Heart diseases to be largest cause of death in India by 2020: WHO

With the unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits being the trend amongst the youths, there is a rapid increase in the number of Indians suffering from heart diseases. As per the World Health Organisation(WHO) report, heart diseases would be the largest cause of death and disability in India by 2020.

“The average age of people with heart ailments is coming down. We are getting patients as young as 20 years,” Neeraj Bhalla, senior consultant and director of the heart centre at BLK Super Specialty Hospital, said ahead of World Heart Day that is observed on Sep 29. “In the next five to 10 years around 20 percent of the Indian population would be affected,” he added.

Atul Mathur, director of Invasive Cardiology at Fortis Escorts Heart institute, said that patients under the age of 40 have increased from 10 percent a decade ago to 30 percent today. “This is a perturbing development… A drastic change in lifestyle and food habits is needed,” Mathur said.

According to doctors, many of the young professionals today have odd working hours that leads to stress, and not many of them have the privilege of savouring home cooked meals. On top of it, the indulgence in smoking and drinking to “reduce the stress” worsens the situation. Such a lifestyle results in high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, etc. leading to heart ailments.

“Smoking, eating junk food and less physical exercise are the evils that are severely affecting our youth today. On top of it the pressure at work which in many cases leads to drinking and smoking also complicates the situation,” Kamaldeep Singh, consultant cardiologist at Gurgaon-based Columbia Asia Hospital, said. According to Singh, the focus should be on how to educate youngsters to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The doctors said that efforts should be made to stop leading an unhealthy lifestyle which may lead to a cardiovascular disease later. The education and guidance should begin early. Physical exercise, avoiding junk and oily food and not smoking are some of the steps that must be adopted by people, say the doctors. “Stress is a part of life today and you can’t avoid it, but half an hour of walk or exercise at home or office, five days a week can do wonders,” Rishi Gupta, director, Cardiology, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, said.

World Heart Day was created in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year and the numbers are rising. By 2030, it is expected that 23 million people will die from CVDs annually. Together with its members, the World Heart Federation spreads the news that at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors, tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, are controlled.


100 mn people will die by 2030 if world fails to act on climate: report

More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday. As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas

emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organisation DARA.
It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.

More than 90% of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries in 2010 and 2030. It was commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a partnership of 20 developing countries threatened by climate change.

“A combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade,” the report said.

It said the effects of climate change had lowered global output by 1.6 percent of world GDP, or by about $1.2 trillion a year, and losses could double to 3.2% of global GDP by 2030 if global temperatures are allowed to rise, surpassing 10 percent before 2100.

It estimated the cost of moving the world to a low-carbon economy at about 0.5% of GDP this decade.

British economist Nicholas Stern told Reuters earlier this year investment equivalent to 2% of global GDP was needed to limit, prevent and adapt to climate change. His report on the economics of climate change in 2006 said an average global temperature rise of 2-3 degrees Celsius in the next 50 years could reduce global consumption per head by up to 20%.

Temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Almost 200 nations agreed in 2010 to limit the global average temperature rise to below 2C (3.6 Fahrenheit) to avoid dangerous impacts from climate change.

But climate scientists have warned that the chance of limiting the rise to below 2C is getting smaller as global greenhouse gas emissions rise due to burning fossil fuels.

The world’s poorest nations are the most vulnerable as they face increased risk of drought, water shortages, crop failure, poverty and disease. On average, they could see an 11% loss in GDP by 2030 due to climate change, DARA said.

“One degree Celsius rise in temperature is associated with 10% productivity loss in farming. For us, it means losing about 4 million metric tonnes of food grain, amounting to about $2.5 billion. That is about 2 percent of our GDP,” Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in response to the report.

“Adding up the damages to property and other losses, we are faced with a total loss of about 3-4% of GDP.”

Even the biggest and most rapidly developing economies will not escape unscathed. The United States and China could see a 2.1 percent reduction in their respective GDPs by 2030, while India could experience a more than 5% loss.

Drinking red wine may be key to longevity………..

Bees decrease food intake and live longer when given resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, according to a new study.

Previous scientific studies on resveratrol show that it lengthens the lifespan of diverse organisms ranging from unicellular yeast to fruit flies and mice.

In a series of experiments, a team of scientists from Arizona State University, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and Harvard Medical School, tested the effects of resveratrol on the lifespan, learning ability, and food perception in honeybees.

Their research has confirmed that not only does this compound extend the lifespan of honey bees by 33 to 38 percent, it also changes the decisions that bees make about food by triggering a “moderation effect” when they eat.

