health insurance Singapore

2014 has been a bumper year for Pacific Prime Singapore.

Pacific Prime Singapore has reported a 50% growth in the expat health insurance business within Singapore for 2014. New sales and business in the Singapore branch has led to an increased turnover of about 50%. In addition, the company doubled its operational size halfway through 2014.

This success is partly due to working in partnership with local insurers to deepen the knowledge of the Singapore insurance market and local requirements for expat health insurance. A larger team has also meant more experience which has had a positive effect on sales.

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15 december 2014 health news

Top health stories this week: Shift work is unhealthy and Ebola serum treatment begins.

International health news

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Alzheimer's bilingual link

Further evidence links delayed dementia with bilingualism.

Scientists have found learning a second language can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to five years. The study, from Ghent University in Belgium, found a link between being bilingual and the start of Alzheimer’s symptoms. The key finding of the study was that Alzheimer’s symptoms appear between four and five years later in bilingual people than in monolinguals.

The study looked at nearly 140 Belgian patients half of whom are bilingual and who all had a probable risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The researchers observed a difference in the age at which symptoms first appeared – while monolinguals developed symptoms at 71.5 years of age, bilinguals didn’t show signs of Alzheimer’s until 76.5 years old.

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8 december 2014 health news

Top health news this week: Mediterranean diet health benefits confirmed again and 5 foods which lift your mood.

International health news

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blood donation rules

The US is considering relaxing its ban on gay men donating blood.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is considering reversing a ban on accepting blood donations from men who have had sex with other men. The ban, which has been in place since 1977, was introduced during the early stages of the AIDS epidemic before HIV had been identified and reliable blood tests had been developed.

The FDA is now considering relaxing the ban to allow men who haven’t had sex with other men in the last year to donate. This would be inline with the policy in several other countries, however, several members of the advisory committee expressed concern that such a change would increase the risk of being infected via a blood transfusion

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recognise COPD

“The scale of mortality from COPD in Europe is now equivalent to three Hiroshima bombs per year.”

European countries are paying too little attention to a chronic lung disease which affects one in ten people, warns a lung advocacy group. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an irreversible lung condition, sometime fatal, which interferes with normal breathing.

World COPD Day, on November 19 each year, aims to raise awareness of the problem. The main cause of COPD is tobacco smoke, either through smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. COPD isn’t being recognised or managed adequately by health systems and the incidence rate is increasing.

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1 december 2014 top health news

World AIDS Day falls on 1 December with awareness raising events in many countries.

International health news

  • World AIDS Day 2014 – 1 in 2 people living with AIDS don’t know they have it, World AIDS Day aims to reduce the stigma of taking anti-retroviral medication.
  • UN warns of huge risk of Ebola spread – The UN Ebola response team in West Africa has warned there is still a ‘huge risk’ of Ebola spreading to the rest of the world.
  • En route to an HIV vaccine? – Results from a large trial in 2009 were the first to show any protection against HIV from a vaccine, new studies show similar results.

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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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