Diberdayakan oleh Blogger.

Popular Posts Today

Divorcees 'have more heart attacks'

Written By doni icha on Rabu, 15 April 2015 | 21.24

Couple on sofa

Divorcees are more likely to have a heart attack than their peers who stay married, US research suggests.

An analysis of 15,827 people showed women were worst affected, and barely reduced the risk if they remarried.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, argued that chronic stress, linked to divorce, had a long-term impact on the body.

The British Heart Foundation called for more research before divorce is classed as a major heart risk.

We already know that the death of a close loved one can greatly increase the risk of a heart attack.

Now a team at Duke University has shown a similar effect after divorce.

During the course of the study, between 1992 and 2010, roughly one in three people divorced at least once.

Women who divorced once were 24% more likely to have had a heart attack in the study than women who were continuously married. The figure was 77% for those having multiple divorces.

In men, there was a modest 10% extra risk for one divorce and 30% increase after multiple divorces.

One of the researchers Prof Linda George said: "This risk is comparable to that of high blood pressure or if you have diabetes, so it's right up there, it is pretty big."

When it came to remarriage, the risk was only marginally reduced for women while men bounced back.

"I think this is the most interesting bit in the paper," Prof George added.

She told the BBC News website: "We joke around here and call it the 'any-women-will-do orientation' for men.

"They're more comfortable being married than not married and cope with different women being their spouses.

"First marriages are protective for women and it's a little dicey after that."

Wedding cake

The researchers found that changes in lifestyle, such as loss of income, could not explain the heightened risk.

Prof George told the BBC News website: "My educated speculation is that we know that psychological distress is a constant stress on the immune system, higher levels of inflammation and stress hormones increase.

"Immune function is altered for the worse and if that continues for many years it does take a physiological toll."

She argues the sex-difference is also found in depression and that divorce is a greater "psychological burden" for women although "we don't know exactly what's going on".

While tablets can reduce the risks caused by high blood pressure, there is no easy solution for the pain of divorce.

The researchers recommend close, supportive friends.

Prof Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation, commented: "We have known for some time that our mental health can affect our heart health.

"This study suggests that divorce might increase a person's risk of a heart attack.

"But the results are not definitive so further evidence would be needed before divorce could be considered a significant risk factor for causing a heart attack."


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ebola survivors 'safe sex warning'

Male or female condoms may offer protection

The WHO has urged Ebola survivors to be even more cautious during sexual contact to ensure the virus is not passed on to their partners.

The warning comes after a survivor was found to have traces of Ebola in his semen almost six months after recovery.

This is some 90 days later than previously documented.

It is unclear whether Ebola can still be spread at this point. But officials have launched further investigations to evaluate the risks.

There have been no proven cases of Ebola being transmitted through sexual contact with survivors during this or previous outbreaks.

But according to Dr Nathalie Broutet, a medical officer at the World Health Organization, the recent case prompted experts to strengthen their advice.

Dr Broutet told the BBC: "The patient is the first we have seen where there is a trace of virus present in semen beyond three months.

"This made us change our recommendations to go beyond three months."

The new advice says: "For greater security and prevention of other sexually transmitted infections, Ebola survivors should consider correct and consistent use of condoms for all sexual acts beyond three months until more information is available."

It builds on previous guidance suggesting abstinence or safe sex up to 90 days after symptoms first develop.

But Dr Broutet cautioned further analysis must be done.

"Even though the sample was positive for fragments of the virus this does not prove it was passed on sexually.

"We need to be very careful and need more clarity about this," she said.

Scientists are planning to send the sample to the Centres for Disease Control in the United States to see if the traces of Ebola they found are active and capable of being spread.

And Dr Broutet is helping to set up studies in Sierra Leone and Guinea to offer male survivors further checks.

According to the WHO, there is no current evidence to suggest that active Ebola virus is present in vaginal fluids once someone has recovered.

Ebola is known to spread through close contact with the bodily fluids of a person who has the active virus and shows symptoms of the disease - such as a high fever.

Experts emphasise that people who have recovered from Ebola do not pose any risks to the general public and should not be isolated.


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

Dementia 'halted in mice brains'

Brain

Tweaking the brain's immune system with a drug has prevented mice developing dementia, a study shows.

The team at Duke University, in the US, showed immune cells which start attacking nutrients in the brain may be a trigger for the disease.

They say their findings could open up new avenues of research for a field that has not developed a single drug to slow the progression of the disease.

Experts said the findings offered new hope of a treatment.

