Former Israeli President Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93.
He served twice as Israel’s prime minister and once as president.
Shimon Peres suffered a stroke two weeks ago. His condition had improved before a sudden deterioration on September 27.
His son, Chemi Peres, led tributes to “one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel” who “worked tirelessly” for it.
World figures are expected to attend Shimon Peres’ funeral in Jerusalem on September 29, including President Barack Obama, Prince Charles and Pope Francis.
Shimon Peres was one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians present at Israel’s birth in 1948.
He won the Nobel Peace prize in 1994 for his role negotiating peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier.
Shimon Peres once said the Palestinians were Israel’s “closest neighbors” and might become its “closest friends”.
He died in a hospital near Tel Aviv early on September 28, with his family at his bedside.
Shimon Peres had been in the intensive care unit of the Sheba Medical Centre after suffering a major stroke on September 13.
The funeral will be held at Mount Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery in Jerusalem.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UK PM Theresa May have all confirmed they will attend, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said.
President Barack Obama called Shimon Peres his “dear friend” in a statement, and said: “He was guided by a vision of the human dignity and progress that he knew people of goodwill could advance together.”
Israel ex-President Shimon Peres has been hospitalized after suffering a stroke.
The 93-year-old has been rushed to a hospital outside Tel Aviv. He has been sedated and is breathing with the help of a respirator, his office said. He is now expected to undergo a CT scan.
Shimon Peres had been described as conscious and stable when he arrived at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.
In January, the former president underwent successful minor surgery at the same hospital after suffering a small heart attack.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “Shimon, we love you and the entire nation is wishing for your recovery.”
Shimon Peres has held almost every major political office since Israel was founded in 1948, and was the architect of Israel’s secret nuclear program.
He twice served as prime minister and was president from 2007 to 2014.
Shimon Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his role negotiating the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier, a prize he shared with PM Yitzhak Rabin, who was later assassinated, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Despite his age, Shimon Peres has maintained an active public schedule, mostly through his non-governmental Peres Centre for Peace, which promotes closer ties between Israel and the Palestinians.
According to British experts, a Mediterranean diet may be a better way of tackling obesity than calorie counting.
Writing in the Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ), the doctors said a Mediterranean diet quickly reduced the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
And they said it may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss.
The PMJ editorial argues a focus on food intake is the best approach, but it warns crash dieting is harmful.
Signatories of the piece included the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Prof. Terence Stephenson, and Dr. Mahiben Maruthappu.
They criticize the weight-loss industry for focusing on calorie restriction rather than “good nutrition”.
And they make the case for a Mediterranean diet, including fruit and vegetables, nuts and olive oil, citing research suggesting it quickly reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and may be better than low-fat diets for sustained weight loss.
The lead author, cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra, says the scientific evidence is overwhelming.
Inspired by traditional cuisine of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy, the Mediterranean diet has long been associated with good health and fit hearts.
Typically, it consists of an abundance of vegetables, fresh fruit, wholegrain cereals, olive oil and nuts, as well as poultry and fish, rather than lots of red meat and butter or animal fats.
The article also says adopting a Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is almost three times as effective at reducing deaths as taking cholesterol-lowering statin medication.
Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall has died at the age of 89.
Lauren Bacall’s Hollywood career spanned seven decades, with a memorable debut aged 19 opposite her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not.
More than 50 years later, The Mirror Has Two Faces earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1924, Lauren Bacall went on to become one of cinema’s biggest stars, best known for her husky voice and smoldering looks.
A Twitter account of the Bogart estate, run by Lauren Bacall’s son, tweeted: “With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall.”
The legendary actress reportedly died after suffering a major stroke at home in New York.
Lauren Bacall died after suffering a major stroke at home in New York (photo Getty Images)
Lauren Bacall was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2009 in recognition of “her central place in the golden age of motion pictures”.
Born Betty Joan Perske, Lauren Bacall took a variation of her mother’s last name after her parents divorced.
Her first film performance, as the tough and tender dame in To Have and Have Not, became one of the most powerful debuts in film history.
The movie featured her legendary lines: “You don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything and you don’t have to do anything. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”
Lauren Bacall continued her on-screen partnership with Humphrey Bogart in Key Largo, The Big Sleep and Dark Passage after the couple were married in 1945.
