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Your pace of walking may predict heart disease, mortality risk

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London, Aug 30: Are you a middle-aged person with a slow walking pace? If yes, you might be at a higher risk of developing heart disease compared to those who walk steady or at a brisk pace, researchers have found.

The study revealed that middle-aged people, both men and women, who reported that they are slow walkers were around twice as likely to have a heart-related death compared to brisk walkers.

“This suggests that habitual walking pace is an independent predictor of heart-related death,” said Professor Tom Yates, Reader at the University of Leicester in Britain.

Further, walking pace was strongly linked to an individual’s objectively measured exercise tolerance, and a good measure of overall physical fitness.

“Thus, walking pace could be used to identify individuals who have low physical fitness and high mortality risk that would benefit from targeted physical exercise interventions,” Yates added.

Moreover, the study also found that handgrip strength is a weak predictor of heart-related deaths in men and could not be generalised across the population as a whole.

For the study, published in the European Heart Journal, the team analysed 420,727 middle-aged people across Britain.

In the following 6.3 years, after the data was collected there were 8,598 deaths: 1,654 died from cardiovascular disease, while cancer took 4,850 lives.

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India May See 2.87 Lakh Covid Cases A Day By Winter 2021: MIT Study

The world may witness 249 million (24.9 crore) cases and 1.8 million (18 lakh) deaths by spring 2021 if there are no effective treatments or vaccination.

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In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine or drugs, the researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have warned that India might record 2.87 lakh coronavirus cases per day by the end of winter 2021.

The world may witness 249 million (24.9 crore) cases and 1.8 million (18 lakh) deaths by spring 2021 if there are no effective treatments or vaccination, according to the study conducted by the researchers Hazhir Rahmandad, TY Lim and John Sterman of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

“In this paper, we build and estimate a multi-country model of the Covid-19 pandemic at a global scale,” the study authors wrote.

Also Read: The Mysterious World Of Viruses And Why You Can’t Escape Them

For the findings, the MIT research team use a multi-country modified SEIR (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered) model, a standard mathematical model for infectious diseases used by epidemiologists, to simultaneously estimate the transmission of Covid-19 in 84 countries (4.75 billion people).

The model tracked community transmission, excluding the global travel network and instead separately estimating the date of introduction of patient zero for each country.

Within each country, the core of the model tracks the population through susceptible, pre-symptomatic, infected pre-testing, infected post-testing, and recovered states.

“Our model captures transmission dynamics for the disease, as well as how, at the country level, transmission rates vary in response to risk perception and weather, testing rates condition infection and death data, and fatality rates depend on demographics and hospitalisation,” they explained.

According to the study, the top 10 countries by projected daily infection rates at the end of winter 2021 are India, US, South Africa, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, France and Germany.

Also Read: Our Live-in Virus: What Does the Real Covid Map Look Like?
India will be the worst affected country due to coronavirus followed by the US (95,000 cases per day), South Africa (21,000 cases per day) Iran (17,000 cases per day), and Indonesia (13,000 cases per day) at the end of winter 2021.

The MIT researchers also said that Infections are 12 times higher and deaths 50 per cent higher than previously reported.

“While actual cases are far greater than official reports suggest, the majority of people remain susceptible. Waiting for herd immunity is not a viable path out of the current pandemic,” Rahmandad said.

“Every community needs to keep the pandemic under control until a vaccine or treatment is widely available. A slow and half-hearted response only increases the human costs without offering much of an upside in terms of economic output,” Rahmandad noted.

Also Read: Did The Lockdown Work? What Did It Do? What Would Have Happened Without It?
As of Wednesday morning, the overall number of global COVID-19 cases has increased to more than 11.7 million, while the deaths have soared to over 543,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Covid-19 can cause delirium, brain inflammation: Study

Research team identified one rare and sometimes fatal inflammatory condition, known as ADEM, which appears to be increasing in prevalence due to the pandemic

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Brain.

COVID-19 can cause severe neurological complications, including delirium, brain inflammation, stroke and nerve damage, warn researchers.

Published in the journal Brain, the research team identified one rare and sometimes fatal inflammatory condition, known as ADEM, which appears to be increasing in prevalence due to the pandemic.

Some patients in the study did not experience severe respiratory symptoms, and the neurological disorder was the first and main presentation of COVID-19, the researchers said.

“We identified a higher than expected number of people with neurological conditions such as brain inflammation, which did not always correlate with the severity of respiratory symptoms.” said study senior author Dr Michael Zandi from the University College London (UCL) in the UK.

The current study provides a detailed account of neurological symptoms of 43 people (aged 16-85) treated at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UCLH, who had either confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The researchers identified 10 cases of transient encephalopathies (temporary brain dysfunction) with delirium, which corresponds with other studies finding evidence of delirium with agitation.

There were also 12 cases of brain inflammation, eight cases of strokes, and eight others with nerve damage, mainly Guillain-Barre syndrome (which usually occurs after a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection).

Most (nine out of 12 cases) of those with brain inflammation conditions were diagnosed with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM).

ADEM is rare and typically seen in children and can be triggered by viral infections: the team in London normally sees about one adult patient with ADEM per month, but that increased to at least one per week during the study period.

In some patients, the researchers found evidence that the brain inflammation was likely caused by an immune response to the disease, suggesting that some neurological complications of COVID-19 might come from the immune response rather than the virus itself.

The findings showed that the virus causing COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, was not detected in the cerebrospinal brain fluid of any of the patients tested, suggesting the virus did not directly attack the brain to cause the neurological illness.

According to the team, further research is needed to identify why patients were developing these complications.

“Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes. People recovering from the virus should seek professional health advice if they experience neurological symptoms,” the study authors wrote.

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How remdesivir can save lives in nations with lower hospital capacity

The mortality rate for Covid-19 in ICUs varies from country to country and hospital to hospital, so the number of lives saved from increased ICU capacity would also vary, the study said.

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New York, July 8 : Amid news that the US has bought up virtually the entire global supply of remdesivir, a new study outlines how the drug could save lives in countries with a lower hospital capacity, such as South Africa, where Covid-19 is beginning to overwhelm intensive care units (ICUs).

The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, estimated that remdesivir”s ability to shorten ICU stays could increase the number of patients treated in South Africa”s ICUs by more than 50 per cent.

“There are many countries with limited ICU capacity that could benefit from this double impact on mortality,” says study lead author Dr Brooke Nichols, Assistant Professor at the Boston University.

For the remdesivir study, the research team used their South African National Covid-19 Epidemiology model to look at the estimated three to six months when severe cases will exceed the country”s 3,450 available ICU beds. If every one of South Africa”s ICU patients with Covid-19 received remdesivir, reducing the average ICU stay, the researchers estimated that the number of patients treated in ICUs from June to December would increase from between 23,443 and 32,284 patients to between 36,383 and 47,820.

The findings showed that the increased capacity of remdesivir could save as many as 6,862 lives per month as the country”s cases peak and the drug could prevent the deaths of as many as 13,647 South Africans by December.

The mortality rate for Covid-19 in ICUs varies from country to country and hospital to hospital, so the number of lives saved from increased ICU capacity would also vary, the study said.

The research team has been modelling South Africa”s Covid epidemic to help the country”s government make informed decisions, and previously predicted that the country”s ICU capacity could be overwhelmed as early as this month. “The hardest-hit province, the Western Cape, exceeded ICU capacity in June,” the study authors informed.

Earlier this month, the European Commission had authorised anti-viral drug remdesivir for the treatment against coronavirus, making it the first drug authorised at the European Union level for the treatment of Covid-19.

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