The researchers indentified microglia - normally the first line of defence against infection in the brain - as major players in the development of dementia.

They found some microglia changed to become exceptionally adept at breaking down a component of protein, an amino acid called arginine, in the early stages of the disease.

As arginine levels plummeted, the immune cells appeared to dampened the immune system in the brain.

Stopping dementia

In mouse experiments, a chemical was used to block the enzymes that break down arginine.

They showed fewer of the characteristics of dementia such as damaged proteins collecting in the brain and the animals performed better in memory tests.

Microglia
Microglia, in black, start consuming arginine

One of the researchers, Dr Matthew Kan, said: "All of this suggests to us that if you can block this local process of amino acid deprivation, then you can protect the mouse, at least from Alzheimer's disease.

"We see this study opening the doors to thinking about Alzheimer's in a completely different way, to break the stalemate of ideas in Alzheimer's disease."

However, the findings do not suggest that arginine supplements could combat dementia as the boosted levels would still be broken down.

'Hope'

Dr James Pickett, from the Alzheimer's Society said the study was "offering hope that these findings could lead to new treatments for dementia".

He added: "This study in animals joins some of the dots in our incomplete understanding of the processes that cause Alzheimer's disease, in particular around the role played by the immune system."

Dr Laura Phipps, from Alzheimer's Research UK, said the study was "interesting" and shed "more light on the mechanisms of immune system involvement in Alzheimer's".

But she cautioned clinical trials in people were still needed and that "the findings do not suggest that supplementation of the amino acid could mirror the benefits seen in these mice".


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

Greens urge: 'Join our revolution'

Written By doni icha on Selasa, 14 April 2015 | 21.24

Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas

The Green Party launched its General Election manifesto with a call for a "peaceful political revolution" to end austerity and tackle climate change.

It pledged to stop the "creeping privatisation of the NHS" and increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour.

Leader Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas, the party's only ever MP, unveiled a plan to help the two million children growing up in cold homes.

They want an insulation programme for the worst-affected nine million homes.

Introducing the manifesto at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston, east London, Ms Bennett said it represented a "genuine alternative" to "business as usual politics".

She said she wanted to "take back" the NHS and the railways from the private sector.

The 84-page manifesto, entitled "For the common good" sets out the Greens' main policy pledges, including:

  • Creating one million jobs that pay at least a living wage
  • 60% rate of income tax
  • A new wealth tax on the top 1%; a "Robin Hood tax" on the banks
  • Banning fracking; investment in renewable energy
  • Scrapping university tuition fees
  • Cutting rail fares by 10%
  • Abolishing the bedroom tax

The Greens are fielding a record number of candidates - 571 - on 7 May and claim a surge in membership numbers to 59,000 - more than UKIP and the Lib Dems.

Ms Lucas said a free nationwide insulation programme to tackle cold homes, specifically in areas blighted by fuel poverty, would help two million children.

She also called for extra £1.3bn on the NHS budget to deal with the associated costs of cold homes.

Key priorities

Green

Main pledges

  • End austerity and restore the public sector, creating jobs that pay at least a living wage
  • End privatisation of the National Health Service
  • Work with other countries to ensure global temperatures do not rise by more than 2C
  • £85bn programme of home insulation, renewable electricity generation & flood defences
  • Provide 500,000 social homes for rent by 2020 and control rent levels
  • Return the railways to public hands

"We believe if we invest in insulating people's homes, we can get their fuel bills down on a permanent basis," Ms Lucas told BBC Radio 4's Today programme

"It would also get our climate-change emissions down and could create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

"And crucially, for every £1 invested in this programme, it's estimated that £1.27 comes back to the economy in terms of the benefit in jobs and reduction on the NHS bill."

Ms Lucas said the government had "a woeful record on energy insulation", with the installation of energy-efficient measures in UK homes falling by 80% over the last two years.

The Green Party has called for a "progressive alliance" with the SNP, if it has MPs at Westminster in the next Parliament.

Ms Lucas ruled out backing a Conservative government, but said Green MPs could support a minority Labour administration on "a case-by-case basis".

line

The Green Party's manifesto is full of big promises: a pension of more than £300 a week for a couple, renewable energy taking over from fossil fuels, a million new public sector jobs.

But they are having difficulty defending their numbers robustly. They claim they'll raise a massive £30bn extra from clampdowns on tax avoidance; very, very optimistic. And the man behind the manifesto's numbers, Brian Heatley, told me they couldn't really be sure how much their new wealth tax would raise because it hasn't been tried before.

