Renowned Gastroenterologist Dr. Shiv Kumar Sarin Advocates Personal Health Ownership at New York Event

Dr. Shiv Kumar Sarin, an esteemed Indian gastroenterologist, hepatologist, translational scientist, researcher, and educator, imparted invaluable wisdom regarding personal health ownership during a gathering at the Indian Consulate in New York. He urged individuals not to delegate their health concerns but to take charge of their well-being.

“Health cannot be bestowed; it must be earned,” emphasized the Padma Bhushan recipient, emphasizing the necessity for proactive engagement in one’s health journey.

Dr. Sarin delivered a comprehensive discourse on health and wellness, centering around his book ‘Own Your Body,’ during the session at the Indian Consulate in New York. In his book, Dr. Sarin delves into the strategies for cultivating a healthier self.

During the event, Dr. Sarin delineated ten principles for optimal health, stressing the significance of preventive actions, such as tracing one’s family health history to recognize genetic health susceptibilities.

“The initial principle is to construct a family health tree. It is your responsibility to ensure the well-being of your child and to safeguard the health of a fetus,” Dr. Sarin asserted.

He elucidated the pivotal role of the liver in metabolism and overall well-being, elucidating how a fatty liver can precipitate various health ailments, including diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and cancer. Dr. Sarin also offered practical advice for self-assessment of liver health, advocating for the monitoring of blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and liver enzyme levels. He advocated for proactive health management through early detection and lifestyle modifications.

Furthermore, he introduced four pillars for attaining and preserving health. “The foremost pillar is maintaining a slim and fit physique. It’s not merely about being lean but being both slim and fit. Understanding what constitutes fitness is imperative. Secondly, it entails knowing when to eat, what to eat, and in what quantity,” Dr. Sarin delineated. “The third pillar emphasizes the importance of restorative sleep, and my final fourth pillar pertains to medications. However, resorting to the fourth pillar should only be considered after exhausting the options offered by the first three pillars,” he added.

Dr. Sarin instilled a sense of empowerment in his audience, encouraging them to embark on a journey toward a prolonged, healthy, and fulfilling life through proactive management of their health.

Revolutionary Eyebrow Keyhole Surgery Removes Deep-Seated Brain Tumor in World-First Operation

In a landmark medical achievement, a team of neurosurgeons in Chennai successfully excised a deeply embedded insular brain tumor from a 44-year-old woman using a revolutionary eyebrow keyhole technique.

“This unprecedented technique, being the world’s first, marks an important advancement in the field of neuro-oncology,” stated Apollo Cancer Centres (ACC), Chennai, in an announcement on Tuesday.

The tumor was discovered during a routine examination following the woman’s bike accident. It was located within the delicate folds of her dominant-side insular lobe of the brain.

The insula, situated deep within the cerebral cortex, presents substantial challenges for surgical removal due to its proximity to critical areas responsible for speech and movement. It is enveloped by a complex network of blood vessels, making traditional surgical approaches highly risky.

Conventional surgeries involve navigating through vital brain tissue and blood vessels, posing risks of paralysis, stroke, and language impairment. Patients are often required to remain awake during these procedures, heightening their distress and the potential for complications such as seizures and brain bulges. Despite these dangers, surgery is usually the only viable option.

The neurosurgical team at ACC decided to employ the innovative keyhole technique, making a small incision in the eyebrow to access the insula. This decision was informed by their extensive experience with keyhole surgeries for skull base lesions.

The new approach not only offers an alternative for removing deeply seated brain tumors but also exemplifies “clinical excellence, efficiency, and safety.”

“The impact of this achievement cannot be overstated. The eyebrow keyhole approach offers a transformative alternative to reach these deep-seated tumours inside the brain, minimising invasiveness, reducing collateral damage, and significantly enhancing patient safety and overall quality of life,” commented Hrishikesh Sarkar, Senior Consultant in Neurosurgery at Apollo Cancer Centres.

