Every surface we touch has its own unique chemical properties. It’s because of these properties that some materials stick to surfaces, while others slide off. For a person, a sticky surface may be a minor annoyance, but for a bacterial cell, surface attachment can be a matter of life and death. Bacteria have evolved their own surfaces to be sticky, like Velcro.
For over a century, we have relied on a simplistic measure to determine if someone is a “healthy” weight or not. This is the body mass index (BMI) – the ratio of a person’s weight to the square of their height. The limits of this ratio are clearly demonstrated by professional rugby players; most of whom would be classified as “overweight”, despite having less than 10% body fat.
We’re often told by the popular press and well-meaning family and friends that, for good health, we should fall asleep quickly and sleep solidly for about eight hours – otherwise we’re at risk of physical and psychological ill health.
Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) in September 2018 announced the launch of CIAO, a mobile health app designed to help clients promote healthy behaviors within their organizations, encourage employees to improve their overall health and address lifestyle-related illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, stress, and heart disease. The CIAO app has been developed in partnership with UK-based health tech firm Tictrac. Through research and a deep understanding of consumer behavior and
Two US researchers recently sparked controversy with their work on the role of “luck” in cancer. Their latest article was published in the March issue of the prestigious journal Science. The researchers, Christian Tomasetti and Bert Vogelstein of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, showed that the disease is less dependent on hereditary (a genetic predisposition) and environmental risks (such as smoking, or asbestos exposure) than on random mutations (such as DNA replication errors) arising spontaneously in cells as they divide and reproduce over the course of our lifetimes.
Health coaching is one of the most powerful ways of changing people’s mindsets for the long term. Practitioners are rapidly taking their place alongside executive coaches, life coaches and personal trainers as another means of making us better people through one-to-one improvement sessions.
The current epidemic in the US is thought to have begun with the over-prescription of opioids for pain relief: in 1991, 76m opioid prescriptions were dispensed by US retail pharmacies. By 2011, this figure was 219m. The overall rate of death from drug overdose more than trebled in the US between 1999 and 2016.
Updated blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association mean that many more Americans, notably older people, are now diagnosed with high blood pressure, or hypertension. This may sound like bad news, but the new guidelines highlight some important lessons we cardiologists and heart health researchers have learned from the latest blood pressure studies. Specifically, we have learned that damage from high blood pressure starts at much lower blood pressures than previously thought and that it is more important than ever to start paying attention to your blood pressure before it starts causing problems.
Aon is offering 10 tips to help organizations maximize the use of occupational health (OH) programmes. Generally, employers use occupational health to be responsible and compliant, while also reducing costs. Aon’s 2018 Benefits and Trends survey released in August 2018 found that 96% of employers agree that they have a responsibility to influence employee health, although only 65% access occupational health services. The authors explain that a common theme
The number of studies that have found a link between a disease and a specific gut microbiome composition seems to be ever increasing. Until recently, though, almost all these studies have looked at single diseases in isolation. But most people tend to have more than one health complaint at a time – “comorbidities”, in medical parlance.
Global Benefits Vision: Why has MAXIS GBN decided to launch its new wellness solution now? What were the key drivers behind the launch? Dr. Leena Johns MD: Over the past few years we have worked with clients to identify the cost drivers of their health claims data across disparate geographies, through our sophisticated data reporting tools. While some markets offer solutions to mitigate these drivers, often, in reality, there is an absence of data-based recommendations and a lack of cohesive, centralised solutions that can be rolled out globally.
In the 1950s, scholars worried that, thanks to technological innovations, Americans wouldn’t know what to do with all of their leisure time. Yet today, as sociologist Juliet Schor notes, Americans are overworked, putting in more hours than at any time since the Depression and more than in any other in Western society.
For many years, the long-term success rates for those who attempt to lose excess body weight have hovered around 5-10 percent. In what other disease condition would we accept these numbers and continue on with the same approach? How does this situation sustain itself?
Imagine that you are running a company, but you cannot get to your goal because all of your good workers keep quitting. For 30 years, your response to this problem has been to criticize the workers and say they are stupid and weak for quitting. As a result, you never reach your goal. You don’t change your formula or alter your plan, just keep blaming and shaming the workers for quitting.
Pretty much everyone knows that taking exercise helps people stay in good health. It staves off chronic ailments like type 2 diabetes and heart disease and – maybe – helps us live longer.
Obesity was designated a disease in 2013 by the American Heart Association and American Medical Association. Obesity, defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, had long been identified as a health condition, but its designation as a disease underscored its role as a risk factor for leading causes of death, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke and many cancers.
Many of us dread the loss of the hour’s sleep we incur by moving our clocks forward when daylight saving times comes back in Spring. For millions, the loss will be an added insult to the inadequate sleep they experience on a daily basis.
The tradition of sending a telegram to every British citizen on their 100th birthday was started just over 100 years ago by George V, who sent out just nine letters. Last year, the Queen had to sign over 16,000 birthday letters. The UK has an ageing society, with falling birth rates and increasing life expectancy. Improvements in public health and medicine have helped to achieve this amazing effect on lifespan.
U.S. gross domestic product is at an all-time high. U.S. life expectancy is not. Life expectancy has fallen for the second time in two years – from a high of 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.6 years in 2016. It fell for men and women, whites, blacks and Hispanics. Statistics show that thousands were preventable, premature deaths.
Going to the doctor usually involves exposing the body with all its faults and flaws. In a culture that increasingly values self control and bodily perfection, being sick or even merely old can lead to feelings of shame and inadequacy.
Job website Glassdoor in October 2017 released a study that determines that three in four full- or part-time employees get fewer than 8 hours of sleep per night, averaging just 6.9 hours of sleep. This is below the recommended 7-9 hours per night that are understood to be required for people to function at their very best. Conducted by Harris Poll in late March and early April 2017 among
As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While death is inevitable, the quality of life you experience until death is often within an individual’s control. This is what our team at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research chose to focus on by developing a rigorous measure of quality of life. How many healthy years of life do you have ahead before you become unhealthy?
Vaccines manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur in July 2017 announced that its first doses of its range of influenza (“flu”) vaccines for the 2017-2018 flu season have been released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shipments will begin in early August to support fall immunization campaigns. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent the flu is to get an
A universe of organisms living inside you may affect every part of your body, from your brain to your bones, and even your thoughts, feelings and your attempts to lose weight.
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in May 2017 announced having discovered a way to structurally modify an antibiotic called vancomycin to make it even more potent — an advance that could mitigate the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections. The World Health Organization and other public-health experts have been warning that antibiotic resistance is a serious global threat. Previous studies had shown that it is possible to add two modifications