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Anxiety rates due to job insecurity similar among men, women

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All you need to know about anxiety shaking.
All you need to know about anxiety shaking. Source : IANS

 Contrary to the common belief, researchers have found that men and women might experience similar rates of anxiety due to job insecurity.

As more people work temporary gigs with little protection or fear layoffs in an unstable economy, job insecurity is on the rise. These stresses understandably contribute to poor mental health and feelings of anxiety.

But given gender disparities in the workforce – women are more likely to work temporary jobs and receive lower pay – researchers were curious whether job insecurity affected men and women differently.

“Public health consequences of job insecurity need to be seriously considered, given that recent changes due to Covid-19 crisis, are likely to result in a higher prevalence of workers, both males and females, feeling threatened by involuntary job loss,” said study researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Sociology, analysed data from the European Working Conditions Survey, looking at results from 2005, 2010 and 2015.

The survey asked people to what extent they thought they might lose their job in the next six months and whether they had experienced anxiety over the last 12 months.

The study found that, in Europe, men and women actually reacted to job insecurity fairly similarly. Female workers reported similar rates of anxiety due to an insecure job to their male counterparts.

This may be due to trends towards gender egalitarianism in Europe.

But while women and men might be affected at similar rates, the researchers said that job insecurity is very much still a real concern.

In order to analyse whether the threat of job insecurity was more pronounced in certain European countries due to socioeconomic, cultural, or political variables, the team used multilevel modelling analyses.

They found few cross-national differences in their results, meaning the relationship between job insecurity and anxiety did not vary between countries.

“The study was limited by the fact that all data were self-reported and taken at a single time point, so cause-and-effect cannot be determined,” the researchers wrote.

The findings have practical implications for both policymakers and employers and suggest that generous and more effective active labour market programmes are needed in order to address perceived job insecurity and its associated mental health challenges.

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Health

Chronic jet lag may create cancer conditions: Study

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High-Fibre Diet May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
High-Fibre Diet May Lower Colon Cancer Risk

London, Oct 15 (IANS) Chronic jet lag alters the microenvironment surrounding tumour cells, making it more favourable for tumour growth, and also hinders the body’s natural immune defences, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal ‘Science Advances’, also helps explain why some tumours win the race when a person is exposed to the chronically stressful conditions that occur when the environment and the body’s clocks are misaligned.

“A key takeaway from this study is that if someone has a proliferative disorder, in this case, melanoma, doing shift work or regularly changing time zones could exacerbate the problem by dampening immune system response to tumour growth,” said study author Diego Golombek from the National University of Quilmes in Argentina.

According to the researchers, every cell in your body has its own set of molecular clocks — a series of genes, proteins, and signalling chemicals that set the pace for cell growth, division, and decay.

In cancer cells, these clocks are often altered, which allows the tumour to set its own pace for rapid, unchecked proliferation.

The researchers wanted to know how chronic jet lag impacts the microenvironment surrounding cancer cells and examined two groups of mice that were injected with melanoma cells.

The first group was exposed to a normal circadian schedule: 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. The second group’s light and dark exposure were shifted by six hours every two days — the equivalent of roaming across 21 time zones per week.

A month later, the scientists observed that the tumours in the jet-lagged group were roughly three times the size of the control group.

They also examined samples from the microenvironment surrounding the tumour, the spleen, which produces immune cells, and the liver.

The researchers found peculiar contrasts in how the immune system responded to the tumour.

For example, the levels of different types of immune cells called macrophages were inverted to be more prone to accept tumour growth in the jet-lagged group.

Similarly, the rhythms of other immune cells and molecules, including cytokines, were disrupted.

Even though the tumours didn’t spread into their neighbouring organ, the liver, or the spleen, the scientists observed that the circadian variations in the immune system in both of these organs were deregulated.

“We combined two different approaches of chronobiology research to study the effects of circadian desynchronization on both tumour growth and immune rhythms, and we found a link,” Golombek noted.

