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Air pollution now linked to serious illnesses among kids: Study

From dementia to altering brain structure in kids, from sudden heart attacks to autism risk -- the health impact of long-term exposure to air pollution is not just respiratory illnesses, as several new studies have documented this year alone. These new investigations raise a fresh alarm for the governments and agencies in India to fast-track their efforts to safeguard the population from air pollution. Exposure to above-average levels of outdoor air pollution increases the risk of death by 20 per cent, and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 17 per cent, according to a team of researchers, including one of Indian origin. The study, published in the journal 'PLOS ONE' in June, showed that using wood or kerosene-burning stoves, not properly ventilated through a chimney, to cook food or heat the home also increases the overall risk of death (by 23 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively) and cardiovascular death risk (by 36 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively). "Our study highlights the role that key environmental factors of indoor/outdoor air pollution, access to modern health services, and proximity to noisy, polluted roadways play in all causes of death, and deaths from cardiovascular disease in particular," said researcher Rajesh Vedanthan from NYU Langone Health. In a first-of-its-kind study, published in the peer-reviewed journal 'Environmental Pollution' in September, researchers linked exposure to air pollutants like particulate matter PM2.5 -- particularly in the first five years of life starting from the womb -- and alterations in the brain structure that may put children at psychiatric and cognitive disorder risks later in life. The study, led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), found an association in children aged 9-12, between exposure to air pollutants in the womb and during the first 8.5 years of life and alterations in white matter structural connectivity in the brain. Abnormal white matter microstructure has been associated with psychiatric disorders (depressive symptoms, anxiety and autism spectrum disorders). In April, China-based researchers claimed that exposure to air pollutants -- even at levels below World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines -- may trigger a heart attack within an hour. The study, published in the American Heart Association's journal 'Circulation', found exposure to any level of four common air pollutants -- fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide -- could quickly trigger the onset of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). ACS is an umbrella term describing any situation in which blood supplied to the heart muscle is blocked, such as in a heart attack or unstable angina, chest pain caused by blood clots that temporarily block an artery. "The adverse cardiovascular effects of air pollution have been well documented. But we were still surprised at the very prompt effects," said Haidong Kan, professor in the School of Public Health at Fudan University in Shanghai. "Another surprise was the non-threshold effects of air pollution. Any concentration of air pollutants may have the potential to trigger the onset of a heart attack," Kan added. According to UK-based researchers, air pollution is likely to increase the risk of developing dementia. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants in the UK published its findings in July this year, after reviewing almost 70 studies that analysed how exposure to emissions affect the brain over time. The 291-page report concluded that air pollution is likely to increase the risk of accelerated "cognitive decline" and of "developing dementia" in elderly people. Experts believe this is due to the impact of pollutants entering the circulatory system, affecting blood flow to the brain. Last month, another study found that the impact of breathing diesel exhaust fumes may be more severe for women than men. Hemshekhar Mahadevappa and Neeloffer Mookherjee from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, looked for changes in people's blood brought about by exposure to diesel exhaust. In both females and males, they found changes in components of the blood related to inflammation, infection and cardiovascular disease, but they found more changes in females than males. "These are preliminary findings, however, they show that exposure to diesel exhaust has different effects in female bodies compared to male and that could indicate that air pollution is more dangerous for females than males," said Mookherjee. This is important as respiratory diseases such as asthma are known to affect females and males differently, with females more likely to suffer severe asthma that does not respond to treatments. Also read: Mumbai: Finally, pollution board rap for bio-waste plant 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

02 December,2022 11:26 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
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Pollution and skincare: Poor AQI can harm your skin; experts share tips

