travel insurance

Why you need buy travel insurance in 2015.

You needn’t go far to find a health-related travel horror story. In fact, a quick Internet search will reveal many tales of unfortunate people being stranded abroad, stuck there with astronomical medical bills that they are unable to pay.

In these tough economic times especially, we are very aware of the possibility that we are being sold things unnecessarily. Although, can this ever be the case with our health? Surely our well-being is worth more than anything money can buy, and not risking huge fees is worth a small investment in insurance to protect ourselves from becoming another Internet scare story?

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top health stories december 2014

Image: Birthday cake by Eggybird  (CC BY 2.0)

International health news

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sugar salt health

Sugar may contribute more to high blood pressure than salt.

Salt has long been the enemy when it comes to hypertension, or high blood pressure. The high amount of salt people tend to consume in their diets, particularly that found in processed foods, contributes to several health conditions. Now however, researchers have linked added sugar in processed food with increased hypertension and cardiometabolic disease.

People who are on reduced sugar diets, and who avoid processed food, are likely to see lower rates of hypertension and cardiometabolic disease, according to a recent study. The report, published in the journal Open Heart, concludes that high-sugar diets may significantly contribute to higher cardiometabolic risk.

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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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