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Even mild fatty liver disease may up death risk: Study

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Liver
Liver

In a major study, researchers have found an increased risk of death in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis.

The study, published in the journal Gut, show that mortality increases with disease severity, but even mild fatty liver disease is linked to higher mortality.

Small clinical studies have demonstrated that among patients with NAFLD, advanced liver fibrosis is the most important histological predictor of mortality, but until now, population-level data have been missing from cohorts with liver histology.

“This is the first nationwide cohort study with detailed liver histology data to confirm that NAFLD contributes to an increased risk of all-cause mortality,” said study first author Tracey G Simon from the Massachusetts General Hospital in the US.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is often caused by obesity and affects nearly 25 per cent of the US and European adults. It represents the most common cause of chronic liver disease in Western countries.

For the current results, the research team matched 10,568 individuals with biopsy-confirmed NAFLD to general population controls through Sweden’s comprehensive, nationwide registers.

They found that all stages of NAFLD were associated with excess mortality risk, even early stages of disease.

This risk was driven primarily by deaths from extra-hepatic cancer and cirrhosis, while the risks of cardiovascular mortality or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) mortality were relatively modest.

Patients with NAFLD had a 93 per cent increased risk of all-cause mortality, but the numbers varied with disease severity.

The risk increased progressively from the mildest form of NAFLD (simple steatosis), to non-fibrotic steatohepatitis (NASH), to non-cirrhotic fibrosis and to severe NAFLD with liver cirrhosis.

These findings should be used to develop more targeted interventions designed to reduce mortality, in patients with NAFLD,” Simon said.

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Herd immunity is dangerous and flawed approach: Lancet

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The Truth Behind Herd Immunity. (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
The Truth Behind Herd Immunity. (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

The idea of using herd immunity approach to manage Covid-19 — by allowing immunity to develop in low-risk populations while protecting the most vulnerable — is “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by the scientific evidence”, say a new letter signed by 80 international researchers.

According to the open letter published in the journal The Lancet, the experts stated that it is critical to act decisively and urgently.

The authors acknowledge that ongoing restrictions have understandably led to widespread demoralisation and diminishing trust among the public and that in the face of the second wave of infection there is renewed interest in so-called natural herd immunity approaches.

They stressed that any pandemic management strategy relying upon immunity from natural infections for Covid-19 is flawed.

They explained that uncontrolled transmission in younger people risks significant ill-health and death across the whole population – with real-world evidence from many countries showing that it is not possible to restrict uncontrolled outbreaks to certain sections of society, and it is practically impossible to isolate large swathes of the population.

Instead, they said that special efforts to protect the most vulnerable are essential, but must go hand-in-hand with multi-pronged population-level strategies.

They also stated that there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection, and warned that this waning immunity as a result of natural infection would not end the Covid-19 but instead result in repeated waves of transmission over several years.

They said that this could place vulnerable populations at risk for the indefinite future, as natural infection-based herd immunity strategies would result in recurrent epidemics, as seen with many infectious diseases before mass vaccination.

Instead, the authors call for the suppression of the virus until the population can be vaccinated.

The authors also warn that natural infection-based herd immunity approaches risk impacting the workforce as a whole and overwhelming the ability of healthcare systems to provide acute and routine care.

They noted that “we still do not understand who might suffer from ‘long Covid’, and that herd immunity approaches place an unacceptable burden on healthcare workers, many of whom have died from Covid-19.

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Eating disorders may lead to body dysmorphia: Study

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Overeating
Overeating

Researchers have found that people with eating disorders are 12 times more likely to be preoccupied with perceived flaws in their physical appearance than those without.

According to the researchers, body dysmorphia can result in anxiety, stress and reduced quality of life.

“While sufferers of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa, share similar traits to those with body dysmorphia, research into any correlation between the two is sparse,” said study author Mike Trott from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK.

“Healthcare professionals working with people with body dysmorphia should screen them for eating disorders regularly, as this research shows a strong correlation between the two,” Trott added.

