Overweight 10-month baby caught up in obesity epidemic sparks …

New figures yesterday showed almost 1,000 children were sent to hospital in the last three years over fears about their weight.

Shocking statistics show a fifth of four-year-olds are now overweight or obese – a problem estimated to cost the NHS £5billion a year for all ages. According to figures obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, 932 children under the age of 15 were admitted to hospital with a ­primary diagnosis of obesity.

They included 283 primary school-age children and 101 under the age of five.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said it had admitted the 10-month-old for obesity in the past year, while Mid Staffs NHS Trust said a one-year-old girl was sent to it by a worried doctor.

At Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, there were 172 children diagnosed with obesity, while Great Ormond Street Hospital in London admitted 97 ­children.

Dr Mars Skae, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “I am increasingly being referred children as young as four years of age in our specialist obesity clinics.

“It is not unusual for me to see 18-stone teenagers in our clinic and this is extremely worrying.

“Childhood obesity is the foremost public health threat currently facing the young of this nation.”

U.K. child obesity hospital admissions soar | The Raw Story

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Overweight people on bench via AFP

The number of children admitted to hospital for obesity-related problems in England and Wales quadrupled over a ten-year period, new research showed Thursday.

Admissions rocketed to 3,806 youngsters in 2009 from 872 in 2000, a study by Imperial College in London has discovered, with teenage girls accounting for the biggest increase.

“The burden of obesity is usually thought to have its serious consequences in adulthood, but we now see it manifesting earlier, in childhood,? said Dr Sonia Saxena from Imperial’s School of Public Health, who led the study.

“It?s important that doctors speak to patients about their weight, because any attempt to help their patients must begin by recognising the problem.”

Over the last decade, a total of 20,885 young people aged between five and 19 received hospital treatment for conditions linked to obesity.

Nearly three-quarters related to issues like asthma, breathing difficulties during sleep, and complications of pregnancy, rather than obesity itself.

National surveys in England suggest that around 30 per cent of children aged two to 15 are overweight and 14 to 20 per cent are obese, the Imperial study reported.

Children who are obese have a higher risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and sleep apnoea.

National Obesity Forum member Tam Fry said the findings showed the need for government to take radical steps such as banning fizzy drinks.

“I’m not surprised by this leap, and I won’t be surprised if in five years we’re taking about another significant rise,” said Fry, who chairs the Child Growth Foundation charity.

“When it comes to obesity we have taken our eyes off children to such an extent that they are now completely unmonitored and left to get on with it.”

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Diabetes: Pevent complications, spend less

The majority of patients who are admitted to hospitals for treatment of diabetes have to spend out of their savings, and under 10 per cent are covered by insurance, a recent study published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of India (JAPI) points out.

About 48 per cent of patients admitted to hospitals for treatment of diabetes or for complications arising out of diabetes have to dig into their personal savings to pay for their treatment costs. The study, authored by Satyavani K, Hemalatha K, Shabana Tharkar, and Vijay Viswanathan, all from MVHospital for Diabetes and Prof. M.Viswanathan Diabetes Research Centre, is based on the experiences of 368 patients admitted to the hospital.

Clearly, patients without complications spend far lesser than those with complications do, and the hospital tab goes up by about four times for the latter group. Dr. Vijay Viswanathan says, “A substantial portion of the costs of diabetes treatment arise from treating long-term complications, particularly foot, cardiovascular and renal diseases.”

In an editorial in the same issue of JAPI, Anil Bhansali, head, department of Endocrinology, PGIMER, Chandigarh said, “With increasing life span, the complications are bound to occur …The cost of treating diabetes is enormous, as most of the patients with diabetes not only require anti-diabetic medications, but also need hypertensives, aspirin, statins and other medicines related to its complications.”

The expenditure included lab charges, medical consultations, medicines, hospital charges, medical consultations, medicines, hospital charges and charges for other investigations and transport, according to the authors.