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Indulging in Diwali festivities in India means binge eating sweets and heavy meals, which usually contain a high amount of oil or ghee, and an increased exposure to highly polluted air and dust due to cleaning and burnt crackers. Though fun, these do end up altering one’s skin conditions; seasonal weather changes and use of make-up for long hours further add to the impact. According to Dr Subodh Sirur, consultant dermatologist, Masina Hospital, Mumbai, glycemic food stuffs like sweets and dairy products can lead to acne breakouts. The generous (mis)use of oil based cosmetics can only worsen the situation. “Moderating the indulgence in high glycemic foods and picking the right type of cosmetics will help avoid any undesirable impact on the skin,” says Sirur. Dr Poorva Shah (MBBS, MD Skin), consultant medical and aesthetic dermatologist, adds that a high-sugar and processed-food diet can cause inflammation, acne breakouts, and premature skin ageing. Moreover, while dairy can be healthy, excess consumption of dairy products during the festive season can cause pimples, whiteheads and blackheads among acne-prone people. Moreover, festive season can lead to stress-causing situations for people, who are swamped with multiple duties, at home and work and also for those, who experience festive loneliness or disassociation. Shah says stress can activate your immune system, causing inflammation and excess oil production, ultimately leading to pimples on the skin. Shah states acne, pigmentation and sunburns are the major skincare problems faced by people during the festive season: Acne: The most common skin disorder that arises during this time can be stressful for many adolescents and adults. Acne is caused by clogged hair follicles and oil glands of the skin, which are frequently triggered by hormonal changes. The skin condition encompasses not only pimples on the face, but also blackheads, cysts, and nodules. Skin pigmentation: According to media reports, the air quality index (AQI) in Delhi and Mumbai worsened during the first day of the festival. In some parts of Mumbai, the PM 2.5 increased to over 270 in some parts of the city. Pollution caused by Diwali firecrackers can linger in the air as airborne particulate matter. They can get into your skin's tiny pores, causing problems like dull skin and hyperpigmentation. Sunburns: This is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or sunlamps. The skin becomes red, painful, and hot to the touch, and it may even peel off. The first step in treating sunburn is to seek shade, preferably indoors, and to cool the skin. Due to a hectic schedule during festivals, people often miss out on following their regular skincare routine. Due to changes in the diet and external conditions, one may have to take additional measures for a short period to get back to their regular routine after the festive season. Shah and Sirur suggest following tips to detox skin post-Diwali: 1. Deep cleanse: Our skin requires deep cleansing, scrubbing, and toning following the Diwali festivities. 2. Gentle cleansing: The pollution is on the high and the use of a gentle cleanser twice a day will remove the dirt and the pollutants from the surface of the skin. This followed by the use of a toner to tighten the pores of the skin makes the skin look fresh. 3. Right moisturiser: The next step would be the use of a moisturiser. Be certain to check what suits your type of skin the best before choosing a moisturiser.  4. Hydrate: Increase the amount of water you consume. Maintain healthy skin by eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough sleep. That's why it's called beauty sleep! Allow your skin to regenerate by avoiding alcohol. This aids in the detoxification of your body and skin, as well as the removal of toxins. 5. Exfoliation: Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells using physical or chemical scrubs. Physical scrubs should be avoided by acne-prone skin because they can cause micro tears and sensitization. For chemical exfoliation, AHA and BHA-based products are the best options and should be used no more than twice a week. The concentration of AHA/BHA should be determined by your dermatologist. 6. Facials: Indulge in medical-grade facials such as hydrafacials, which are multi-step facial treatments typically performed with a HydraFacial machine. Aestheticians use the HydraFacial (device) in a single session to cleanse, exfoliate, extract, and deliver a variety of rejuvenating serums, leaving your skin glowing. 7. Avoid makeup: After Diwali; avoid wearing makeup for a few days to allow your skin to breathe. Also Read: Why more awareness needs to be created about stuttering in educational institutions and society

02 December,2022 11:23 AM IST | Mumbai | Sarasvati T
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Want to protect your skin from pollution? Follow these easy tips

