Health http://www.theweek.in/news/health.rss en Tue Aug 22 10:54:38 IST 2023 inadequate-sleep-poses-higher-risk-for-type-2-diabetes--regardle <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/07/inadequate-sleep-poses-higher-risk-for-type-2-diabetes--regardle.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2022/images/2023/2/type-2-diabetes-syringe--shut.jpg" /> <p>A recent study published in the journal JAMA Network Open has revealed a concerning link between short sleep duration and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Research conducted by a team led by Christian Benedict, Associate Professor at Uppsala University, indicates that individuals who consistently sleep for only three to five hours per day may face a higher likelihood of developing this metabolic disorder.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study, which investigated the impact of chronic sleep deprivation on type 2 diabetes, emphasizes the inability of healthy eating alone to compensate for inadequate sleep. &quot;I generally recommend prioritizing sleep, although I understand it's not always possible, especially as a parent of four teenagers,&quot; stated Benedict.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Type 2 diabetes poses significant health challenges, affecting the body's ability to process sugar (glucose) and leading to elevated blood sugar levels due to hindered insulin absorption. With over 462 million people worldwide suffering from this disease, it represents a growing public health concern, potentially causing severe damage to nerves and blood vessels over time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Diana Noga, a sleep researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences at Uppsala University, highlighted the unclear relationship between insufficient sleep and the potential for healthy eating to mitigate the risk of type 2 diabetes. Using data from the UK Biobank, one of the world's largest population databases, the research team followed nearly half a million participants over a 10-year period. Their findings revealed that a daily sleep duration of three to five hours was associated with a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Furthermore, the study demonstrated that while healthy dietary habits were linked to a reduced risk of the disease, individuals who maintained such habits but slept less than six hours per day still faced an elevated risk of type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The research's implications challenge the notion that a healthy diet can fully compensate for inadequate sleep in terms of the risk of type 2 diabetes. Benedict stressed, &quot;Our results are the first to question whether a healthy diet can compensate for lack of sleep in terms of the risk of type 2 diabetes. They should not cause concern, but instead be seen as a reminder that sleep plays an important role in health.&quot;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/07/inadequate-sleep-poses-higher-risk-for-type-2-diabetes--regardle.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/07/inadequate-sleep-poses-higher-risk-for-type-2-diabetes--regardle.html Thu Mar 07 12:22:31 IST 2024 israeli-scientists-make-groundbreaking-discovery-in-parkinson-s- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/israeli-scientists-make-groundbreaking-discovery-in-parkinson-s-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/magazine/health/quickscan/images/2023/3/25/15-Focused-ultrasound-for-Parkinsons-treatment.jpg" /> <p>Israeli researchers have achieved a major breakthrough by uncovering a vital link between Parkinson's disease and the extracellular matrix (ECM) that surrounds the brain. This discovery paves the way for new research opportunities to enhance our understanding of the condition and to create more targeted treatments. Headed by Professor Shani Stern of the University of Haifa, the team's results have been published in the respected journal npj Parkinson's Disease, representing a significant step forward in the field of neuroscience.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately the dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. The cause of Parkinson's disease is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic changes and environmental factors. However, the University of Haifa researchers shifted their gaze to the extracellular matrix (ECM), the network of molecules surrounding and supporting brain cells. By utilizing cell reprogramming techniques, the team transformed skin cell samples from Parkinson's patients into dopaminergic neurons, simulating the disease's pathology. Through this innovative approach, significant alterations in the expression of genes responsible for ECM proteins were observed, providing new insights into the disease's mechanisms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A striking discovery from the study was the aggregation of collagen 4 protein, exclusively in Parkinson's patients, associated with decreased synaptic activity and impaired neuronal communication. These findings suggest that disruptions in the ECM could play a pivotal role in the disease's progression, offering a new perspective on Parkinson's pathology. The research not only provides a better understanding of Parkinson's but also hints at potential therapeutic targets, focusing on ECM regulation to mitigate disease symptoms and progression.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The implications of these discoveries are vast, heralding a new era in Parkinson's disease research and treatment. By highlighting the importance of the ECM in Parkinson's pathology, the study paves the way for the development of targeted therapies aimed at restoring ECM functions. Moreover, this research underscores the need for a broader exploration of non-genetic factors in neurodegenerative diseases, potentially revolutionizing our approach to treating such disorders.