Are we ready for longer lives … and more years of bad health?

Are we ready for longer lives … and more years of bad health? Photo: Nora Tam

Last week, The Lancet medical journal published a series on the global burden of disease. One paper was an analysis of global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010.

Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 2:41am

Health bites

Patients who had higher consumption of snack foods - such as fast food snacks, chips, or fried snacks - were twice as likely to develop colorectal polyps (precancerous lesions) as patients with lower intakes of snack foods.

Even if family history puts you at a high risk of cancer, research shows a healthy lifestyle could help. A new study has found that loading up on snack foods may increase cancer risk in individuals with Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that increases one's risk of developing colorectal, endometrial and other cancers at an early age. 

31 Dec 2012 - 5:17pm

Obesity may not be bad for your health, says expert

Dr Lucy Aphramor, HAES UK. Photo: Nora Tam

Health officials, educators and governments the world over are up in arms over what they see as an obesity epidemic. Changing diets, a growing dependence on processed foods, and modern conveniences have done away with the necessity for much physical exertion.

18 Dec 2012 - 9:28am 3 comments

Demand still great 20 years after Hong Kong's first heart transplant operation

Hong Kong's first heart transplant recipient, Chiu Wan-hoi (centre), at the Academy of Medicine in Aberdeen. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Hong Kong's first heart transplant recipient marked the 20th anniversary of his operation with an appeal for more people to register as organ donors.

Chiu Wan-hoi, 68, talked about his experience at an event hosted by the Hospital Authority yesterday, saying he was thankful to be given 20 more years - and counting - to enjoy life.

17 Dec 2012 - 4:15am

MRSA cases at public hospitals level off; further reduction difficult

The number of cases of the drug-resistant superbug MRSA remains steady at public hospitals, but may be reaching a point where further reduction is difficult, the Hospital Authority warns.

15 Dec 2012 - 3:14am

China Digest, December 13, 2012

Following the incident last week in which a man run over by a truck died in an ambulance that became stuck in traffic, the Beijing Emergency Medical Centre said it would work more closely with the city's traffic authorities to avoid similar problems, Beijing Daily reports.

13 Dec 2012 - 4:28am

1 in 5 primary school children in the city overweight

The obesity rate among primary pupils was 20.9 per cent this year; that's more than 60,000 children of some 300,000 children. Photo: David Wong

One in five children in the city are obese - despite a slight drop in the percentage compared to last year - the Health Department said yesterday

13 Dec 2012 - 2:18pm

WHO demands urgent smoking controls to curb number of deaths

Smoking kills an estimated 1.2 million mainlanders each year. Photo: Reuters

The World Health Organisation has called for the urgent introduction of tobacco controls on the mainland to curb non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the biggest cause of deaths in China.

NCDs - chronic problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and lung disease - account for 83 per cent of deaths on the mainland and smoking is a major risk factor.

8 Dec 2012 - 4:41am

Don't blame the sick

Don't blame the sick. Photo: Nora Tam

If people can make themselves healthy, should we blame them for getting sick? That is the question raised not only by broadening acceptance of the idea that people should assume some responsibility for their health, but also by the exciting new trend towards patient empowerment.

7 Dec 2012 - 4:20am

Hong Kong sees record rise in HIV infections in third quarter

World Aids Day was marked on Saturday. Photo: Xinhua

The city saw a record number of new HIV infections in the three months to the end of September.

5 Dec 2012 - 10:27am

Inequalities erode foundations of Asia's growth

A worker walks with a spade as others lay iron bars for a bridge under construction in the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Photo: AP

Developing Asia's impressive growth continues, but faces a new challenge - rising inequality. Over the past few decades, the region has lifted people out of poverty at an unprecedented rate. But more recent experience contrasts with the "growth with equity" story that characterised the transformation of the newly industrialised economies in the 1960s and 1970s.

5 Dec 2012 - 2:15am

Warning for doctor who removed salivary gland instead of tumour

A surgeon with 33 years of clinical experience who mistakenly removed a patient's salivary gland instead of a tumour escaped with a reprimand yesterday.

The patient - who now has problems producing saliva and was severely distressed after the blunder more than four years ago - was not happy with the Medical Council's decision.

3 Dec 2012 - 6:24am 1 comment

Occurrence of multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis grows

Tuberculosis is increasingly difficult to treat as the disease grows more resistant to drugs. Some 120,000 cases are diagnosed on the mainland each year. Photo: SCMP

Those fighting tuberculosis (TB) say it is better not to treat the disease than to treat it badly, because doing so just produces more powerful, drug-resistant bacteria, making the world's second-most fatal disease stronger by the day.

3 Dec 2012 - 5:57am 1 comment

Pilot project on mainland helps identify more patients with TB

Pilot project on mainland helps identify more patients with TB

The World Health Organisation recommends that diabetes patients be screened for TB - because diabetes triples the risk of developing TB - and that TB patients also be screened for diabetes.

3 Dec 2012 - 5:57am

Shenzhen abortions hold high risks for Hong Kong women

The number of legal terminations recorded in Hong Kong has gone down from more than 20,000 in 2001, to around 11,000 in 2010.

While pregnant women from the mainland have flocked to Hong Kong to give birth at the city's top-notch hospitals, thousands of pregnant Hongkongers are making the reverse journey - for a rather different reason.

3 Dec 2012 - 10:29am