They say they could make up any shortfall by reducing their planned cut to employers' national insurance contributions.

In one sense, refreshingly candid. In another way, extremely problematic for a party that wants to be taken seriously on a tax that they need to raise £20bn.

The Greens also say they would carry on spending more each year than the government gets from revenue. Does that mean deficits for ever? The party won't say.

In other news, Natalie Bennett has told Newsnight they don't want to ban the Grand National after all - more straightforward than working out government spending.

line

"That would give us a real opportunity to push Labour on the policies we know the public wants and which are at the heart of our manifesto," she said.

"Whether that's scrapping nuclear weapons or reversing the privatisation in our NHS, whether that's returning local schools to local control or bringing rail back into public ownership."

'Scrap road building'

Recently, Ms Bennett said the party's policy of a Citizens' Income of £72 a week for every adult in Britain would feature in the manifesto, but that it would take longer than one parliament for it to be implemented.

The cut in public transport fares would be paid for by scrapping new road-building programmes, while the party is also expected to pledge free social care for the elderly.

At the weekend, Ms Bennett said the 60% top rate of tax would apply to people earning over £150,000 and that it would raise £2bn a year.

Subscribe to the BBC Election 2015 newsletter to get a round-up of the day's campaign news sent to your inbox every weekday afternoon.


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

Breath test for stomach cancer risk

Stomach cancer can be detected late

A simple breath test could help predict whether people with gut problems are at high risk of developing stomach cancer, an early study shows.

It detects chemical compounds in people's breath, in an attempt to distinguish unique "breath prints" in those with risky pre-cancerous changes.

Experts say if proven in large trials, it could spot patients on the brink of cancer so they can be treated earlier.

But more work is needed to validate the test, which appears in the journal Gut.

Stomach cancers affect about 7,300 people each year in the UK.

But in most Western countries it is diagnosed late when the chance of survival is poor. This is partly because symptoms - such as indigestion and pain - can be mistaken for other diseases.

Scientists believe earlier detection may help improve the prognosis.

The new "nanoarray" breath test builds on earlier work from researchers in Israel, Latvia and China.

It relies on the idea that people with cancer may have unique breath signatures - containing minute chemical compounds that are not found in the breath of people free from the illness.

Researchers studied breath samples from 145 patients. Around 30 of these were already known to have stomach cancer.

The rest had been referred for investigations because of concerning symptoms. They did not have full-blown cancer - but some had worrying changes that doctors call "pre-cancerous" that could develop into malignancies.

Scientists tried out the test on a number of different scenarios.

It was fairly good at spotting cancerous samples from non-cancerous ones.

And it showed some promise at identifying worrying pre-cancerous changes that were at high risk of developing into the disease.

But it was not accurate in every case - some patients were misdiagnosed as being at high risk.

Scientists say more work is needed before it is ready to use in clinics.

Dr Emma Smith of Cancer Research UK, said: "Diagnosing cancer in its early stages offers patients the best chance of successful treatment, so research like this has potential to help save lives.

"But we would need to be sure the test is sensitive and accurate enough to be used more widely."

Research involving thousands of European patients is now under way.


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

Scots man tests 'negative' for Ebola

A Scottish man who had recently returned from west Africa has tested negative for the Ebola virus.

The man was admitted to a hospital in Glasgow in the early hours after showing possible symptoms of the virus.

He was taken to the Brownlee Centre for infectious diseases at Gartnavel Hospital at about 02:20, after being transferred from Ayrshire.

Health officials had previously said they thought it was "very unlikely" that he would have the virus.

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesman earlier said: "A man has been admitted to hospital this morning and is being tested for Ebola. He had come from Liberia."

An update issued later stated: "A test for Ebola has come back negative."

A year after the outbreak in West Africa was officially declared, the virus has killed more than 10,000 people.

Most deaths occurred in the worst-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

'Action needed' to boost nurse numbers

Written By doni icha on Senin, 13 April 2015 | 21.24

Nurse generic
The report said there was a lack of political will to train nurses

Immediate action must be taken by the next government to increase the number of NHS nurses, a report has warned.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said there were fewer nurses now than in 2010 if midwives, health visitors and school nurses were not included.

It said government cuts to nurse training places in 2010 were a significant factor in the shortage.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said they were committed to investing £8bn each year in the NHS.

'Wrong course'

The RCN said that while the government claimed the number of nursing posts has increased, the headcount figure for nurses fell from 317,370 in May 2010 to 315,525 in December 2014.

