Saturday December 15, 2018

Viral hepatitis Caused 1.34 mn Deaths Globally: Study

Viral hepatitis was found to be amongst the top ten leading global killers

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Viral hepatitis
World Health Organization poster for Hepatitis Campaign. VOA
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London, Sep 16, 2017: Viral hepatitis with 1.34 million deaths globally has surpassed all chronic infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, according to a study by Global Burden of Disease.

The study reveals that in 2016, the total deaths caused by viral hepatitis, including liver cancer, acute cases, cirrhosis, hepatitis A, E, B, C and D account for 1.34 million globally, exceeding tuberculosis (1.2 million), HIV/AIDS (1 million) and malaria (719,000).

These staggering death rates occurred despite recent advances in hepatitis C medications that can cure most infections within three months and the availability of highly-effective vaccinations for hepatitis B.

“It’s outrageous, but not surprising, that the Global Burden of Disease Report found that deaths related to viral hepatitis have surpassed HIV, TB and malaria” said Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance — a not-for profit organisation based in London.

“This is largely due to a historic lack of political prioritisation coupled with an absent global funding mechanism,” Gore added, in the paper published in the journal the Lancet.

Further, viral hepatitis was found to be amongst the top ten leading global killers which include heart disease, road accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, amongst others.

Also Read: WHO Calls for stepped up action to Eliminate Hepatitis B and C by 2030 

If this trend has to be reversed, immediate action must be taken at both a regional and national level, said the report, while suggesting measures such as scaling up testing and diagnosis.

Viral hepatitis is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus and only 5 per cent of people living with the disease are aware of their conditions there are only few noticeable symptoms.

As a result, many people are either misdiagnosed or do not come forward for testing, increasing the chance of infecting others and missing the opportunity to access life-saving treatment.

Reducing hepatitis related deaths by 65 per cent by 2030 is a key component of the World Health Organization’s Global Hepatitis Strategy.

The strategy, which was adopted by 194 governments, sets out a list of key targets, which, if achieved, will eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. (IANS)

 

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Eat Vegetarian Diet to Ward Away Heart Disease

This is in contrast to the previous research that showed TMAO blood plasma levels -- and heart disease risk -- rise after the consumption of red meat and eggs, the researchers said

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Leafy vegetables. Pixabay

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, consuming fish, seafood and a primarily vegetarian diet may help reduce hypertension-related heart disease symptoms, a study suggests.

Intake of fish, seafood and vegetarian food increases levels of a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), known to boost heart health, said researchers from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland.

The study showed that low-dose treatment with TMAO reduced heart thickening (cardiac fibrosis) and markers of heart failure in an animal model of hypertension.

“Our study provides new evidence for a potential beneficial effect of a moderate increase in plasma TMAO on pressure-overloaded heart,” the researchers said.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, researchers analysed the effect of TMAO on rats, which have a genetic tendency to develop high blood pressure.

One group of hypertensive rats were given low-dose TMAO supplements in their drinking water, and another group received plain water.

They were given the TMAO therapy for either 12 weeks or 56 weeks and were assessed for heart and kidney damage as well as high blood pressure.

Heart Attack, women
The study showed that low-dose treatment with TMAO reduced heart thickening (cardiac fibrosis) and markers of heart failure in an animal model of hypertension.
Pixabay

The results showed that TMAO treatment did not affect the development of high blood pressure in any of the spontaneously hypertensive rats.

However, condition of the animals given the compound was better than expected, even after more than a year of low-dose TMAO treatment.

In addition, four- to five-fold increase in plasma TMAO does not exert negative effects on the circulatory system.

This is in contrast to the previous research that showed TMAO blood plasma levels — and heart disease risk — rise after the consumption of red meat and eggs, the researchers said.

Also Read- Women Rising Early Have Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

“It seems that a fish-rich and vegetarian diet, is associated with a significantly higher plasma TMAO than red meat-and egg-rich diets, considered to increase the cardiovascular risk,” the researchers noted.

“However, further study is needed to assess the effect of TMAO and TMA on the circulatory system.” (IANS)