Light Physical Activity is Good For Stroke Survivors, Says Study

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day

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Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers.

In the findings published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the research team used accelerometers to measure daily physical activity in 30 stroke survivors for a week, assessing how much the participants moved and how well they performed routine physical tasks.

Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally.

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“Our findings are preliminary but suggest that – in addition to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity — those daily routines that keep us on our feet and physically engaged in lighter tasks also contribute to better physical functioning in stroke survivors,” said study researcher Neha Gothe, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana in the US.

For the findings, the research team used two measures of physical ability — the Short Physical Performance Battery, which measures balance, walking speed and lower-limb endurance, and the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument, which asks participants to report how difficult it is for them to perform daily tasks such as getting in and out of a car or pouring water from a heavy pitcher.

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Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers. Pixabay

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day. “In contrast, they averaged more than three hours of light physical activity each day,” Gothe said.

“This includes things like walking at a leisurely pace, housekeeping, light gardening or other activities that do not cause a person to break a sweat,” she added.

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The amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was the best predictor of participants’ performance on objective measures of physical function, the researchers found. But a person’s self-reported ability to perform daily tasks was much more closely associated with the amount of time they engaged in light physical activity.

“Engaging in light physical activity can be healthy and beneficial, especially for those with chronic health conditions such as stroke,” Gothe noted. (IANS)

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Women Less Likely To Succumb to Heart Diseases: Study

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Women less likely to die of heart diseases, says study. Pixabay

In a growing list of studies on whether women are less prone to heart disease than men, fresh research of more than 160,000 people in 21 countries that was published in The Lancet has revealed that women are less likely than men to have cardiovascular disease (CVD) and die from it.

According to the study, there have been concerns that women with CVD are managed less aggressively than men which could lead to women having poorer prognoses. Some have attributed this to a treatment bias against women. “In our global study, we observed that while prevention strategies were used more often by women, invasive strategies such as percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass surgery was used more often for men,” said study first author Marjan Walli-Attaei from McMaster University in Canada.

“But, overall, outcomes such as death or a new heart attack or stroke in women were lower than in men. This suggests there may be factors other than a treatment bias against women that contribute to the treatment differences,” Walli-Attaei added. It didn’t matter if women had, or didn’t have, a previous heart attack or stroke. It also didn’t matter where they lived around the world and nor their economic status, the study said.

The information came from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study which followed the participants an average of 10 years. It is the first global study to document the risk factors, use of treatment, the incidence of heart attacks and strokes and mortality in people from the community, rather than just hospital patients.

The findings showed that women with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were more likely to use preventative medicines, control hypertension and to have quit smoking, compared to men. According to the researchers, the lower rates of invasive cardiac treatments of women with CVD could be partly explained by the fact that fewer women than men have the type of extensive atherosclerosis that requires medical interventions.

“Other studies have reported that sex differences in invasive cardiac procedures are not seen once we consider the extent and severity of coronary artery disease,” said study co-author Annika Rosengren. “This suggests that the lower rates of coronary interventions in women are appropriate as they have less extensive disease,” she said. There is, however, substantial concern about the differences in treatment between poorer and richer countries.

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Women with CVD have managed less aggressively than men which could lead to women having poorer prognoses. Pixabay

The differences in outcomes in both women and men in low-income countries, where approximately 40 per cent die within 30 days of a heart attack or stroke compared to the less than 10 per cent in high-income countries, is a matter of substantial concern, the researchers noted. Another research, published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that men and women largely suffer the same heart attack symptoms.

Also Read: Multiple Sclerosis Risk in Urbanites High Due To Air Pollution

Investigating why heart disease generally develops later in women than men, another study published in journal Cardiovascular Research in 2017, demonstrated a link among female ovarian hormones, the circadian system which regulates the body’s day-night cycle, and the observation that women enjoy significant protection against heart disease when compared to men. (IANS)

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Covid-19 to Cause Lasting Physical and Mental Health Consequences Worldwide

Researchers warn that the pandemic is likely to cause profound health issues globally

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Covid-19 pandemic is likely to cause major physical and mental health consequences on people all over the world. WIkimedia Commons

The coronavirus pandemic’s life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for several people, warn researchers.

For the findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team studied low-income women from New Orleans in the US, who were surveyed the year prior to, and at intervals after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

The women reported a range of traumatic experiences during Katrina, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic, including bereavement, lack of access to medical care and scarcity of medications.

