Friday April 19, 2019
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Liquor in moderation could be good for heart

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London: According to two new studies, drinking liquor, beer or wine in moderation leads to less probability of heart failure and heart attacks than those who do not drink at all.

The researchers found that three to five drinks a week can be good for your heart.

“It’s primarily the alcohol that leads to more good cholesterol, among other things. But alcohol can also cause higher blood pressure. So it’s best to drink moderate amounts relatively often,” said one of the researchers Imre Janszky, professor of social medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

While one of the studies published in the International Journal of Cardiology is about heart failure, the other published in the Journal of Internal Medicine evaluated the relationship between alcohol and acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the medical term for heart attack.

In both cases, research showed that people who regularly drink alcohol have better cardiovascular health than those who consume little or no alcohol.

The studies showed that those who drank three to five drinks per week were 33 percent less prone to heart failure than those who abstained or drank infrequently.

In the case of heart attacks too, moderate alcohol consumption was found to be beneficial.

The study, which looked at the relationship between heart failure and alcohol, followed 60,665 participants who enrolled for a larger study between 1995-1997 and who had no incidence of heart failure at that time.

Of those, 1588 of them developed heart failure during the period of the study, which ended in 2008.

The risk was highest for those who rarely or never drank alcohol, and for those who had an alcohol problem.

In the heart attack study, 58,827 participants were categorized by how much and how often they drank.

The researchers found that 2,966 of the participants experienced an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) between 1995 and the end of 2008.

The analyses showed that each additional one-drink increment decreased the risk of AMI by 28 percent.

“I’m not encouraging people to drink alcohol all the time. We’ve only been studying the heart, and it’s important to emphasize that a little alcohol every day can be healthy for the heart. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessary to drink alcohol every day to have a healthy heart,” Janszky said. (IANS) (pic coutesy: thetrentonline.com)

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New York City’s Mandatory Measles Vaccination Order Stands Still

The health department's lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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Materials are seen left at demonstration by people opposed to childhood vaccination after officials in Rockland County, a New York City suburb, banned children not vaccinated against measles from public spaces. VOA

Brooklyn judge on Thursday ruled against a group of parents who challenged New York City’s recently imposed mandatory measles vaccination order, rejecting their arguments that the city’s public health authority exceeded its authority.

In a six-page decision rendered hours after a hearing on the matter, Judge Lawrence Knipel denied the parents’ petition seeking to lift the vaccination order, imposed last week to stem the worst measles outbreak to hit the city since 1991.

The judge sided with municipal health officials who defended the order as a rare but necessary step to contain a surge in the highly contagious disease that has infected at least 329 people so far, most of them children from Orthodox Jewish communities in the borough of Brooklyn.

Another 222 cases have been diagnosed elsewhere in New York state, mostly in a predominantly ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Rockland County, northwest of Manhattan.

The New York outbreaks are part of a larger resurgence of measles across the country, with at least 555 cases confirmed in 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health experts say the virus, which can cause severe complications and even death, has spread mostly among school-age children whose parents declined to get them vaccinated. Most profess philosophical or religious reasons, or cite concerns — debunked by medical science — that the three-way measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine may cause autism.

The judge rejected the parents’ contention that the vaccination order was excessive or coercive, noting it does not call for forcibly administering the vaccine to those who refuse it.

He also dismissed assertions in the petition disputing the “clear and present danger” of the outbreak. “Vaccination is known to extinguish the fire of contagion,” the judge said.

FILE PHOTO: A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019.
A sign warning people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg in New York City, April 11, 2019. VOA

Secret identities

The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine.

The court challenge was brought in Brooklyn’s Supreme Court by five people identified only as parents living in the affected neighborhoods. Their identities were kept confidential to protect their children’s’ privacy, their lawyers said.

In court on Thursday, they told Knipel the city had overstepped its authority and that quarantining the infected would be a preferable approach.

Robert Krakow, an attorney for the parents, estimated that just 0.0006 percent of the population of Brooklyn and Queens had measles. “That’s not an epidemic,” he said. “It’s not Ebola. It’s not smallpox.”

The health department’s lawyers argued that quarantining was ineffective because people carrying the virus can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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The vaccination order, which was extended this week, requires residents of certain affected Brooklyn neighborhoods to obtain the MMR vaccine unless they can otherwise demonstrate immunity to measles, or face a fine. Pixabay

The judge cited 39 cases diagnosed in Michigan that have been traced to an individual traveling from the Williamsburg community at the epicenter of Brooklyn’s outbreak.

Also Read: Short-Circuit Likely The Cause of Notre Dame Fire, Claims Police Investigators

The surge in measles there originated with an unvaccinated child who became infected on a visit to Israel, where the highly contagious virus is also running rampant.

The number of measles cases worldwide nearly quadrupled in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared with the same period last year, the World Health Organization said this week. (VOA)