“For the first time, we conducted several tests on the effects of resveratrol by using the honey bee as a model. We were able to confirm that under normal living conditions, resveratrol lengthened lifespan in honey bees,” said Brenda Rascon, an ASU alumnus and doctoral student with Gro Amdam, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Since resveratrol is an antioxidant, researchers also questioned whether it would be capable of diminishing the damaging effects of “free radicals” – often released during stressful conditions. Free radicals are believed to cause damage to cells, and have an effect on how we age. Resveratrol did not, however, prove to extend lives of bees living under stressful conditions.

Yet, since the bees tested with the compound were living longer, researchers asked the next question: What’s happening that is causing them to live longer?

“Because what we eat is such an important contributor to our physical health, we looked at the bees’ sensitivity to sugar and their willingness to consume it. Bees typically gorge on sugar and while it’s the best thing for them, we know that eating too much is not necessarily a good thing,” said Amdam.

Interestingly, Amdam, Rascon, and their research team discovered that bees given the compound were less sensitive to sugar. By using different sugar solutions – some very diluted and some with stronger concentrations – they found that bees receiving resveratrol were not as interested in eating the sugar solutions unless the sugar was highly concentrated. The bees basically changed their perception about food.
In a final experiment, they measured how much food the bees would consume if given the opportunity to eat as much sugar water as they possibly could.

“Surprisingly, the bees that received the drug decreased their food intake,” said Rascon.

“The bees were allowed to eat as much as they pleased and were certainly not starving – they simply would not gorge on the food that we know they like. It’s possible resveratrol may be working by some mechanism that is related to caloric restriction – a dietary regimen long known to extend lifespan in diverse organisms,” the researcher added.

The findings have been published in the journal Aging.

Protein can kick-start male fertility…………………

Adding a protein could activate infertile human sperm into fertilising an egg, improving chances of a successful pregnancy, says a new study.

The team from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine first found that sperm transfers a vital protein, known as PLC-zeta (PLCz), to the egg upon fertilisation. Then it initiates a process called ‘egg activation,’ which switches on all the biological processes necessary for development of an embryo.

The team has found that eggs that don’t fertilise because of a defective PLCz, as in some forms of male infertility, can be treated with the active protein to produce egg activation.

The added PLCz kick-starts the fertilisation process and significantly improves the chance of a successful pregnancy, the journal Fertility and Sterility reports.

“We know that some men are infertile because their sperm fail to activate eggs. Even though their sperm fuses with the egg, nothing happens,” said Tony Lai, professor at Cardiff, who with professor Karl Swann, led the team at Cardiff University’s Institute of Molecular and Experimental Medicine and funded by the Wellcome Trust, according to a Cardiff statement.

“These sperm may lack a proper functioning version of PLCz, which is essential to trigger the next stage in becoming pregnant,” Lai added.

“What’s important from our research is that we have used human sperm PLCz to obtain the positive results that we had previously observed only in experiments with mice,” Lai said.

“In the lab we have been able to prepare human PLCz protein that is active. If this protein is inactive or missing from sperm, it fails to trigger the process necessary for egg activation – the next crucial stage of embryo development,” Lai said.

World’s most complex mathematical theory ‘cracked’…..

One of the world’s most complex mathematical theories may have finally been cracked by a scholar in Japan, although confirming the breakthrough may take many more years due to the sheer scale of the achievement.
Shinichi Mochizuki, a mathematician at Kyoto University, has released four papers on the internet describing his proof of what is known as abc conjecture.
The paper, which is 500 pages long, can be viewed on his website in a series of PDFs labelled “Teichmuller Theory”.
The proof took four years to calculate and if confirmed it would be one of the greatest mathematical achievements of this century, experts said.
Confirming the breakthrough, however, may take just as long as Mochizuki has created an entirely new mathematical language to explain the steps that he took – and others in the field will have to learn to read it first.
Since publishing his paper online on August 30, Mochizuki has declined to comment.

38 per cent women admit ‘sex with exes better than current partners’………

Over a third of women confess that they had the best sex of their lives in a previous relationship, according to a recent survey.

Meanwhile just 29 per cent of men said their best sex was with an ex, according to the poll of 1,100 men and women by sex toy retailer Lovehoney.

This ‘grass is greener’ sexual syndrome isn’t new, said sex expert Tracey Cox.

“Women don’t tend to marry the guy they had great sex with. They marry for more ‘sensible’ attributes – like whether he’ll be loyal and a good father. I get lots of emails from women saying they love their husbands but fantasise about sex with their exes,” the Daily Mail quoted Cox as saying.

