How screen time impacts boys and girls differently

Agencies
February 20, 2021

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Screen time affects boys and girls differently, a new study suggests that boys who play video games regularly are less likely to develop depressive symptoms whereas girls who stay active on social media platforms may experience an increased risk of depressive symptoms.

The findings indicate that boys, who played video games at age of 11 had 24 per cent fewer depressive symptoms three years later, whereas girls who used social media most on days at age 11 had 13 per cent more depressive symptoms three years later.

"Screens allow us to engage in a wide range of activities. Guidelines and recommendations about screen time should be based on our understanding of how these different activities might influence mental health and whether that influence is meaningful," said researcher Aaron Kandola from the University College London.

"While we cannot confirm whether playing video games actually improves mental health, it didn't appear harmful in our study and may have some benefits. Particularly during the pandemic, video games have been an important social platform for young people," Kandola added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, the team reviewed data from 11,341 adolescents who are part of a cohort study to investigate screen time as it is responsible for much of sedentary behaviour in adolescents.

The study participants had all answered questions about their time spent on social media, playing video games, or using the Internet, at age 11, and also answered questions about depressive symptoms, such as low mood, loss of pleasure and poor concentration, at age 14.

The team said that the effect of reduced depressive symptoms was only significant among boys with low physical activity levels. They suggest that less active boys could derive more enjoyment and social interaction from video games.

Other studies have previously found similar trends and researchers have suggested that frequent social media use could increase feelings of social isolation.

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Agencies
February 11,2021

A new research by Australia's Griffith University has found cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension are the four main comorbidities leading to Covid-19 deaths.

After analysing global databases of 375,859 participants from 14 countries, researchers from the University found chronic kidney disease was statistically the most prominent comorbidity linked to death, reports Xinhua news agency.

They also found hypertension, obesity and diabetes were the most common underlying medical conditions in Covid-19 patients.

However, unlike the other two comorbidities, obesity did not increase the risk of mortality.

"Comorbidities are frequently cited as risk factors for severe COVID-19 outcomes, however, the degree to which specific comorbidities impact the disease is debatable," said co-lead author Adam Taylor.

"This is a global study covering all comorbidities reported to be involved in the exacerbation of COVID-19 leading to death. It allows us to identify specific comorbidities that have higher risk in patients and identify COVID-19 high-risk groups."

Lead author Professor Suresh Mahlingam said Covid-19 was associated with increased clot strength, so patients with hypertension and diabetes could have a higher risk of developing life-threatening thrombotic complications.

For Covid-19 patients with chronic kidney disease, the risk of mortality was higher in cases with end-stage renal disease compared to chronic renal disease.

The researchers said further investigation is required to explain the higher prevalence of these comorbidities in infected patients.

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Agencies
February 14,2021

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New Delhi, Feb 14: Side-effects after COVID-19 vaccination — 'reactogenicity' in medical linguistic — was reported in 66% of the healthcare workers, which mostly subside within a day of their onset, said a survey conducted by noted public health experts for the Kochi chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA). A total of 5,396 healthcare professionals across India, who had received COVID-19 vaccines were surveyed for the study, which was led by Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, a gastroenterologist and former president of IMA Cochin.

In the survey, the respondents in the survey stated that the most commonly reported symptoms they experienced after immunisation were Myalgia or pain in the muscle (44%), fever (34%), headache (28%), local pain at the injection site (27%), joint pain (12%), nausea (8%) and Diarrhoea (3%). Tiredness (45%) was the most prevailing symptoms. "The occurrence of other symptoms such as sore throat, insomnia, giddiness, rigour, an allergic rash, chills, vomiting, syncope were reported 1% or less cases," study said.

It also noted that the symptoms reported by the respondents were not severe in nature or required hospitalisation. Besides, the survey also pointed out that in 90% of the cases, the symptoms were either milder than expected or met the expectation of the vaccine recipient. Experts have also pointed out that experiencing side-effects is normal in any vaccine.

My study on post vaccination symptoms among 5396 healthcare workers is available on medRxiv.

Symptoms were more among women and among younger people. Onset within 11 hours, duration mostly less than 48 hours.