Living in India, one is exposed and aware of the rising pollution levels in the country. The high levels of air pollutants for an extended period may cause serious harm to your skin. As Delhi continues to get engulfed in smog with the air quality approaching a hazardous level, the harmful pollutants in the air may hamper your skin if appropriate care is not taken. To rescue your skin from harsh pollutants, a team of sensitive skin experts from Cetaphil shares a few tips to ensure our skin doesn't lose its nourishment. Air purifier: Invest in a good air purifier for yourself. Since most allergies stem from dust, a good quality air purifier is ideal to help clean the home environment and remove dust and other harmful particles. Practice good hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly after every task and before touching your skin. Change your clothes at least twice a day and ensure that you take a bath regularly to remove all the pollutants from your skin. Keep the skin nourished: Your skin may suffer because of increased pollution and seasonal changes, making it more sensitive and prone to irritation and allergies. People with sensitive skin may have a thinner or weakened skin moisture barrier, which allows irritants to penetrate and hydration to escape. Make sure your skin is well-nourished and moisturised to improve the resilience of sensitive skin. While stepping outdoors, always carry a moisturiser cream which can soothe irritated skin and provide intense moisture. Limit outdoor time: Tracking air quality ensures that you can better manage your outdoor time. Go for a walk in the morning when the air is fresh and plan your day and tasks to avoid making multiple trips outside. In addition, don't forget to apply sunscreen as the harsh rays of the sun paired with the hazardous air quality can make your skin more irritated. This could also lead to stinging and itching. Look for hypoallergenic products: It is essential to use hypoallergenic products especially if you have sensitive skin in this harsh climate. Using strong products on the skin when it is already irritated may cause more harm than you can imagine. Look for ingredients like Niacinamide, which helps in tackling inflammation and helps in the oil regulation in your skin.Also Read: ‘Winter worsens bone problems’: Experts share ways to maintain bone health 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

02 December,2022 11:15 AM IST | New Delhi | IANS
Commuters travelling amid smog conditions as air quality continues to deteriorate in Mumbai. Pic/mid-day photographers

Explained: What does AQI mean and just how bad are Mumbai’s pollution levels?