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/israeli-scientists-make-groundbreaking-discovery-in-parkinson-s-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/israeli-scientists-make-groundbreaking-discovery-in-parkinson-s-.html Wed Mar 06 14:21:05 IST 2024 lancet-study-warns-about--overmedicalisation--of-menopause <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/lancet-study-warns-about--overmedicalisation--of-menopause.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2019/May/menopause-women-woman-sex-health-shut.jpg" /> <p>An over-simplified narrative of menopause as a health problem to be solved by replacing hormones is not based on evidence and deflects attention from the need for substantial societal shifts in how women globally are viewed and treated, according to research published in The Lancet journal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Lancet 2024 Series, consisting of four research papers, highlights how some groups, such as those who experience early or cancer treatment-induced menopause often do not receive optimal care.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Series questions the assumption that menopause often causes mental health problems and identifies specific at-risk groups who may need additional support.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The authors argue that a change in the narrative to view menopause as part of healthy ageing would reduce stigma and overmedicalisation, empowering women to navigate this life stage, acknowledged and supported by clinicians, researchers, workplaces, and wider society.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A new approach to menopause that better prepares and supports women during midlife is needed going beyond medical treatments, to empower women using high-quality information on symptoms and treatments, empathic clinical care and workplace adjustments as required, thy said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The misconception of menopause as always being a medical issue which consistently heralds a decline in physical and mental health should be challenged across the whole of society,&quot; said the Series co-author, Professor Martha Hickey from the University of Melbourne and Royal Women's Hospital in Australia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Many women live rewarding lives during and after menopause, contributing to work, family life and the wider society. Changing the narrative to view menopause as part of healthy ageing may better empower women to navigate this life stage and reduce fear and trepidation amongst those who have yet to experience it,&quot; Hickey said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Series calls for an individualised approach where women are empowered with accurate, consistent and impartial information to make informed decisions which are right for them over the menopause transition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This may include taking menopause hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats, which can range from mild to extremely debilitating, after a discussion with their doctor about the risks and benefits, the researchers said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Whilst some women may also choose psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy to reduce the psychological impact of hot flushes and night sweats and improve sleep, Hickey said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Welcoming the increase in awareness of menopause, the authors raised concern about the media's tendency to focus on extreme negative experiences of menopause, depicting it as an unfortunate and distressing experience heralding a critical downturn in women's health which can only be solved by hormone replacement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Whilst it is certainly the case that some women have extremely negative experiences of menopause and benefit from hormone therapies, that isn't the whole picture,&quot; said Lydia Brown from the University of Melbourne.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The reality is much more complex and varied, with some women reporting neutral experiences and others highlighting good aspects, such as freedom from menstruation and menstrual pain,&quot; Brown added.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/lancet-study-warns-about--overmedicalisation--of-menopause.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/lancet-study-warns-about--overmedicalisation--of-menopause.html Wed Mar 06 12:24:09 IST 2024 eight-year-old-boy-successfully-treated-for-rare-thyroid-cancer- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/eight-year-old-boy-successfully-treated-for-rare-thyroid-cancer-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2022/images/2023/2/cancer-cure-treat-cancer-medical-cancershot-shut.jpg" /> <p>Last year a seven year old girl in Bengaluru was diagnosed with PTC (papillary thyroid cancer) and this year it has been an eight year old boy from Yemen who came to india to get treated for PTC, a condition which can happen at any age but is mostly seen in adults in the 30 plus age group. According to research, PTC is the&nbsp; most common type of thyroid cancer having 'excellent' prognosis and treatment in the form of surgery which is most often successful. The eight year old boy from Yemen got treated at Mumbai's Jaslok hospital, at the hands of Dr Fazal Nabi, a paediatrician.&nbsp;</p> <p>Initially, the child showed symptoms in the form of a 4X4 cm swelling on the front and left side of the neck - this had been present for three months before the child visited the hospital. He had been diagnosed for cancer in yemen itself, after which he came to India to seek further treatment. By the time he underwent investigations, the cancer had not spread in the other organs of the body, which was a relief but the challenge came during the operating process, said doctors to THE WEEK. The surgery became challenging as the doctors had to dissect the tumour from vital areas that were relatively small. &quot;The child was thin built and the neck was so slender that even the slightest pressure would have caused damage. And that damage might have led to a change in his voice and difficulty breathing but thankfully everything went well,&quot; said Dr Mehul Bhansali, director of surgical oncology at Jaslok hospital.&nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, according to Dr. Snehal, another problem pertained to the language barrier, given that the family hails from Yemen. Post-surgery, though, the child recovered well after the initial few days when he was not able to eat well, given the swelling in the throat. PTC mainly affects the thyroid gland located in the neck and accounts for 1.4 percent of all pediatric malignancies, according to academic papers.</p> <p>So, what is the reason for PTC to occur in the first place? That is not yet fully known. It could be genetics, it could have to do with a lifestyle that involves high consumption of additive-laden or hormone-impacting foods, or even exposure to harmful radiations. There is no clarity on the exact cause. As of now, the child and his family have returned to Yemen, and the child is recovering. He is able to eat a normal diet without any difficulties and will have to undergo screening every so often, at least every three months, to be sure that there is no recurrence of cancer. Also, as per the doctors, the child will have to consume thyroid supplements for life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/eight-year-old-boy-successfully-treated-for-rare-thyroid-cancer-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/06/eight-year-old-boy-successfully-treated-for-rare-thyroid-cancer-.html Wed Mar 06 11:49:30 IST 2024 not-just-for-adults-too-much-sitting-can-be-harmful-for-babies-too <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/not-just-for-adults-too-much-sitting-can-be-harmful-for-babies-too.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/opinion/columns/lakshmy-ramanathan/images/2023/2/25/6-baby.jpg" /> <p>&nbsp;The American Physical Therapy Association uses the term Container Baby Syndrome to describe issues seen in infants who spend too much time in devices (or ‘containers’) that inhibit movement. These containers include car seats, strollers, bouncy chairs, and other seating devices used to transport babies to keep them safe and accessible for parents and caregivers. On an average, infants spend almost six hours per day in these things. Excessive time in these devices inhibits movement and places babies at higher risk for a variety of issues, such as plagiocephaly (flat spot at one side of the head or the whole back of the head), decreased strength, and delayed motor milestones.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A study by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Nursing, Kasturba Gandhi Nursing College, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry in 2019 noted that the problem shows significant increase in recent years. “…Many babies are having skull and facial deformities, muscle spasm, difficulties in speech, vision, hearing and thinking abilities and even obesity,” says the study.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dr Sobiya Altaf Shaikh (PT), Consultant Physiotherapist, Motherhood Hospitals, Pune, Lullanagar talks to us about Container Baby Syndrome.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What is Container Baby Syndrome?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The term Container Baby Syndrome encompasses a range of conditions that arise from the excessive use of devices like car seats, swings, bouncers, slings, nursing pillows, floor seats, high chairs, jumpers, walkers and strollers that restrict the baby's movement. Prolonged and frequent use of these items throughout the day can result in what is now known as Container Baby Syndrome.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What are the fallouts of spending too much time in ‘containers’?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Over use of these items may take longer to develop skills such as sitting, standing, and walking in children as the baby’s movements are limited. These items also prevent children from sitting or standing in correct alignment and cause an inability to activate important muscles. It needs consultation with a physiotherapist to know about this syndrome and prevent any further problems in your children.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>How does this syndrome pan out?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The impacts of spending too much time confined in various baby equipment throughout the day can accumulate quickly. Moving from one container to another reduces a baby’s opportunity to move and develop essential strength and coordination. While some products may give the impression that they are helping babies learn new skills, they restrict natural movements and hinder muscle activation. This can lead to improper stress on bones and joints, putting the child at risk for injuries and hindering skill development such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Please elaborate on the various problems.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Many problems are seen in babies due to prolonged confinement in containers. This can lead to delayed attainment of anticipated motor milestones like rolling, sitting, or standing. Delayed development encompasses motor, sensory, cognitive, communication, social, and emotional aspects, flattened areas on the head due to immobility called plagiocephaly, stiffness in the neck from consistent head positioning known as torticollis, restricted mobility and poor muscle strength and coordination, walking on tiptoes, visual impairments, elevated risk of obesity due to reduced physical activity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>How can these problems be identified?