Daily Archive: December 21, 2018

Fatty diet linked to life-threatening liver disease

New York: Dec 21 (IANS) High fat and high cholesterol diet can trigger changes in the immune system that can lead to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a serious form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a study says.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the accumulation of liver fat in people who drink little or no alcohol.

NASH can eventually progress to cirrhosis or liver cancer, especially in those with obesity or Type-2 diabetes.

In a mice study, published in the journal Hepatology, the researchers showed that changes in the immune system triggered by fatty diet can eventually lead to liver inflammation and scarring that is commonly seen in patients suffering from NASH.

“Not only does this study define how fat and cholesterol shape the progression of liver inflammation and scarring, but it also identifies potential pathways that can be targeted for future therapies,” said Hugo Rosen, Professor at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California in the US.

“That could bring us closer to finding a treatment for a disease that impacts millions of lives around the world,” Rosen added.

There is an urgent need to better understand the causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progression so that successful therapeutics can be designed and brought into clinical practice, the study noted.

Bank Strike In India Cripples Key Services

Kolkata:Banking services across India were affected on Friday as over 3.2 lakh bank officers struck work demanding unconditional mandate for the 11th bi-partite wage revision talks.

ATM operations in some parts of the country were also hit though the ATMs were exempted from Friday’s strike.

“We have got an overwhelming response so far as more than 3.2 lakh members participated in the strike. Banks remained closed across the country. ATMs operation were expected to be normal as they are not part of our strike but some ATMs were closed as operators gave moral support to our demand,” All India Bank Officers Confederation’s (AIBOC) Assistant General Secretary Sajay Das told IANS.

The union is demanding full and unconditional mandate for the 11th bi-partite wage revision talks based on charter of demands submitted in May 2017. No headway has been made in the process so far even after the elapse of 19 months since the discussion on wage revision begun, Das said.

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions, has decided to observe a strike on December 26, protesting the merger of three public sector banks.

Taking two days strikes and holidays into account, the banks will remain closed from Friday to Wednesday, except Monday, leading to disruptions in the banking services.

Notably, the banks will remain closed on December 22 and 23 on account of fourth Saturday and Sunday, respectively. December 25 will be national holiday for Christmas Day.


Union Min RS Prasad on MHA order allowing 10 agencies to monitor any computer resource: This has been done in national security interest.

Union Min RS Prasad on MHA order allowing 10 agencies to monitor any computer resource: This has been done in national security interest. It has been done under the law made by the Manmohan Singh govt in’09.Each case of interception&the decision is to be approved Union Home Secy.

Avoid smoking to ward off stroke risks during menopause

New York: Quitting smoking during the transition phase to menopause could be the key to ward off risks of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and strokes, suggests a new study.

The risk factor most associated with unhealthy arteries was smoking tobacco, said the study published in the journal American Heart Association.

The study found that physical activity and a healthy diet may offset the acceleration of atherosclerosis — build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls.

“Midlife is a crucial window for women to take their cardiovascular wellness to heart and set a course for healthy ageing,” said Ana Baylin, Associate Professor from the University of Michigan in the US.

“The metabolic changes that often occur with menopause, especially increases in cholesterol levels and blood pressure, can significantly increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cognitive impairment later in life,” she added.

For the study, the team enrolled 1,143 women aged 42 to 52 in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN).

The findings showed that those with a healthy lifestyle had significantly wider arteries, less arterial thickening and build-up of fatty plaque.

“Women approaching menopause can significantly lower this risk if they adopt healthier behaviours, even if cardiovascular issues have never been on their radar,” said Dongqing Wang, a postdoctoral student from the varsity.

The results suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle — combined with physical activity, proper eating habits and no tobacco use — is particularly important for women during the transition phase to menopause.

Bidi smoking costs India over Rs 80k crore every year: Study

Kochi: Dec 21 (IANS) Bidi smoking costs India over Rs 80,000 crore in ill health and early deaths every year which is equivalent to 0.5 per cent of the goods and services (GDP) the country produces and more than two per cent of its total health spend, says a study.

Direct costs – tests, drugs, doctors’ fees, hospital stays, and transport – make up around a fifth of this total with the remainder made up of indirect costs – accommodation for relatives/carers and loss of household income showed the findings published in the journal Tobacco Control.

The findings, based on National Sample Survey data on healthcare expenditures, data on bidi smoking prevalence from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey and relative risks of all-cause mortality from bidi smoking, were for the year 2017.

However, the tax revenue derived from bidi smoking came to just Rs 4.17 billion in 2016-17, said the study.
Nearly one in five households in India faces “catastrophic expenditures” due to healthcare costs, with more than 63 million people pushed into poverty, as a result, said study author Rijo M John from Centre for Public Policy Research in Kochi, Kerala.

“Diseases associated with bidi smoking add to this, potentially pushing more people into poverty,” he said, suggesting that about 15 million face poverty because of spending on tobacco and associated health costs.

The findings suggest that unhindered use of bidi smoking could push more households into poverty.

“Expenditure on tobacco also crowds out expenditure on food and education in India, especially among the poor,” he added.

Bidi is very popular in India, accounting for over 80 per cent of the tobacco smoked and 72 million regular users over the age of 15.

Although bidi contains less tobacco than conventional cigarettes, the nicotine content is significantly higher.

And the relatively low burn point forces smokers to breathe in more of the harmful chemicals produced.

Bidi smoking is implicated in several types of cancer, tuberculosis, and various long-term lung conditions.

But despite its impact on the nation’s health, it has been taxed at a rate that is a fraction of that applied to cigarettes, John said.

Noida Police Busts Fake Call Centre Duping US Citizens

Noida (UP): The Noida Police has busted a fake call centre here which was being used to dupe US citizens, officials said Friday. A raid was conducted at the call centre, located in Sector 63, late Thursday night on a tip-off that dubious operations were being carried out from there, Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Pal Sharma said.

He said “several” operators and callers were detained from the scene and were being interrogated. The workers at the fake call centre would call up US citizens and intimidate them saying there were problems with their Social Security Number, a nine-digit identification number issued to US citizens, and demand money to “fix” it, Sharma said. The call centre was busted under Phase-3 police station limits, he said.

Over the past few months, about a dozen fake call centres have been busted in Noida and scores of people arrested for duping foreigners, including Americans and Canadians, officials said. Further details were awaited as the probe was underway, the SSP said. ( PTI )