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Of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, 22 are in India. Delhi, whose Air Quality Index regularly falls in the “poor” or “very poor” categories, ranks as the most polluted capital city worldwide. Although Mumbai did not figure in that list, released by the Swiss Organisation IQAir in March this year, there have been instances when South Mumbai has recorded similarly alarming AQI levels. Recently, the Supreme Court of India asked the Centre and states in the National Capital Region to devise a proposal to switch all industrial units to piped natural gas or cleaner fuels in order to keep a check on Delhi’s rising air pollution levels. The SC also approved setting up an Enforcement Task Force by the Centre’s Commission for Air Quality Management to ensure strict action against those violating the Commission’s directions. Mid-day Online reached out to Dr B.S. Murthy, director of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) and scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, to understand AQI and various factors affecting significant indicators of air pollution. Could you please explain what ‘Air Quality Index’ (AQI) is and why it is important? Air Quality Index or AQI is an indicator of air quality; the lower the AQI, the better the air quality. It is calculated based on the 24-hour average concentration of important air pollutants like particulate matter or PM10, PM2.5, NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide), O3 (Ground-level ozone), CO (Carbon Monoxide), SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide), NH3 (Ammonia) and Pb (Lead), which are harmful for human health if they are above the prescribed national ambient air quality standards. AQI is grouped into 6 categories; AQI < 50 as ‘Good’, between 51 and 100 as ‘Satisfactory’, between 101 and 200 as ‘Moderate’, between 201 and 300 as ‘Poor’, between 301 and 400 as ‘Very Poor’ and between 401 and 500 as ‘Severe’. AQI is calculated for each pollutant (called Sub index) and the final AQI is the highest of the sub-indexes. In other words, the highest sub-index signifies the leading pollutant determining the AQI. Mostly PM10 or PM2.5 is found to be the leading pollutant. Other locations in Mumbai with 'very poor' air quality include Mazagaon at 331 and Malad at 327. Bandra-Kurla Complex's AQI was 331 on November 16. Pic/Mid-Day photographersWhat are the factors affecting the AQI? AQI depends mainly on concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 defined as particles with size less than or equal to 10 micrometres and < or = 2.5 micrometres respectively. PM10 or PM2.5 concentration depends on emissions of pollutants from various sources like vehicular exhaust, industries, road dust, wind-blown dust, coal and fossil fuel combustion, brick kilns, garbage incineration, etc. The emitted pollutants get redistributed in space and time horizontally and vertically, due to wind circulations and convection. For a given pollutant concentration, stable atmospheric conditions (in winter or night time) degrade air quality whereas convective mixing (in summer or day time) dilutes and improves the air quality. An influx of relatively more polluted air mass increases pollution levels whereas that of pristine air mass reduces pollution levels due to the mixing of air masses. Considering Delhi is enclosed by a hypothetical box, for a given background pollution level in the box, the fluctuation in concentration depends on the difference between the rates of inflow and outflow of air mass consisting of pollutants. That inflow depends on the magnitude of pollution level in the incoming flow and the wind speed and direction. The outflow from the box depends on vertical dispersion or ventilation and wind speed and direction. Atmospheric chemistry — involving chemical reactions among the pollutants and gases — generates secondary particles that add up to pollution level.  What levels of particulate matter (PM) are considered safe? PM2.5 concentration (24-hour mean) of less than 30 microgram per cubic metre is considered ‘Good’. PM2.5 between 30 and 60 is ‘Satisfactory’, between 60 and 90 is ‘Moderate’, between 90 and 120 is ‘Poor’, between 120 and 250 is ‘Very Poor’ and more than 250 is ‘Severe’. These are the national ambient air quality standards applicable for any location in India.  There has been a lot of discussion about increasing the use of public transport. Could you please elaborate on the possible solutions, specific to Mumbai, to maintain the PM levels? In most of the urban or metropolitan cities, transport (vehicles) is the major source of pollution. If public transport is made comfortable and available at regular time intervals across the city, then people would prefer to go by public transport rather than using private or personal vehicles. This would reduce the number of vehicles plying on the roads, thus controlling emissions partially. Improving traffic management for a smooth flow of vehicles with a few signals would reduce the idling time of vehicles at road junctions leading to less fuel consumption and emissions. Other options are to use solar and wind energy or nuclear energy for power generation rather than coal in thermal power plants. Phasing out old vehicles and encouraging the purchase of electric vehicles by offering incentives is one strategy. Planting trees along both sides of roads and maintaining proper ventilation in residential and office buildings helps reduce power consumption. Collection of garbage locally and recycling it (instead of dumping in landfills and burning) to produce biogas or compost at multiple locations is to be done. Implementation of these plans requires public participation voluntarily with awareness about the implications of air pollution for global warming and climate change. Recently, the AQI of South Mumbai was reportedly poorer than that of Delhi (and this has been noted multiple times)? Could you please explain the major reasons for it? Annual statistics of air quality categories in Mumbai indicate that ‘poor' or ‘very poor' occurs only 3-10 percent of the time in a year. During the remaining 90-97 percent, it is ‘Good’, ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Moderate’. In comparison, Delhi experiences 'Poor' or 'Very poor' category for about 50-60 percent of the time in a year. At times in some locations, the hourly air quality in Mumbai may witness 'severe' or 'very poor' levels, which could be due to either some sporadic emission source like biomass burning. It could also happen due to poor ventilation of air mass due to high rise buildings blocking the wind flow resulting in temporary stagnant conditions leading to accumulation of pollutants.  How do the weather and seasonal changes affect the AQI in Mumbai? In winter and summer, PM2.5 is observed in the range 25-125 microgram per cubic metre whereas in the monsoon season it is 20-50 microgram per cubic metre. So in winter and summer, AQI indicates mostly 'Moderate' while in monsoon it is 'Good/Satisfactory'. In the monsoon season, frequent rains scavenge pollutants in the atmosphere through wet deposition, leading to better air quality. In winter, stable or neutral atmospheric conditions reduce dispersion of pollutants thus helping accumulation near the ground. In summer, relatively higher air temperature increases convective mixing of pollutants thus diluting their concentration near the ground. Does being surrounded by the sea help in maintaining the pollution levels of Mumbai? Is there a link and could you please explain the science behind it? Daily mean observations indicate negative correlation between PM2.5 concentration and relative humidity (RH) indicating that the higher the RH, the lesser the PM2.5 and the better is the air quality. Mumbai, being a coastal city, experiences an RH of 40-70 percent in summer, 60-80 percent in winter and 80-95 percent in monsoon. High moisture (high RH) availability in the atmosphere helps PM2.5 particles (which are hygroscopic with affinity towards water) absorb moisture, become bigger in size and heavier, leading to enhanced deposition on the ground thus reducing its concentration in the atmosphere. Relatively wet ground prevents lifting of dust by wind and vehicles. Coastal cities also experience sea breeze that brings in pristine air mass (if marine air is less polluted relative to that over land) over land, leading to reduction in pollution over land. Land surface does not cool much during night time in coastal cities due to high RH that helps maintain neutral stability which is favourable for the dispersion of pollutants.  Also Read: Delhi's air quality still 'very poor' with AQI at 311

