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Risk factor of diabetes and obesity revealed

Researchers have claimed that living in a socioeconomically deprived region is a risk factor for being affected by diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Researchers from Institute of Health Economics and Health Care Management (IGM) at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen (HMGU) and the Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, found that it holds true regardless of the individual social status of the inhabitants.

Under the leadership of Werner Maier in a team headed by Dr Andreas Mielck and Professor Dr Rolf Holle at the HMGU, the group of authors evaluated data from more than 33,000 people aged 30 years or more who participated in the RKI’s German telephone health interview surveys “German Health Update(GEDA)” in 2009 and 2010.
Residents of socioeconomically deprived regions suffer disproportionately from diabetes and overweight. This geographical influence is referred to as “regional deprivation”.

It was determined based on the “German Index of Multiple Deprivation” (GIMD) which is formed from regionally available information on income, employment, education, municipal or district revenue, social capital, environment and security in a defined area.

In addition to the GIMD, the data analysis also took into consideration individual risk factors such as age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, physical activity, education and living with a partner.

In the most deprived regions, the frequency of type 2 diabetes was 8.6 percent among those interviewed and that of obesity was 16.9 percent, compared to 5.8 and 13.7 percent, respectively, among those interviewed in regions that are only slightly deprived.

New nanoscale method to help in fight against cancer

Researchers have developed an innovative cancer-fighting technique in which custom-designed nanoparticles carry chemotherapy drugs directly to tumor cells and release their cargo when triggered by a two-photon laser in the infrared red wavelength.
Light-activated drug delivery holds promise for treating cancer because it gives doctors control over precisely when and where in the body drugs are released.

Delivering and releasing chemotherapy drugs so that they hit only tumor cells and not surrounding healthy tissues can greatly reduce treatment side effects and increase the drugs’ cancer-killing effect. But the development of a drug-delivery system that responds to tissue-penetrating light has been a major challenge.

These new nanoparticles are equipped with thousands of pores, or tiny tubes, that can hold chemotherapy drugs. The ends of the pores are capped with nanovalves that keep the drugs in, like a cork in a bottle. The nanovalves contain special molecules that respond to energy from two-photon light exposure, which prompts the valves to open and release the drugs. The operation of the nanoparticles was demonstrated in the laboratory using human breast cancer cells.

Childhood nightmares linked to psychotic traits in adolescence

A new study has revealed that children who suffer from frequent nightmares or night terrors may be at a higher risk of exhibiting psychotic traits during adolescence.
The researchers from the University of Warwick found that children reporting frequent nightmares before the age of 12 were three and a half times more likely to suffer from psychotic experiences in early adolescence.

The study showed that children who suffered from night terrors doubled the risk of psychotic traits, including hallucinations, interrupted thoughts or delusions, while children between two and nine years old had up to one and a half times increased risk of developing psychotic experiences.

According to research, the likelihood of experiencing psychotic experiences in adolescence increased with the incidence of nightmares and the teens who only reported one period of recurrent nightmares saw a 16 percent rise, whereas those who reported three or more sustained periods of nightmares throughout the study saw a  56percent increase in risk. However, children who had problems with falling asleep or insomnia had no relationship to later psychotic experiences.

Professor Dieter Wolke said that three in every four children experience nightmares at a young age, but nightmares over a prolonged period or bouts of night terrors that persist into adolescence can be an early indicator of something more significant in later life.

Dr Helen Fisher, of King's College London said that parents should try to maintain a lifestyle that promotes healthy sleep hygiene for their child, by creating an environment that allows for the best possible quality of sleep.

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