Tag Archives: Medicine / Health

Tabba Heart Institute and IHME work together to improve health | Instant News

PICTURE: THI heart specialists serving heart patients using COVID-19 protection
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Credit: Courtesy of the Tabba Heart Institute

SEATTLE AND KARACHI (28 October 2020) – Tabba Heart Institute (THI) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine partner to increase public knowledge and inform cardiovascular health policymakers in Pakistan by collecting and sharing data , leveraging their expertise in health metrics science to provide more accurate estimates of the national and provincial burden of cardiovascular disease in Pakistan.

The THI faculty, a dedicated heart care center in Karachi, will:

  • Provides technical expertise to guide cardiovascular disease estimates at the provincial and national levels of the country in Pakistan,
  • Coordinates data collection efforts through the Institute’s cardiovascular disease registries, and
  • Integrate cardiovascular care into the analysis of IHME heart disease studies.

Faculty and staff at IHME will analyze this data to produce a better estimate of cardiovascular disease in Pakistan and help disseminate the results to stakeholder groups.

“Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death both globally and in Pakistan, surprisingly there is surprisingly little data available on its burden domestically. Therefore, this partnership with THI has the potential to help explain important health differences across several dimensions – age, sex and location, “said Dr. Gregory Roth, who leads cardiovascular disease modeling for the IHME Global Disease Burden Study.

Over the past 20 years, ischemic heart disease has been the leading cause of premature death and overall ill health in Pakistan. Without additional data on this issue, policymakers need more detailed information and comprehensive analysis to make better decisions about allocating resources for preventive care and treatment.

THI will be the first Pakistani organization to produce population-level cardiovascular health estimates for the Sindh Province and across Pakistan.

“We at THI appreciate this collaboration with IHME. THI is committed not only to excellent patient care, but also to leveraging our cardiovascular data to improve public health and research the burden of cardiovascular disease at the population level, “said THI Executive Director Dr. Bashir Hanif.

“There are significant global differences in survival rates for cardiovascular disease. By partnering with THI, we have a great opportunity to extract unique data and provide insightful analysis to better understand cardiovascular health in Pakistan,” said Dr. Roth.

The annual Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is a systematic and scientific effort to measure the magnitude of the health costs of all major illnesses, injuries, and risk factors by age, sex and population. With more than 5,000 collaborators in nearly 150 countries and territories, the GBD study examines more than 300 diseases and injuries. The estimates generated are used around the world to direct resources, identify gaps in data availability, and focus attention on policy makers, donors and other stakeholders.

“IHME has been working with partners in Pakistan to produce analyzes of GBD at the provincial level over the past two years, but this partnership with THI provides a unique opportunity to illuminate the emergence of non-communicable diseases and help policymakers identify relevant steps in improving cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad of IHME.


Contact: [email protected]

About the Tabba Heart Institute

Tabba Heart Institute (THI) is a heart-specific standalone facility providing acute care and comprehensive outpatient services for adult patients with cardiovascular disease in Karachi, Pakistan. This institution was founded in 2005 as a non-profit organization. THI has two satellite centers for outpatient services, one in Karachi and the other in Hyderabad. At THI, our goal is to provide the highest level of cardiac care in a professional and ethical manner. The institutional vision is to become one of the leading regional centers in cardiovascular care and clinical research.

About the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research organization at the University of Washington School of Medicine that provides rigorous, comparable measurements of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME is committed to transparency and making this information widely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about allocating resources to improve population health.

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Swiss fatalism protects against negative feelings in a pandemic | Instant News

Confidence or disillusionment in government crisis management is an important factor for general mood, said a study by the University of Zurich based on surveys in Israel and Switzerland. In late April, Israelis were twice as disappointed with their government institutions during the pandemic as were Swiss citizens. In Switzerland, certain fatalism is designed to reduce negative feelings.

A socio-psychological clinical study by the University of Zurich has examined the development of negative emotions and moods during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of April researchers interviewed about 600 people from all age groups in both Switzerland and Israel. They first examined the extent of the pandemic-related risks and limitations to daily life experienced to date in each country. No differences between the two countries were found in this regard: According to their own estimates, Swiss and Israeli respondents were both affected by the risk of infection or quarantine measures.