02 December,2022 11:10 AM IST | Mumbai | Sarasvati T
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Everything you need to know about freezing your eggs

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In a recent interview, Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston revealed that she’d been unsuccessfully going through fertility treatments. The 53-year-old actress made headlines, and sparked conversations when she recounted her fertility journey amid lifelong speculation, and regretted not freezing her eggs. Mid-Day.com spoke to Dr. Gunjan Sabherwal, fertility expert, Nova Southend IVF and Fertility to further our understanding of egg freezing.  “In today’s era, people in their 20s and 30s are moving up the financial ladder and achieving financial stability, and exploring parenthood at a later stage to better provide for their children. However, there is always the risk of your biological clock running out. This is where egg freezing comes in as an alternative to preserve fertility and increase chances of pregnancy. Also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, egg freezing involves taking medications to stimulate your ovaries, retrieving unfertilized eggs, and quickly freezing them at sub-zero temperatures until you are ready to start or grow your family,” explains Sabherwal. She walks us through the egg freezing process, and answers important questions.  Prepping for the procedure Before the egg freezing process begins, a doctor will evaluate your medical history with a focus on fertility, assess the regularity of the menstrual cycle, and perform a range of blood tests to determine hormone levels. A woman's ovaries typically produce one egg per month. When there are minimal eggs available for freezing, the chances of a successful pregnancy decreases. In order to maximise the number of eggs, a hormonal treatment is initiated. This treatment typically requires a woman to receive hormone injections at home one to three times per day for 10 to 12 consecutive days. Most women intake birth control pills, oestrogen, lupron, or aygestin (a type of progesterone) for at least a month prior to the hormone injections. This inhibits the natural cycle and increases the hormone's effectiveness. Although, hormone levels and types vary, typical treatments stages include: Two weeks of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH) injections to enable the ovaries to produce more eggs. A gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection about halfway through the cycle, which prevents ovulation from occurring too early in the cycle. Depending on the size of your follicles and oestrogen blood levels, a final shot of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), also known as trigger shot, is given 34 to 35 hours prior to the egg retrieval procedure. This helps to mature the eggs. Blood tests are performed on a regular basis to monitor the effects of hormone treatments. In addition, ultrasound detection is carried out to trace ovulation and assess egg development. Egg retrieval and storage The anesthesiologist begins the egg retrieval procedure by administering light intravenous sedation for your comfort. Anesthesiologists use monitored anaesthesia care rather than general anaesthesia during egg retrievals. An oxygen cannula will be set under your nose and propofol anaesthesia medications will be administered through your IV to put you to sleep. An ultrasound is used to guide a tiny hollow needle with suction capabilities into your follicles and direct it to a catheter through the vaginal wall to drain the fluid from the follicles that contain the developed eggs. The procedure usually takes 10 to 20 minutes. When the retrieval is finished, the anesthesiologist will gently take you out of sedation and transfer you to a recovery room where you will be monitored. Light vaginal spotting, abdominal cramping, bloating, and constipation are common symptoms within the first 24 hours. To relieve cramping, a tylenol and heating pads are usually recommended. In case of severe abdominal pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, or dizziness, contact your doctor immediately. Once collected, eggs are immediately transported to the IVF lab, where one of the embryologists locates, isolates, and places your eggs in a controlled environment for a few hours before freezing. Usually, 10 to 20 eggs are retrieved for IVF. However, not all of them are suitable for use, as only about two-thirds have reached the appropriate maturity. One of the most crucial steps in the IVF procedures is egg retrieval. This process, along with the steps preceding and following egg retrieval, makes IVF the most effective fertility treatment because it addresses a number of key infertility issues. Even after the procedure has been explained, there are several aspects that require mediation. Below, Sabherwal answers frequently asked questions.  How long does the process take? Is the procedure painful?Egg freezing is a painless procedure thanks to advanced internal imaging and anaesthesia. Minor side effects may occur, but the retrieval procedure is simple and painless. A single egg freezing cycle takes about 3 to 4 weeks. This includes birth control pills or other medication for 1 to 2 weeks to momentarily alter your natural hormones. Lastly, hormone injections for 9 to 10 days to stimulate your ovaries and ripen multiple eggs.  