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International Food Security Assessment, 2015-25

July 1, 2015 Comments off

International Food Security Assessment, 2015-25
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

The number of food-insecure people in the 76 low- and middle-income countries included in this report is projected to fall 9 percent, from 521 million in 2014 to 475 million in 2015. Over the longer term, the food security situation is projected to deteriorate as the share of population that is food insecure moves from 13.4 percent in 2015 to 15.1 percent in 2025.

Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Epidemiology of Ciguatera in Florida
Source: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Ciguatera is the most commonly reported marine food-borne illness worldwide. Because there is a biological plausibility that ciguatera may be impacted by long-term climate variability and Florida is on the northern border of the geographic distribution of ciguatera, it is important to update our understanding of its epidemiology in Florida. We performed an analysis of 291 reports in Florida from 2000 to 2011 and an e-mail survey of 5,352 recreational fishers to estimate incidence and underreporting and identify high risk demographic groups, fish types, and catch locations. Incidence was 5.6 per 100,000 adjusted for underreporting. Hispanics had the highest incidence rate (relative risk [RR] = 3.4) and were more likely to eat barracuda than non-Hispanics. The most common catch locations for ciguatera-causing fish were the Bahamas and Florida Keys. Cases caused by fish from northern Florida were infrequent. These results indicate that ciguatera incidence is higher than estimated from public health reports alone. There is little evidence that incidence or geographic range has increased because of increased seawater temperatures since earlier studies.

ACPA Resource Guide To Chronic Pain Medication & Treatment — 2014 Edition

June 24, 2015 Comments off

ACPA Resource Guide To Chronic Pain Medication & Treatment — 2014 Edition (PDF)
Source: American Chronic Pain Association

The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) advocates a multi-modal strategy for dealing with chronic pain. The ACPA focuses on pain management skills and self-help strategies that individuals can use with the approval of their healthcare providers.

The ACPA considers the use of medication and other treatments to be a matter for individuals to determine in conjunction with their healthcare provider. The ACPA takes no position on medical treatment choices. Thus, information the ACPA provides about medical care is educational and informative only.

The ACPA Resource Guide to Chronic Pain Medication & Treatment is an unbiased consensus document that combines practical clinical ex perience and the most recent scientific information.

Best drugs to treat seasonal allergies

June 16, 2015 Comments off

Best drugs to treat seasonal allergies
Source: Consumer Reports

Runny nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes—the symptoms of allergies can make you miserable and desperate for relief. Avoiding substances that trigger your allergies can help, but since that is not always possible, you may reach for a medication.

Several types of allergy treatments are available—allergy shots, antihistamines (pills, eye drops, and nasal sprays), cromolyn, leukotriene blockers, and nasal steroid sprays. This report focuses on second-generation antihistamine pills and nasal sprays, such as Allegra, Clarinex, Claritin, Xyzal, and Zyrtec.

But, nasal steroid sprays such as fluticasone propionate (Flonase), mometasone furoate (Nasonex), and triamcinolone acetonide (Nasacort) are considered by experts the best, first option for seasonal allergies. Both Flonase and Nasacort are recently available without a prescription. One downside is that it can take hours or even days before they start to work. And the steroid sprays must be used consistently to get the greatest benefit. Because of that, some allergy sufferers may choose instead to take one of the second-generation antihistamine medications.

Global Ebola Response: Making a difference – Progress Report 2015

June 16, 2015 Comments off

Making a difference – Progress Report 2015
Source: United Nations

At the end of 2014, the number of people being infected each week with Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone was still more than 300. That number plateaued at around 100–150 for several weeks in early 2015 before decreasing. By the end of April 2015, less than 30 people were reported as infected each week—the lowest number since May last year. It is expected that—if efforts are focused, sustained, aligned and effective – the outbreak will end in 2015.

Categories: ebola, United Nations

Resilience through Sleep

June 12, 2015 Comments off

Resilience through Sleep
Source: Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy

The functions of sleep have been an ongoing question for clinicians and researchers interested in the sleeping brain. Historically, sleep was considered as a general restorative process where the brain and the body were mostly inactive. This concept had to be revised first when “paradoxical sleep”, also known as rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep was discovered with the surprising observation of an intense activation in the polysomnographic signal while the sleeper appeared completely inactive physically, a sleep stage also named rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM) [1]. Subsequent studies have shown that REM and non-REM sleep states contribute to the homeostasis in functions such as emotion regulation and learning and memory, as well as cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune functions [2]. An interesting suggestion about the possible function of REM sleep has been proposed [3]. Using a computer model, these authors suggest that one mechanism of REM sleep is to remove certain mode of interactions between neurons, a process they named “reverse learning” or “unlearning”. These authors discussed that one function of REM sleep could be to “forget” irrelevant information as well as to remember relevant information for survival and adaptation. Using polysomnography in humans [4,5], proposed that slow-wave-sleep (SWS) is important for cortical pruning, a process essential to neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the molecular and cellular changes in neuronal networks occurring in response to inputs from the environment. Such a neurophysiologic process is an important part of learning, memory and adaptation mechanisms.

Health problems and stress in Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing employees

June 5, 2015 Comments off

Health problems and stress in Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing employees
Source: Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences

Stress is high in software profession because of their nature of work, target, achievements, night shift, over work load. 1. To study the demographic profile of the employees. 2. To access the level of job stress and quality of life of the respondents. 3. To study in detail the health problems of the employees. All employees working in IT and BPO industry for more than two years were included into the study. A detailed questionnaire of around 1000 IT and BPO employees including their personal details, stress score by Holmes and Rahe to assess the level of stress and master health checkup profile were taken and the results were analysed. Around 56% had musculoskeletal symptoms. 22% had newly diagnosed hypertension,10% had diabetes, 36% had dyslipidemia, 54% had depression, anxiety and insomnia, 40% had obesity. The stress score was higher in employees who developed diabetes, hypertension and depression. Early diagnosis of stress induced health problems can be made out by stress scores, intense lifestyle modification, diet advice along with psychological counselling would reduce the incidence of health problems in IT sector and improve the quality of work force.

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