Articles on Health

Learn more about health trends, news, concepts and more here.

It's all in vein

It's all in vein

Finger-prick blood tests are increasingly relied upon for quick results. Technological and clinical advances are enabling us to reap the benefits of the point-of-care blood analysis they provide. However, venous blood samples retain top position on the blood test podium. Their ability to consistently provide the most accurate and comprehensive blood tests cannot currently be rivalled.

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Vitamin D: to D or not to D

Vitamin D: to D or not to D

When was the last time you tested your vitamin D levels? Most are unaware if they have a surplus or deficiency, but suboptimal levels are more common than you might expect and a simple blood test could help you avoid many health problems.

Vitamin D helps control the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, helping your bones and teeth to stay healthy. The two major forms of vitamin D in humans are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. The central source for people to get their vitamin D is to be exposed to sunlight. However, vitamin D can also be found in some foods, like oily fish and dairy products with vitamin D supplementation.

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The damaging relationship of Cardiovascular Disease and Prediabetes

Cardiovascular Disease vs. Prediabetes

Currently heart disease is alarmingly one of the world’s leading causes of death, although it has not always been this way. During the 1990s and 2000s the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and mortality rates moved from a relatively minor to a critical problem worldwide. Encouragingly, a major reduction in the burden of these diseases is possible with improvements in both healthcare and lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise.

Heart disease is a condition affected by both genetic and lifestyle factors. Until recently, many patients harboured the attitude that, since there are genetic links, there is nothing they could do about it. Research has shown this is incorrect. Studies have found a strong link between heart disease and other chronic conditions, like prediabetes. Research published in the BMJ looking at 1 million people over the course of ten years found prediabetes was associated with an increased risk of composite cardiovascular disease.

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Digital Health: increasing irrelevance with increasing precision?

Big Data

We can measure a huge number of health ‘variables’ using tools that we carry in our pocket. This is often discussed in terms of a uniform good, with endless miracles projected into the future. In an era of ‘Big Data’, anything is possible.

Recently, Peter Thiel, the first investor in Facebook, stated that if you heard a company director speak the words ‘Big Data’ or ‘Cloud Computing’, then you should shout fraud and run away as fast as possible. The point he was making is that trends are often overrated – and this is especially evident when buzzwords are involved.

Digital Health, the marriage of digital and genomic revolutions with health, healthcare and society (according to Wikipedia) comes laden with many buzzwords: Health 2.0, eHealth, Health IT, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Quantified Self, Telehealth/Telemedicine and Personalized Medicine.

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