Obsessive social networking helps increase prevalence of neck disorders
By Sadeq Dehqan and Leila Imani
Excessive use of social networking sites in mobile phones has led to a significant increase in the prevalence of neck and shoulder disorders among people in the recent years, said the scientific secretary of Physiotherapy Congress of Iranian Physiotherapy Association (IPTA).
Iraj Abdullahi told Iran Daily that previous studies showed about 80 percent of people experienced low back pain during their lifetime while the figure for neck disorders was 30 percent.
“But the recent change made in the people’s lifestyle and the frequent use of social media in mobile phones and tablets helped increase the figure for patients with neck disorders to 70 percent”, he noted.
He said the use of mobile phones and tablets with the neck in a bent position increases stress on your cervical spine significantly.
Abdullahi said during the first stages, it may only lead to muscle tension in your neck but if no change is made in the position of your body while using the devices, it would turn to neck arthritis which may not respond to ordinary treatment and require surgery.
He referred to low back, neck and knee pains as the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders among people, adding some disorders, including joint arthritis, occur with ageing.
Abdullahi noted that the knee joints are the most important joints in the human body which develop arthritis caused by heavy stress on the knees and improper body posture.
Abdullahi said women are more prone to knee injuries than men, noting 70 to 80 percent of people experience knee arthritis during their lifetime.
“Those who live a healthy lifestyle suffer the disorder after the age of 70”, he added.
The physician pointed out that arthritis in the knees usually appears in mild form after the age of 60 but those who put extreme pressure on their knee during their young age may be diagnosed with the disorder before the age of 50.
“The adoption of a suitable body position is the first strategy which should be taken to prevent joint disorders”, he said, pointing out that the proper use of tools and equipment in the workplace is another issue which should be taken into consideration seriously.
He said those sitting at a desk for too long should make a conscious effort to stand up, walk and exercise every 20 minutes, noting standards should also be observed in the height of office desks and chairs.
He said stroke is the main cause of disabilities in the society, adding spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS) are also among other disorders leading to disabilities.
Abdullahi said nearly 400 people experience a stroke in Iran every year, a major number of whom are left with mobility problems and need rehabilitation services.
He said the first three to four months after the stroke is the golden time for physical rehabilitation of patients.
Abdullahi said the Third International and 30th Annual Physiotherapy Congress of Iranian Physiotherapy Association will be held in Tehran from June 12-14.
He added various issues including sport physiotherapy, hand therapy, and low back and spinal cord pain will be discussed during the confab.
He said lecturers from Iran, Germany, Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon will address the congress.
Iran Health 2019 exhibition kicks off in Tehran
The 22nd International Medical Laboratory, Equipment and Pharmaceutical (Iran Health 2019) Exhibition opened on Sunday at Tehran International Permanent Fairground in the presence of Iran’s Minister of Health, Treatment and Medical Education Saeed Namaki.
Iran Health 2019 is the largest and first important trade-based event in the field of health in Iran and second in the Middle East. More than 486 domestic and 28 foreign companies are showcasing their latest products in the expo, Mehr News Agency reported.
Commercial delegations from 15 countries including China, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Italy, England, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman and Russia have been invited to the event.
The Iran Health 2019 Exhibition is organized by the Consortium of Medical Equipment and Supplies of Iran.
New report shows overall cancer mortality on the decline in US
Overall mortality rates continue to decline, according to the most recent US Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.
This report, which appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was a joint effort among the US National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), medicalnewstoday.com wrote.
In 1999–2016, cancer death rates for men, women, and children continued to decline, according to the report.
When researchers looked at information from 2011–2015, considered all cancer sites, and examined all age group data, men had an overall incidence rate that was around 1.2 times higher than that of women.
Also, in 2012–2016, the overall death rate in men was 1.4 times higher than that of women.
Different rates for different age groups
However, the report uncovered data that shone a light on certain demographics where numbers were not quite so promising. For instance, in the 20–49 age group, there were a few notable differences in rates between men and women that did not reflect cancer rates as a whole.
When the researchers looked at this age group only, women had a much higher incidence rate of invasive cancers — namely, 115.3 per 100,000 people for men and 203.3 per 100,000 people for women.
During the 2012–2016 period, women also had a higher annual cancer death rate: 27.1 per 100,000 people for women and 22.8 per 100,000 people for men.
“The greater cancer burden among women than men ages 20 to 49 was a striking finding of this study,” said lead author Elizabeth Ward, PhD, a consultant at the NAACCR.
“The high burden of breast cancer relative to other cancers in this age group reinforces the importance of research on prevention, early detection, and treatment of breast cancer in younger women.”