While patients who were admitted for only control of their blood sugar level (considered the base group) spent an average of Rs. 4,493, those with foot complications spent over four times that sum, Rs. 19,020, in the study group. Persons with two complications spent Rs. 17,633 (four times higher), and patients with chronic kidney disease (Rs.12,690), cardiovascular complications (Rs. 13,135) and retinal complications (Rs. 13,922), spent three times higher.

Only 7 per cent of the group had some form of medical insurance, and this is worrying, Dr. Vijay added. “In about 12 per cent of the cases, the company the patient was employed in footed the bill, but the majority still had to take loans, mortgage or sell property to fund their hospital bills. The disease takes a larger toll, not only on the health of the individual, but also figuratively on the health of his entire family.”

The way out, Dr. Vijay said, was to keep the blood sugar levels under control. “Prevent or delay the onset of complications – that is key to managing the disease and not whittling down savings on health care costs.”

Dr. Bhansali makes the point that there is a key role for government and non governmental organisations here. “IT should be ensured that the continuous supply of medications either free of cost or at subsidised rates should be provided to all patients with diabetes.” He also recommends that an extensive education/awareness campaign on prevention all over the country. 

Infant with diabetes gets a lifeline

State government to provide treatment for 24-day-old infant born with Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus, a rare condition occurring in 1 in every two lakh live births in the country

The State government has offered to provide help for life-long, if necessary, in the treatment of a 24-day-old infant, who was born with Neonatal Diabetes Mellitus (NDM), a rare condition and estimated to be occurring in 1 in every two lakh live births in the country.

The male baby was born in a private hospital on January 28 in Karimnagar where the paediatrician detected high blood sugar levels. The baby was then referred to another private hospital here for about 10 days before being admitted to Niloufer Hospital.

Lok Ayukta of Andhra Pradesh, Justice B. Subhashan Reddy, took up the case suo motu last week and directed the government to provide necessary treatment to the baby born to poor parents hailing from Mallapur village in Karimnagar district. He had observed that it was the fittest case for the government to intervene and said that the child should not be allowed to die simply because his parents could not afford treatment.

Head of Department and Professor of Neonatology at Niloufer Hospital, Dr. Hima Bindu Singh, said the baby was being closely monitored and insulin was being given intermittently either subcutaneously or intravenously. She said that to know if it was a transient or permanent NDM, blood samples were sent by air to Mohan Diabetes Centre at Chennai on Tuesday for molecular genetic testing and the report was expected in two months.

The baby would be kept at the hospital for the coming weeks and the family members would be trained in the meantime on how to monitor the condition and give insulin. The baby would be discharged only after the family members were confident of taking care of him. Endocrinologist, Dr. Jayanti Ramesh said NDM was caused by genetic mutation. He said in case it was temporary phenomenon, the child would recover in the coming months but it could recur again in adulthood.

Karimnagar DM HO, Dr. K. Nageshwar Rao said the parents of the baby were assured that government would reimburse the expenditure incurred on the treatment of the baby so far. He said even if insulin was required for life-long, it was possible for the government to provide. “After discharge, my health assistants would regularly follow-up at Mallapur village,” he added.

Nelson Mandela 'in good spirits': President Jacob Zuma

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s ailing former leader Nelson Mandela was in “good spirits” on Tuesday as his family paid a Christmas Day visit to his hospital bed, President Jacob Zuma said.

“He was happy to have visitors on this special day and is looking much better. The doctors are happy with the progress that he is making,” said Zuma, who joined Mandela’s wife Graca Machel and the family on the visit to his Pretoria hospital.

“We found him in good spirits,” said Zuma in a statement.

The 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on December 8.

He has been treated there for a recurrent lung infection and also underwent surgery to remove gallstones, in his longest hospital stay since coming out of prison in 1990 after 27 years in detention.

On Monday, Zuma’s office, which is tasked with issuing updates on his condition, said doctors had confirmed that he would not be home for Christmas. But there was no indication of when he might be discharged.

