Health News

  • New in town: Sportswear brand Hoka opens first physical store in Singapore at Ion Orchard
    by Melissa Teo on May 13, 2024 at 9:35 am

    Those into running would probably have heard of Hoka, a US sportswear brand that specialises in comfortable, chunky shoes.  Previously, their products were only available online or in partner stores like Foot Locker Orchard Gateway@Emerald and Running Lab Takashimaya.  Now finally, they have a place here to call their own.  In a press release on May 13, Hoka announced that they have opened their first official and physical outlet in Singapore at Ion Orchard. "We have been experiencing strong demand for Hoka in Singapore in the past few years, with an increased interest in running," said Prasanna Bhaskar, general manager and senior director of APAC distribution and e-commerce.  "We are very excited to announce the first official Hoka store in an effort to ramp up our presence in the region and offer the running community a space where they can interact with our running advisors."  The brand currently has physical stores in countries like Japan and the Philippines.&nbs […]

  • People with 2 copies of a risk gene have genetic form of Alzheimer's, scientists say
    on May 7, 2024 at 3:03 am

    CHICAGO — People who carry two copies of the APOE4 gene are virtually guaranteed to develop Alzheimer's and face symptoms at an earlier age, researchers reported on Monday (May 6) in a study that could redefine such carriers as having a new genetic form of the mind-wasting disease. The reclassification could change Alzheimer's research, diagnosis and approaches to treatment, according to the researchers, whose study was published in the journal Nature Medicine. "Through these data we are saying that perhaps this is a genetic form of this disease, not merely a risk factor indication," study co-author Sterling Johnson of the University of Wisconsin's Alzheimer's Disease Research Centre told reporters in a briefing. Scientists have known for three decades that people with two copies of APOE4 gene variant have significantly higher risk of developing the disease than people with the most common version of the APOE gene, known as APOE3. About two per cent to three per cent of the general population, or 15 per cent of people with Alzheimer's, have two copies of the APOE4 variant. […]

  • 'Allow people to have better control of their life': NKF expands overnight dialysis with over 200 new slots
    by Joyce Teo on April 26, 2024 at 1:29 am

    SINGAPORE — The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) will expand its overnight dialysis capacity from 36 slots in two centres to 250 slots in five centres by 2027 to meet the evolving needs of its patients, as well as to keep pace with fast-rising demand from a rapidly ageing population. This was announced at NKF's 55th anniversary event, held at its headquarters in Kim Keat Road on April 25. With 41 dialysis centres, NKF is the biggest dialysis provider in Singapore, caring for around 5,500 of the roughly 9,000 people here who are on dialysis. Other patients are treated mostly at private dialysis centres. The fight against kidney failure continues as, each day, six new patients are diagnosed with kidney failure in Singapore. "The total number of kidney failure patients is rising: 10 years ago it was 5,500, today it is 8,800," said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung at the event. The major culprits are diabetes and hypertension, which are precursors to kidney failure, he added. […]

  • Health-harming heat stress rising in Europe, scientists say
    on April 22, 2024 at 3:23 am

    BRUSSELS — Europe is increasingly facing bouts of heat so intense that the human body cannot cope, as climate change continues to raise temperatures, the EU's Copernicus climate monitoring service and the World Meteorological Organisation said on Monday (April 22). In a report on Europe's climate, Copernicus and the WMO noted last year's extreme conditions, including a July heatwave which pushed 41 per cent of southern Europe into strong, very strong or extreme heat stress — the biggest area of Europe under such conditions in any day on record. Extreme heat poses particular health risks to outdoor workers, the elderly, and people with existing conditions like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Parts of Italy recorded seven per cent more deaths than normal last July, with victims including a 44-year-old man painting road markings in the northern town of Lodi who collapsed and died. […]

  • Glued to your smartphone? It could be the cause of your neck pain
    by Kolette Lim on April 21, 2024 at 2:30 am

    SINGAPORE — Construction coordinator Jonathan Wu found himself often glued to his mobile devices during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 and because he was working from home, his lifestyle was sedentary. At the time, he was no longer visiting project sites, and he attended meetings online using his smartphone or computer.  Wu, 34, said: "I developed a bad habit where I started cradling my phone on one side of my neck while working, causing my neck to tilt at an odd angle for prolonged periods."  Before he knew it, Wu was experiencing severe neck pain and headaches, which made it difficult for him to sleep or drive. He said: "I was constantly in pain, and this caused me a lot of stress to the point that I told my boss that I could no longer work." Wu is among the many patients with neck pain and strain that doctors are seeing now, and who, doctors say, are younger than those who suffered from such ailments in the past.  Many of them suffer from a condition called tech neck syndrome — a repetitive stress injury caused by holding the head in a forward and downward position for long periods of time.&nbs […]

