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Elderly woman weighing 102 kgs undergoes bilateral knee replacement in Noida

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Noida, May 7 (IANS) A 63-year-old woman suffering from severe knee pain and limited mobility due to osteoarthritis has regained hope after a successful bilateral total knee replacement surgery here.

The woman Sunita Thakur, weighing approximately 102 kg, was unable to walk due to severe pain in both knees caused by osteoarthritis and bow legs.

She had bilateral (meaning in both knees) osteoarthritis, a condition where the cartilage cushioning the knee joint degenerates.

“This, combined with a genu varum deformity (bowed legs), caused her significant pain and restricted her movement. In this condition, the knees knock inward when standing with the feet together,” said Dr. Bharat Goswami, Consultant Orthopaedics at Fortis Hospital Greater Noida.

The weight of 102 kg posed a significant challenge during the surgery.

“Typically, performing knee replacement surgery is challenging due to the poor quality of bone, excess flesh, and weakened bones. This complexity increases the risk of complications such as blood vessel thrombosis (BVT) and fat embolism. Additionally, such patients require specialised care,” explained Dr. Goswami

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Although she experienced some postoperative respiratory difficulties, necessitating a brief hospital stay for observation, she recuperated well. Upon improvement in her condition, she was discharged from the hospital, the doctor said.

–IANS

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Covid pandemic reversed progress of last 10 years in global life expectancy: WHO

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Geneva, May 24 (IANS) The recent deadly Covid-19 pandemic reversed the last 10 years’ steady gain seen in life expectancy at birth and healthy life expectancy at birth (HALE) worldwide, according to a new report by World Health Organization (WHO) released on Friday.

The report, World Health Statistics 2024, showed that between 2019 and 2021, global life expectancy declined by 1.8 years to 71.4 years (back to the level of 2012).

Similarly, within just two years global healthy life expectancy dipped by 1.5 years to 61.9 years in 2021 (back to the level of 2012).

“In just two years, the Covid-19 pandemic erased a decade of gains in life expectancy,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Stressing the importance of the Pandemic Agreement, he said it will “not only strengthen global health security, but protect long-term investments in health and promote equity within and between countries”.

In 2020, Covid infection ranked as the third highest cause of mortality globally, while it emerged as the second leading cause of death in 2021.

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“Nearly 13 million lives were lost during this period,” the report said.

Further, the report showed that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as ischaemic heart disease and stroke, cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and diabetes accounted for 78 per cent of non-Covid deaths during the pandemic.

The pandemic also increased obesity in young and old (over one billion), underweight (more than half a billion) and malnutrition in children.

“About 148 million children under five years old were affected by stunting (too short for age), 45 million suffering from wasting (too thin for height), and 37 million overweight,” the report said.

The report called for “accelerating progress” to meet the health Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

by 2030.

–IANS

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Rise in hypertension among young Indian children 'alarming': AIIMS

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) While age is a known risk factor for high blood pressure, the early onset of hypertension among young children — up to 20 per cent — is “alarming”, said health experts here at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Friday.

As May is marked as the hypertension awareness month, experts from the apex institute briefed the media about the rising cases of hypertension in the country, the reasons behind and how to mitigate it.

“About 15-20 per cent of children and adolescents aged between 10-19 have hypertension more than what is normal at their age,” said Dr. Sumit Malhotra, Professor, Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS.

“It is alarming,” he added, noting that high BP is a major cause of brain stroke, myocardial infarction or heart attack, kidney disease, and retina problems, among others.

He said that in most cases, people are not aware of their blood pressure status, and those who are aware do not go for treatment. He emphasised the need to accurately measure BP and then treat them early.

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“Schools and educational institutes are very important platforms for a healthy young generation, to help understand the risk, and make early lifestyle modifications,” the doctor said.

Dr. Kiran Goswami, Professor, Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS said that hypertension is a major modifiable risk factor, and accounts for most premature deaths in the country, especially in the younger population.

“If you can control your systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10 millimetres of mercury, you can bring down about 20 per cent early risk of death by cardiovascular deaths. Stroke risks can be reduced by one-third,” she said.

The experts said that besides genetic risks, early age tobacco intake, excess weight, physical inactivity, and sedentary lifestyle, are the major risk factors for high BP.