It described this as "remarkable" given the continued increase in demand for the NHS.

While 50,000 people applied to become nurses last year, there were only 21,000 places - meaning there is no shortage of people wanting to do the job, the RCN said in its report.

It said cuts the coalition government made to student nursing commissions in 2010 led to a reduction of 3,375 places.

The report said that as it takes three years for student nurses to qualify, these cuts are impacting on the supply of nurses right now.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: "We warned that cutting the workforce numbers to fund the NHS reorganisation and to find the efficiency savings was the wrong course to take.

"The cuts were so severe that we are only just catching up with where we were five years ago.

"Many areas, like district nursing and mental health, are even worse off.

"While the health service has spent the last five years running on the spot, demand has continued to increase.

"Whoever forms the next government must learn from this report and take immediate action to grow the nursing workforce, and ensure it can keep up with demand with a sustainable and long-term plan."

Ageing workforce

The report also said the community nursing workforce had been cut by more than 3,300, despite NHS plans to move care from hospitals to the community.

From May 2010 to December 2014 there has been a 28% reduction in the number of specialist district nurses, a loss of 2,168 posts across England.

A reliance on using agency nurses means that the NHS would have spent an estimated £980m on them by the end of the 2014/15 financial year, the RCN said.

As with GPs, the nursing workforce is ageing, with around 45% being over 45, the RCN added.


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

Natural childbirth expert dies

Sheila Kitzinger
Sheila Kitzinger was an advocate of home birth and had her own five children at home

Prolific author and anthropologist Sheila Kitzinger - who wrote more than 25 books on childbirth - has died at her Oxfordshire home at the age of 86.

In the 1960s and 70s she developed the concept of a "birth plan", which aimed to give more choice to pregnant women.

She believed mothers, not clinicians, should be the focus during childbirth.

She came to be seen as a pioneer in her field and received an MBE for her work. Her publisher Pinter & Martin said she died on Saturday after a short illness.

'Freedom and choice'

Born in a thatched cottage in Taunton, Somerset, in 1929, Ms Kitzinger studied social anthropology at the University of Oxford, then taught and carried out research at the University of Edinburgh.

A strong advocate of home birth and natural birth, Ms Kitzinger had her own five children at home and believed midwives played a crucial role.

In her 1962 book The Experience of Childbirth she also argued that birth had the potential to be a "psychosexual experience".

Among her other books were The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Ourselves as Mothers. Her autobiography is due to be published next month.

Her husband Uwe Kitzinger, who she met while studying at Oxford and married in 1952, said she was "a woman of great spunk".

"She was an icon of home birth who decided to have a home death," he said.

Sheila Kitzinger
Sheila Kitzinger in 1958 with two of her five children, twins Nell and Tess

"She took to her bed three months ago, but she was drinking Kir Royale and champagne and eating chocolates three days ago, knowing she didn't have long.

"She was great to be married to, and she was a wonderful mother. She and I were married for 63 years. We said goodbye with a prayer."

Her eldest daughter, Celia Kitzinger, said her mother taught her from an early age that "the personal was political".

She said: "As I was growing up I learnt from her campaigns for freedom and choice in childbirth that passionate and committed individuals can create social change.

"She never hesitated to speak truth to power."

'Natural birth guru'

Prof Kitzinger said her mother had campaigned on a wide range of issues including female genital mutilation, prisoners giving birth in handcuffs and human rights in midwifery in Eastern Europe.

She added: "She is so much more than a 'natural birth guru'."

Her publisher Pinter & Martin said her work had had enormous impact on millions of women around the world.

An active writer and campaigner into her eighties, Ms Kitzinger set up the Birth Crisis Network, a helpline for mothers who had experienced a traumatic birth.

Writing on her website, she said: "The romantic image of a radiant mother, a beautiful baby in her arms, her golden hair lit by the sun's rays, displayed on the jackets of many birth books is far removed from reality.

"New mothers are often unhappy. This major life transition is made incredibly difficult by poverty, poor housing, overcrowding, and social isolation.

"But one reason why many women have low self-esteem and cannot enjoy their babies is that care in childbirth often denies them honest information, the possibility of choice, and simple human respect."


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

Non-EU patients face NHS charges rise

Hospital corridor

Visitors from outside the EU who receive treatment in NHS hospitals in England are now being charged 150% of the cost under changes brought in to discourage "health tourism".