Only limited details of Mandela’s condition have been made public by the South African government, which has repeatedly called on the public to respect the former president’s privacy.

His grandson Mandla Mandela told eNCA television that the family was sad he would not be home this Christmas.

“We are greatly saddened by his absence… we didn’t anticipate that he would be away for so long,” Mandla said from Mvezo village, where he is the local chief.

Before his retirement in 2004 Mandela used to host a Christmas feast in his home village of Qunu for impoverished children — a highlight for many.

Since retiring from public life, Christmas has been a more low-key affair, spent with family.

Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after the country’s first all-race elections in 1994, has a long history of lung problems, dating back to the time when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island.

He contracted tuberculosis — a disease which killed his father — while in jail.

In January 2011 he was hospitalised for two nights for an acute respiratory infection.

Mandela was last seen in public in 2010, clad in a scarf during the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup, when he was wheeled into the stadium in a golf cart.

Mandela, who is also fondly known by his clan name Madiba, stepped down in 1999 after serving one term as president.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness

Scientific research indicates that diabetes is the top cause of blindness among adults aged between 20-74 years.

This is because high blood sugar can permanently damage blood vessels in the eyes. This information is part of the public outreach campaign launched by Saudi German Hospital-Dubai during Diabetes Awareness Month.

The condition, called diabetic retinopathy, causes blood vessels to thicken, leak, develop clots, close or expand. Another consequence is fluid accumulation in crucial parts of the retina used in tasks such as reading.

Dr. Reem Osman, CEO of Saudi German Hospital-Dubai explained: “Blindness is a serious issue that could permanently change a person’s life. However our hospital is showing Dubai that where there’s awareness, there’s hope. We are empowering people with the information to make healthier lifestyle choices. By encouraging people to get their blood sugar tested, we are helping them to control diabetes – or better yet prevent it altogether – and hence minimize their risk of blindness.”

A diabetic’s ability to see is compromised by high blood sugar, which causes the eye lens to swell. However diabetes experts at Saudi German Hospital-Dubai, who have decades of experience in treating this condition at some of the world’s most respected hospitals, emphasised that there is a bright side because the solution is in patients’ hands. For example by carefully monitoring their sugar intake, patients can regain normal eyesight in as little as three months.

There is also optimistic news for those who already have retinopathy, since a healthier diet and regular medical monitoring can prevent the existing symptoms from worsening.

Explaining the hospital’s plans for Diabetes Awareness Month, Dr. Reem said: “We don’t believe in waiting for patients to come to us; we proactively reach out to the public to prevent blindness among other negative effects of this disease, because everybody deserves to see their loved ones and live the healthy life they dream of. Throughout November we will have a wide range of activities including free blood sugar tests and monitoring through our sophisticated facilities. As an institution with a crystal clear vision for the future, we will keep an eye on innovative ways to combat diabetes side effects in Dubai.”

Saudi German Hospital-Dubai will be advocating Diabetes Awareness Month between 17-30th November by performing free blood sugar and eyesight tests. Patients undergoing these tests will get a 50 per cent discount for an in-depth consultation with the hospital’s finest and most renowned eye specialists, Dr. Khaled Al Ghofaili and Dr. Vladmir.

Additionally, Ministry of Education Day on the 22nd of November further benefits patients, when consultations will be available by a male and female doctor as well as a 50 per cent discount on cholesterol tests, for patients undergoing free tests on that day.

Tom Jones released from hospital

Tom Jones has been discharged from a hospital in Monte Carlo after being admitted with ‘severe dehydration’. The 71-year-old Welsh singer was taken to the Princess Grace Hospital at the weekend. He was consequently forced to cancel the last concert of his 3-month tour in Monaco.

“Sir Tom was released from hospital [Tuesday] and is now in very good health,” said a message posted on the entertainer’s website. “A big thank you to all for your concern, your messages and wishes have been very thoughtful,” it also stated. 

