Heart Care Foundation of India wishes its readers a very Happy New Year 2019!

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This year we must make a resolution towards ensuring harm reduction in all aspects of life

New Delhi, 31st December 2018: It is that time again when all of us are preparing to bid goodbye to a year gone by and heralding the new year. For some, the year would have entailed good tidings throughout. For others, there may have been ups and downs. However, the arrival of a new year also signals new hope and opportunities. Let us hope that the year to come will bring changes for the better and a bright future for everyone.

As we focus on several other aspects and make resolutions for the new year, we must also make a resolve towards harm reduction and ensuring better health for us and our near and dear ones. While we seek better health care from the government as a fundamental right, it is also our duty to contribute to this effort by being a responsible citizen.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “At the outset, I wish all the readers a very happy and prosperous new year 2019. Healthcare is a birth right of every citizen of India, as enshrined in Article 21 ‘Right to life’ of the Constitution of India and providing quality health care services to its citizens is the primary responsibility of governments. However, as individuals, we too have a responsibility toward our own health. Good health is not only an outcome of eating healthy or regular check-ups or even taking the right medications or vaccinations at the right time. It is a byproduct of our environment and the conditions we live in. The conditions in which we live, learn, work and age are called the social determinants of health or ‘the causes of the causes’, which also form important aspects of health. As individuals, we are not isolated units, but are a part of the society we live in. And, because we live in a community, we are also responsible for the health and well-being of others living in that community.”

The health of people, plants, animals and environment are interdependent. This is the concept of “One Health”. Our Vedas teach us that “the whole world is one family” or “Vasudhaiva kutumbakam”.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Harm reduction entails everything from omitting the avoidable risk factors that put our health at risk and keeping our neighborhood clean to working towards improving the environment that may affect the health of others. For instance, most of the existing pollution levels are man-made, so we must make individual efforts to control the same. We must respect laws of the state in place and abide by them. Every little step taken at the individual level will only work towards the goodwill of the society as a whole.”

Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation said, “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Here is a resolution we all can make:

“I have a fundamental right to health sans discrimination and taking into consideration all my social determinants of health and respecting my decision to opt for harm prevention or harm reduction. I recognize that I too have a duty to keep pollution levels under control, both indoor and outdoor. I will work towards the health of the environment, plants and animals and consequently my health.”


Wet vs dry winter: How temperature and humidity interact

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The northern part of the country, including the national capital, is experiencing a severe cold wave.

Winter can be divided as either wet or dry winter.

Wet winter, or early winter, is characterized by fall in temperature along with high humidity. In cold weather, high humidity levels will make one feel colder.

The body cools itself by sweating. During summers, when the humidity is low, sweat evaporates easily and cools the body because the process of evaporation requires thermal (heat) energy. But, when humidity is high in summers, evaporation rate is reduced. The resulting limited evaporation in hot and humid conditions is not enough to cool the body. And, therefore, high humidity in hot weather makes one feel sticky and warmer. This combined effect of temperature and relative humidity is called heat index, which is experienced as the felt air temperature.

In winter, the cold air (low temperature) with high relative humidity “feels” colder. This is because the insulating effect of clothes decrease as the humidity rises. The moisture in the atmosphere is captured on the clothing, even though the clothes do not appear wet and results in greater heat loss from the body.

Another factor to be considered during winters is the sun. Cold days are more likely to be overcast, which reduces the amount of direct sunlight reaching the surface; whereas, on a dry sunny day, the body is warmed by radiant heating from the sun.

Fog and smog are common during wet winter.

Whenever the humidity is high, air movement is less and temperature is low, fog is the automatic result. It occurs when water droplets are suspended in the air.

When the level of pollutants is high in the atmosphere, the pollutants get mixed into the fog. This is called smog. Therefore, smog is the combination of smoke and fog and it further reduces the visibility. The smoke includes toxic emissions from vehicles and industries, dust and open burning of crops.

Dry winter, or late winter is characterized by absence of fog, smog and presence of chilly airy winds. Cold and dry air generally feels warmer than cold and humid air at the same temperature.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA

From selfitis to the selfie wrist; new-age health hazards are increasing

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Selfie wrist has symptoms similar to the carpal tunnel syndrome

New Delhi, 29 December 2018: A research conducted recently has warned that people who take a lot of pictures by holding the camera at arm’s length with an inward bent wrist an develop what is known as the “selfie wrist.” The research is an outcome of several incidents including a selfie-taker jumping on a trampoline, walking on rocks or just not paying attention and ending up breaking their wrist from falling or colliding with other objects.

Selfie wrist is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome. People who experience selfie wrist may feel a tingling or sharp pain, which comes from flexing your wrist inward or holding your phone too long without moving. The median nerve spans from the forearm to the palm of the hand – and runs through a narrow passage in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Today’s generation is constantly looking for external appreciation and approval. Youngsters want to show to the world that they have achieved a milestone that none or only a few others have achieved. The more daring a selfie, the more appreciation one gets. Such selfies help them in getting instant approval from their peers. We live in an age where mobile phones have penetrated our lives and actual human interaction is almost non-existent. Although technology has made life easier for everyone, there is a severe limitation as well. One of these includes taking selfies and being diagnosed with several maladies – mental and physical – the most recent being selfie wrist.”

The selfie phenomenon has exploded worldwide over the past two years. A selfie is now defined in the Oxford dictionary as ‘a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media’. Selfies have been linked to a large number of mortalities and significant morbidity worldwide.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “In this digital era, the key to good health should be moderation – moderate use of technology. A lot of us have become slaves to devices that were really meant to free us and give us more time to experience life and be with people. Unless precautionary measures are taken at the earliest, this addiction can prove detrimental to one’s health in the longer term.”

Some tips for preventing problems caused due to overuse of mobile phones are as follows.

  • Electronic curfew means not using any electronic gadgets 30 minutes before sleep.
  • Facebook holiday: Take a Facebook holiday for 7 days every three months.
  • Social media fast: Avoid use of social media once in a week for the entire day.
  • Use your mobile phone only when mobile.
  • Do not use computer for more than three hours in a day.
  • Limit your mobile talk time to more than two hours in a day.
  • Do not recharge your mobile battery more than once in a day.
  • Mobile can also be a source of infection in the hospital setup; therefore, it is disinfected every day.

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