Aetna UltraCare plans

Aetna launches its redesigned UltraCare plans for locals and expats in China.

Aetna and Starr China launched their redesigned insurance plan, UltraCare, last month. The series of products is aimed at helping expatriates in China, as well as Chinese nationals, to access high-quality healthcare.

Expats and Chinese nationals will be able to access health care locally and globally, with an optional USA extension, through four flexible health plans – UltraCare Standard, UltraCare Select, UltraCare Comprehensive and UltraCare Elite.

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6 October 2014 health news update

Loss of the sense of smell may be linked to lifespan and more health news this week.

International health news

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elderly health benefits animals

A new report collects all the research on the health benefits of owning a pet.

As the world’s population ages and people are expected to live longer than ever, governments are increasingly looking for ways to reduce the pressure on their healthcare systems. The costs associated with chronic conditions and illnesses associated with an ageing population must be managed in order for other services not to suffer and so prices don’t become prohibitive.

A new report published by the International Federation on Ageing reviews the studies carried out on the health impacts of pets on older people between 1980 and 2013. The first-of-its-kind report, entitled, Companion Animals and the Health of Older Persons, explores how pets contribute to physical, mental, and social wellbeing of older people.

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First Ebola virus US

An estimated 3,000 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak.

Media outlets have reported today that the deadly Ebola virus has hit US soil. Officials confirmed that an unidentified patient was admitted to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on 28th September. The current Ebola outbreak began in Guinea late last year and later spread to Liberia, and then neighbouring countries. An estimated 3,000 people in West Africa have been killed in the worst outbreak of Ebola the world has ever seen.

The patient, who flew from Liberia to the US to visit family on 19 September, arrived with no symptoms and it wasn’t until 24 September that he began to feel unwell. He was finally admitted to the Texas hospital on 28 September, after initially being sent home with antibiotics.

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International health September 2014

Top health stories this week: Ebola update, the health benefits of curry, and how a mobile app is saving lives.

International health news

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alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer’s is still a disease without a cure, and with an ageing population more people are affected each day.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and we have learnt a lot about this debilitating disease in the last few years. Here’s what we know exactly.

Alzheimer’s disease is still somewhat of a mystery, but researchers are working hard to find answers and a cure for this highly damaging condition. Around the world, an estimated 36 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, a number predicted to triple by 2050 as the population ages and people live longer. The risk of getting it increase with age, especially after 65.

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Indian medical tourists Middle East

High standards and relaxed visa laws encourage medical tourists from the Middle East to India.

The medical tourism in India is huge, predicted to see a 30% growth in the coming year, it will be worth US$2 billion by 2015. As medical costs, especially in the West, increase, people are more and more attracted to cheaper options in countries such as India and Malaysia. Now, the low costs and good reputation of Indian medical tourism hospitals is attracting attention in the Middle East.

India has witnessed an increase in patients from Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2012. The number of Indian visas issued to Omani nationals between January and August this year was 61,000, a jump from 3,400 in 2012. These account for all types of visas, with tourist visas being the most popular, closely followed by medical visas, and then business visas in third place.

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22 September health news

Health news around the world: UN aims to cut premature deaths by 40% by 2030.

International health news

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ACA decrease uninsured Americans

Blood pressure measurement by www.volganet.ru (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The National Health Interview Survey found the number of Americans without health insurance coverage “dropped significantly” this year, reports the International Business Times. The number of uninsured people stands at 13%, down from 16% in 2010. This comes months after President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) extended coverage in January.

The findings, released this week by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show 3.8 million more people have health insurance compared with 2013. Adults (18-64) were three times more likely to be uninsured than children and people with high school diplomas were more likely to have insurance than those without high school education.

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10 healthiest cities world Copenhagen

Copenhagen makes it into CNN’s top 10 healthiest cities table.

Perhaps it is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a healthy environment, but a healthy life is certainly possible when living in a metropolis. According to CNN, large cities such as New York, Singapore and even the capital of Cuba, Havana, belong in the top 10 world’s healthiest cities.

Even though basic needs such as air and water are often of lower quality in urban areas, there are other factors such as the quality of life amongst citizens, healthy habits and the city’s facilities that make them beat other (smaller) cities in the rankings.

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