A more negative mood in Israel

Nevertheless, Israel reported finding the situation more aggravating and experiencing more negative feelings than Switzerland. To find out the reasons, this study focuses on perceptions of loss of control, fatalism and feelings of disappointment or betrayal by government institutions themselves. “The main cause of negative feelings and moods associated with Covid-19 is people being disappointed with their own government agencies,” said Prof Andreas Maercker from the Department of Psychology at UZH. “In a threatening situation like a pandemic, people look to public authorities, whose responsibilities include supporting and protecting individuals. If the support provided is insufficient, this is a source of serious concern.”

Loss of control and fatalism

According to the study, interventions that help people feel they can protect themselves from the virus have the potential to mitigate negative effects – but only in Israel. In Switzerland that is not the case. When it comes to accepting one’s own fate, a fatalistic stance is more visible in Israel, but it doesn’t affect how afraid Israelis are of Covid-19. “For Swiss people, however, giving in to fate goes hand in hand with less fear of Covid-19. Therefore, fatalism appears to have a protective effect during the pandemic in Switzerland,” said first author Rahel Bachem. According to the authors, these social psychological differences between the two countries are based on the fact that Israel must live with a sense of permanent threat in its country and therefore generally think more fatalistic, regardless of the current Covid-19 threat. There was no correlation between fatalism and negative mood among the population. This is an interesting scientific finding, as fatalism is generally considered a mental health risk factor in emergency situations. However, this did not happen during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The importance of well-planned crisis management

The study shows how important the actions of government agencies are during a pandemic crisis. For Maercker, this underscores the importance of trust in the government’s crisis measures. In addition, even though Covid-19 is a global phenomenon, prevention and intervention strategies must be adapted to the local context.


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The personal and financial costs of ADHD in Australia are revealed | Instant News

PICTURE: Researchers have uncovered key factors that can improve outcomes in children with ADHD, a disorder that costs Australia US $ 13 billion annually in social and economic costs.
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Credit: Oksana Mizina

Researchers have uncovered key factors that can improve outcomes in children with ADHD, a disorder that costs Australia US $ 13 billion annually in social and economic costs.

The research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and published in Pediatrics, highlighting the importance of identifying difficulties in academic, behavioral and social functioning in the first years of school and empowering teachers and parents to intervene early on.

That Attention Distraction Journal The study, led by the Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AAPDA) and Deloitte Access Economics in collaboration with MCRI researchers, reveals for the first time the true social and economic costs of ADHD to Australian society.

The financial and non-financial costs of ADHD in Australia were US $ 12.75 billion or US $ 14,575 per person during the 2018/2019 financial year.

MCRI Associate Professor Daryl Efron said little quality evidence existed about the factors that influence ADHD symptoms change and the disorder over time.

That Pediatrics The study followed 477 children at age seven from the Children’s Attention Project for three years, and tracked their performance in various areas compared to children without ADHD. Only a small proportion of participants had been treated with medication.

The study found that children with ADHD who had poor working memory (limited capacity to store temporary information) at age seven tended to have worse academic performance at age 10 whereas the severity of ADHD symptoms was associated with the outcome of their emotional behavior. Children with ADHD who also had autism spectrum disorder symptoms at age seven had worse emotional and social functioning at age 10.

Associate Professor Efron said that providing children with ADHD continue to experience problems, early identification and treatment can help improve outcomes.

“The predictors for those who had significantly worse outcomes regardless of whether the children met diagnostic ADHD criteria, suggest doctors should monitor children for symptoms even when they are below the diagnostic threshold,” he said.

“Our results suggest that a broad clinical approach is needed to manage ADHD that includes not only symptom management, but also identification and management of other conditions that often co-occur with ADHD.”

Associate Professor Efron said research shows children with ADHD who experience academic delays can be identified by teachers without the need for formal assessments, which can speed up intervention.

Before Attention Distraction Journal There is no international research paper that comprehensively maps the social and economic costs of ADHD across multiple areas and includes both children and adults.

AADPA President Professor Mark Bellgrove said the data would help explain ADHD as a serious mental health condition in Australia and would hopefully improve public policy.

The study found the total financial costs associated with ADHD in Australia to be around US $ 7.45 billion. Total finance includes productivity losses (mostly due to absenteeism, attendance and reduced employment) of US $ 6 billion, health system costs US $ 321.1 million, education costs US $ 74.1 million, crime and the justice system cost US $ $ 215 million and incurred dead weight loss. of the need to collect taxes to fund government spending on services and programs and reduce tax revenues is US $ 790.9 million.