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Parents, family members, and healthcare providers play a crucial role in identifying signs that a baby may have limited movement in turning its head or body, issues with hearing and vision, malposition of the neck or tilting of head to one side. Delayed growth and development: The baby might exhibit difficulty in crawling, rolling, turning, sitting, and standing. Delayed cognitive development: The baby may exhibit poor problem-solving abilities, difficulty understanding their environment, and delayed language skills.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A doctor will conduct a physical examination to assess the shape of the skull and face, the baby's head and neck control, baby’s muscle development, activity of the head and limbs when lying on the tummy, ability to roll over and crawl, as well as object tracking with the eyes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What are some tips to avoid this syndrome?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Encourage the baby to have plenty of unstructured playtime on the ground. Let the baby play and move around on a soft surface, like a mat or blanket, both on their tummy and back. Hold the baby in your arms or a sling for short periods, and let them explore their surroundings throughout the day to help them adapt to the natural environment. Minimise time spent in car seats and strollers to only when necessary for transportation. Avoid letting the baby nap in these containers, and instead, follow safe sleep practices by having them sleep on their back in a crib. Increase the amount of time the baby spends playing on their tummy during the day as much as possible. Use containers sparingly, limiting them to not more than 15 minutes at a time until they are developmentally ready for it. It’s important to use equipment like car seats when traveling in a car and helpful for short periods during the day when parents need to do tasks that may be unsafe with the baby, such as cooking near a hot stove.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Professionals can address issues stemming from Container Baby Syndrome by providing gentle stretching exercises for tight muscles, strength-building activities, showing them ways to gain control of different positions and assistance in achieving motor milestones.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/not-just-for-adults-too-much-sitting-can-be-harmful-for-babies-too.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/not-just-for-adults-too-much-sitting-can-be-harmful-for-babies-too.html Tue Mar 05 22:42:44 IST 2024 study-reveals-the-surprising-impact-of-trying-to-look-younger-on <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/study-reveals-the-surprising-impact-of-trying-to-look-younger-on.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2019/May/aging-ageing-old-age-young-years-exteded-life-snior-citizen-growth-shut.jpg" /> <p>Every year, millions of older Americans invest time and money into attempting to defy the aging process, whether it's through coloring graying hair, purchasing anti-balding products, or using various wrinkle fillers and whiteners. A recent study delves into the implications of these efforts on older adults' experiences with ageism, as well as their physical and mental health.</p> <p>According to the study, 59% of adults aged 50 to 80 believe they look younger than their peers, with a slightly higher percentage among women and individuals with higher incomes and more years of education. Conversely, only 6% of older adults feel they look older than others their age, while the rest perceive themselves as looking about the same as their peers.</p> <p>Dr. Julie Ober Allen, the first author of the study, highlighted the findings, stating, &quot;Feelings and experiences of ageism, which are rooted in our society's emphasis on youthfulness and bias against aging, appear to indirectly have a relationship with health, both mental and physical.&quot;</p> <p>When it comes to investing time and money in looking younger, approximately 35% of older Americans have pursued this goal. Women, individuals with higher incomes, and people of Hispanic origin were more likely to have taken steps to maintain a youthful appearance.</p> <p>Dr. Jeffrey Kullgren, a primary care provider at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and co-author of the study, emphasized the complex relationship between appearance, experiences related to aging, and health. He noted, &quot;We know that healthier eating, more physical activity, better sleep, stress reduction techniques, preventive oral hygiene, use of sunscreen, and reducing or eliminating use of tobacco, alcohol and other substances can all impact appearance later in life, as well as physical and mental health.&quot;</p> <p>The study revealed that those who feel they look younger than their age were more likely to report positive age-related experiences and better mental and physical health. On the other hand, individuals who believed they looked older were more likely to experience negative ageism and report poorer health.</p> <p>Interestingly, those who had invested in strategies to look younger were also more likely to report higher positive experiences but also higher negative ageism experiences. This relationship was particularly strong for non-Hispanic Black and White respondents, but not for Hispanic respondents.</p> <p>The study's findings shed light on the intertwined nature of appearance, experiences, and health as individuals age. Dr. Allen and Dr. Kullgren's team hopes that these insights will help clinicians and public health authorities guide older adults in making informed choices that not only impact their appearance but also reduce their likelihood of facing age-related discrimination and poor health outcomes later in life.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/study-reveals-the-surprising-impact-of-trying-to-look-younger-on.