Almost half of Americans have heart disease: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Almost half of Americans have heart disease, a significant increase over prior years largely because of a newly expanded definition of high blood pressure, the American Heart Association said Thursday. The report in the journal Circulation found that 121.5 million adults in the United States in 2016 “have some type of cardiovascular disease.” By definition, cardiovascular disease includes coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and high blood pressure. In 2017, […]

Lowering blood pressure cuts risk of cognitive impairment: study

TAMPA, United States (AFP) — Aggressive treatment to lower blood pressure in older people has been shown to cut the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, a risk factor for dementia, US researchers said Monday. While the findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) did not find any significant impact on the likelihood of developing dementia, experts said the trial offers a glimmer of hope as the world’s population ages and dementia […]

‘Radical rethink’ needed to tackle obesity, hunger, climate: report

by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — To defeat the intertwined pandemics of obesity, hunger and climate change, governments must curb the political influence of major corporations, said a major report Monday calling for a ‘global treaty’ similar to one for tobacco control. Bu this will not happen unless ordinary citizens demand a “radical rethink” of the relationship between policymakers and business, nearly four dozen experts from The Lancet Commission on Obesity […]

Bleeding risks may offset aspirin’s benefit vs heart disease

by Kerry SHERIDAN Agence France Presse TAMPA, United States (AFP) — Should healthy people take aspirin to ward off heart disease? The notion has been controversial, and the medical advice mixed. But a review of scientific data on the topic Tuesday showed that any benefits are slight, and are counterbalanced by a matching rise in bleeding risks. Aspirin is a blood thinner and can help prevent clots that may lead to heart attack or stroke. […]

China’s ageing elite live golden years in style

by Eva XIAO Agence France Presse BEIJING, China (AFP) — At a gated community for Chinese senior citizens, retired military personnel, film-makers, and top university professors settle into a new routine: ballet lessons, weightlifting and catered dining. As China’s population ages rapidly and the one-child policy left parents with only a single child to help them in their old age, the upper crust of Chinese society are spending the last years of their lives in […]

In China, unhappiness tracks poor air quality

by Marlowe HOOD Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Eye-watering, throat-scratching air pollution is a major driver of big city blues in China, according to a study published Monday that matched social network chatter with fine-particle pollution levels. “The take-away is simple,” lead author Siqi Zheng, an associate professor at MIT and director of the University’s China Future City Lab, told AFP. “Higher levels of air pollution lower people’s happiness in the world’s most […]

Swine flu kills 40 in western India

JAIPUR, India (AFP) — At least 40 people have died and more than 1,000 have tested positive for swine flu since the beginning of this year in a western Indian state popular with foreigners, authorities said Friday. Last year around 1,100 people died and 15,000 were infected across India by the highly contagious A H1N1 virus that spreads from human-to-human. Cases spike in the winter months of December and January in the west and north […]

INFOGRAPHICS: National Cancer Consciousness Week

(Eagle News) — In the Philippines, cancer remains a national health priority concern. It is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country after diseases of the heart and the vascular system, according to the Department of Health. Globally, cancer is the second leading cause of death, and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018.  Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. The DOH has set […]

DR Congo Ebola death toll tops 400

KINSHASA, DR Congo (AFP) — The death toll from the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has passed the 400 mark in the east and northeast, health authorities said Tuesday. “Since the start of the epidemic, the total number of cases is 658 — 609 confirmed and 49 probable. In total there have been 402 deaths” in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, a health ministry bulletin stated. Health authorities […]

S.Africa’s neighbours slap import bans over foot-and-mouth disease

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — Countries neighbouring South Africa have banned the import of cloven-hoofed animals and their products over a foot-and-mouth disease breakout in the northern Limpopo province, government said Monday. On Monday Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana confirmed the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), first identified a week ago in Vhembe district near the border with Zimbabwe. The outbreak prompted the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to lift the FMD-free status that the […]

Hong Kong scientists claim ‘broad-spectrum’ antiviral breakthrough

by Jerome TAYLOR Agence France Presse HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Hong Kong scientists claim they have made a potential breakthrough discovery in the fight against infectious diseases — a chemical that could slow the spread of deadly viral illnesses. A team from the University of Hong Kong described the newly discovered chemical as “highly potent in interrupting the life cycle of diverse viruses” in a study published this month in the journal Nature Communications. […]

France to cull wild boar after swine virus cases in Belgium

by Emmanuelle TRECOLLE Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — France will start culling thousands of wild boar near the Belgian border to prevent the African swine fever virus from spreading, the agriculture ministry said Monday. It said the operation would be held in the coming weeks and involve large number of hunters and forest officials. The virus was first reported in Belgium on September 13 near the borders with Luxembourg and France. “The spread […]