Friday, 22 February 2019

Smoking cannabis in your teens IS linked to depression in later life

Smoking cannabis in your teenage years raises the risk of depression and suicide in later life, a landmark new study has found.

Researchers from the US and UK have revealed the drug could impair a child's brain to the extent it triggers mental health disorders later in life. 

In the largest research of its kind, experts from Oxford University and McGill University estimated that over half a million adults in the UK and US could be saved from mental health disorders by avoiding the drug as a teenager.

The link between depression and juvenile cannabis use has in part been attributed to the increased strength of marijuana on the streets today - as opposed to the relatively mild strains available in the 1980s and 1990s,


Common yeast infection pill tied to miscarriages

Pregnant women who take fluconazole, an oral antifungal used to treat vaginal yeast infections, may be more likely to have miscarriages than women who don't take this pill during pregnancy, a Canadian study suggests.

About one in 10 pregnant women develop yeast infections, a risk that is up to 10 times higher than in nonpregnant women, researchers note in CMAJ.

While topical medicines are usually the first thing prescribed for yeast infections, women who don't improve with this approach may be given fluconazole even though using this drug in pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of certain birth defects including skeletal and heart malformations.

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Forum: SAF did it; time for schools to also modify uniforms

Ms Cindy Guo (Give children respect, privacy, Feb 11) and Ms Yong Su Lin (Redesign Nanyang Girls' High School uniform, Feb 18) called for certain schools to redesign their uniforms to make them more practical and comfortable.

With global temperatures rising, school uniforms that are double-, triple-or even quadruple-layered should be phased out.

Take the example of the pinafores worn by students of Raffles Girls' School and many convent girls' schools - part of uniforms designed decades ago. The pinafores themselves are pleated, and are hence triple-layered in most areas except at the top and on the sides. Beneath that, the girls are required to wear a blouse or polo T-shirt.

According to a report by Singapore's National Climate Change Secretariat, the annual mean temperature rose from 26.6 deg C in 1972 to 27.7 deg C in 2014. It warned of more occurrences of heat stress and discomfort among the elderly and sick.

In the light of this, it would be negligent to ignore the plight of students made to wear numerous layers of clothing in what may be stuffy, non-air-conditioned classroom environments.

I applaud the Singapore Armed Forces for leading the way by introducing cooler combat uniforms, and I strongly urge the Ministry of Education to follow suit.

We should not wait for incidents of heat-related injury among students before we are galvanised into action.

Yew Woon Si (Dr)