US worse for elderly people

Adults in the US are sicker and struggle most with medical bills in an international survey.

An international survey from the Commonwealth Fund has found the United States to be among the worst countries when it comes to receiving and affording health care for elderly people. The study of older people in 11 developed countries revealed US adults tend to be sicker than those in other countries, and also the most likely to struggle with medical bills.

The 2014 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Older Adults questioned more than 15,000 people age 65 and older in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

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world health stories november 2014

Short-term counselling can help prevent repeated suicide attempts and more international health news.

International health news

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high sugar fruit juice

Fruit juice can contain as much sugar as a can of coke. Photo: Free Picture Net

Currently, official advice is that a glass (150ml) of unsweetened fruit juice counts as one of your recommended five a day. Nevertheless, according to Action on Sugar, this advice is somewhat confusing as they have discovered that many fruit juices, specifically those designed for children, contain more sugar than a can of coke (over 6 teaspoons of sugar).

Even smoothies turn out to be deceiving. You need to do a little research into the quantity of fruit and vegetables which have actually been used, as well as how the smoothie has been made, before trusting it to count as a few of your five a day. When fruit is juiced or blended, the sugars are released which may lead to tooth decay as well as weight gain.

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plain packaging australia

Examples of the plain cigarette packaging in Australia, Photo: Rex Features

In 2012 Australia implemented laws on tobacco packaging making graphic pictures mandatory and banning any branding. Not only were the images more shocking than ever, displaying diseased gums and gangrenous feet, but the size of the images were also made larger.

What the smokers think

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type 3 polio eradication

Type 3 poliovirus hasn’t been reported in two years.

Scientists are celebrating a ‘major milestone’ in the fight against polio. According to the US Centre for Diseases, it appears the second of three strains of poliovirus has been eliminated after mass vaccination campaigns.

Wild poliovirus type 2 was eradicated in 1999 and type 3 hasn’t been seen in over two years. However, the news comes as polio cases in Pakistan are rising, and new cases are reported in South Sudan and Madagascar.

Experts say the world is closer than ever to defeating polio, although the situation in Pakistan is ‘worrying’.

Poliomyelitis, commonly known as polio, is a highly infectious virus which causes paralysis in one out of 200 cases. It commonly targets young children and can cause death when the muscles which aid breathing stop working.

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Helpful Advice by Robert Hugs

“Helpful Advice” by Robert Hugs

International health news

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body clock circadian rhythm

The biological clock in our brain is mainly entrained by the light/dark cycle

Circadian rhythms, informally referred to as our internal body clock, have recently been a hot topic in both science and media. Our body clock is controlled by our brain, using light to approximately work around a 24 hour cycle.

This internal clock is responsible for triggering the secretion of specific hormones in our bloodstream making us more alert, hungry or sleepy at certain times of day. However, our modern day lives don’t always concur with our internal body clocks.

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best expat healthcare systems

The 2014 HSBC Expat Explorer survey rates healthcare systems around the globe.

The annual HSBC Expat Explorer survey has been released, and with it the ranking of 34 countries across three categories – expat economics, expat experience, and raising children abroad. Overall, Switzerland, Singapore, and China are the leading destinations for expats in 2014.

We take at a look at the countries with the best healthcare systems for expats. Focussing on access, affordability, and quality.

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Truvada pills

Truvada pills by Jeffrey Beall (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States approved the antiretroviral drug Truvada for daily use as a preventative measure against HIV. People without HIV that are at a considerable risk of contracting the virus could take one pill a day, which would reduce the risk of getting infected with HIV by 92%, according to earlier studies.

However, so far the U.S. is the only country where the drug is approved for preventive purposes. In other parts of the world, Truvada is used in combination with other drugs to treat  HIV positive people only and is not prescribed for people without HIV. Read More →

internationla health news November 2014

Top health stories this week: A single blood test to screen for several cancers is a step closer.

International health news

  • Single blood test for several cancers – Scientists working to create a single blood test which screens for several cancers are step closer to their goal.
  • Movember is back – Money raised in previous years by men growing moustaches to raise awareness of male cancers is helping research new tests for prostate cancer.
  • Catastrophe of global overpopulation – By 2100 the world’s population will be higher than previously thought, what does this mean for public health systems?

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