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‘Kid’s waist size can predict disease risk’ DELHI: The waist size of your child can predict if he or she is likely to suffer from any metabolic disorder. This has been found in a multi-centre cross-sectional study done by the International Diabetes Federation. It was conducted on 10,842 children in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Raipur.

Dr Archana Dayal Arya, paediatric endocrinologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, and co-author of the study, said Metabolic Syndrome (MS) in children has been defined as the presence of high triglyceride levels in blood, low HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), increased fasting blood glucose levels, high systolic blood pressure and waist circumference > 75th percentile. It results in increased risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis cardiovascular disease.

“It is shocking to see children as young as six years old with diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus and abnormalities in the lipid profile,” the doctor said.

The study found that the risk factor for Indian children for developing MS was at 70th waist circumference (WC) percentile, which is significantly lower than international proposed WC cutoff of 90th percentile.

Dr Anuradha Khadilkar, consultant paediatrician in Jehangir Hospital, Pune and corresponding author of the study, said primary or essential hypertension, commonly seen in adults, is becoming common in children, who are obese or overweight.

The study, which will be published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Paediatrics, found that 3.3 per cent or 358 children out of a total sample size of 10,842 were hypertensive.


How not drinking enough water can lead to urinary bladder infections the winters it is common for people not to feel too thirsty, which leads to a lessened urge to drink water. But for those of you who think that this is not a big problem, here is some news for you. Drinking less water can lead to painful and sometimes serious conditions like urinary tract infection and cystitis – especially in women. Recognized by burning sensation while urinating, feeling a frequent need to urinate but passing only small amounts or no urine, pain in the lower back, dark smelly urine, sometimes blood in the urine and fever, cystitis has potential to cause major damage.

According to Dr Malvika Sabharwal, head of department of gynaecology and obstetrics, Nova Speciality Hospitals, ‘Women are prone to cystitis because they have a shorter urinary tract (tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside) as compared to men.’ According to the statistics about 15% women suffer from cystitis every year, and the risk of suffering from the condition is almost eight times higher in women than in men. Dr Malvika adds, ‘Women of all ages can acquire such infections but it is more with women who have just been married and women approaching menopause.’ .

What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a condition where the urinary bladder gets inflamed, usually due to some kind of infection.

Are you at risk?

Dr Sabharwal stresses that women who are suffering from tuberculosis, diabetes mellitus, those who are pregnant and those who are sexually active are most prone to the condition.

Diagnosis is simple

According to Dr Amita Shah, consultant gyanecologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, if you experience these symptoms the diagnosis usually involves a physical examination where the doctor will ask you about the symptoms and their severity.

In case he/she would like to know about the seriousness of the infection he/she may advice a urine culture (where the infectious organisms in the urine are detected in the lab). Also, to look for the presence of blood in your urine your doctor may advice a microscopic examination as well.

Prompt treatment of cystitis is the key

Dr Shah says, ‘The treatment for cystitis includes addressing each episode promptly with a short course of antibiotics and sometimes, a regular dose of antibiotics for the long-term. Another great way to help relieve the symptoms of cystitis is to have daily doses of cranberry juices. However, if left untreated, the infection can go from the bladder to the kidney.’ Read Tips to deal with urinary tract infections.

Prevention is better than cure

Preventing the onset of this infection is paramount, especially in pregnant women. Here are some precautions they should take:

  • Doctors stress that pregnant women should take special care not to keep their bladder empty as it can create an environment for the bacteria to multiply.
  • Avoid acidic drinks like coffee. According to Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynaecologist and obstetrician at Nurture Clinic, ‘Pregnant women should try not to drink too much caffeine or acidic drinks such as orange juice as these can irritate the bladder.’ Read about the 10 foods that can help deal with women’s health problems.

Everyday precautions include:

  • Doctors advise drinking at least 12 glasses of water a day to help flush out infection and dilute urine.
  • Women who are more prone to the condition should get a microscopic urine examination once every three to six months.
  • Maintain adequate hygiene. Dr Shah says, ‘Self-hygiene is important and more important is that the washroom should also be cleaned and sanitised.’ Read about some effective hygiene tips.

Aerobic Exercise Better for Overweight Girls than Strength Work, elliptical machine lowered health risks for teen-age girls, study finds.

In the ongoing battle against childhood obesity, new research suggests that aerobic exercise might be better than resistance training at cutting health risks for overweight girls.

Researchers at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital recruited 44 obese girls ages 12 to 18 and assigned them to three groups. One group ran on a treadmill or used the elliptical machine for 60 minutes three days a week for three months. A second group lifted weights for each hour-long session, and the third group performed no exercise.

The results showed that while both types of exercise led to the loss of total body fat, only the girls who did aerobic exercise had significant reductions in visceral fat.

Visceral fat lies deep inside the body, around the inner organs, and differs from the fat layer found directly under the skin. While excessive amounts of both types of fat can have health consequences, it’s visceral fat that researchers believe greatly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

In the study, the girls in the aerobic exercise group were also the only ones who improved their insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes that’s linked to obesity.

Anecdotally, the researchers noted that the girls who ran or used the elliptical appeared to enjoy exercise more than the girls in the weight-lifting group.

“Given the superior improvements in metabolic health with aerobic exercise and the enjoyment factor, we propose that aerobic exercise may be a better mode of exercise for adolescent girls of this age group,” the researchers conclude.

