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Daily aspirin use may cut digestive cancer risk

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Hong Kong, Oct 31: Individuals who regularly use pain reliever aspirin are likely to experience a significant reduction in digestive cancer risk, finds a study involving over 600,000 people.

The findings showed that patients who were prescribed aspirin daily showed a 47 per cent reduction in liver and oesophageal cancer incidence.

Gastric cancer reduced by 38 per cent, pancreatic cancer by 34 per cent while colorectal cancer by 24 per cent, it said.

Digestive cancers account for almost a quarter of cancer cases in Europe.

Colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cancer are within the top five cancer killers throughout the continent, with digestive cancers representing 30.1 per cent of cancer deaths.

“The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers,” said lead researcher Kelvin Tsoi, Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer,” Tsoi added.

The results were presented at the 25th United European Gastroenterology Week in Barcelona.

Moreover, the effect of long-term use of aspirin was also seen in a significant reduction in leukaemia, lung and prostate cancers and some breast, bladder, kidney and multiple myeloma cancers.

For the study, the team compared patients who were prescribed aspirin over a long period (for at least six months, average duration of aspirin prescribed was 7.7 years) with non-aspirin users.

Whilst the use of aspirin is debated within the medical community, a recent study also found that patients who stopped taking aspirin were 37 percent more likely to have an adverse cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than those who continued with their prescription, the researchers noted.

IANS

Health

Ebola death toll rises to 200 in Congo

The DRC authorities declared the outbreak in North Kivu province on August 1. It was also reported in the northern province of Ituri.

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Ebola Infection

Kinshasa, Oct 21 : The death toll in the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 200, the Health Ministry has said.

According to statistics released by the Ministry on Saturday, of the 200 cases confirmed in Beni and surrounding areas, 117 have died of the virus while 61 others recovered after treatment, Xinhua news agency reported.

The DRC authorities declared the outbreak in North Kivu province on August 1. It was also reported in the northern province of Ituri.

The World Health Organization said the 10th Ebola outbreak in DRC does not currently constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

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Cycling, walking in nature may improve your mental health

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London, Oct 20: People who commute — walking or cycling — through natural environments are more likely to develop better mental health than those who commute less, according to a new study.

Natural environments included all public and private outdoor spaces that contain ‘green’ and/or ‘blue’ natural elements such as street trees, forests, city parks and natural parks/reserves and all types of water bodies.

“Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life in urban environments. Urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen from the University of Barcelona.

For the study, published in the journal, Environment International, the research team examined nearly 3,600 participants who answered a questionnaire about their commuting habits and their mental health.

The findings showed that respondents commuting through natural environments on a daily basis had on average a 2.74 point higher mental health score compared to those who commuted through natural environments less frequently.

This association was even stronger among people who reported active commuting, the team said.

“From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration when compared to the equivalent activity in urban environments,” said first author Wilma Zijlema from the varsity.

“Although this study is the first of its kind to our knowledge and, therefore, more research will be needed, our data show that commuting through these natural spaces alone may also have a positive effect on mental health.”

IANS

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Number of Zika virus cases reaches 100 in Jaipur

A total of 1,11,825 houses have been screened. Special precautions are being taken in the Zika-affected areas.

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Zika virus

Jaipur, Oct 18 : The number of people infected with the Zika virus has gone up to 100 in Jaipur, officials said on Thursday.

State Chief Secretary D.B. Gupta held a review meeting and directed the officials to carry out anti-larvae activities in educational institutions and administrative buildings in Jaipur.

Veenu Gupta, Chief Secretary (Medicine and Health) said, “Medical teams in Jaipur are carrying out screening and fogging activities. A total of 1,11,825 houses have been screened. Special precautions are being taken in the Zika-affected areas.”

She said that there was no shortage of medicines at health centres. She also directed district officials to monitor the regular availability of medicines and testing equipment in hospitals.

Gupta directed officials to take measures to prevent breeding of mosquitoes in the Rajasthan Police Academy, Police Line and the RAC Battalion.

She asked the Army officials to check the spread of mosquitoes and larvae in their area.

Gupta instructed officials to pay special attention to tourist places such as Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and Albert Hall.

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