According to the doctor, the patient was discharged from the hospital within 72 hours and is now recovering well.

Expressing her gratitude, the woman said that the advanced treatment not only cured her but also “gave me hope, comfort, and a shorter return to normalcy.”

Dr. Hari Krishna Shukla Given Liberty Medal By New York State Senate

Dr Shukla with Liberty Medal(Albany, NY – May 23, 2024)  Dr. Hari Krishna Shukla, practicing Medicine in Flushing, Queens in New York for nearly four decades, serving thousands of young patients, was bestowed with the New York State Liberty Medal during a solemn ceremony on the New York Senate Floor in Albany, NY on May 15th, 2024.

The New York State Liberty Medal is the state’s highest honor, presented to citizens, who have merited special commendation for the actions on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers and their community.

Dr. Shukla, whose discovery of the “Shukla’s Formula” made him popular across the globe, was given the Liberty Medal by New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (11th SD- Queens), recognizing his life-saving work in the field of neo-natal pediatric medicine. Earlier, on March 26, 2024, the New York State Senate passed and adopted a resolution (Senate No. 2010) to honor Dr. Hari Krishna Shukla for his work in the field of Pediatric-Neonatal Medicine.

“Dr. Shukla has received international acclaim for his work in advancing the science of how doctors treat infants born prematurely,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “Dr. Shukla is most renowned for developing a mathematical formula for ideal position of umbilical catheters in sick infants that helps to deliver critical fluids and medications more safely to premature children both intravenously and through the umbilical cord. Known as “Shukla’s formula.”

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky IS New York state senator since 1999 and Chairwoman  for higher education. This is the first time she has presented the Liberty Medal to any constituent. “Dr. Shukla’s life’s work in the field of neo-natal pediatric medicine warrants this honor,” Sen. Stavisky said.

Dr. Shukla is well known across the world for his work in advancing the science of how doctors treat infants born prematurely. Dr. Shukla is most renowned for developing a mathematical formula  to place umbilical catheters in an ideal position, in order that it causes minimal complications. The umbilical catheters in infants are known as life line  as it helps in maintaining fluid, electrolytes  and nutrition. It is also used for blood drawing, transfusion and admiration of medications.

Since Dr. Shukla published his research article on the topic in 1986, millions of infants have been benefited using Dr. Shukla’s Formula worldwide. Dr Shukla created a mathematical equation to place catheter in a position where it causes minimal complications. Dr Shukla’s Formula is now being used worldwide in  several countries, including the United States, Canada, Unite Kingdom, other European countries, Australia, India, Japan, China Russia, South Korea, Middle east. Every year about fifteen million infants receives umbilical catheterization. Dr Shukla’s equation is quoted in several medical textbooks and manuals throughout the world.

Dr. Shukla developed a formula for rapid estimation of insertional length of Endo-tracheal tubes in infants. This formula is used widely in the hospitals in United States, and has been made as part of the required training in BLS, PALS and ACLS courses in United States, given to residents, fellows, physician assistants, nurse practitioners prior to commencing employment and in continuing medical education courses required for maintenance of licensure.

Additionally, Dr. Shukla’ work has significantly contributed to the field of Pediatric Medicine. Dr. Shukla was the first US Physician to use surfactant in Preterm babies in the City of New York in 1986 under Investigational New drug (IND) protocol of Unite States Food and Drug Administration and NIH. The Surfactant therapy is now the standard mode of therapy for preterm infants with premature lungs all over the world. Dr Shukla received a Citation from United States Congress for being the first physician in New York to use surfactant.

Another area, where his contributions have helped are the patients with jaundice. His investigative research on how jaundice causes Kernicterus after his basic research on rats in an animal laboratory at the NYU School of Medicine was the first to demonstrate blood brain barriers for Bilirubin. This research helps in understanding how bilirubin reaches brain tissue and causes damage to Neurons.