Stress is also a major risk factor, said Dr. Sumit.

“Educational institutions must teach the younger population on how to deal with stress. Pressures begin from a young age. How to cope with stress is an important life skill that must be taught to our young kids, and this will pay a long-term dividend in combating many situations, including early onset of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” he said.

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The experts called for practising a healthy lifestyle, eating more fruit and vegetables, and 30 minutes of aerobic exercises like brisk walking and cycling.

–IANS

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Reducing plastic pollution by 5pc yearly may stabilise ocean microplastics: Study

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Cutting down plastic pollution by 5 per cent per year may help stabilise the level of microplastics — plastics less than 5 mm in length — on the surface of oceans, finds a study on Friday.

From human blood to testicles, to flora and fauna, microplastics have long been known as a significant environmental and health concern worldwide.

To predict its impact on oceans, researchers at Imperial College London and GNS Science developed a model of eight different scenarios of plastic pollution reduction starting from 2026 up to 2100.

The results, published in Environmental Research Letters, showed that a reduction in plastic pollution by more than 5 per cent each year will stabilise and also prevent the increase of microplastics in the ocean.

However, the modelling also predicted that even a yearly reduction of 20 per cent will “not significantly reduce existing microplastic levels, meaning they will persist in our oceans beyond 2100”.

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Zhenna Azimrayat Andrews, from the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London noted that “stabilising microplastic levels is the first step towards elimination’’ as they “never be a completely successful removal” from oceans.

“But the current global output of plastic pollution is so great, that even a 1 per cent annual reduction in pollution would make a big difference overall,” added Zhenna.

Meanwhile, the UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) aims to adopt a legally binding resolution to completely eradicate the production of plastic pollution from 2040, including ocean microplastics.

For this “a more coordinated international policy is necessary”, and “changes should happen on an industrial and commercial level”, the researchers argued.

–IANS

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Excessive social media use bad for kids, says Elon Musk

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Calling out the negative effects of social media, tech billionaire Elon Musk on Friday said that its excessive usage may be bad for children.

“A lot of social media is bad for kids,” he said in a post on X.com.

Addressing the recent VivaTech fair in Paris virtually, Musk stressed the importance of regulating children’s exposure to these platforms.

He noted that children are particularly vulnerable to sophisticated AI algorithms that boost user engagement by maximising dopamine levels.

Musk “urged parents to limit the amount of social media that children can see.”

“There is extreme competition between social media AIs to maximise dopamine!”

Last year, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO — a father to nine kids — noted that he never restricted his kids’ social media use, and it might have been a mistake.

“They have been programmed by Reddit and YouTube. I would limit social media a bit more than in the past and watch what they are watching,” he had said.

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He has also criticised Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, stating that these platforms have facilitated child exploitation through their tools.

–IANS

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People under 40 account for 20pc cancer cases in India: Study

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Cancer is affecting more young people in India. A new study on Friday showed that 20 per cent of the cancer cases in the country are being seen in men and women below the age of 40.

The study by Cancer Mukt Bharat Foundation, a Delhi-based non-profit, showed that 60 per cent below 40 cancer patients were men, while 40 per cent were women.

Head and neck cancer (26 per cent) were the most prevalent, closely followed by gastrointestinal cancers (16 per cent) like colon, stomach, and liver. Breast cancer accounted for 15 per cent, and blood cancers for 9 per cent.

Ashish Gupta, Principal Investigator and Senior Oncologist, spearheading the Cancer Mukt Bharat Campaign in India blamed the rise in cancers among young adults for a poor lifestyle.

“In our country escalating rates of obesity, change in dietary habits, specifically the increase in consumption of ultra-processed food, and sedentary lifestyles also are associated with higher cancer rates,” Ashish said.

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“We must adopt a healthy lifestyle and avoid the use of tobacco and alcohol to prevent the risk of cancer in the younger generation,” he added.

The study also showed that 27 per cent of cases diagnosed in India are in stages 1 and 2 of cancer whereas 63 per cent were Stage 3 or 4 cancer.

“Nearly two-thirds of cancers were detected late, likely due to low adoption of proper screening,” said Ashish.

The study was conducted on 1,368 cancer patients across India who called the foundation’s Cancer Helpline Number between March 1 and May 15.

–IANS

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