Tom Jones was hospitalized for dehydration

The star was expected to perform at the at the Salle des Etoiles as part of Monte Carlo’s Sporting Summer Festival on Saturday night, and expressed ‘deep regrets’ to his fans for not being able to attend. The statement dismissed rumours than Sir Tom was suffering from heart problems and said the star hoped to see his fans in Monte Carlo very soon.

A statement given to People clarified the whole situation: “Sir Tom was ordered by doctors not to perform in Monte Carlo yesterday evening, due to severe dehydration. This was extremely disappointing for Tom, the band and all connected with the tour. This was the last date of a very successful 3-month tour, where many of the shows were in locations that were in the throes of high summer heat. There are NO heart problems, as has been reported in the press.”

Tom Jones rose to fame in the mid-1960s with his biggest hit ‘It’s Not Unusual’ and has since sold over 100 million records. He also became famed for having female fans throw their underwear at him while he was on-stage.

[adsense]One celeb who almost ended up in hospital recently is Justin Bieber, who made the headlines for crashing his dad’s car in Los Angeles.

Images: Burnt Pixel on Flikr and Wikipedia

Selena Gomez in hospital

Selena Gomez has been admitted to hospital in the Los Angeles area following a TV appearance with Jay Leno on Thursday.

“Last night after Selena’s appearance on The Tonight Show, she wasn’t feeling well and was taken to the hospital. She is currently undergoing routine tests,” her representative told the magazine People.

Justin Bieber is a heartthrob (apparently)

TMZ states it received information that 18-year-old Gomez was feeling horrible during and after the show and complaining of nausea and a severe headache.

Gomez went on the Tonight Show to promote her upcoming movie “Monte Carlo”. Jay Leno asked the emerging starlet about getting her driver’s license and her mom meeting her boyfriend – the teen pop sensation Justin Bieber. She did not appear to be ill at that time.

Gomez also cancelled her performance the following day at Santa Monica Place, an outdoor mall in Los Angeles, also intended to promote her upcoming film.

Despite the illness, Gomez and Bieber seem to be pretty happy. They were spotted having a great time in a private suite at last week’s Dallas Mavericks-Miami Heat game.

Selena Gomez

“They were kissing and laughing while Selena sat on Justin’s lap drinking a bottle of water,” a source tells People. “She was wildly cheering on the Mavericks while Justin pointed out great plays to her. They were very cute.”

They also recently took a romantic vacation in Hawaii and it’s been reported that Bieber has taken Gomez to meet his family in his native Canada.

Click here to read more about Roxy Music star Brian Ferry being “seriously ill” in hospital and how to know whether you have concussion.

Please share your comments on this media circus.

Images: Wikipedia

Zsa Zsa Gabor released from hospital

Zsa Zsa Gabor has received a clean bill of health and is celebrating her 94th birthday at home.

But according to her husband her condition was much worse than previously known. Prince Frederic von Anhalt told TMZ that Gabor had “full blown pneumonia” and that doctors did not feel optimistic about whether or not she would make it.

Prince Frederic said he was given option of pumping her with a lot of antibiotics or putting her on a respirator. They chose the antibiotics, which cleared up the infection and brought her blood pressure and temperature back to normal. She can also breathe well again and she’s “back to her normal self.”

Gabor was scheduled to leave UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center Sunday at 11 o’clock in the morning, her 94th birthday. The Prince says he is buying her a cake and the nursing staff is planning to sing her “Happy Birthday.”

Hungarian-born Zsa Zsa Gabor is most famous for movie roles in films like ‘Lili’ and ‘The Story of Three Loves’. She is also a famous socialite and beauty queen. Zsa Zsa has been married a whopping nine times, and has been Prince Frederic’s wife since 1986.

She has spent the past few months in and out of hospital. In July, she underwent hip replacement surgery after having a fall, this apparently led to complications and there were rumours Gabor had had a stroke. In August, just days after being released, she was taken back to hospital with apparently “excruciating” pain in her hip. It was then also discovered that she was bleeding.