His skills and love for the patients was witnessed during the Covid epidemic, when Dr Shukla treated over four hundred Covid positive children, from one-day- old to eighteen years old, with zero mortality.

Senate Majority leader

Dr Shukla is the recipient of the “Pasteur, Merieu and Connought” (The Makers of Polio Vaccine) Award for his work toward eradication of Polio in the United states and India.

Dr Shukla has served as a Consultant Pediatrician for over 38 years for the Permanent Missions of numerous countries to the United Nations and Consulate General of India. He is also the Civil Surgeon for the United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service since 1990.

Dr. Shukla, a triple Board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine & Forensic Medicine, is a Clinical Associate Professor at the New York University, School of Medicine and has nearly four decades of experience in training over 300 Residents and Fellows and he continues to provide state of the art care to preterm infants and children in the US and abroad.

Dr. Hari Shukla came to the United States in 1980 as a Rotary International exchange scholar from India. He is married to Kirti Shukla. The couple are blessed with two boys Mrugank and Mehool, who are American Medical Graduates, practicing in New York.

Overdose Deaths Fall for First Time in Five Years

Newswise — In recent data shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving opioids fell in 2023; it’s the first decrease the agency has reported in five years. While the decline is encouraging, experts are still concerned as more than 100,000 individuals in the United States died of drug overdose last year. Daniel Lasoff, MD, emergency medicine physician with UC San Diego Health is available to discuss the decrease in deaths, as well as provide information on measures in place to treat opioid addiction and prevent overdose.

Biography :

Daniel Lasoff, MD, is a board-certified emergency medicine physician who treats patients of all ages, including those with life-threatening or critical conditions, at UC San Diego Health Emergency Departments in Hillcrest and La Jolla.

As an assistant professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Lasoff trains medical students, residents and fellows in the Department of Emergency Medicine, where he serves as medical director of the medical toxicology fellowship program. His research interests include drugs of abuse and resuscitation.

Prostate Cancer: From Controversy to Clarity, Unveiling Revolutionary Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing and treating prostate cancer has long stirred controversy and ambiguity. One focal point of debate involves prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, a blood examination identifying a distinctive protein that may unveil cancer even in asymptomatic patients. Since its inception in the early 1990s, PSA testing garnered widespread acceptance with millions conducted annually in the U.S. Nonetheless, in 2012, a government task force cautioned that this test might lead to overtreating cancers of minimal threat, advocating for a more restrained approach.

While the discourse surrounding PSA testing oscillates, the field has made significant strides in understanding the factors driving rapid growth in certain prostate cancers. These insights have contributed to improved patient prognoses across all disease stages, even in advanced cases. Today, prostate cancer specialists wield an enhanced arsenal of treatment tools and can judiciously assess when intervention is warranted.

The significance of these advancements cannot be overstated, considering prostate cancer remains one of the most prevalent malignancies. Beyond some skin cancers, prostate cancer ranks among the most common cancers affecting men in the U.S. Each year, nearly 270,000 Americans receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, making it the fourth most common cancer globally. Fortunately, most patients diagnosed with prostate cancer can expect to live for many years post-diagnosis, more likely succumbing to unrelated causes.

At its core, prostate cancer manifests as a malignancy within the prostate gland, responsible for producing fluid that mixes with sperm to form semen. Situated in front of the rectum, below the bladder, and above the penis, the prostate cancer spectrum encompasses four major stages.

Initially, localized tumors confine themselves within the prostate gland. Subsequently, a “regionally advanced” variant of the disease remains in close proximity to the prostate. Metastatic prostate cancers extend beyond the gland, spreading to other body parts. The advent of enhanced diagnostic imaging tests has facilitated the characterization of oligometastatic prostate cancer, marking a stage between localized and widely dispersed metastatic disease. Noteworthy discoveries over the past decade have revolutionized the approach to each prostate cancer type, with ongoing advancements anticipated for years to come.

