Tag Archives: obesity

Researchers suggest new indicators to measure the health impacts of air pollution | Instant News

Researchers from the IRD, CNRS and UGA took part in a European study of the source of hazardous fine particulate matter, which was coordinated by the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Switzerland). The results are published in the journal Natural on November 18, 2020, revealed the hazardous nature of atmospheric particulates due to their oxidative potential. They suggest that this indicator should be taken into account in future air quality regulatory measures to protect the health of populations worldwide.

Air pollution is responsible for several million premature deaths annually worldwide, and is one of the top five health risk factors, in addition to high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and obesity. To overcome this phenomenon, measures to limit emissions are applied above a certain threshold for mass concentration of fine particulate matter suspended in air. In addition to these quantitative control measures, scientists are trying to understand what makes atmospheric particulate matter so dangerous.

Oxidative stress that increases inflammatory reactions

In this study, the researchers showed that the number of fine particles was not the only determinant of health risk. They examined the sources of air pollution in Europe, combining measurements of atmospheric chemical composition, toxicology and oxidative potential.
This indicator is used by scientists to estimate health-related exposures to air pollution,

Certain fine particulates produce oxidative stress in the lungs, which can cause damage to cells and tissues of the human body.

Gaëlle Uzu, atmospheric biogeochemist at IRD and co-author of the study

First of all, researchers at PSI in Bern exposed cells from the human respiratory tract, known as bronchial epithelial cells, to samples of atmospheric particulate matter to test their biological response. At the same time, the Institute for Environmental Geosciences (IGE – CNRS / IRD / UGA / Grenoble INP) in Grenoble measured the oxidative potential for the same dose of particulate matter exposed to cells. The two teams were able to show that fine particles with an increased oxidative potential intensify the inflammatory response of cells, suggesting that the oxidative potential is an indicator of aerosol harm.

Health risks are increasing in major European cities

In a second step, the researchers collected various samples of atmospheric particulate matter in Switzerland. They analyzed the composition of this sample using a mass spectrometry technique developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute. “The chemical profile of each sample of material obtained in this way shows where it came from“, explains Kaspar Dällenbach, atmospheric chemist at PSI and lead author of the study.

At the same time, IGE carried out its oxidative potential measurements for all samples from five Swiss cities. Combining all of these measurements with advanced mathematical processing, it was possible to determine the oxidative potential of each emission source and use computer models to identify areas of the highest oxidative potential in Europe throughout the year. The similarity between the predicted values ​​and the annual series of oxidative potential data previously measured at various French sites by IGE allows validation of the model outside of Switzerland.

The result: metropolitan areas, such as Paris and the Po River valley in northern Italy, are critical areas for air pollution. Not only are people in urban areas exposed to higher amounts of fine particulate matter, but the particulates in these areas are also more hazardous to health than aerosols in rural areas.

Aerosols of human origin are more oxidative

This study shows that although most fine particles are composed of inorganic (or “secondary”) minerals and aerosols, such as ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate used in agriculture, the oxidative potential of fine particulate matter is mainly due to organic (or “anthropogenic”)) aerosols from wood fires and metal emissions (especially those from brake and tire wear associated with road traffic).

Therefore, to reduce air pollution, the authors suggest that steps should be taken not only to regulate the number of fine particles, but also to take into account the various particulate sources and their oxidative potential.

One of the main problems of this study is to predict health-related exposures to air pollution at the continental level, especially in the Global South where accelerated urban development will urgently require monitoring emissions to protect population health.“, said Gaëlle Uzu.


Journal reference:


image source

New Data Reveals About Global Height Trends and BMI | Instant News

A new global study reveals unhealthy growth trends in several countries, including the United States. Overall, these studies show wide variations in height and BMI among school-age children in 200 countries from 1985-2019.

Researchers from the Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factors Collaboration collected data from 2,181 population-based studies to assess height and BMI trends among individuals aged 5-19 years. Overall, the data includes 65 million participants worldwide, thus covering 98.7% of the world’s population for 2019.