“They don’t regret not choosing them as long-term mates, but they do miss the great sex they had,” she added.

Both sexes also revealed that sex gets better with age with just seven per cent of both women and men naming their first love as their best lover.

Many agreed ‘love’ and ‘passion’ makes the best sex.

Only 4 per cent of women and 3 per cent of men said their best sex was a one-night stand and just 1 per cent of both sexes named a holiday fling as their best sex.

But the levels of sexual satisfaction with their current partners differ for men and women.

Sixty-two per cent of women and 71 per cent of men said their best sex was with their current partner.

Hair care tips for different hair types………………….

There is no universal solution that fits all hair types. Here are some things you can do for the different hair types:
Greasy/Oily Hair
A little oil or grease in your hair is normal; in fact you need it to keep your tresses in good condition. But too much can make your hair look dirty and limp. If both your hair and scalp are greasy, make sure you are not using a shampoo or conditioner that is too heavy for your hair. If only your scalp is greasy, try using a shampoo for oily hair and a conditioner for dry hair for balance.
Other tips for controlling greasy hair include:
Cleaning your hair every other day. You may be tempted to wash your hair frequently, but the oil glands on your scalp are actually stimulated by massage so the more you wash your hair, the greasier your scalp becomes.
Using the flat of your fingers to shampoo your hair for a more gentle cleaning action.
Dry Hair
Too many colouring jobs or perms can weaken your hair structure and cause damage, as can excessive exposure to heat from hairdryers, curling irons, heated rollers and other electric styling tools. Being out in the sun or swimming in a chlorinated pool can also deplete hair of its life. To restore your hair to its natural splendour, try following these techniques:
Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners designed for dry, damaged hair.
Cut down on the use of hairdryers, curling irons, etc.
Change your appliances regularly as the internal thermostats that regulate heat eventually break down.
When hitting the beach or going for a swim, use a leave-in product to protect your hair.
Treat your hair with a deep conditioner once a week.
Fine/Thin Hair
Thin hair doesn’t have to look lifeless. Follow these simple techniques to create the illusion of having thick hair:
Get a blunt or one-length haircut to make hair look fuller and thicker at the ends.
Don’t grow your hair too long. The longer it gets the stringier it appears.
Apply conditioner to the lengths and ends of your hair, not the roots. This will prevent your hair from becoming weighted down. Although you may be tempted to skip on the conditioner, using it will actually help prevent the split ends and breakage that can make fine hair look thinner.
Thick Hair
Many people with thick hair complain of having an itchy, flaky scalp. This is usually caused by insufficient rinsing after cleaning your hair: the shampoo soap leaves a residue which is sealed onto the scalp by the conditioner, causing dryness and irritation. Make sure you rinse your hair longer after shampooing to avoid this problem. Other tips for making thick hair look its healthiest include:
Keep your hair either short or long – short haircuts keep thick hair under control, while the weight of long hair holds it down. Mid-length cuts on thick hair tend to make the hair stick out at the ends.
Cut your hair in layer to relieve some of the bulk. Don’t cut short layers or pieces too short or they will add extra volume.
If you colour your hair, opt for semi-permanent colours which don’t have the same thickening effect as permanent colours and bleach.
Curly Hair
One of the biggest problems with curly hair is its lack of shine. Unlike straight hair, which tends to have a natural sheen, curly hair has an uneven surface that does not reflect light very well. That means the curlier or wavier your hair is, the duller it appears. To remedy this problem, try these simple tricks:
Wash your hair with moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to help seal and smooth the surface of your hair (this allows it to reflect more light).
Use a wide-tooth comb in the shower to help distribute conditioner more evenly.
Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove product build up, which makes hair appear dull.
Rinse your hair with cold water to seal the surface, which helps hair reflect light better.
Consider a special in-salon “gloss finish” treatment for extra shine.
After washing, gently pat your hair dry with a thick, absorbent towel.
Straight Hair
Unfortunately straight hair lies flat against the scalp where it can accumulate grease, leading to a dull, stringy appearance. To avoid this, use a deep-cleaning shampoo every day and a clarifying gel treatment once a week to prevent oil build-up.
These are generic tips, but are by no means all encompassing. Good advice usually comes from physicians trained specifically in hair care and hair therapy i.e. Dermatologists & Plastic surgeons, with special training in skin and hair cosmetic care.
Dr Debraj Shome is a noted plastic surgeon. Along with Dr Arbinder Singal, he is the co-founder of http://www.MediAngels.com – The World’s First Global eHospital. You can consult him here.