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MOST NATIONS TO MISS UN TARGET ON CHRONIC DISEASES: STUDY

More than half of all countries will likely fail to hit the UN target of reducing premature deaths.

More than half of all countries will likely fail to hit the UN target of reducing premature deaths from a quartet of chronic diseases by a third before 2030, researchers said Friday.

Cancersheart and blood-vessel diseasediabetes, and chronic respiratory disease combined to kill 12.5 million people aged 30 to 70 worldwide in 2016, they reported in a major study.

“The bottom line is this: a set of commitments were made, and most countries are not going to meet them,” lead author Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial School London’s School of Public Health, told AFP. Only 35 nations are on track to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 — launched in 2015 — for women, and even less for men, the study revealed.

“International donors and national governments are doing too little to reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases,” Ezzati said. The good news, he added, is that most countries are at least moving in the right direction. But around 20 states — 15 for women, 24 for men — are either stagnating or backsliding. That select group of failure includes only one wealthy nation: the United States.

A much-noted study last year in the American Journal of Public Health showed that the rise in premature deaths was especially sharp among white, rural Americans, described by the authors as gripped by an “epidemic of 
despair”. “It comes down to weak public healthweak health care systemhigh levels of inequality,” Ezzati said

Weak Public Health

Across all age groups, non-communicable diseases kill more than 40 million people a year worldwide, accounting for seven in ten deaths. Of these, 17 million are classified as “premature,” or before the age of 70. “We are sleepwalking into a sick future because of severely inadequate progress on non-communicable diseases,” said Katie Dain from the NCD Alliance.

The “NCD Countdown 2030” report, published in The Lancet ahead of next week’s UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in New York, “will assist in holding governments and donors accountable”, she added. Ezzati rejected the notion that the UN goal may have been set too high.

“The fact that 30-odd countries are very much on track, and another 40 or 50 — depending on the gender — are close, means that it is very doable,” he said by phone.

Declining tobacco and alcohol use, low blood pressure, a good public health care system, low levels of inequality — countries not doing so well in meeting the UN target are likely to fail in a couple of these things, Ezzati said. Only four countries — South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Australia — ranked among the top ten for lowest NCD mortality rates for both men and women.

China Not On Track

Spain, Singapore, Portugal, Italy, Finland and France rounded out the good health podium for women. For men, the other countries were Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Bahrain, Canada and New Zealand.

The United States ranked 53rd for men, and 44th for women, with Chinese men and women placed 80th and 76th, respectively. China is not on track to meet the goal but its NCD rates are declining, even as levels of obesity and high blood pressure are on the rise, the study revealed. 

Smoking rates have stabilised but remain high, especially for men. Tobacco use claims one million lives in China every year. “China has the ability to do a lot when it comes to managing tobacco and alcohol, with both largely state-owned industries,” Ezzati noted. “They are also wealthy enough so that hypertension treatment should be trivial.”

In sub-Saharan Africa, non-communicable diseases account for a smaller share of deaths than infectious diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis. But their NCD mortality rates are still much higher than in most middle-income and rich countries, and should not be neglected, the authors said.

“By any standard, it would be inappropriate and non-strategic to not incorporate NCDs in the strengthening of the overall health care system,We should say to the donor and aid agencies: ‘Focus on the overall health 
system rather than disease by disease’.”

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Coronavirus Ireland: 63 further deaths and 3,569 more Covid-19 cases confirmed

A further 3,569 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland by the Department of Health today.

There was also a further 63 Covid-19 fatalities recorded.

Five of these deaths occurred in November 2020, one of these deaths occurred in December 2020, and the remaining 56 occurred in January 2021.

The date of death for one reported death remains under investigation.

This brings the total number of cases in the state to 159,144 and the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 2,460.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 1,616 are men / 1,924 are women
  • 54pc are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 42 years old
  • 1,119 are in Dublin, 416 in Cork, 200 in Galway, 182 in Louth, 169 in Waterford, and the remaining 1,483 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 2pm today there are 1,770 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 172 of these in ICU. Both figures are the highest tallies ever recorded in the pandemic.

