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Over half of world’s pollution deaths reported in China, India

Air pollution caused 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2015, making air pollution the fifth highest cause of death among all health risks, including smoking, diet, and high blood pressure

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New Delhi, Feb 14: In a shocking report revealing that over half of the deaths all around the world caused by air pollution were in India and China where 2.2 million people lost lives in 2015, a study said on Tuesday.

Air pollution lead to 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2015, making air pollution the fifth highest cause of death among all health risks, including smoking, diet, and high blood pressure, the report published by the Health Effects Institute has said.

“The analysis concluded that China and India together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths,” the first annual State of Global Air Report by the institute said.

“The study also finds that increasing exposure and a growing and ageing population have meant that India now rivals China for among the highest air pollution health burdens in the world, with both countries witnessing some 1.1 million early deaths over air pollution in 2015,”

India’s New Delhi and China’s Beijing are the world’s most polluted cities.

Air pollution is one of the biggest problems in the country.

Unchecked rapid industrialisation in China propelled it to become the world’s second largest economy but polluted the air.

China alone burns 47 percent of the world’s coal. In winter, the coal-fired plants are the biggest contributor to the choking smog in northern part of the country.

Beijing and around two dozen cities were covered under heavy blanket of smog at the end December 2016.

New Delhi is no less, with dust and diesel-driven cars adding to the pollution woe. Crop burning in neighbouring state is also source of pollution.

“We are seeing increasing air pollution problems worldwide, and this new report details why that air pollution is a major contributor to early death,” said Dan Greenbaum, President of the Health Effects Institute (HEI1), in a statement.

The report also finds that 92 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas with
unhealthy air.

“The trends we report show that we have seen progress in some parts of the world – but serious challenges remain,” he added.

The State of Global Air 2017 is the first of a new series of annual reports and accompanying interactive website, designed and implemented by the HEI in cooperation with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the University of British Columbia, a statement said.

Although there are many parts of the world where air pollution has grown worse, there has also been improvement in the US and Europe, the study said.

The US Clean Air Act and actions by the European Commission have also made attempts to reduce people exposed to PM pollution since 1990.

Wefornews Bureau

Health

Use of Smartphone before sleep may make your kid obese: Study

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New York, Dec 10: Beware if your children have a habit of playing games on smartphones before sleeping, he or she may face an increased risk of becoming obese, warns a study.

It was discovered kids who used digital devices such as watching TV or playing games on smartphones before going to bed got an average of 30 minutes less sleep in comparison to those who did not.

This lack of proper sleep not only caused fatigue and attention problems in school, but also disrupted their eating habits. This leads to higher body mass indexes (BMI), news agency IANS reported.

“We saw technology before bed being associated with less sleep and higher BMIs,”stated Caitlyn Fuller, researcher at the Pennsylvania State University in the US.

“We also saw this technology use being associated with more fatigue in the morning, which circling back, is another risk factor for higher BMIs. So we’re seeing a loop pattern forming,” Fuller further asserted.

The study, published in the journal Global Pediatric Health, examined the sleep and technology habits of 234 children, between the age of eight to 17 years.

As per the suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents should set some limitations regarding the use of technology, like requiring their kids to put away their devices during meal times and keeping phones out of bedrooms at night.

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Health

How jet lag could increase cancer risk

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cancer

London, Dec 10: Frequent travelling that causes jet lag could increase risk of cancer as it tends to disrupt our body clocks that are controlled by the same mechanism that causes tumors, reveals study.

The findings, reported in the Daily Mail, discovered that internal human body clocks have a major influence on cell multiplication and has the potential to prevent cancer.

“Our internal clock is in sync with external light and dark cues, and prompts people’s behaviour and activity levels,” lead author Angela Relogio from the Charite-Medical University in Berlin, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“Based on our results, it seems to us that the clock is likely to act as a tumor suppressor,” Relogio added.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers examined a protein known as RAS, which is inappropriately activated in around a quarter of cancerous cells, in mice.

This takes place via two proteins — INK4 and ARF — that are known to conquer cancer.

“One cannot stop wondering whether disrupted circadian timing should be included as a next potential hallmark of cancer,” Relogio asserted.

Changes in the biological clock have also been known to up the risk of heart related diseases and diabetes.

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Health

Discrimination strains relationship, affect health

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couples

New York, Dec 9: Witnessing discrimination of any kind be it race, age, gender or other factors –not only harms the health of but their partner or spouse as well, a study has found.

“We found that when an individual experiences discrimination, they report worse health and depression. However, that’s not the full story – this stress spills over and affects the health of their partner as well,” said William Chopik, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in the US.

A lot of the harmful effects of discrimination on health takes place because it is damaging to relationships, showed the findings published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, IANS reported.

“When one partner experiences discrimination, they bring that stress home with them and it strains the relationship. So this stress not only negatively affects their own health, but their partner’s as well,” Chopik asserted.

For the study, the researchers examined  nearly 2,000 couples in the US ranging in age from 50 to 94.

The participants observed on instances of discrimination, as well as on their health, depression and relationship strain and closeness.

It didn’t matter where the discrimination came from, Chopik said.

“What matters is that they felt that they were unfairly treated. That’s what had the biggest impact on the person’s health,” he further added.

And that discrimination had a spillover affect on the victims’s spouse or partner.

As people are embedded in relationships, what happens in those relationships affects our health and well-being, Chopik stated.

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