Antipsychotic drug use in kids ups risk of type 2 diabetes

Prescribing antipsychotic drugs to kids and young adults having behavioural problems or mood disorders could put them at a risk for acquiring type 2 diabetes, a study has showed.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center study shows that young people using medications like risperidone, quetiapine, aripiprazol and olanzapine led to a threefold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the first year of taking the drug.

Senior author Wayne A. Ray, Ph.D., professor of Preventive Medicine, said that while other studies have shown an increased risk for type 2 diabetes associated with the use atypical antipsychotic medications, this is the first large, well-designed study to look at the risk in children.

The authors noted that the use of these drugs for non-psychosis-related mood, attention or behavioral disorders in youth/children now accounts for the majority of prescriptions.

Ray said that as they wanted to address this question of risk for indications for which there were therapeutic alternatives, they deliberately excluded those taking antipsychotics for schizophrenia and other psychoses; thus, our entire sample consisted of patients for whom there were alternatives to antipsychotics.

State-provided, de-identified medical records were examined for TennCare youths ages 6-24 from 1996 through 2007.

During that time children and youth who were prescribed treatment with atypical antipsychotics for attention, behavioral or mood disorders, were compared with similar youth prescribed approved medications for those disorders.

Even with the further elimination of certain disorders that are commonly associated with diabetes, like polycystic ovarian syndrome, those taking antipsychotics had triple the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the following year, with the risk increasing further as cumulative dosages increased. The increased risk persisted for at least a year after the medications were stopped.

Ray and his colleagues point out developing type 2 diabetes is still rare in this age group. Of the nearly 29,000 children and youth in the antipsychotic medication group and 14,400 children in the control group, 106 were ultimately diagnosed and treated for type 2 diabetes.

The study has been published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Heavy coffee consumption linked to higher death risk

CoffeeDrinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week may be harmful for people younger than 55, according to a study.

The debate over coffee’s health risks continues to brew. A new study, out Thursday, finds that heavy coffee consumption is associated with a higher death risk in men and women younger than 55.

In the study published online in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, men younger than 55 who drank more than 28 cups of coffee a week (four cups a day) were 56% more likely to have died from any cause. Women in that age range had a twofold greater risk of dying than other women. The study looked at 43,727 men and women ages 20-87 from 1971 to 2002.

“From our study, it seems safe to drink one to three cups of coffee a day,” says the study’s second co-author Xuemei Sui. “Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day may endanger health,” says Sui, assistant professor of exercise science with the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She defines a cup of coffee as 6 to 8 ounces.

The study did not find a higher death risk for adults 55 and older. Sui says there may be a bias — the research may not include unhealthy older people because they might have already died.

The reasons for the higher death risk among younger adults are not clear since experts through the years have found both health benefits and problems associated with coffee.

Sui says the caffeine in coffee can elevate heart rate as well as raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels. However, coffee is a major source of antioxidants, she says.

Sui says the study didn’t find a significant association between coffee consumption and heart disease death. Further research is needed to look at any connection between coffee and cancer, she says.

Gregg Fonarow, co-chief of clinical cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says, “Differences in other dietary factors, marital status and other socioeconomic factors that were not adjusted for in this study may account for some or all of these observations.”

Fonarow, who was not involved in this research, says observational studies that survey people about their coffee intake and tie that to how many died from any cause have yielded mixed results.

Consider a 2012 study that found that coffee drinkers ages 50-71 had a lower risk of death than their peers who did not consume coffee. In that study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and AARP found that the more coffee consumed, the more a person’s death risk declined.

Joseph DeRupo, a spokesman for the National Coffee Association of USA, says the new study “presents findings that are out of step with prevailing science as well as with widely accepted research methods.”

Because coffee still stirs debate, Sui says more research is needed. In the meantime, people should watch their coffee intake, she says. “Avoid excessive coffee drinking.”

Widest study highlights risks from MERS virus

MERS VirusParis: The broadest probe yet into the deadly MERS virus which erupted in Saudi Arabia last year says older patients, men, and people with underlying medical conditions are those particularly at risk.

Saudi and British scientists, reporting in The Lancet on Friday, looked at symptoms and disease progression among 47 people, 36 of them men, admitted to Saudi hospitals with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The vast majority of the patients had fever, coughing and shortness of breath, and a minority experienced diarrhoea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Such characteristics are shared with MERS` coronavirus cousin, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which triggered a global health scare a decade ago, they wrote. The two viruses also have the same incubation period.

But, according to the investigators, there are important differences between the two viruses.

Unlike SARS, MERS is likelier to cause a fast-track progression to respiratory failure, taking five days less than SARS.

In addition, SARS affected people were relatively healthy and young, whereas MERS seems to target older patients and those with a chronic medical condition.

Out of the 47 cases, 45 were already being treated for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease and other disorders, according to the new study.

Statistically, MERS also appears to be deadlier. Twenty-eight out of the 47 patients died, a case-fatality rate of 60 percent, compared with only 1-2 percent for SARS.

“This high mortality rate with MERS is probably spurious due to the fact that we are only picking up severe cases and missing a significant number of milder or asymptomatic cases,” cautioned Professor Ziad Memish, Saudi Arabia`s deputy health minister, who led the research.

The kingdom accounts for 38 of the 45 fatalities recorded in nine countries, and 67 of the total 90 cases. Other cases have been recorded in Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Britain, France and Italy.

Key aspects of the virus, notably how it spreads and whether it has a “reservoir” among wild animals, remain unclear.

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