Speaking on today’s figures, CMO Dr Tony Holohan said: “We are seeing some early signs of progress with daily cases numbers and positivity rates.

“We can take some hope in them, but we have a long, long way to go. In the coming weeks ahead, we will need to draw upon our reserves of resilience from springtime as we can expect to see hospitalisations, admissions to ICU and mortality related to Covid-19 increase day on day.”

“The best way that we can all support one another now is to stay apart. Sadly, what we are seeing now is a result of the very high daily confirmed case numbers we experienced for successive weeks.

“To ensure our hospitals and loved ones remain protected, and stay alive to receive the vaccine, please continue to follow public health advice and stay home.”

This comes as healthcare workers on leave due to being a close contact of a Covid-19 case are being asked to return to work if they are asymptomatic due to the strain on the health service.

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There are currently over 7,000 HSE staff out of work, Chief Operations Officer Ann O’Connor confirmed this morning.

The INMO has today called for the government to declare a National Emergency due to the hospital crisis, as they say the health service is not coping with the surge in the disease.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, the COO said there are 14 Irish hospitals with more than 50 Covid-19 cases and six with more than 100. She said Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Limerick and Galway University Hospital are the worst hit.

Ms O’Connor said in “ordinary circumstances” the close contacts of cases would be out for 14 days, but said “that is not available to us in that instance”

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Coronavirus: What Happens When You Get Infected?

There are many types of coronaviruses. Some give you the common cold. The new coronavirus behind the 2019-2020 pandemic causes an illness called COVID-19.

How Does Coronavirus Attack Your Body?

virus infects your body by entering healthy cells. There, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.

The new coronavirus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.

Specifically, the viral proteins bust into cells through ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks healthy cells and takes command. Eventually, it kills some of the healthy cells.

How Does Coronavirus Move Through Your Body?

COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, starts with droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze, or breath. They could be in the air or on a surface that you touch before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. That gives the virus a passage to the mucous membranes in your throat. Within 2 to 14 days, your immune system may respond with symptoms including:CONTINUE READING BELOW

  • Fever
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Chills, sometimes with shaking
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • A sore throat
  • Loss of taste
  • Loss of smell
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

The virus moves down your respiratory tract. That’s the airway that includes your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. Your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors than the rest of your respiratory tract. So COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper than viruses like the common cold.

Your lungs might become inflamed, making it tough for you to breathe. This can lead to pneumonia, an infection of the tiny air sacs (called alveoli) inside your lungs where your blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide.

If your doctor does a CT scan of your chest, they’ll probably see shadows or patchy areas called “ground-glass opacity.”

For most people, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever. More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe. About 5 to 8 days after symptoms begin, they have shortness of breath (known as dyspnea). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) begins a few days later.

ARDS can cause rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, dizziness, and sweating. It damages the tissues and blood vessels in your alveoli, causing debris to collect inside them. This makes it harder or even impossible for you to breathe.

Many people who get ARDS need help breathing from a machine called a ventilator.

As fluid collects in your lungs, they carry less oxygen to your blood. That means your blood may not supply your organs with enough oxygen to survive. This can cause your kidneys, lungs, and liver to shut down and stop working.

Not everyone who has COVID-19 has these serious complications. And not everyone needs medical care. But if your symptoms include trouble breathing, get help right away.NEWSLETTERStay Up-to-Date on COVID-19

What Else Does COVID-19 Do to Your Body?

Some people also have symptoms including:

  • Pinkeye
  • Rashes
  • Liver problems or damage
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Dangerous blood clots, including in their legs, lungs, and arteries. Some clots may cause a stroke.

Researchers are also looking into a few reports of skin rashes, including some reddish-purple spots on fingers or toes.

A few children and teens have been admitted to the hospital with an inflammatory syndrome that may be linked to the new coronavirus. Symptoms include a fever, rash, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart problems. The syndrome, now being referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C is similar to toxic shock or to Kawasaki disease, a condition in children that causes inflammation in blood vessels. We’re still learning about these cases.

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