The non-financial costs of loss of well-being associated with decreased quality of life and premature death related to ADHD totaled US $ 5.31 billion.

MCRI and Deakin University Associate Professor Emma Sciberras said the sizeable socio-economic impact and burden of ADHD should drive investment and policy decisions to improve ADHD identification and treatment.

“These data demonstrate the considerable public health significance of ADHD and the need for expansion of clinical services for the condition, as well as increased research investment,” he said.

In Australia 3.2 percent (814,500) of people and one in 20 children have ADHD.

MCRI and Professor David Coghill from the University of Melbourne say many of the structural challenges facing ADHD services must be addressed quickly.

“One of the specific barriers to care facing young people with ADHD is the high risk of treatment interruption when switching from pediatric services to adolescents and / or adults,” he said.

“The complex reasons for this include poor transition planning, lack of available services and trained professionals in the area, other life transitions occurring at the same time, and shifts during adolescence towards increased independence.

“There is also a need to improve screening approaches that can identify those at risk for ADHD early in life, which will greatly help reduce the associated costs and burdens.”

Professor Coghill said with 81 percent of the financial costs due to lost productivity, more workplace support is needed to help those with ADHD.

“Treatment is likely to produce many functional benefits and in addition workplace adjustments could be considered, however, more research is needed to demonstrate the real-world effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of such an approach,” he said.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Monash University, La Trobe University, the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration in the UK, The University of Sydney, Joondalup Child Development Center, University of Western Australia, Deloitte Access Economics, Metro North Mental Health Service, Brisbane, QIMRB Research Institute Herston, Queensland Center for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Children’s Hospital in Westmead and Hollywood Specialist Center, Western Australia, also contributed to one or both studies.


Publications: Daryl Efron, Jan M. Nicholson, Vicki Anderson, Tim Silk, Obioha C Ukoumunne, Alisha Gulenc, Philip Hazell, Brad Jongeling and Emma Sciberras. ‘ADHD at Age 7 and Functional Disorders at Age 10,’ Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1542 / peds. 2020-1061

Publications: Emma Sciberras, Jared Streatfeild, Tristan Ceccato, Lynne Pezzullo, James G. Scott, Christel M. Middeldorp, Paul Hutchins, Roger Paterson, Mark A Bellgrove and David Coghil. ‘The Social and Economic Costs of Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorders across the Ages,’ Attention Distraction Journal. DOI: 10.1177 / 1087054720961828

* The contents of this communication are solely the responsibility of MCRI and do not reflect the views of NHMRC.

Available for interview:

Associate Professor Daryl Efron

Associate Professor Emma Sciberras

Professor David Coghill


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$ 14 million in grant to support Pacific Island cancer research | Instant News

PICTURE: Pacific Island Partnership for Health Equality Leaders at the Program Steering Committee Meeting held in February 2019 at the University of Guam. (From left) Neal A. Palafox, UHCC; Engelberta …
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Credit: University of Guam

The University of Guam and the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center have each been awarded a five-year grant totaling more than $ 14 million to reduce the impact of cancer on the Pacific Islands through cancer research, career training, and community outreach. The collaboration between the two universities, known as the Pacific Island Partnership for Cancer Health Equity (PIPCHE), will be funded by the National Cancer Institute until 31 August 2025.

Funds from PIPCHE are used to support the research infrastructure needed to address significant cancer health disparities in the Pacific.

“PIPCHE has been truly transformational for research here at UOG for this region,” said Rachael Leon Guerrero, Ph.D., RD, principal investigator of the grant and vice-chancellor of research and sponsored programs at the University of Guam. “Prior to PIPCHE, there was very little cancer and health-related research going on that was relevant to the Guam population. Now we have several federal research grants studying cancer, childhood obesity, cardiometabolic health, and dementia.”

PIPCHE is the only NCI-funded Pacific-based partnership addressing cancer disparities in other US-affiliated Hawai’i, Guam and Pacific Island communities, which include the Northern Mariana Islands, American Sāmoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau . It also provides research training for students and early career scientists while engaging the public in outreach activities to advance knowledge, awareness, behavior change and public health policies in Guam and Hawai’i.