Non-EU citizens settling in the UK for longer than six months are also being required to pay a "health surcharge" as part of their visa applications.

The new rules from the Department of Health came into force on 6 April.

Primary care and A&E care continues to remain free.

Permanent residents of 32 European countries qualify for NHS treatment, which is then billed to their country of residence, but this new ruling applies to foreign migrants or visitors based in other countries, mainly those outside the EU.

These patients can be treated in an NHS hospital but are expected to repay the cost of most procedures afterwards.

But up to now, the DoH has only sought to reclaim the actual costs, without adding any extra charges.

The DoH hopes the changes will help it recoup up to £500m a year by 2017-18.

A line

Analysis

Hugh Pym, health editor, BBC News

The new guidelines do not require patients on trolleys in hospitals to produce passports before getting access to urgent care. Nor do they apply to accident and emergency or a visit to a GP.

What is covered is ongoing treatment on the NHS after an initial diagnosis or referral - for example an outpatient appointment.

The Department of Health is incentivising hospitals to be more vigilant in checking patient credentials by allowing them to charge more for treatment of people "not ordinarily resident" in the UK.

The department can recoup those costs from the patient's member state if they are from the European Economic Area.

In the paperwork filled in by the patient before the appointment they will be asked for proof they are "ordinarily resident".

This could be a utility bill, national insurance number or passport details. Some hospitals were doing this already but many were not.

The guidelines are designed to increase the chances that the treatment costs for a non-UK resident can be recovered. Critics may ask why it has taken so long for the initiative to be launched.

A line

The charges are based on the standard tariff for a range of procedures, ranging from about £1,860 for cataract surgery to about £8,570 for a hip replacement.

Similar charges can be imposed by the NHS in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for hospital care received by non-EU residents.

Exemptions

Patients using hospital services have been required to show their passports and other immigration documents if their UK residence status was in doubt.

The "health surcharge" on visa applications for non-EU citizens comprises an annual fee of £200-a-year, which is reduced to £150 for students.

Certain individuals, such as Australian and New Zealand nationals, are exempt from the surcharge.

And non-EU citizens who are lawfully entitled to reside in the UK and usually live in the country will be entitled to free NHS care as they are now.

Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicestershire in the last Parliament, told the Daily Mail: "This is not the International Health Service, it's the National Health Service.

"Non-UK nationals seeking medical attention should pay for their treatment.

"The NHS is funded by UK taxpayers for UK citizens and if any of us went to any of these countries we'd certainly be paying if we needed to be treated."


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More

'Action needed' to boost nurse numbers

Written By doni icha on Minggu, 12 April 2015 | 21.24

Nurse generic
The report said there was a lack of political will to train nurses

Immediate action must be taken by the next government to increase the number of NHS nurses, a report has warned.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said there were fewer nurses now than in 2010 if midwives, health visitors and school nurses were not included.

It said government cuts to nurse training places in 2010 were a significant factor in the shortage.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said they were committed to investing £8bn each year in the NHS.

'Wrong course'

The RCN said that while the government claimed the number of nursing posts has increased, the headcount figure for nurses fell from 317,370 in May 2010 to 315,525 in December 2014.

It described this as "remarkable" given the continued increase in demand for the NHS.

While 50,000 people applied to become nurses last year, there were only 21,000 places - meaning there is no shortage of people wanting to do the job, the RCN said in its report.

It said cuts the coalition government made to student nursing commissions in 2010 led to a reduction of 3,375 places.

The report said that as it takes three years for student nurses to qualify, these cuts are impacting on the supply of nurses right now.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: "We warned that cutting the workforce numbers to fund the NHS reorganisation and to find the efficiency savings was the wrong course to take.

"The cuts were so severe that we are only just catching up with where we were five years ago.

"Many areas, like district nursing and mental health, are even worse off.

"While the health service has spent the last five years running on the spot, demand has continued to increase.

"Whoever forms the next government must learn from this report and take immediate action to grow the nursing workforce, and ensure it can keep up with demand with a sustainable and long-term plan."

Ageing workforce

The report also said the community nursing workforce had been cut by more than 3,300, despite NHS plans to move care from hospitals to the community.

From May 2010 to December 2014 there has been a 28% reduction in the number of specialist district nurses, a loss of 2,168 posts across England.

A reliance on using agency nurses means that the NHS would have spent an estimated £980m on them by the end of the 2014/15 financial year, the RCN said.

As with GPs, the nursing workforce is ageing, with around 45% being over 45, the RCN added.


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More
Techie Blogger