Just a couple of days later, it was reported that she had had two blood clots removed from her chest, one of which was very close to her heart and that a priest had visited her at the hospital and administered her last rites. In the meantime, Prince Frederic was not coping well at all with his wife’s condition and collapsed due to exhaustion and lack of sleep.

[adsense]In September, the socialite was back in A&E after being found “unresponsive” by her husband and in January things looked even worse. Doctors are said to have warned Gabor that she would die unless she underwent surgery to amputate the leg above the knee. She is said to have been “screaming and yelling” in protest as she wanted to be home for her traditional New Year’s Eve celebration.

Now we have found out that on top of everything, the screen siren suffered from a bout of near-fatal pneumonia. Here’s wishing Zsa Zsa a very happy 94th and fingers crossed she will not be seeing any more hospital beds in the near future.

Click here to read more about the story of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Frederic Prinz von Anhalt and Nelson Mandela’s recent stint in hospital.

Images: Wikipedia

Nelson Mandela’s health scare prompts hundreds to pray

Hundreds of South Africans gathered at a historic church this Sunday to pray for Nelson Mandela following his release from hospital earlier this week.

The former president was taken to hospital on Wednesday, where he was treated for an acute respiratory infection. Speculation over his health went into overdrive as the 92-year-old spent a second night in the healthcare facility and no official details of his condition were released.

On Friday, however, the country breathed a communal sigh of relief as Mandela was discharged and returned home in apparently high spirits.

Kgalema Motlanthe, acting president of South Africa while Jacob Zuma is abroad, told a press conference that he had visited Mandela, who was sitting up in bed, according to the Guardian.

“When I walked into the ward, his exact words were he was very happy to see me,” said Motlanthe, adding that Mandela was making light of the situation with his wife, Graca Machel, and ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

“He’s in good spirits and was joking with us and teasing Graca and Mama Winnie and the sisters. Even for me to come to the press conference he told me, ‘Look, I won’t detain you any longer.'”

The country’s first democratically elected president also told Motlanthe that he was happy to be home and that he had slept better there than in hospital.

The government initially planned to have a photograph taken of Mandela in a bid to reassure the public that he was better, but this was cancelled at the last minute after the elderly leader fell asleep and they did not wish to disturb his rest, Times Live reports.

Vejay Ramlakan, surgeon-general of the South African national defence force, which provides specialised health care to former presidents, said Mandela would now continue to receive the same level of treatment at home.

“Medically, at present, there is no need to panic. Dr Mandela suffers from diseases common to people of his age as well as conditions that have developed over the years for which he receives chronic medication. He recently developed an acute respiratory infection for which he received treatment and has responded very well. He is stable but will be monitored closely,” said the expert according to the Guardian.

Ramlakan also noted that Mandela had suffered tuberculosis during his long imprisonment on Robben Island and has had previous respiratory infections.

“Despite all of this, his amazing positive attitude allows him to cope with the difficulties of old age with the greatest of graces,” he added.

[adsense]Yet these recent events have served as a reminder to many South Africans that their beloved leader, just 8 years away from 100, may be nearing the end and have joined in prayer.

Rev. Benedict Mahlangu, a priest at the main Roman Catholic church in the black township of Soweto, lit a candle and asked in excess of 500 congregants to pray for Mandela, the Associated Press reports.

Mahlangu said his parishioners showed great concern during Mandela’s two-night stay in hospital: “Around here, there was no life, everything just stopped. They were just asking questions: ‘Why?’ And I said to them, ‘the man is 92 years old, he has worked for us, he has done his part and then we need to pray for him.'”

“All of this wouldn’t have been possible without him,” said congregant and university student Lerato Tsotetsi. “He gave us this new South Africa, and yes, he’s our father, so it’s only right. We all are his children, and we’re gathering to pray for him.”

Click here to read more about a new tuberculosis cure, discovered recently in Australia.

Other celebrities who have recently been hospitalized include American socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor and musician Jimmy Buffett.

Images: pcw on Flikr and Wikimedia Commons