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/study-reveals-the-surprising-impact-of-trying-to-look-younger-on.html Tue Mar 05 16:07:16 IST 2024 new-ai-model-revolutionises-disease-diagnosis-with-visual-maps <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/new-ai-model-revolutionises-disease-diagnosis-with-visual-maps.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2023/images/2023/7/10/AI-woman-brain-education-artificial-intelligence-AI-shut.jpg" /> <p>Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model, which has the remarkable ability to accurately identify tumors and diseases in medical images. This innovative model provides a unique level of transparency by explaining each diagnosis with a visual map, allowing doctors to easily follow its line of reasoning, double-check for accuracy, and explain the results to patients.</p> <p>Sourya Sengupta, a graduate student at Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in the US and the lead author of the study, emphasized the significance of this development, stating, &quot;The idea is to help catch cancer and disease in its earliest stages -- like an X on a map -- and understand how the decision was made. Our model will help streamline that process and make it easier on doctors and patients alike,&quot; said Sengupta.</p> <p>The new AI model's transparency is expected to have a significant impact on the process of decoding medical images, particularly in regions with a scarcity of doctors and long patient queues. Sengupta highlighted the potential of AI in such scenarios, stating, &quot;When time and talent are in high demand, automated medical image screening can be deployed as an assistive tool -- in no way replacing the skill and expertise of doctors.&quot;</p> <p>The model's ability to pre-scan medical images and flag those containing something unusual, such as a tumor or early sign of disease, for a doctor's review is expected to save time and improve the performance of the person tasked with reading the scan.</p> <p>The researchers trained their model on three different disease diagnosis tasks, including more than 20,000 images. The model demonstrated impressive performance, with accuracy rates of 77.8% for mammograms, 99.1% for retinal optical coherence tomography (OCT) images, and 83% for chest X-rays. These high accuracy rates are attributed to the AI's deep neural network, which mimics the nuance of human neurons in making decisions.</p> <p>The model's performance was compared to existing AI systems, and it performed comparably in all three categories, showcasing its potential to revolutionize disease diagnosis through medical imaging.</p> <p>The development of this new AI model represents a significant advancement in the field of medical imaging and disease diagnosis. Its unique transparency and accuracy have the potential to streamline the process of identifying tumors and diseases in medical images, ultimately benefiting both doctors and patients.</p> <p>This innovative approach to disease diagnosis is expected to have a profound impact on the early detection and understanding of various medical conditions, marking a significant milestone in the intersection of AI and healthcare.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/new-ai-model-revolutionises-disease-diagnosis-with-visual-maps.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/05/new-ai-model-revolutionises-disease-diagnosis-with-visual-maps.html Tue Mar 05 14:51:04 IST 2024 smart-earrings--a-breakthrough-in-wearable-health-monitoring <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/04/smart-earrings--a-breakthrough-in-wearable-health-monitoring.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2022/images/2022/12/21/Exercising-Woman-Checking-Activity-Tracker-Health-Icons-racker-fitness-wearable-shut.jpg" /> <p>Researchers at the University of Washington have unveiled the Thermal Earring, a wireless wearable that has the potential to revolutionize personal health monitoring. This innovative device continuously monitors a user's earlobe temperature, offering a range of potential applications including tracking signs of ovulation, stress, eating, and exercise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The smart earring prototype, about the size and weight of a small paperclip, boasts an impressive 28-day battery life. It features a magnetic clip that attaches one temperature sensor to the wearer's ear, while another sensor dangles approximately an inch below to estimate room temperature. Remarkably, the earring can be personalized with fashion designs made of resin or gemstones without compromising its accuracy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Co-lead author Qiuyue (Shirley) Xue, a doctoral student at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science &amp; Engineering, explained the motivation behind the project, stating, &quot;I wear a smartwatch to track my personal health, but I've found that a lot of people think smartwatches are unfashionable or bulky and uncomfortable. I also like to wear earrings, so we started thinking about what unique things we can get from the earlobe.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The team overcame significant engineering challenges to create a wearable small enough to pass as an earring, while still ensuring a long-lasting battery life. Co-lead author Yujia (Nancy) Liu emphasized the difficulty in achieving a balance between size and power consumption, highlighting the importance of making the earring's power consumption as efficient as possible.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Notably, the Thermal Earring has already shown promise in preliminary tests, outperforming a smartwatch at sensing skin temperature during periods of rest. It has also demonstrated potential for monitoring signs of stress, eating, exercise, and ovulation. Co-author Dr. Mastafa Springston, a clinical instructor at the Department of Emergency Medicine in the UW School of Medicine, highlighted the earring's potential for continuous fever monitoring, presenting a novel application in the field of health monitoring.