Cut Daily Salt Intake to 1,500 mg

Health Care, Medicine, Social Health Community 676 Comments

1. Daily intake of salt should be limited to 1,500 mg according to an advisory statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).
2. The 2020 goal of the American Heart Association is to improve the cardiovascular health of all by 20% while continuing to reduce deaths from (cardiovascular disease) and stroke by 20%. (Dr Lawrence J. Appel, of Johns Hopkins, and colleagues wrote online in Circulation.)
3. Two key components of improving cardiovascular health are population-wide lowering of blood pressure below 120/80 and reducing sodium chloride intake below 1,500 mg per day.
4. The evidence includes more than 50 trials assessing the blood pressure effects of salt, as well as a meta-analysis showing that cutting salt intake by about 1,800 mg per day lowered blood pressure by 5 mm Hg systolic and 2.7 mm Hg diastolic.
5. Reducing salt consumption also can help prevent the blood pressure increases that come with age, ultimately affecting 90% of adults.
6. Salt also has pernicious effects aside from blood pressure increases, including left ventricular hypertrophy and renal damage, including interference with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
7. Excess sodium also can result in abnormalities in mineral metabolism, fibrosis in several organs including the heart, and endothelial and arterial dysfunction.
8. Benefits of lowering sodium intake by 1,200 mg per day could lead to:
a. Up to 120,000 fewer coronary heart disease events
b. As many as 66,000 fewer strokes
c. Almost 100,000 fewer heart attacks
d. Up to 92,000 fewer deaths
9. The previous recommendation was that salt intake should be below 2,300 mg per day but advised that people at risk — those with hypertension, blacks, and older individuals — lower their intake to 1,500 mg.
10. Processed foods are a main contributor, as these foods contain three-quarters of the sodium consumed.

Biggest ever study shows no link between mobile phone use and tumors: Is the study applicable to India?

Health Care, Medicine, Social Health Community 219 Comments

There is no link between long-term use of mobiles and brain tumors finds new research published online in the British Medical Journal. In this largest study on the subject to date, Danish researchers found no evidence that the risk of brain tumors was raised among 358,403 mobile phone subscribers over an 18-year period.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields, as emitted by mobile phones, as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

The only cohort study investigating mobile phone use and cancer to date is a Danish nationwide study comparing cancer risk of all 420,095 Danish mobile phone subscribers from 1982 until 1995, with the corresponding risk in the rest of the adult population with follow-up to 1996 and then 2002. This study found no evidence of any increased risk of brain or nervous system tumors or any cancer among mobile phone subscribers. The researchers, led by the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, continued this study up to 2007. Overall, 10,729 central nervous system tumors occurred in the study period 1990-2007. When the figures were restricted to people with the longest mobile phone use — 13 years or more — cancer rates were almost the same in both long-term users and non-subscribers of mobile phones.

Dr KK Comments: In my view the implications would be different in India as passive mobile radiation rate is very high. The study also did not take into account the number of hours of usage per day and the same would be much higher in Indians. Most people are studying the effect of mobiles on brain cancer but what about all types of cancers. We are seeing a substantial increase in the number and types of cancers in India. Apart from mobile radiations one must also study the additional effects of microwave radiations, X-ray radiations, active and passive smoking etc to explain the high occurrence of cancers.

Japanese encephalitis Update

Health Care, Medicine, Social Health Community 169 Comments

• Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus.
• JEV is the most important cause of viral encephalitis.
• About 50,000 cases of JE occur each year.
• Fewer than 1 % of JEV infections results in symptomatic brain disease.
• When brain is involved it is usually a very severe disease with a high case fatality rate and neurological sequelae in 30 to 50 % of survivors.
• JE typically affects children <15 years of age
• By early adulthood, majority of people develop protective immunity following natural exposure to JEV.
• JE can affect individuals at any age.
• JEV is transmitted involving mosquitoes and hosts like pigs and wading birds.
• Humans are incidental and dead end hosts as they do not develop sufficiently high viremia to infect feeding mosquitoes.
• The most common clinical presentation of JEV infection is acute encephalitis.
• Milder forms of disease such as aseptic meningitis or non-specific febrile illness with headache also occur.
• Fits (usually generalized tonic-clonic) are very common in children.
• JE is diagnosed by detection of JEV-specific IgM antibody in CSF or serum.
• IgM antibody in serum is suggestive of JE but could indicate asymptomatic infection or recent JE vaccination.
• There is no specific antiviral treatment for JE.
• Treatment consists of supportive care.
• Precautions include personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites.
• For high risk setting, JE vaccine may further reduce the risk of infection
• Mosquitoes of the Culex vishnui subgroup, particularly Cx. tritaeniorhynchus, are the major vectors of JEV.
• Cx. tritaeniorhynchus commonly breeds in rice fields, marshes, and other shallow pools of water.
• It is an evening and nighttime biting mosquito and mainly feeds outdoors.
o Pigs and wading birds, such as herons and egrets, are the most important hosts.
o Pigs are a key host as they develop high levels of viremia.
o JEV infection in pigs is usually asymptomatic, but gestational infection can result in abortions and stillbirths.
o Areas without pigs are usually free of disease.
o The risk for JEV infection is highest in rural, agricultural areas of Asia.

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