In terms of treatment, the initial steps for individuals with localized cancer involve risk assessment. Physicians gauge the potential for eliminating or curing cancer through local treatments, typically surgery or radiation, and the likelihood of recurrence. This assessment relies on PSA results, physical prostate gland examinations, and tumor cell inspection from biopsies.

The approach to elevated PSA levels in patients continues to evolve. Traditionally, physicians conducted rectal examinations followed by needle biopsies to procure prostate tissue snippets. However, technological advancements now allow for perineal biopsies, conducted outpatient without general anesthesia, mitigating infection risks and antibiotic needs. Notably, MRI scans are increasingly replacing biopsies, aiding in identifying clinically significant cancers while sparing patients unnecessary treatment for clinically insignificant ones.

Following a prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment decisions have historically sparked contentious debates akin to those surrounding diagnosis. Recent research from the U.K. sheds light on this matter, with findings suggesting that “active surveillance,” involving delayed or avoided treatment, is increasingly offered post-diagnosis. Rigorous monitoring, including PSA testing, physical prostate examinations, and urinary symptom assessments, is now common practice, even for patients with more concerning tumors.

For cancers displaying intermediate- or high-risk features, monitoring disease progression entails bone and abdominal-pelvic CT scans, though these may miss small metastatic areas, leading to understaging. Advanced scanning techniques combining PET and CT are addressing this issue, allowing for more precise diagnostic testing.

Such scans, particularly PSMA PET-CT scans, enable the identification of small metastatic deposits, paving the way for metastasis-directed therapy (MDT). MDT targets cancer-containing lymph nodes or bony areas with radiation or surgical removal, yielding promising outcomes, including long-term remission in some cases.

Additionally, advancements in hormone therapy for advanced disease are noteworthy. Traditional androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) mainly targets testosterone produced by the testicles, but newer approaches aim to block androgen production by the adrenal glands or cancer cells, substantially improving survival rates.

Moreover, targeted therapies, such as lutetium-177-PSMA-617, show promise in treating prostate cancer resistant to conventional ADT and chemotherapy. Genetic and genomic testing further enhance treatment efficacy, guiding specific therapies tailored to patients’ mutations for improved outcomes.

These remarkable advances, achieved within a decade, mark a significant stride in prostate cancer oncology. From offering conservative choices for early-stage cancers to managing metastatic diseases with fewer systemic side effects, these innovations are transforming prostate cancer into a manageable chronic condition, prolonging patients’ life expectancy.

First Recipient of Genetically Modified Pig Kidney Transplant Passes Away: Medical Milestone and Family Gratitude Highlight Legacy

The primary recipient of a genetically modified pig kidney transplant has passed away nearly eight weeks following the procedure, as announced by his family and the hospital where the operation was conducted, on Saturday.

Richard “Rick” Slayman, aged 62, underwent the transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital in March. The surgical team had expressed confidence that the pig kidney would remain functional for a minimum of two years.

In their statement, the transplant team at Massachusetts General Hospital expressed deep sorrow at Slayman’s demise and extended condolences to his family. They emphasized that there were no indications suggesting his demise was linked to the transplant.

Hailing from Weymouth, Massachusetts, Slayman marked history as the inaugural living recipient of such a procedure. Formerly, pig kidneys were transplanted into brain-dead donors on a temporary basis. There had been instances where two individuals received heart transplants from pigs, albeit both succumbed within months.

Slayman had previously undergone a kidney transplant at the same hospital in 2018. However, he had to revert to dialysis last year when signs of failure appeared in his transplanted kidney. Subsequent complications with dialysis, necessitating frequent procedures, prompted his medical team to recommend a pig kidney transplant.

Expressing gratitude, Slayman’s family conveyed appreciation to his medical caregivers. According to their statement, “Their enormous efforts leading the xenotransplant gave our family seven more weeks with Rick, and our memories made during that time will remain in our minds and hearts.”