“We are using cancer research as a platform to bring equity and resilience to indigenous Pacific peoples,” said Neal A. Palafox, MD, MPH, UH Cancer Center researcher and principal investigator of the grant at UHCC. “… The investment has brought cancer researchers and scientific leaders native to the Pacific, relevant Pacific-based interventions for addressing cancer disparities, and has increased the capacity for both institutions to understand and achieve cancer health justice in the Pacific.”

The first PIPCHE grant was awarded to the University of Guam and the UH Cancer Center in 2003.Since then, the fund has supported 25 research projects, trained more than 100 underrepresented students and early career scientists, contributed to more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, and , in the last cycle alone, raised more than $ 34 million in additional external funding to explore research questions unique to the Pacific region.

“17 years have been an exciting and eye-opening journey,” said Palafox.

Cancer prevention and control in the Pacific is a joint mission between the UH Cancer Center, the University of Guam, and their collaborators. PIPCHE provides a platform to do more than any agency alone can accomplish.

This partnership effort was directed by Leon Guerrero and Palafox as well as the Dean of the UOG Health Faculty Margaret Hattori-Uchima, Ph.D., RN, and Director of the UH Cancer Center Randall Holcombe, MD, MBA, along with other teams. than 50 investigators and staff at partner institutions.


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From San Diego to Italy, research shows that wisdom can protect against loneliness | Instant News

Over the past few decades, there has been a growing concern about loneliness at all ages, especially in middle-aged and older adults. Loneliness, defined as a feeling of isolation or insufficient meaningful personal connections, is consistently associated with unhealthy aging and has been identified as a major risk factor for overall adverse health outcomes.

In a recent cross-cultural study, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Rome La Sapienza examined middle-aged and older adults in San Diego and Cilento, Italy and found loneliness and wisdom had strong negative correlations.

Study published in the online issue October 1, 2020 Aging and Mental Health, suggesting wisdom may be a protective factor against loneliness.

“An important finding from our study was a significant inverse correlation between loneliness and wisdom. People with higher scores on the measure of wisdom were less lonely and vice versa,” said Dilip V. Jeste, MD, lead investigator of the study, senior associate dean of the Center of Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

“Loneliness is consistently associated with poor general health, poorer sleep quality and less happiness, whereas the converse is generally true for wisdom.”

Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale and the San Diego Wisdom Scale, the researchers examined four groups: adults aged 50 to 65 and those older than 90 from Cilento and from San Diego. The researchers found an inverse correlation between loneliness and wisdom in all four groups.

“We translated the rating scales for loneliness and wisdom from English into Italian. It is remarkable that the findings associated with these two traits were largely similar in two very different cultures – rural areas in southern Italy and urban / suburban areas in America. States, both with distinct native languages ​​and unique historical, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, “says Salvatore Di Somma, MD, PhD, lead Italian researcher and professor of emergency medicine at the University of Rome La Sapienza.

The Cilento region in southwest Italy is a relatively isolated rural area believed to have a concentration of individuals older than 90 years. This research was born from the Cilento Initiative on Aging Outcome (CIAO) study which was launched in 2016.

“Both loneliness and wisdom are personality traits. Most of the personality traits are inherited partly and partly determined by the environment,” says Jeste.

Wisdom has several components, such as empathy, compassion, self-reflection, and emotional regulation. Researchers found that empathy and compassion had the strongest inverse correlation with loneliness. People who are more compassionate are less lonely.

“If we can increase someone’s affection, wisdom will increase and feelings of loneliness will decrease,” says David Brenner, MD, vice chancellor of UC San Diego Health Sciences. “At UC San Diego, we have a great interest in increasing empathy and compassion to reduce stress levels and increase happiness and well-being.”

Jeste said studies examining how to reduce loneliness with age will be critical to effective interventions and future health care.

“Routine assessment of loneliness with evidence-based and compassionate interventions for the prevention and management of loneliness should be an integral part of clinical practice. So how do you increase compassion? Utilizing approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy or writing in a gratitude diary can help a person. be more compassionate, “he said.

Jeste noted that the limitation of this study was that it was cross-sectional. Only longitudinal studies can establish a cause-and-effect relationship. Next steps will include testing interventions to increase affection to reduce loneliness.


Co-authors include: Ellen Lee, Tanya Nguyen, Rebecca Daly, Jinyuan Liu, Xin Tu, Douglas Ziedonis, and Danielle Glorioso, all at UC San Diego; Mara Scalcione and Alice Biaggi from the University of Rome; and Paola Antonini, GREAT Health Science, Italy.

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