For the study, published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders, the research team surveyed more than 1,600 health club members recruited via social media.

They found the number of people with body dysmorphic disorder – a mental condition marked by obsession with perceived flaws in appearance which are not noticed by others – was 12 times higher among people with suspected eating disorders.

Around 30 per cent of participants had indicated eating disorders, and the researchers noted that 76 per cent of those people also suffered from body dysmorphia.

The paper also found no significant associations between body dysmorphia, sexuality and social media use, although there was association with gender, with women being more likely to show symptoms of body dysmorphia.

“This study provides more evidence of the complex relationship that exists between body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders,” the researchers wrote.

“Furthermore, it is recommended that people working with body dysmorphia should screen for eating disorders due to the high morbidity associated with eating disorders,” they noted.

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Hookah bars banned in Chandigarh

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Hookah
Hookah

The Chandigarh administration on Tuesday imposed a ban on hookah bars, saying they lead to transmission of coronavirus.

An order issued by District Magistrate Mandip Singh Brar said that it has been made to appear that hookah bars are operational in Chandigarh in a clandestine way and they are serving flavoured hookahs, including tobacco molasses containing nicotine, which is highly injurious to health.

Any person violating the order shall be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

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Kasturba Hospital doctors to go on strike over unpaid salaries

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Chennai: Doctors of government hospitals in Tamil Nadu go on indefinite strike demanding pay parity, in Chennai on Oct 25, 2019. Around 17,000 doctors went on strike affecting thousands of patients in both out- and in- patients department in government hospitals across the state. Besides pay parity with their counterparts in the central government, the doctors are also demanding non-reduction of the number of doctors and time-bound promotion to be implemented. (Photo: IANS)
Chennai: Doctors of government hospitals in Tamil Nadu go on indefinite strike demanding pay parity, in Chennai on Oct 25, 2019. Around 17,000 doctors went on strike affecting thousands of patients in both out- and in- patients department in government hospitals across the state. Besides pay parity with their counterparts in the central government, the doctors are also demanding non-reduction of the number of doctors and time-bound promotion to be implemented. (Photo: IANS)

The Resident Doctors Association of North Delhi Municipal Corporation-run Kasturba Hospital has decided to go on strike from Wednesday for a week over non-payment of salaries and threatened to resign if salaries are not disbursed.

In a letter to the Medical Superintendent, RDA President Sunil Kumar Prasad wrote, “This is for the information that all the resident doctors are going on a total strike for tomorrow onwards due to non-payment of resident doctors’ salaries since July 2020.”

The association added, “We would like to inform you that we will be on strike for the next 7 days or till our all the salaries will be credited. After 20.02.2020, all residents will give mass resignation. Kindly take this letter under consideration since tomorrow onwards all the emergency services will be stopped.”

This came after another civic body-run Hindu Rao Hospital withdrew from work on Sunday after the administration failed to meet the deadline for releasing their salaries. More than 200 resident doctors and 300 nursing staff are on an indefinite strike since October 5.

Both hospitals fall under the jurisdiction of the BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

A political slugfest is currently on between Mayor of North MCD, Jai Prakash, and the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government over the delay in payment of salaries.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had recently hit out at the BJP for its failure in paying salaries to hospital staff, urging them to hand over the health units to the Delhi government if it is not able to meet the demands. The Mayor, on the other hand, called them out for playing politics on the sensitive issue while keeping the public in the dark.

Speaking to IANS, Kasturba Hospital’s RDA President said that they have been getting irregular salaries from the last four years, but the situation became serious during the Coronavirus pandemic. “The matter has now become a mere political football,” said Dr. Sunil Kumar Prasad.

He added, “If MCD does not have money, they must arrange it from the Centre or Delhi government. Besides this, the hospital should be handed-over to the Delhi government if MCD is not able to pay off the salaries.”

Dr. Prasad rued that crores which were spent to give respect to the corona warriors should have been utilized to pay off their salaries. “We work and salary is our basic right. I also request the government to bring in the salary protection act,” he further said.

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