They highlighted that Slayman opted for the surgery partly to instill hope in the thousands awaiting transplants to prolong their lives. “Rick accomplished that goal and his hope and optimism will endure forever,” the statement asserted.

Xenotransplantation denotes the practice of utilizing cells, tissues, or organs from animals to treat human patients. Historically, such endeavors faced setbacks due to immediate rejection by the human immune system of foreign animal tissue. Recent advances have focused on modifying pigs to render their organs more akin to human physiology.

Over 100,000 individuals are currently listed on the national transplant waiting roster, with a majority requiring kidney transplants. Tragically, thousands succumb annually before their opportunity arises.

Unlocking the Promise of Genetic Therapies: Advances and Challenges in Treating Rare Disorders

In the realm of medical research, there is a profound exploration into the intricacies of cellular processes and the potential implications for various health conditions. One such focus lies on calcium signaling, a fundamental process within cells, which has garnered attention due to its association with Timothy syndrome and its possible relevance to more prevalent disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorder. As elucidated by the original article, “It is also studying how calcium signaling — the cellular process affected in Timothy syndrome — may play a role in much more common conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorder.”

Simultaneously, within the scientific community, efforts are underway to develop antisense drugs tailored for rare genetic conditions impacting brain development. Among these conditions are Angelman syndrome and Dravet syndrome. These endeavors signify a concerted effort towards addressing the specific needs of individuals grappling with these genetic anomalies. The original article encapsulates this notion, stating, “Meanwhile, scientists are working on antisense drugs for other rare genetic conditions that affect brain development. These include Angelman syndrome and Dravet syndrome.”

Highlighting a significant milestone in medical advancement, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for an antisense drug designed for spinal muscular atrophy in 2016. This drug offers hope to individuals grappling with the challenges posed by this genetic disorder, which undermines muscle strength. The original text underscores this development, noting, “An antisense drug for spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that affects muscle strength, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2016.”

Central to these advancements is the identification of genetic mutations underlying various conditions. Many rare disorders, including Timothy syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and Dravet syndrome, stem from mutations in a single gene. However, the road to developing antisense treatments for conditions influenced by multiple genes, such as certain forms of autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, presents formidable challenges. Dr. Huda Zoghbi, a prominent figure in this field, acknowledges this complexity, as articulated in the original article: “All of those conditions are caused by mutations to a single gene. Antisense treatments for conditions that involve multiple genes – like most forms of autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy — are likely to be much harder to develop, Zoghbi says.”

Nevertheless, amidst these challenges, there exists a burgeoning optimism within the scientific community regarding the prospect of treating these complex diseases. Dr. Zoghbi reflects on the evolution of her journey in medical research, tracing back to 1985 when she transitioned from clinical practice as a child neurologist to delve into research. She recalls a time when the understanding of devastating genetic disorders like Rett syndrome and spinocerebellar ataxia was rudimentary, stating, “In 1985, Zoghbi left her practice as a child neurologist to do research because ‘we could offer nothing’ to patients with devastating genetic disorders like Rett syndrome and spinocerebellar ataxia. ‘We didn’t know what caused the diseases,’ she says.”

Over the years, significant strides have been made, with scientists unraveling the genetic underpinnings of numerous childhood conditions, paving the way for the development of targeted treatments. The realization of this progress is particularly poignant for Dr. Zoghbi, who expresses, “Now, scientists know the genetic changes responsible for hundreds of childhood conditions, and they are beginning to develop treatments for some, including Timothy syndrome. ‘That’s a dream come true for me,’ Zoghbi says.”

The landscape of medical research is characterized by both challenges and triumphs. From the elucidation of cellular processes to the development of targeted therapies, the journey towards understanding and treating genetic disorders is multifaceted. As scientists continue to unravel the complexities of these conditions, there is an ever-growing sense of hope for individuals and families impacted by rare and complex diseases.