Hurricane Katrina consequences
Hurricane Katrina which struck in 2005 had major consequences and a range of traumatic experiences as reported by the survivors, many of which are similar to those now occurring during the pandemic. Wikimedia Commons

The research showed that at one, four and 12 years after the hurricane, the exposures most strongly associated with post-traumatic stress, psychological distress, general health and physical health symptoms were those most common to the current pandemic.

The pandemic continues to cause widespread death and sickness, as well as job loss and severe economic hardship for many.

“This pandemic is likely to have profound short- and long-term consequences for physical and mental health,” said study researcher Sarah Lowe, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.

“These impacts are likely to be even larger than what we have seen in previous disasters like Hurricane Katrina, given the distinctive qualities of the pandemic as a disaster,” Lowe added.

The study did not include other exposures that are taking place during the pandemic, such as financial losses and unemployment, which are also likely to have additional and significant impacts on public health.

The results suggest that, in addition to promoting actions to reduce COVID-19 transmission and addressing longstanding health disparities contributing to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, public health measures should also prevent and mitigate exposures that will have indirect effects on mental and physical health.

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Many other consequences like unemployment are also likely take place will have additional and significant impacts on public health. Pixabay

This includes preventing lapses in medical care and medication access. Additionally, another key exposure in the study was fear for one’s own safety and the safety of others.

As such, public health messaging should provide tips for managing anxiety and fear, in addition to promoting efforts to increase safety from COVID-19 transmission.

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“Supplemental health services should be provided to those who are bereaved or are experiencing clinically significant fear and anxiety-related the pandemic,” Lowe said.

“This study represents a step toward disentangling the health consequences of disasters, while also recognising more longstanding factors that contribute to health disparities,” she wrote.

Recently, another study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, revealed that people taken ill by coronavirus infections may experience psychiatric problems while hospitalised and potentially after they recover. (IANS)

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Keep Your Nutrition and Overall Health Goals Spot On During Lockdown

Here's how you can meet your health goals while at home

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Keeping a check on nutrition can be tough during lockdown. Pixabay

By Aditi Roy

“Work from Home” during quarantine has changed our lifestyles; keeping a check on nutrition can be tough when our home is our office. A few Diet Tips can be helpful during this time.

Unlike at the office, here we have plenty of packed food in the refrigerator all to ourself and enough time to graze. We could be working long hours without having eaten a thing and then accidentally reaching out for an entire packet of chips.

However, this can not only sabotage immunity but also distort our waistline. While we have plenty of time to focus on our hobbies and going by the trend, for most of us it seems to be cooking, baking and filling our stomach with easy & unhealthy food. However, it is also important to break these habits and switch to something healthier.

Let’s see how a small switch can bring us back on track? Here are some tips shared by By Kimaye Health- INI Farms to keep your nutrition and overall health goals spot on.

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We have plenty of packed food in the refrigerator all to ourself during the lockdown. pixabay

Ditch the noodles

Did you skip breakfast again to spend hours on a project? Well, in that case, the onset of laziness will make you reach for a pack of instant noodles. But considering health as a priority, homemade oatmeal porridge seems to be a better option. Top it with a dollop of peanut butter and banana slices and voila! A great meal to start your day with!

Workout while you WFH

Making time to workout while you WFH? This new work trend may keep you glued to your screen and your couch. Taking breaks at regular intervals to ease off some stress while keeping yourself off the couch — walk around the house, do 50 skips or squats and you are good to go.

Plan your meals

Plan your meals throughout the day just like you plan your day at work. Set aside some time towards the end of the day to plan for the next day. This will not just boost your productivity but will keep you from being a hungry mess at 5 in the evening and draw lines of discipline.

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You should plan your meals a day prior. Pixabay

Read More: Here’s How You Can Tackle Obesity And Stay Healthy During Lockdown

Cut out on caffeine

Are you reaching out for a cup of tea or coffee during odd hours? Here’s a wakeup call — start your day with a fresh pomegranate juice or fresh fruit. This will ensure a healthy sleep pattern and will keep your skin glowing.

Still binge-watching?

Binge-watching and couch potato go hand in hand. With screen times shooting up for as long as 10 hours, it is essential to give yourself a break from excessive screen time. Begin with a minimum of 30 minutes, it’s time to focus on your inner-self and cut out the external noises. (IANS)