They had two children and were married until Humphrey Bogart’s death in 1957. She had another child with her second husband, Jason Robards.
Lauren Bacall appeared in more than 30 movies, including How to Marry a Millionaire and Murder on the Orient Express.
She also acted on stage in New York, winning Tony Awards for best leading actress in a musical in 1970 for Applause and in 1981 for Woman of the Year.
Lauren Bacall won an Academy Award nomination in 1996 for her role opposite Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces.
According to a new research, anger may trigger a heart attack or stroke, with a “danger window” of about two hours following an outburst.
The US researchers, who trawled medical literature, say rage often precedes an attack and may be the trigger.
They identified a dangerous period of about two hours following an outburst when people were at heightened risk.
But they say more work is needed to understand the link and find out if stress-busting strategies could avoid such complications.
People who have existing risk factors, such as a history of heart disease, are particularly susceptible, the researchers told the European Heart Journal.
In the two hours immediately after an angry outburst, risk of a heart attack increased nearly five-fold and risk of stroke increased more than three-fold, the data from nine studies and involving thousands of people suggests.
Anger may trigger a heart attack or stroke, with a danger window of about two hours following an outburst
The Harvard School of Public Health researchers say, at a population level, the risk with a single outburst of anger is relatively low – one extra heart attack per 10,000 people per year could be expected among people with low cardiovascular risk who were angry only once a month, increasing to an extra four per 10,000 people with a high cardiovascular risk.
But the risk is cumulative, meaning temper-prone individuals will be at higher risk still.
Five episodes of anger a day would result in around 158 extra heart attacks per 10,000 people with a low cardiovascular risk per year, increasing to about 657 extra heart attacks per 10,000 among those with a high cardiovascular risk, Dr. Elizabeth Mostofsky and colleagues calculate.
Elizabeth Mostofsky said: “Although the risk of experiencing an acute cardiovascular event with any single outburst of anger is relatively low, the risk can accumulate for people with frequent episodes of anger.”
It’s unclear why anger might be dangerous – the researchers point out that their results do not necessarily indicate that anger causes heart and circulatory problems.
Experts know that chronic stress can contribute to heart disease, partly because it can raise blood pressure but also because people may deal with stress in unhealthy ways – by smoking or drinking too much alcohol, for example.
The researchers say it is worth testing what protection stress-busting strategies, such as yoga, might offer.
A new study has found that women have a poorer quality of life after a stroke than men.
The US research, published in Neurology, assessed the mental and physical health of 1,370 patients three months and a year after a stroke.
Women had more depression and anxiety, pain and discomfort, and more restricted mobility.
The study also says more people survive a stroke now than 10 years ago because of improved treatment and prevention.
The researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, North Carolina, looked at patients who had had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke.
Quality of life is calculated using a formula that assesses mobility, self-care, everyday activities, depression/anxiety and pain.
Women have a poorer quality of life after a stroke than men
At three months, women were more likely than men to report problems with mobility, pain and discomfort, anxiety and depression, but the difference was greatest in those aged over 75.
After a year, women still had lower quality-of-life scores overall than men but the difference between them was smaller.
Prof. Cheryl Bushnell, who led the study, said: “We found that women had a worse quality of life than men up to 12 months following a stroke.”
She said mood, ability to move about, and having pain or discomfort may contribute to the poorer quality of life for women.
Prof. Cheryl Bushnell suggested that women may have less muscle mass than men before their strokes, making it harder to recover.
She added: “As more people survive strokes, physicians and other healthcare providers should pay attention to quality-of-life issues and work to develop better interventions, even gender-specific screening tools, to improve these patients’ lives.”
According to a new research, the risks of stroke, heart and circulatory disease are higher in areas with a lot of aircraft noise.
The new study of 3.6 million residents near Heathrow Airport suggested the risks were 10-20% higher in areas with the highest levels of aircraft noise.
The team’s findings are published in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers agreed with other experts that noise was not necessarily to blame and more work was needed.
The risks of stroke, heart and circulatory disease are higher in areas with a lot of aircraft noise
Their work suggests a higher risk for both hospital admissions and deaths from stroke, heart and circulatory disease for the 2% of the study – about 70,000 people – who lived where the aircraft noise was loudest.
