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Heart patients advised to move more to avoid heart attacks  

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(Last Updated On: April 18, 2021)

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Saturday released its latest report on cardiology risk factors and advised patients with heart problems to increase their levels of activity. 

According to a statement issued by the ESC, the large study reveals that in people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes the risk of heart disease increases. 

However, the study found that increasing activity levels is associated with a reduced likelihood of heart events and death.

Author of the study, Dr Esmee Bakker, of Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands said: “Previous research showed that improvements in physical activity are beneficial to health. However, those studies were performed in the general population. In our study, we were interested to see if there were similar effects in individuals with cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.”

The study included 88,320 individuals from the LifeLines Cohort Study and participants underwent a physical examination and completed questionnaires about their medical history and lifestyle including exercise. The questionnaires were repeated after approximately four years.

A total of 18,502 (21 percent) individuals had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes at the start of the study. The average age of this group was 55 years. 

After adjusting for age, sex, and baseline physical activity, the researchers found that those with a moderate to a large improvement in physical activity were around 30 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or die during follow-up compared to those who did not change their activity level.

The remaining 69,808 (79 percent) participants did not have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes at the start of the study. 

The average age of this group was 43 years. After adjusting for age, sex, and baseline physical activity, the researchers found that those with large reductions in physical activity had a 40 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease or death compared to those who did not change their activity level.

Bakker said: “Our study suggests that to prevent heart attacks and strokes and boost longevity, healthy individuals should maintain their physical activity levels, while those with risk factors need to become more active. 

“The associations we found were even more pronounced in people who were relatively sedentary at the start of the study, indicating that inactive people have the most to gain.”

To prevent heart disease, European guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination.

Bakker said: “If you are currently sedentary, walking is a good activity to start with. If you are already hitting the recommended amount, try doing 10 minutes more each day or increasing the intensity.”

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Health

WHO concerned about worsening access in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 9, 2021)

The World Health Organization is concerned about worsening access to provide life-saving medicines and supplies in Afghanistan and attacks on health care facilities, as Afghan forces fight Taliban insurgents, a WHO official said on Friday.

Rick Brennan, WHO regional emergencies director for its Eastern Mediterranean regional office, said that aid supplies would arrive next week including 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and oxygen concentrators.

“It is a terribly concerning situation and it’s very fluid right now,” Brennan, speaking from Cairo, told a U.N. briefing in Geneva. “We are concerned about our lack of access to be able to provide essential medicines and supplies and we are concerned about attacks on health care.”

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China reports first ever human case of H10N3 bird flu

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(Last Updated On: June 1, 2021)

A 41-year-old man in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with the H10N3 strain of bird flu, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Tuesday.

Reuters reported the man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was hospitalised on April 28 after developing a fever and other symptoms, the NHC said in a statement.

He was diagnosed as having the H10N3 avian influenza virus on May 28, it said, but did not give details on how the man had been infected with the virus.

The man was stable and ready to be discharged from hospital. Medical observation of his close contacts had not found any other cases, Reuters reported.

H10N3 is a low pathogenic, or relatively less severe, strain of the virus in poultry and the risk of it spreading on a large scale was very low, the NHC added.

The strain is “not a very common virus,” said Filip Claes, regional laboratory coordinator of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases at the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Reuters reported.

Only around 160 incidents of the virus were reported in the 40 years to 2018, mostly in wild birds or waterfowl in Asia and some limited parts of North America, and none had been detected in chickens so far, he added.

No other cases of human infection with H10N3 have previously been reported globally, the NHC said.

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Playing PUBG war game harms mental health: Psychologists

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(Last Updated On: May 26, 2021)

The Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), a popular multiplayer online gaming, could harm the mental well-being of the players, Psychologists said.

According to Psychologists, a continuous play of the game could lead to game addiction, health issues like neck pain, and weakening of eyesight, and behavioral issues such as aggressive thoughts among teenagers.

PUBG, developed by Chinese technology giant Tencent, has around one million active users in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) in December 2020, decided to ban the PUBG in the country, but the game is still accessible.

Saeed Shinwari, a spokesman for ATRA, told Ariana News: “based on demands of families, we have decided to ban the game, and we have also informed the telecommunication companies to limited access [to the game] on websites.”

Some Psychologists believe that excessive excitement in this anxious game has caused mental disorders in dozens of PUBG players. 

Omulbanin Sadaat, a Psychologist stated: “This game is dangerous at all and causes mental disorders and brain fissures.”

Psychiatrists, however, rejected the claims, stating that playing games could have positive impacts but gaming hours must be limited and players must also engage in other activities such as sports and studying.

“These games have their benefits like technology. The timing of playing games must be managed in order to prevent its side effects,” Bashir Ahmad Sarwar, head of the mental health department of the Ministry of Public Health said.

PUBG got famous during the pandemic lockdown and it was one of the most gamed played in the period and helped players to cope with seclusion. 

Currently, the game reportedly has around 300,000 active users across the world.

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