In the 20–49 age group, breast cancer was the most common type in women, followed by thyroid cancer and melanoma. For men, colorectal cancer was the most common, followed by cancer of the testis and melanoma.
According to the ACS, men and women in the United States have a one in three chance of developing invasive cancer at some point during their lifetimes. Prostate cancer is the most common for men (one in nine chance), while breast cancer is the most common for women (one in eight chance).
They also note that the risk of
developing cancer goes up with age, with almost nine out of 10 cancers affecting those aged 50 years or older. Although most cases of cancer do not have an easily identifiable cause, there are risk factors that can increase the chances that it will develop.
Genetics can play a part, as five percent to 10 percent of all cancers are linked to genes. Exposure to radiation or certain chemicals can also increase the risk of cancer. There are also lifestyle habits that can increase cancer risk, such as tobacco use and excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
Despite these statistics, the report did find that overall death rates decreased 1.8 percent per year in men and 1.4 percent per year in women for the 2012–2016 period. Also, although rates were higher in certain demographics, the report does signal where more research is necessary.
Study links poor sleep with poor nutrition
Many Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep, and many do not consume the recommended amounts of important vitamins and minerals. A new study suggested the two factors may be connected.
The research is based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of US adults, eurekalert.org reported.
Compared with people who got more than seven hours of sleep per night — the amount the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for adults — scientists found that people who got fewer than seven hours of sleep per night on average consumed lower amounts of vitamins A, D, and B1, as well as magnesium, niacin, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.
The study also found a greater number of nutrients were associated with poor sleep in women than in men. This number was reduced if women took dietary supplements, suggesting that supplements can help fill the gaps where a person’s diet is not providing the necessary nutrients.
“This work adds to the body of growing evidence associating specific nutrient intakes with sleep outcomes,” said lead study author Chioma Ikonte, director of nutrition science at Pharmavite, LLC. “Our findings suggest that individuals with short sleep duration might benefit from improving their intake of these nutrients through diet and supplementation.”
In addition to the findings on sleep duration, the research suggests nutrients may also play a role in sleep disorders, poor sleep quality and trouble falling asleep.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that our bodies require but do not produce. As a result, they must come from our diet. Globally, billions of people suffer from at least one micronutrient deficiency.
Previous studies have demonstrated important roles for micronutrients in growth and development, disease prevention and healing, and normal bodily functions, including sleep. Magnesium, for example, helps the body produce melatonin and other compounds involved in sleep. Some studies suggest zinc plays a role in sleep regulation.
Sun-exposed oyster mushrooms help patients fight tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases in low income countries, with around 1.6 million people dying of the disease each year.
In a new study, researchers show that sun-exposed oyster mushrooms offer a readily available source of vitamin D that can help TB patients respond better to anti-TB drugs by improving immune response, eurekalert.org wrote.
“TB is becoming more difficult to fight due to the emergence of drug-resistant strains, creating an urgent need for new treatments that can support first-line drugs,” said TibebeSelassie Seyoum Keflie, a doctoral fellow at University of Hohenheim, Germany.
“This source of vitamin D is ideal for low income countries because mushrooms can easily be distributed and administered in a safe, low-cost, easy-to-replicate manner.”
Keflie, who performed the research with Hans Konrad Biesalski, presented the research at Nutrition 2019, the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting, held June 8-11, 2019 in Baltimore.
Studies have shown that vitamin D induces the body to form an antimicrobial compound that attacks the bacterial cause of TB. Although sun exposure can boost a person’s vitamin D levels, it must be obtained through diet when sun exposure is scarce.
The researchers used oyster mushrooms because they offer a cheap, safe and readily available source of vitamin D that is easily absorbed by the body. Although fresh oyster mushrooms contain almost no vitamin D, the fungus produces it the after exposure to sunlight much like the human body.
“This is the first time that vitamin D derived from oyster mushrooms exposed to sun has been shown to be a potential adjunctive therapy for TB,” said Keflie.
“With educational outreach, it might be possible to teach people with TB to irradiate their own mushroom for a brief period before cooking.”
For the study, the researchers gave a group of TB patients sandwich bread containing 146 micrograms of vitamin D from sun-exposed oyster mushrooms every morning during the first four months in which they received an anti-TB drug.
At the end of the four months, 95 percent of patients receiving the fortified bread were classified with the lowest TB severity score on a scale of 1 to 5. The treatment group had significantly higher vitamin D levels compared to patients not receiving the bread, with more than a third of them no longer showing a vitamin D deficiency.
The researchers also observed that patients who consumed the fortified bread had significant improvements in immunological responses over the four months.
Fruit, vegetable consumption
A new study has claimed that insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables may account for millions of deaths from heart disease and strokes each year, tkbsen.in wrote.