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Person’s reaction to stress determines his overall health

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Image source: mindscapecareer.com

New York: The way a person reacts to stressful events in life holds greater importance in terms of health as compared to the frequency with which one encounters it.

According to the researchers, the more negatively an individual perceives and reacts to a situation the more he/she may be at risk of developing heart disease.

The team wanted to find out whether daily stress and heart rate variability, a measure of autonomic regulation of the heart, are linked.

A potential pathway that links stress to future heart disease is a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system- a case of a person’s normally self-regulated nervous system getting off track.

“Higher heart rate variability is better for health as it reflects the capacity to respond to challenges,” said Nancy L Sin from Pennsylvania State University.

“People with lower heart rate variability have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death,” Sin added in the paper published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Depression and major stressful events are known to be harmful to health, but less attention has been paid to the health consequences of frustrations and hassles in everyday life.

The team analysed the data collected from 909 participants between the ages of 35 and 85, including daily telephone interviews over eight consecutive days and the results from an electrocardiogram.

During daily phone interviews, participants were asked to report the stressful events as well as negative emotions they had experienced that day.

The researchers found that participants who reported a lot of stressful events in their lives were not necessarily those who had lower heart rate variability.

No matter how many or how few stressful events a person faces, it was those who perceived the events as more stressful or who experienced a greater spike in negative emotions had lower heart rate variability- meaning these people may be at a higher risk for heart disease, the authors noted. (IANS)

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Kids in LMICs Receive Excessive Amount of Antibiotic Prescriptions

Kids in low income countries prescribed excess antibiotics

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Antibiotic Prescriptions
Children who receive excessive antibiotic prescriptions may lose the ability to fight pathogens. Pixabay

Kids in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are receiving an excessive amount of antibiotic prescriptions that could harm the children’s ability to fight pathogens as well as increase antibiotic resistance worldwide, warns a new study.

Children in these countries received 25 antibiotic prescriptions through age five – a “remarkable” estimate, given that two antibiotic prescriptions per year is considered excessive in many high-income settings, said the study published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

“We knew children in LMICs are sick more often, and we knew antibiotic prescription rates are high in many countries. What we did not know was how these elements translate into actual antibiotic exposure – and the results are rather alarming,” said lead author of the study Gunther Fink from Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Basel, Switzerland.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of today’s biggest threats to global health and development, according to the World Health Organization.

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Children in LMICs received 25 antibiotic prescriptions through age. Pixabay

One factor contributing to this global health threat is the excessive use of antibiotics worldwide.

The research team from Swiss TPH and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the US analysed data from 2007-2017 from health facilities and household surveys from eight countries: Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Results showed that antibiotics were administered in 81 per cent of cases for children with a respiratory illness, in 50 per cent for children with diarrhoea, and in 28 per cent for children with malaria.

The researchers found that the number of antibiotic prescriptions in early childhood varied from country to country.

While a child in Senegal received approximately one antibiotic prescription per year in the first five years of life, a child in Uganda was prescribed up to 12.

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In comparison, a prior study showed that children under five in Europe receive less than one antibiotic prescription per year on average.

“This number is still high given that the vast majority of infections in this age group are of viral origin,” said study co-author Valerie D’Acremont from Swiss TPH. (IANS)