Thursday, 21 March 2019

Free HPV vaccinations to be made available to 13-year-old girls - updated

From April, 2019, 13-year-old girls can get vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection, for free.

The jabs, which will be optional, will be made available as part of the national school-based vaccination programme, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said during a debate on her ministry’s budget in Parliament on Wednesday (March 6).

It will be offered to girls in Secondary 1 and 13-year-old female students in private institutions who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents.

There will also be a one-time cost of about S$10 million this year, as MOH will be making available a “catch-up” programme for current cohorts of female students in Secondary 2 to 5 to get vaccinated as well.


You may want to read HPV can cause cancers in both genders – so should boys be vaccinated too?

Well-organised people may be less likely to develop dementia, research finds

Tidiness and well organised 

Well-organised people may be less likely to develop dementia.

Nearly 900 people aged 70 and over were rated for their conscientiousness, characterised by self-control and good organisation. They were then monitored for eight years.

One theory is that conscientious people have greater mental reserves — the brain’s ability to form new connections.


Video: Yoga not 'masculine' enough for men? It actually helps your MMA game


Younger knee replacement patients have more complications

Total knee replacement is increasingly being performed in younger people, and new research suggests younger patients have higher complication rates.

"The number of knee replacements we are doing in younger and younger patients keeps increasing every year and we need to let these patients know that their failure rate is potentially higher," Dr Mark Figgie, orthopaedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, told Reuters Health in a phone interview.

After everyone's medical problems had been taken into account, patients younger than 40 and those ages 40 to 49 had almost three times the risk of early mechanical complications as everyone else. People under age 40 were also 63 per cent more likely than other patients to need rehospitalization within 90 days.

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Light physical activity tied to lower heart disease risk in senior women

Image for illustration only

Senior women may be able to reduce their risk of developing heart disease by increasing the number of hours they spend in low intensity activities, such as walking and gardening, a new study suggests.

In the study of nearly 6,000 older women, researchers found women in the highest category of daily low intensity activity were 42 per cent less likely to experience a heart attack or die from heart disease compared to those in the lowest category. And every extra hour of light activity per day appeared to cut women's risk even further, according to study results published in JAMA Network Open.

Current physical activity guidelines suggest 150 minutes a week of moderate and vigorous physical activity, said the study's lead author, Andrea LaCroix, director of the Women's Health Center of Excellence at the University of California, San Diego. "That's been a non-starter for many older women like the ones in the study whose average age was 79," LaCroix said. "The bottom line in this study is that everything we do, even lower intensity physical activities, looks beneficial to the heart."

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How to tell if you are turning into an UNCLE... and how to avoid it

Remember back when you were a teenager, and you were constantly starving? How you would keep eating until the plate (and fridge!) were empty? And yet despite the mountains of food you consumed (a lot of it not even healthy), you never gained weight. Fast forward a few years to your NS days. With all that extra physical activity, you needed even more energy, which of course you were happy to supply by eating more.

Nowadays things are slightly different. You spend your days sitting at a desk instead of sweating it out on the basketball court or outfield, and during the weekends you are so busy catching up on your social life, looking after the kids or doing house chores that there isn’t much time to hit the gym. As a result, your waistline is not quite what it used to be. In fact, you are looking distinctly uncle-like!

There is a simple explanation for this transformation into an uncle-bod. It is called ‘energy balance’. Calories come into our body in the form of food and drink. These calories are then used to fuel basic metabolic activities such as breathing, blood circulation and other bodily functions, including physical activities (exercise). If your calorie intake is greater than the amount of calories you need, you will put on weight.

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