Using the Bayesian hierarchical model, they estimated the mean height and mean BMI by country, year, sex, age.

So, in 2019, the countries with the highest population aged 19 were the Netherlands, Montenegro, Estonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina for boys – and the Netherlands, Montenegro, Denmark and Iceland for girls. The countries with the shortest populations were Timor-Leste, Laos, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea for boys – and Guatemala, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Timor-Leste for girls.

The estimated mean difference between these countries is ≥20 cm.

The countries with the highest BMI are the Pacific island nations, Kuwait, Bahrain, Bahamas, Chile, USA, and New Zealand for boys and girls – South Africa for girls. The countries with the lowest average BMI were India, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Ethiopia, and Chad for boys and girls – as well as Japan and Romania for girls

The estimated mean difference between these groups is about 9-10 kg / m2 (or about 25 kg).

They also reported that children aged 5 years tended to have a healthier BMI or weight compared to subsequent years as they got older.

“In some countries, children as young as 5 years old start with a height or BMI that is healthier than the global median and, in some cases, as healthy as the best performing countries, but they become less healthy than their comparators as they increase. their age by not growing. are tall (for example, boys in Austria and Barbados, and girls in Belgium and Puerto Rico) or are overweight for their height (for example, girls and boys in Kuwait, Bahrain, Fiji, Jamaica , and Mexico; and girls in South Africa and New Zealand), ”they wrote.

In contrast, they noted that children in other countries overtook their peers in terms of height or weight gain with age.

The least healthy changes, defined as gaining too little or too much weight compared to other countries, were most pronounced in many countries in sub-Sabaharan Africa, New Zealand, and the United States for both boys and girls.

The authors comment on the implications of their findings and what could potentially be revealed about child nutrition.

“The finding that children in some countries grow up healthy up to 5 years of age but do not continue throughout the school years suggests an imbalance between investing in improved nutrition and growth before age 5 and doing so in school-age children and adolescents,” they write. .

They conclude by suggesting that these findings should motivate further investment in policies and interventions aimed at supporting health growth in individuals from birth to adolescence. These measures can include improved nutritional quality, a healthier quality of life, and the provision of high-quality preventive and curative care.

Learning, “Trajectories of height and body mass indexes of school-age children and adolescents from 1985 to 2019 in 200 countries and territories: a combined analysis of 2,181 population-based studies with 65 million participants, “Published online at Lancet.


image source

Swiss startups are betting on nanotechnology to speed up cancer diagnosis | Instant News

A Swiss startup is testing devices that rely on nanotechnology to speed up cancer diagnosis, a goal shared by many researchers and entrepreneurs around the world.

Nanotechnology is a promising approach, according to the National Cancer Institute. Apart from diagnosing cancer earlier and sooner, this has the potential to assist in making treatment decisions. The hope for a nano-oncology application is that it is also less toxic than chemotherapy.

Founded in 2017, Artidist hopes his device can do both, starting with breast, lung and pancreatic cancer, according to Marija Plodinec, co-founder and CEO of the company. Artidis employs 22 people in Switzerland and the US

The Artidis device relies on proprietary nanomechanical biomarkers and clinical data analytics to diagnose cancer in biopsied tissue.

The device – also known as Artidis – relies on proprietary nanomechanical biomarkers and clinical data analytics to diagnose cancer in biopsied tissue. Biomarkers can also measure cancer aggressiveness, allowing for customized treatment.

Results were available in less than three hours, beating the days it took after a traditional biopsy, Plodinec wrote in an emailed response to questions forwarded by a spokesperson. A cancer biophysicist, Plodinec began researching the technology used by Artidis in 2008 when he was a graduate student at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

“Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women and I wanted to find a device that would reduce the stressful period of uncertainty before you receive a cancer diagnosis,” wrote Plodinec.

Since its founding three years ago, Artidis has raised $ 15.1 million in seed money from investors including Bernina Bioinvest and SMD MedicalTrade AGboth based in Switzerland.