  • After Covid-19, WHO defines disease spread 'through air'
    on April 19, 2024 at 1:30 am

    LONDON — The World Health Organisation and around 500 experts have agreed for the first time what it means for a disease to spread through the air, in a bid to avoid the confusion early in the Covid-19 pandemic that some scientists have said cost lives. The Geneva-based UN health agency released a technical document on the topic on Thursday (April 18). It said it was the first step towards working out how to better prevent this kind of transmission, both for existing diseases like measles and for future pandemic threats. The document concludes that the descriptor "through the air" can be used for infectious diseases where the main type of transmission involves the pathogen travelling through the air or being suspended in the air, in line with other terms such as "waterborne" diseases, which are understood across disciplines and by the public. Almost 500 experts contributed to the definition, including physicists, public health professionals and engineers, many of whom disagreed bitterly over the topic in the past. […]

  • Top 10 anger management techniques for better emotional control
    by Pheona Ilagan on April 14, 2024 at 6:15 am

    After a tough day at work or a disagreement with a loved one, managing anger can feel like a daunting task. While venting to a friend might seem like a quick fix, recent research suggests otherwise. Here's a breakdown of effective anger management strategies based on scientific findings: 1. Embrace meditation and yoga According to a study published in Clinical Psychology Review, engaging in activities that decrease arousal, such as meditation or yoga, proves to be highly effective in managing anger. These practises help calm the mind and body, reducing the intensity of anger-inducing emotions. PHOTO: Unsplash 2. Practise deep breathing Deep breathing exercises are simple yet powerful techniques for anger management. When you feel anger rising, take slow, deep breaths. This technique can help regulate emotions by activating the body's relaxation response. […]

  • A guide to food and eating for persons with dementia
    by Grace Koh on March 20, 2024 at 6:45 am

    Whether we live to eat or eat to live, anyone can agree that food is an essential part of everyday life. Good nutrition is needed for health and well-being, and people with dementia are no exception. However, because of the way that dementia affects brain functioning, they may not eat as well as they used to. As their eating habits and patterns change, understanding and supporting persons with dementia can help to ease the stress and confusion around eating, meal times, and nutrition.  How does dementia change a person's eating habits?  It is well-known that dementia affects a person's memory and brain functioning. They may not remember past events well, have poorer understanding and communication skills, or face greater difficulty using their problem-solving and thinking skills. Dementia also often changes the person's mood, causing personality changes that in turn result in behaviour changes. However, did you know that dementia can also alter one's hearing, taste, and sight? All these factors can greatly affect how they perceive the food placed in front of them.&nbs […]

  • Pfizer's blood cancer therapy Adcetris succeeds in late-stage trial
    on March 13, 2024 at 8:34 am

    Pfizer said on Tuesday (March 12) its drug, Adcetris, extended survival in patients with the most common type of lymphoma in a late-stage study, bolstering efforts to expand the use of the treatment gained through its US$43 billion (S$57 billion) purchase of Seagen. The New York-based drugmaker last year struck a deal to acquire Seagen and its targeted cancer therapies to reinforce its pipeline in the face of a steep fall in Covid-19 product sales and generic competition for some top-selling drugs. The company, which has US and Canadian commercialisation rights for Adcetris, reported total sales of US$46 million from the drug last year. Pfizer said on Tuesday it plans to discuss with regulators a submission for approval to treat these patients. A potential greenlight for Adcetris for the most common type of lymphoma will pave the way for the eighth approval for the drug and beef up an oncology portfolio that already has more than 25 approved therapies. […]

  • Baby diarrhoea: Causes, warning signs and what to do about it
    by Zebah Meraki on March 10, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    What does baby diarrhoea look like? What should I do if my baby has diarrhoea? How long is it okay and when should I worry about baby diarrhoea? Feeding and changing — are perhaps the two primary concerns of most new parents. After all, babies are always hungry and soiling themselves. Thankfully, these are also signs of a healthy growing bub. However, yellow watery diarrhoea in babies is not a sign of good health. A common concern for most parents, yellow watery diarrhoea can be a sign of infection and allergies. The baby may also need to be taken to the doctor if it doesn't stop. But worry not. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. Here's a helpful guide to take you through the signs and treatment of diarrhoea in babies. What is baby diarrhoea? Baby diarrhoea is a condition that causes a baby to have frequent watery stools. Some things, including illnesses and food sensitivities, can cause this diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is one of the most common illnesses in babies and young children. Viruses or bacteria usually cause it in contaminated food or drink. […]