achieve a healthy lifestyle. Also Read: Expectations change in relationships with age: Study 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

26 November,2022 07:27 PM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Most people suffering from long Covid are facing social stigma, discrimination

The last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic has had lasting effects on people not only physically but also mentally and that can be seen in many different ways. A new study has now found that majority of people living with long Covid are experiencing some form of social stigma directly related to their condition. Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the study was conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton and Brighton and Sussex Medical School and co-designed by people living with long Covid (from the charity Long Covid Support) in the UK. An estimated 2.3 million people are living with long Covid in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics data, and numbers are not decreasing due to limited treatment options and continued high Covid infection rates. "There have been countless anecdotal reports of the stigma, dismissal and discrimination faced by people living with long Covid. We were shocked to see just how prevalent it is, but the findings also empower us to do something about it," said Dr Marija Pantelic, lecturer in public health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. In the study, nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of people reported experiences of stigma such as being treated with less respect or people they care about stopping contact with them due to their health condition. About 91 per cent expected to experience stigma and discrimination, for example they thought many people did not consider long Covid to be a real illness or they anticipated judgment. Eighty-six per cent of respondents felt a profound sense of shame related to having long Covid - they were embarrassed of their illness and felt "very different" from people without long Covid. In the study, 61 per cent of people said they were very careful who they tell about their condition, and about one third (34 per cent) of respondents regretted having told people about it. Overall, the prevalence of experiencing stigma was higher in those who reported having a clinical diagnosis of long Covid compared to those without or who were unsure. "We were surprised to find that people with a clinical diagnosis of Long Covid were more likely to report stigma than people without a formal diagnosis. More research is needed to unpack the potential mechanisms of how and where this stigma is manifested, and who is most likely to stigmatise and be stigmatised," said Nisreen Alwan, Professor of Public Health at the University of Southampton. Also Read: Five bacteria were responsible for at least 6.8 lakh deaths in India in 2019: Lancet study 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/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

25 November,2022 06:23 PM IST | London | IANS
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