With a view to expanding in the US, Artidis hopes to raise another $ 20 million in Series A funding by the end of 2020. The company aims to enter the market by 2022 and is currently finalizing pre-submission files for submission to US Food. and Drug Administration, says Plodinec. Hospitals and health systems will be able to buy or lease accompanying devices and software, he said.

In a study involving 545 patients in Switzerland from 2016 to 2019, Artidis proved effective in detecting breast cancer in routine clinical settings. Presented at the June meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, this study also demonstrates the potential of a tool for assessing future tumor growth.

“Secondary analysis suggests that this new technology will be able to subclassify breast cancer subtypes into more or less aggressive subgroups, which can define a patient’s treatment plan and thereby reduce over-treatment and under-treatment,” Dr. Rosemarie Burian, lead investigator of the study and a gynecologist at the Breast Center at Basel University Hospital, said in a statement announcing the results this summer.

Artidis plans to launch a multi-center study for breast cancer in the US later this year and a similar study in Europe in early 2021, Plodinec wrote. A proof-of-concept study on lung and pancreatic cancer is also scheduled to begin in early 2021.

In the US, Artidis has collaborated with MD Anderson Cancer Center at Texas Medical Center in Houston, Plodinec said, adding that the company is in talks with other US cancer centers.

“Artidis can be used to analyze any living tissue, so the potential for growth is enormous,” he wrote.

Photos: CGToolbox, Getty Images and Artidis


image source

Australians found living longer but in worse health | Australian News | Instant News

Australians are living longer but in worse health, as smoking, obesity and poor diets continue to leave people vulnerable to disease and death.

Recent findings from a study of the global burden of disease, published in the international medical journal the Lancet, analyzed 286 causes of death, 369 illness and injury, and 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories.

It found that while healthy life expectancy in Australia continued to increase from 30 years to 70 years in 2019 (an increase of 4.1 years from 1990), this figure has not increased as much as life expectancy as a whole (82.9 years in 2019; 5.9 years increased from 1990), indicating that people are living longer in poor health conditions.

The study found the top five risk factors associated with the highest number of deaths in Australia in 2019 were high blood pressure (25,500 deaths), dietary risk (21,600 deaths), tobacco use (20,100 deaths), high body mass index (18,700 deaths). , and high fasting plasma glucose, which indicates diabetes (17,700 deaths). The same risk factors were associated with reduced years of healthy living.

The 30-year study includes data up to 2019, so the impact of Covid-19 is not visible. But it does warn that the impact of a global pandemic will be exacerbated by the poor health conditions of the population in many countries, where an increase in disease causes life expectancy to slow down.

A senior study author and epidemiologist from the University of Melbourne, Prof Alan Lopez, said that Australia had been “very successful” in controlling Covid-19 cases and especially deaths despite the second wave in Victoria, it was far less successful in curbing obesity and the risks associated with it. poor diet. As a result, Australia’s long-term decline in cardiovascular disease has stalled, he said.

“Australian life expectancy hasn’t improved in the last five years,” said Lopez.

“While the urgent global public health priority is the rapid control of the Covid-19 pandemic, this finding of the state of world health is a warning that major causes of avoidable health loss are smoking, alcohol, obesity. and poor blood pressure and cholesterol control continue to claim millions of lives prematurely each year. “

“What is more concerning is that the impact of ‘cocktail’ risk factors from smoking, poor diet and inadequate control of blood pressure and other metabolic factors is increasing in many countries, including Australia, as evidenced by stagnation in life expectancy over the past five years. . “

Ischemic heart disease was the leading cause of living with disabilities for many years in Australia in 2019, followed by low back pain, falls, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depressive disorders.

Prof Christopher Murray, director of the institute for health metrics and evaluation at the University of Washington in the US, led the study, and said that most disease risk factors could be “prevented and treated” if countries began addressing social and economic inequality.

“Given the tremendous impact of social and economic development on health advancement, duplicating policies and strategies that stimulate economic growth, expand access to schools, and improve the status of women, must be a priority with us,” said Murray. “Overcoming them will bring huge social and economic benefits.”