When should I consider egg freezing?Egg freezing is a recommended treatment alternative for a variety of reasons. Some of them include: Conditions or circumstances impacting fertility: These include sickle cell anaemia, autoimmune diseases like lupus, and gender diversity, such as transgender identity. Undergoing cancer treatment: Certain medical treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, have a negative impact on your fertility. Freezing your eggs before the commencement of these treatments is a great way to preserve your fertility. Future use: Many women today are considering egg freezing in order to focus on their professional lives and achieve career goals while also securing their pregnancy options for a later stage. Egg freezing is also an excellent option for single and unmarried women who want to pursue parenthood when the time comes. Is egg freezing safe? What are the risks involved in the process?Egg freezing entails a relatively low-risk, simple and painless procedure. However, there are some risks associated with the same: In rare cases, using injectable fertility drugs to induce ovulation, such as synthetic follicle-stimulating hormone or luteinizing hormone, can cause ovaries to swell and be painful soon after ovulation or egg retrieval (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea are some of the side-effects of this procedure. However, recent studies found that children born from frozen eggs did not exhibit an elevated rate of birth defects, when compared to the general population. How many eggs should be stored to achieve pregnancy?In women up to the age of 38, egg thawing and fertilisation rates of 75% are expected. Thus, if 10 eggs are frozen, 7 are expected to survive the thaw and 5 to 6 will fertilise and develop into embryos. In women up to the age of 38, 3 to 4 embryos are typically transferred. As a result, 10 to 15 eggs are usually recommended for each pregnancy attempt. Most women aged 38 and under are presumed to produce 10 to 20 eggs per cycle. Would retrieving eggs right now lead to lesser eggs in future?No, egg freezing will not reduce your ovarian reserve or decrease your chances of becoming pregnant naturally in future. During each menstrual cycle—one egg completes the ovulatory process. The egg follicle is activated, and the egg grows and matures before separating from the ovary and beginning to travel down the fallopian tubes. However, in addition to the ovulated egg, a number of follicles are activated that do not progress beyond the first stage. When the immature eggs within those follicles do not mature, they die. This is known as "atresia." Egg freezing uses some of those otherwise wasted eggs. What is the success rate of the procedure?  Is it possible that more than one egg freezing cycle is required?Egg freezing is considered to be one of the most efficient pregnancy alternatives. Over 300,000 children worldwide have been born from frozen embryos using cryopreservation techniques around the world. There are two criteria for judging egg freezing. Fresh, never frozen embryos are one standard, while frozen embryos are another. How can eggs remain frozen?Storing the frozen eggs securely in cryotops in liquid nitrogen containing cans helps in maintaining the viability of these eggs. How do I use my eggs once I've frozen them? How long are they viable for?Frozen eggs should last indefinitely. Their viability is more dependent on your age and overall health at the time the eggs are collected. Most people store eggs for 5 to 10 years. In fact, children are born from eggs frozen for as long as 14 years. When you're ready to use your frozen eggs, they'll be thawed, fertilised in a lab with sperm, and implanted in the gestational carrier's uterus. Your doctor may advise you to use an intracytoplasmic sperm injection fertilisation technique (ICSI), as the freezing process makes the outer coating around the eggs tougher and sperm may be unable to penetrate it naturally under IVF. ICSI involves injecting a single healthy sperm directly into each mature egg. Depending on your age at the time of egg freezing, your chances of becoming pregnant after implantation range from 30 to 60%. The older you are when you freeze your eggs, the less likely it is that you will have a live birth in the future. What happens to the eggs which remain unused?If you underwent a successful infertility treatment and still have embryos left over from your treatment, you have a few options: Storing for future use: You can choose to store your embryos for the future if you want to try for more children. Donation of good quality embryos: If you do not want to try for any more children and feel that your family is complete, you can choose to donate your good quality embryos to help other couples have a baby and enjoy the fruits of parenthood. Research: You can donate your embryos to research centres that study embryos, eggs and sperms to develop new techniques and medical breakthroughs. Also Read: Myositis: All you need to know about the autoimmune condition

02 December,2022 09:43 AM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
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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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