Thursday July 18, 2019

Frequent Vacations Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Study

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease

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Vacation, Health, Travelling
A vacation can help people reduce their metabolic symptoms. Pixabay

Take out time for travelling amid your busy schedule as frequent vacations not only help de-stress but also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, reveals a new study.

The study, published in Psychology and Health journal, found that a vacation can help people reduce their metabolic symptoms and therefore their risk of cardiovascular disease.

“What we found is that people who vacation more frequently in the past 12 months have a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome and metabolic symptoms,” said Bryce Hruska, Assistant Professor at Syracuse University, US.

“Metabolic syndrome is a collection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have more of them you are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This is important because we are actually seeing a reduction in the risk for cardiovascular disease the more vacationing a person does. Because metabolic symptoms are modifiable, it means they can change or be eliminated,” Hruska added.

Vacation, Health, Travelling
Take out time for travelling amid your busy schedule as frequent vacations not only help de-stress but also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers included 63 employees eligible for paid vacation. The participants underwent blood tests and completed an interview assessing vacationing behaviour in the past 12 months.

The study’s findings showed that the risk for metabolic syndrome decreased by nearly a quarter with each additional vacation taken by participants.

Researchers suggest it is important for people to use the vacation time available to them.

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“One of the important takeaways is that vacation time is available to nearly 80 per cent of full-time employees, but fewer than half utilize all the time available to them. Our research suggests that if people use more of this benefit, one that’s already available to them, it would translate into a tangible health benefit,” Hruska concluded. (IANS)

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Massive Displacement in DR Congo’s Ebola-Affected Ituri Province Poses Serious Health Hazard

At least 160 people were killed during renewed clashes early last month between Lendu farmers and Hema herders

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FILE - A woman and her children wait to receive Ebola vaccinations, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo Monday, June 17, 2019. VOA

The International Organization for Migration warns massive displacement from renewed inter-ethnic fighting in DR Congo’s Ebola-affected Ituri province poses a serious health hazard.

At least 160 people were killed during renewed clashes early last month between Lendu farmers and Hema herders in Ituri province.  U.N. agencies report the violence has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and sent more than 7,500 refugees fleeing for their lives into neighboring Uganda.

The International Organization for Migration reports people who have fled the frontline of the conflict are living in abysmal conditions that create a fertile ground for the spread of disease, most worryingly Ebola.

The latest World Health Organization figures put the number of Ebola cases at 2,382, including 1,606 deaths.  The bulk of these cases and deaths are in conflict-ridden North Kivu province   About 10 percent are in Ituri.

DR Congo, Ebola, Health
The International Organization for Migration warns massive displacement from renewed inter-ethnic fighting. Pixabay

The inter-communal fighting has displaced an estimated 400,000 people.  IOM spokesman, Joel Millman, says his agency manages 12 displacement sites in Ituri’s Djugu Territory.  Thousands of people unable to cram into these overcrowded camps, he says, are sheltering in spontaneous sites.

“Poor hygiene conditions in displacement sites severely increase the risk that Ebola, as well as cholera, measles and acute respiratory diseases, will spread,” Millman said. “Many of these people are seeking assistance in Ebola-affected Bunia, where the displacement site officially called “General Hospital Site” has received more than 5,000 new Internally Displaced Persons, increasing the site’s population to 10,000 or twice its capacity.”

Millman says plans are underway to relocate many of the IDPs to a new improved settlement on land owned by Bunia’s Catholic Diocese.

He says IOM also is reinforcing its Ebola surveillance and disease prevention activities at Ituri’s Points of Entry at International borders.  Measures include hand washing, hygiene promotion, and screening travelers for possible Ebola infections.

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On June 11, the first case of Ebola spread across the border from DRC to Uganda.  A five-year old boy and his grandmother subsequently died from the deadly virus.

Millman says IOM is working to reduce disease transmission to new areas and across borders by expanding its preparedness measures to include Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi. (VOA)