Thanks Dr Ramesh Shenoy & Ms Anithadevi TS https://t.co/DzIaiAm2IN pic.twitter.com/wXKM6MU0Gr

— Rajeev Jayadevan (@RajeevJayadevan) February 13, 2021
 

Meanwhile, the survey illustrated that side effects among most of the respondents did not last beyond the duration of 24 hours of the onset. "Thirty-seven per cent (1,225) of the respondents revealed that their symptoms did not prolong more than a day while 31% showed that their symptoms lingered for 48 hours, while only 6% claimed that their symptoms stretched beyond the duration of 48 hours," the survey showed.

Speaking to IANS, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, who is one of the researchers of the survey, said that one of the key takeaways from the survey is that vaccines are safe and there is no need to fear that it will harm ones' body.

"If over 5,000 people who took it (vaccines) and reported no serious problem, then that is a considerable reassurance that the general public can take the vaccine," he said.

Another key finding of the survey was the linear correlation between age and post-vaccination symptoms suggested that the reactogenicity of the vaccine declined with age; means the chance of having post-vaccination symptoms decreased with advancing of age.

The frequency of symptoms was found highest, 81.34%, in respondents aged between 20-29 years followed by 30-39 years (79.57%), 40-49 years (67.94%), 50-59 years (58.23%), 60-69 years (44.76%), 70-79 years (33.73%), and 80-89 years (7.43%).

Jayadevan said that younger people produce a lot of inflammatory cytokines, which elicit reactogenicity (symptoms). This is why they have a vigorous response to the vaccines, whereas it is found lower in the elder population. However, he added that the reactogenicity is not considered a reliable sign of producing antibodies.

"There is a misconception among people and even healthcare professionals who believe that the symptoms are associated with the development of antibodies. Everyone responds differently to the vaccines and elicit varied levels of reactogenicity depending upon age and other factors at play. It cannot be considered as a sign to determine that one's body is producing an immune response to the vaccines," Jayadevan explained.

Dr Ramesh Shenoy, another author of the survey, who is a senior radiologist at a hospital in Kochi, Kerala, said that the conclusions derived from the survey could be that the vaccines are safe while its side-effects are mild in nature and short-lived. "The testimonies of the two-third of the respondents vouch for it," he added.

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Agencies
February 22,2021

Image result for IMA seeks explanation from Union Health Minister for promoting Patanjali's Coronil

New Delhi, Feb 22: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday demanded an explanation from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan for promoting Patanjali's Coronil Ayurvedic medicine.

"Being a Health Minister of the country, how justified is it to release such falsely fabricated unscientific product to people of the whole country and how ethical is it to promote the product in unethical, wrong and false ways," said Dr Jayalal, IMA national president.

"Let us not adulterate Ayurveda on the pretext of market gain to some monopoly corporate and create a disaster for humanity," IMA said.

IMA in the statement also said that it will write to National Medical Commission for seeking Suo moto explanation for the blatant disrespect to the code of conduct of the Medical Council of India.

As per the code of act of the Medical Council of India, it is unethical to promote any drug or to prescribe it without knowing its composition.

"It was claimed by Baba Ramdev along with Health Minister that the said Coronil Ayurvedic medicine has got WHO certification. This has been clearly denied by WHO in an official tweet. The said false and fabricated projection of an unscientific medicine by the Health Minister to the entire country and being rejected by WHO is a slap and insult to the people of the country," IMA statement reads.

The World Health Organization (WHO), however, clarified in a tweet that it has not reviewed or certified the efficacy of Patanjali's Covid-19. WHO's the regional office for South-East Asia posted on its official Twitter handle, "@WHO has not reviewed or certified the effectiveness of any traditional medicine for the treatment #Covidl9."

IMA also sought clarification on clinical trials from the health ministry.
"Being a Health Minister of the country and a modern medicine doctor, can you clarify the scientific results of the clinical trials, if any, for the so-called clinical trial of this said anti-corona product promoted by you?" it asked.

Founder of Patanjali Ayurved Limited Baba Ramdev launched Coronil, a medicine which he claims is the first evidence-based medicine for Covid-19.

Baba Ramdev also said this so-called Coronil to be used for prevention, treatment as well as post-Covid phase treatment. It was mentioned that the said medicine is the first evidence-based medicine.

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