Over the past 30 years, the overall death rate between the ages of 15 and 49 has decreased by 31% in Australia, the study found. But the death rate from drug use disorders increased substantially, by 55.2% in Australia, as did the death rate from endocrine, metabolic, blood and immune disorders (75% increase).

The Heart Foundation general manager of heart health, Bill Stavreski, said he was concerned that diabetes is one of the biggest contributors to Australia’s increasing health loss in the past 30 years. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes.

“As a nation, we cannot underestimate the impact these risk factors have on our heart health, our overall health and our ability to combat the threat of a future pandemic,” said Stavreski.


image source

Whole Foods founder blames the obesity crisis on ‘ignorance,’ not food prices – ‘We’ve opened shop in a poor area’ | Instant News

The founder of Whole Foods just said a mouthful.

John Mackey humiliated the world at large New York Times interview that hit Thursday, blaming “bad decisions” – and not health food prices – for feeding the obesity epidemic, which in turn is making the coronavirus pandemic worse, he said.

“I don’t think there’s an access problem,” said Mackey – though Morgan Stanley notes last year found that Whole Foods’ prices were 15% higher than typical grocery store prices, driven by a 30% premium on protein, such as meat. (Therefore mocking the “Whole Paycheck” moniker some shoppers have given to high-end stores that specialize in organic produce.) And about 2.3 million Americans live in the food desert more than a mile away from supermarkets and don’t own cars, according to federal data.

“It’s not about access and more about people making bad choices, mostly out of ignorance.”

– John Mackey

In contrast, Mackey said people don’t take personal responsibility for eating well. “We have opened shops in poor areas,” he said. “It’s not about access and more about people making bad choices, mostly out of ignorance.”

He also highlighted the correlation between the emerging obesity crisis over the last few decades, and the novel coronavirus pandemic which infected at least 31.92 million people and killed 977,357 globally.

“The whole world is getting fat, it’s just that Americans are on the cutting edge. We are getting fat, and we are getting sicker, “he said. “I mean, there is a very high correlation between obesity and death from Covid. And one of the reasons the United States has more problems with Covid is because of comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, they are higher in the US ”

Preliminary research Into the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has found evidence to suggest that obese people are more likely to catch the virus, be hospitalized because of it and die from it than those who are not obese. Indeed, more than seven in 10 American adults aged 20 and over are overweight or obese, according to the CDC, and the US COVID-19 caseload and definite death toll is much higher than any other country in the world. But keep in mind that there are also many other factors that may play a role in the spread of the virus, including adherence to social distancing guidelines, which we are still studying.

Mackey also noted that “we are all food addicts”, and that “Whole Foods cannot solve all the problems of the country or all the problems of the world.”

“The whole world is getting fatter … We are getting fatter, and we are getting sicker.”

– John Mackey

“People don’t realize the fact that they have a food addiction and need to do whatever it takes,” he said. “People need to be wiser about their food choices.”

Mackey also praised Amazon
+ 0.66%
which he praised for helping Whole Foods better cope with the disruption of this year’s closing pandemic. The online retailer bought Whole Foods for $ 13.4 billion in 2017, and Mackey says Whole Foods’ online sales have tripled since the coronavirus turned the global economy upside down. “Can we do that before Amazon? No way, “he said. “From the first day we joined them, they encouraged us to make the changes we needed to be more effective at online delivery.”

He also said that Whole Foods had been a “good employer” for its 100,000 workers, and had tried to keep them safe during the crisis. This happened when several workers spoke out against the company’s attendance policy during the pandemic; the points system that had gotten tighter since it was recently restored, said the Business Insider employee.

Related:The founder and CEO of Whole Foods fell in love with Amazon

Mackey also discusses why he doesn’t support the federal minimum wage. “A high minimum wage of $ 15 makes a lot of sense in certain cities. It doesn’t make sense in another place where the average salary is much lower and the average cost of living is much lower, ”he said.

But he refused to consider anything to do with President Trump. “I’m not going there,” he said. “We are very divided on politics, whatever I say will anger 50% of the population. So, my own personal politics, I keep it to myself. I am definitely not going to talk about President Trump. “

Check out the full interview here.


image source