Tuesday February 19, 2019

Omega-3 levels may better predict mortality risk than cholesterol

"We all know that the serum cholesterol level is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), and since the latter is a major cause of death, it would be reasonable to expect that a high cholesterol level would portend higher risk for premature death", said a researcher

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Omega-3 acids can indicate risk of cardiovascular diseases. Pixabay
Omega-3 acids can indicate risk of cardiovascular diseases. Pixabay
  • Presence of Omega-3 can help in detecting cardiovascular diseases
  • More cholesterol means more risk of disease
  • It is important for one to keep their cholesterol in check

Measuring the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids present in the blood may indicate the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and mortality more profoundly than serum cholesterol, researchers have claimed. The serum cholesterol level is the total amount of cholesterol present in the blood.

Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Pixabay

A higher “Omega-3 Index” a combination of the EPA and DHA (two important types of Omega-3) content of red blood cell membranes is associated with a 33 per cent reduced risk of death due to total cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, total coronary heart disease events, and total strokes, the study showed.

“We all know that the serum cholesterol level is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), and since the latter is a major cause of death, it would be reasonable to expect that a high cholesterol level would portend higher risk for premature death,” said lead author William Harris, researcher at Britain’s University of Nottingham.

Also Read: Omega-3s from fish more effective in cancer prevention

For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, the team compared the total serum cholesterol and Omega-3 fatty acids, two “risk factors” for heart disease, in 2,500 individuals aged 60 years, who were free of known cardiovascular disease (CVD) at baseline.

benefits of donating blood
It is important to keep one’s biostat levels in check. Pixabay

Researchers primarily focussed on total mortality (death from any cause) as an end-point, but also tracked death from CVD, cancer and other causes. In addition, they reported the associations between Omega-3 Index levels and a risk for any CVD event fatal or not whether a heart attack or stroke.The results showed that the category most strongly associated with the Omega-3 Index was non-cardiovascular disease, non-cancer deaths from all other causes.

“When baseline serum cholesterol levels were substituted for the Omega-3 Index in the same multi-variable models, the former was not significantly associated with any of the tracked outcomes whereas the latter was related to four of the five outcomes assessed,” Harris said. IANS

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Term insurance
Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

Also Read- Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)