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70th World Health Assembly (WHA) kicks off in Geneva-based UN headquarters

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FILE - The United Nations headquarters building is pictured though a window with the UN logo in the foreground. VOA
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Geneva, May 23, 2017: The 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), the main decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), opened at Geneva-based UN headquarters.

“Our joint work at the global level aims for the central objective of promoting health through the life course, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the very highest political level in 2015,” said WHA’s newly-elected President Veronika Skvortsova on Monday.

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“The achievement of this central objective necessitates the creation of an integrated health-preserving environment that amalgamates all national, regional and global mechanisms in the public, intersectoral and official spheres, professional medical bodies, patients’ associations and the business community,” Xinhua quoted her as saying.

This year’s assembly will determine policies on a range of health issues, including medicines and health products, non-communicable diseases, health emergencies, as well as maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health.

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 A new WHO Director-General will also be elected as incumbent head Margaret Chan’s mandate comes to an end.

In her final opening address to the assembly as Director-General, Chan called on the assembly to make “reducing inequalities” a guiding ethical principle.

“WHO stands for fairness,” she said, adding that countries should also work to improve collection of health data and make health strategies more accountable.

Chan stressed the importance of continued innovation, noting that “meeting the ambitious targets in the Sustainable Development Goals depends on innovation.”

The assembly will last until May 31. (IANS)

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Breastfeeding May Reduce Hypertension Risk

For the study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, researchers examined 3,119 non-smoking postmenopausal women aged 50 years or older in the 2010-2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers. Pixabay
Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers. Pixabay
  • Women who breastfeed more children and for a longer duration were less likely to suffer from hypertension after they reach menopause
  • Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers
  • The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension

Breastfeeding mothers, take note! New research suggests that women who breastfeed more children and for a longer duration were less likely to suffer from hypertension after they reach menopause.

According to the researchers, elevated blood pressure is the greatest single risk factor for disease and mortality.

“Our findings endorsed the current recommendations for breastfeeding for the benefit of maternal health in later lives,” said the lead author of the study, Nam-Kyong Choi from Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea.

ALSO READ: World Breastfeeding Week: Breast milk, the answer to malnutrition in children

Evidence from epidemiologic data has also shown the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on the health of infants and their mothers.

It has been well documented that long-term breastfeeding is associated with reduced children’s allergies, celiac disease, obesity, and diabetes mellitus, the researchers said.

However, the effects of breastfeeding on maternal health have been little studied compared with the effects on the children.

Several studies have consistently found that absence of breastfeeding or premature discontinuation was associated with increased risks of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers mentioned. Pixabay
Several studies have consistently found that absence of breastfeeding or premature discontinuation was associated with increased risks of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers mentioned. Pixabay

 

For the study, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, researchers examined 3,119 non-smoking postmenopausal women aged 50 years or older in the 2010-2011 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

They found that breastfeeding of more children and for longer duration was associated with lower risk of hypertension in postmenopausal women.

ALSO READ: Breastfeeding of new-born babies during the first hour after birth is less than 50 percent in India

In particular, the highest quintile of a number of children breastfed (five to 11) showed a 51 percent lower risk of hypertension compared with the lowest quintile (zero to one).

The highest quintile of the duration of breastfeeding (96 to 324 months) showed a 45 percent lower risk of hypertension.

The researchers, however, said that this link may prove to be less true in obese women. (IANS)