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Health & Fitness

  • Heart disease: know your risks

    Heart disease: know your risks

    Most of us have a family member or friend who has suffered a heart attack or a stroke. For some, this was fortunately a one-time event, but if one is not careful the proba­bility is that it can happen again. Many would say: “That could have been...

  • Stop measuring obesity with a ruler: we've found a much better way

    Stop measuring obesity with a ruler: we've found a much better way

    For over a century, we have relied on a simplistic measure to determine if someone is a “healthy” weight or not. This is the body mass index (BMI) – the ratio of a person’s weight to the square of their height. The limits of this ratio are clearly...

  • The phone call that could literally change your life

    The phone call that could literally change your life

    When 66-year-old Mary Vella received a call for the National Breast Screening, she accepted the appointment and gave it little thought. Having no reason to believe there was anything amiss, she viewed it more as a routine test, optional, almost.

  • Keeping abreast of latest techniques

    Keeping abreast of latest techniques

    It is important to raise awareness on breast cancer and learn more about what detection methods are available. Because there is good scientific evidence that regular breast imaging detects breast cancer at an early stage (when there are no lumps...

  • In crackdown, US seeks details on new electronic cigarettes

    In crackdown, US seeks details on new electronic cigarettes

    Faced with a proliferation of new electronic cigarettes and a sharp rise in teen vaping, the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday sent letters to 21 electronic cigarette manufacturers seeking information to assess whether the products are...

  • Caesarean births almost double worldwide

    Caesarean births almost double worldwide

    Rates of caesarean section births almost doubled between 2000 and 2015 – from 12 to 21 percent worldwide - new research has found, with the life-saving surgery unavailable to many women in poor countries while often over-used in richer ones. The...

  • Why some women feel sad when they breastfeed

    Why some women feel sad when they breastfeed

    As a health visitor, you get used to friends with babies asking questions about sleep, feeding and dirty nappies. Usually, these are straightforward, or you can at least direct people to the right help. But every once in a while, you get asked...

  • World Mental Health Day: Focus on young people

    World Mental Health Day: Focus on young people

    Saturday, 4pm, two weeks ago. The police call the 24/7 crisis line. A young man called them saying he left a goodbye note on his bed and is going to end his life. The reason? His parents received revealing pictures of him interacting with a woman...

  • Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030

    Mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030

    Mental health disorders are on the rise in every country in the world and could cost the global economy up to $16 trillion between 2010 and 2030 if a collective failure to respond is not addressed, according to an expert report on Tuesday. The...

  • Mindfulness meditation: 10 minutes a day improves cognitive function

    Mindfulness meditation: 10 minutes a day improves cognitive function

    fizkes/Shutterstock.com   Practising mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes a day improves concentration and the ability to keep information active in one’s mind, a function known as “working memory”. The brain achieves this by becoming more...

  • Obesity: hamsters may hold the clue to beating it

    Obesity: hamsters may hold the clue to beating it

    The global obesity crisis shows no signs of abating, and we urgently need new ways to tackle it. Consuming fewer calories and burning more energy through physical activity is a proven way to lose weight, but it’s clearly easier said than done. The...

  • The best foods to eat for a good night's sleep

    The best foods to eat for a good night's sleep

    Sleep has become widely recognised as playing a really important role in our overall health and wellness – alongside diet, stress management and exercise. Recently, researchers have been learning more about how poor sleep influences our dietary...

  • Back to school: how to deal with colds and influenza

    Back to school: how to deal with colds and influenza

    As children go back to school, so do the bugs. Is it the fact that children mingle more with each other or is it the season when more bugs are prevalent? It is a combination of both. Around this time of year, various viruses circulate until they...

  • Malta ‘leads in the field of eye refractive surgery’

    Malta ‘leads in the field of eye refractive surgery’

    The Saint James Eye Clinic is now an approved Carl Zeiss Meditec training facility, enabling it to provide training for ophthalmic surgeons worldwide in the field of eye refractive surgery. Carl Zeiss Meditec, one of the leading world suppliers of...

  • Living in silence

    Living in silence

    Malta University Consulting Ltd, in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health, University of Malta, is offering a short course specifically designed to provide both formal and informal carers with the basic knowledge, skills and practical...

  • Delay in replacing the Pap smear with HPV screening is costing lives

    Delay in replacing the Pap smear with HPV screening is costing lives

    It was established a decade ago that testing for the presence of HPV – the virus that causes cervical cancer – is a better cervical screening test than the Pap smear. Yet in England, the Pap smear is still used, and it’s costing lives. Current...

  • Tech breakthrough offers early warning system for heart attacks

    Tech breakthrough offers early warning system for heart attacks

    A new method of analysing images from CT scans can predict which patients are at risk of a heart attack years before it occurs, researchers say. The technology, developed by teams at Oxford University and institutions in Germany and the United...

  • Physical Education is just as important as any other school subject

    Physical Education is just as important as any other school subject

    Physical Education (PE) is often viewed as a marginal subject within the curriculum. And many secondary schools actively reduce PE time to make way for what are deemed more “serious” or “important” subjects. Research from the Youth Sport Trust...

  • Breathlessness: the hidden health problem leaving millions struggling

    Breathlessness: the hidden health problem leaving millions struggling

    "It just stops your life, stops you from living." This quote from an anonymous patient sums up the experience of millions of sufferers of a health problem that’s rarely recognised or even discussed, yet has a major impact on their lives. Simply...

  • Venezuelan hospital encourages 'kangaroo' baby care to spare incubators

    Venezuelan hospital encourages 'kangaroo' baby care to spare incubators

    Venezuela's largest maternity hospital is asking mothers to care for non-critical premature babies with skin-to-skin contact known as "kangaroo care" rather than in incubators, as wards struggle with a lack of equipment. At the Concepcion Palacios...