The lead author, Dr. Anna Hansell, from Imperial College London, said: “The exact role that noise exposure may play in ill health is not well established.
“However, it is plausible that it might be contributing – for example, by raising blood pressure or by disturbing people’s sleep.”
“There’s a <<startle reaction>> to loud noise – if you’re suddenly exposed to it, the heart rate and blood pressure increase.
“And aircraft noise can be annoying for some people, which can also affect their blood pressure, leading to illness.
“The relative importance of daytime and night-time noise from aircraft also needs to be investigated further.”
The study used data about noise levels in 2001 from the Civil Aviation Authority, covering 12 London boroughs and nine districts outside of London where aircraft noise exceeds 50 decibels – about the volume of a normal conversation in a quiet room.
The authors say fewer people are now affected by the highest levels of noise (above 63 decibels) – despite more planes being in the skies – because of changes in aircraft design and flight plans.
The researchers – from Imperial and also King’s College London – adjusted their work in an effort to eliminate other factors that might have a relationship with stroke and heart disease, such as deprivation, South Asian ethnicity and smoking-related illness.
They stressed that the higher risk of illness related to aircraft noise remained much less significant than the risks from lifestyle factors – including smoking, a lack of exercise or poor diet.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal has found that exercise can be as good as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease.
The study looked at hundreds of trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death.
Physical activity rivaled some heart drugs and outperformed stroke medicine.
The findings suggest exercise should be added to prescriptions, say the researchers.
Exercise can be as good as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease
Experts stressed that patients should not ditch their drugs for exercise – rather, they should use both in tandem.
Too few adults currently get enough exercise. Only a third of people in England do the recommended 2.5 hours or more of moderate-intensity activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
In contrast, prescription drug rates continue to rise.
There were an average of 17.7 prescriptions for every person in England in 2010, compared with 11.2 in 2000.
For the study, scientists based at the London School of Economics, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine trawled medical literature to find any research that compared exercise with pills as a therapy.
They identified 305 trials to include in their analysis. These trials looked at managing conditions such as existing heart disease, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and pre-diabetes.
When they studied the data as a whole, they found exercise and drugs were comparable in terms of death rates.
But there were two exceptions.
Drugs called diuretics were the clear winner for heart failure patients, while exercise was best for stroke patients in terms of life expectancy.
According to a Scottish research, the cheap inflatable leg wraps may save the lives of patients after a stroke.
The devices regularly squeeze the legs to keep blood flowing and prevent formation of fatal blood clots.
A trial with 2,876 patients, published in the Lancet, showed there were fewer clots with the wraps.
The UK’s Stroke Association said the results were “extremely encouraging” and had the potential to save thousands of lives.
A clot in the leg, a deep vein thrombosis, is normally associated with long flights, but is a problem for hospital patients unable to move.
Doctors at Western General Hospital and the University of Edinburgh said compression socks did not improve survival and clot-busting drugs led to other problems, including bleeding on the brain.
They tested the devices, which fit around the legs and fill with air every minute. They compress the legs and force the blood back to the heart.
They were worn for a month or until the patient recovered and was able to move again.
In the study, 8.5% of patients using the compression device developed blood clots, compared with 12.1% of patients who were treated normally.
According to a Scottish research, the cheap inflatable leg wraps may save the lives of patients after a stroke
Prof. Martin Dennis said: “At last we have a simple, safe and affordable treatment that reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis and even appears to reduce the risk of dying after a stroke.
“We estimate that this treatment could potentially help about 60,000 stroke patients each year in the UK.
“If this number were treated, we would prevent about 3,000 developing a deep vein thrombosis and perhaps save 1,500 lives.”
He said the system should also be tested in other immobile patients, such as those with pneumonia.
Prof. Tony Rudd, who chairs the Intercollegiate Stroke Guideline Group at the Royal College of Physicians, said: “This study is a major breakthrough showing how a simple and safe treatment can save lives.
“It is one of the most important research studies to emerge from the field of stroke in recent years.”
Dr. Dale Webb, of the Stroke Association charity, said: “The results of this research are extremely encouraging and show that using a compression device on the legs of patients at risk of developing blood clots could be a more effective treatment.
“This new device has the potential to save thousands of lives and we would like to see it incorporated into national clinical guidelines.”
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