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While the findings are preliminary, the researchers are optimistic about the future of the Thermal Earring. Co-lead author Xue expressed her vision for the device, stating, &quot;Eventually, I want to develop a jewelry set for health monitoring. The earrings would sense activity and health metrics such as temperature and heart rate, while a necklace might serve as an electrocardiogram monitor for more effective heart health data.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although the device is not currently commercially available, the potential of the Thermal Earring as a fashion-forward health monitoring accessory offers a glimpse into the future of wearable technology. With ongoing research and development, this innovative device could soon become a valuable tool for personalized health monitoring.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/04/smart-earrings--a-breakthrough-in-wearable-health-monitoring.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/04/smart-earrings--a-breakthrough-in-wearable-health-monitoring.html Mon Mar 04 17:24:03 IST 2024 obesity-identified-as-significant-risk-factor-for-stillbirth- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/04/obesity-identified-as-significant-risk-factor-for-stillbirth-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/leisure/lifestyle/images/2018/6/23/obesity.jpg" /> <p>A recent study conducted in Canada has unveiled compelling evidence linking obesity to an increased risk of stillbirth, particularly as pregnancy progresses to term. Published in the prestigious Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the findings emphasize the potential benefits of an earlier delivery date in mitigating the risk of stillbirth for expectant individuals grappling with obesity.</p> <p>Lead author of the study, Naila Ramji, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University, Canada, highlighted the significance of the research by stating, &quot;The risk thresholds for obesity-related stillbirth are notably higher than those associated with other medical conditions that elevate the risk of stillbirth.&quot;</p> <p>The research, which analyzed data from the Better Outcomes Registry and Network, encompassed a staggering 681,178 singleton births, including 1,956 stillbirths, in Ontario, Canada between 2012 and 2018. Upon adjusting for confounding factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the investigators discovered that individuals with class I obesity, characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 30-34.9 kilograms per square meter (kg/m2), faced double the risk of stillbirth at 39 weeks gestation in comparison to those with a normal BMI (18.5-24.9 kg/m2).</p> <p>Ramji further emphasised, &quot;The heightened risk associated with increased BMI escalates with gestational age, culminating in a more than fourfold risk at 40 weeks.&quot;</p> <p>Moreover, the study shed light on the distribution of stillbirths before and during delivery, unveiling a heightened risk of stillbirths occurring before delivery in individuals with class I and II obesity. Ramji underscored the potential impact of these findings on patient care, stating, &quot;Pregnant individuals with obesity, especially those with additional risk factors, may derive substantial benefit from timely referral and heightened surveillance approaching term, with additional risk factors potentially warranting earlier delivery.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/04/obesity-identified-as-significant-risk-factor-for-stillbirth-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/04/obesity-identified-as-significant-risk-factor-for-stillbirth-.html Mon Mar 04 15:43:01 IST 2024 study-links-exercise-to-improved-sleep-quality <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/02/study-links-exercise-to-improved-sleep-quality.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/magazine/health/quickscan/images/2022/6/24/12-Best-time-to-exercise-differs-for-men-and-women.jpg" /> <p>A new study from the University of South Australia has revealed a direct correlation between the quality of one's sleep and the structure of their daily activities, with exercise emerging as a key factor.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Involving 1168 children and 1360 adults, the study found that individuals who engaged in higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity experienced less troubled sleep, reduced tiredness, and overall improved sleep quality. Dr. Lisa Matricciani, a researcher at UniSA, emphasized the significance of understanding the factors influencing sleep quality for overall health and well-being.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;When people think about sleep quality, they tend to focus on adjustments immediately before bedtime – for example, avoiding screens, not eating too much, and avoiding alcohol – but our research looks beyond this to the range of activities we undertake during the day,&quot; said Dr. Matricciani.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study's findings suggest that increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity can lead to reduced tiredness, improved sleep quality, and less troubled sleep. Dr. Matricciani also noted that simply making more time for sleep predicted more restless sleep, highlighting the complexity of the relationship between daily activities and sleep patterns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The implications of this research are significant, as Dr. Matricciani pointed out, &quot;Everyone wants a good night’s sleep. If it’s simply a matter of being more active during the day, then it may be a relatively achievable goal for most of us.&quot;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/02/study-links-exercise-to-improved-sleep-quality.html http://www.theweek.in/news/health/2024/03/02/study-links-exercise-to-improved-sleep-quality.html Sat Mar 02 16:49:43 IST 2024