Decoding Hydration: Understanding Water Needs in a Heatwave

Understanding your body’s water needs can be tricky, especially during periods of extreme heat. With sweat working overtime to keep us cool, our bodies demand more water to stave off dehydration. Neglecting this essential need can result in fatigue, blood pressure spikes, and irregular heart rhythms.

The ubiquitous advice to drink eight glasses of water a day, each containing 8 ounces, has long been a staple. Referred to as the “eight-by-eight” rule, it suggests consuming 64 ounces of water daily. However, this guideline lacks scientific grounding and may not suit everyone’s hydration requirements.

While some adhere faithfully to this rule, it’s important to recognize its origins are more tradition than science. Although consuming 64 ounces of water daily isn’t harmful, it might not suffice for some individuals.

While the eight-by-eight guideline is prevalent, it’s far from the only recommendation. The absence of a universal consensus on daily water intake underscores the individual variability in hydration needs.

An “adequate intake” of water exists for adults, though it fluctuates among individuals. This includes fluids from sources beyond water, such as milk, sports drinks, tea, and even coffee, as well as water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. For men, this intake is around 15.5 cups (3.7 liters or 125 ounces), while for women, it’s approximately 11.5 cups (2.7 liters or 91 ounces). Nevertheless, these figures remain general, subject to personal variation based on several factors.

Certain circumstances warrant higher water consumption:

– Active Jobs:Occupations demanding physical activity, especially outdoors, necessitate increased water intake to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.

– Regular Exercise:Even without a physically demanding job, individuals engaging in frequent exercise, whether at the gym or through recreational activities, should augment their water intake to compensate for fluid loss.

– Hot Climates:Elevated temperatures lead to more sweating, accentuating the need to replace lost fluids. Dry environments exacerbate fluid loss, making hydration particularly crucial in desert regions.

– Pregnancy and Breastfeeding:Expectant and breastfeeding individuals require additional water to support physiological processes vital for their health and that of their baby.

Various hydration strategies exist, offering diverse approaches:

– Thirst as a Guide:Some advocate drinking when thirsty, though opinions vary on its efficacy, with concerns that thirst may signal dehydration.

– Scheduled Intake:Structuring water consumption around meals can establish a hydration routine, though its effectiveness may vary depending on meal frequency.

– Eight Glasses a Day:While convenient, this rule overlooks individual differences in hydration needs, potentially resulting in under or overhydration.

– Half Your Body Weight in Ounces:This straightforward guideline adjusts water intake based on body weight, yet overlooks other crucial factors like activity level and climate.

Ultimately, finding the right hydration strategy involves experimentation. Monitoring signs of dehydration, such as fatigue or headaches, and observing urine color can help gauge hydration levels effectively.

India Becomes Russia’s Leading Pharmaceutical Supplier Amid Western Withdrawal: Report

India has emerged as the primary pharmaceutical supplier to Russia, stepping in to fill the gap created by the withdrawal of Western companies from the market due to geopolitical tensions. According to RBK’s report citing data from RNC Pharma, Indian manufacturers increased their exports by 3% last year, delivering nearly 294 million packages of medicines to Russia. This shift in dominance displaced Germany, which had been India’s top supplier in 2021 and 2022.

The withdrawal of Western pharmaceutical companies from Russia, prompted by the conflict in Ukraine, has led to a significant reduction in their supplies to the country. Germany, for instance, slashed its exports to Russia by almost 20% last year, down to 238.7 million packages. Major international players such as Eli Lilly, Bayer, Pfizer, MSD, and Novartis have also suspended new clinical trials in Russia, further opening up opportunities for Indian pharma companies.

In contrast, Indian pharmaceutical firms are seizing the opportunity to expand their presence in the Russian market. RBK’s article highlights that Indian companies are not only increasing exports but also exploring joint production ventures in Russia. The Indian pharmaceutical industry, ranked as the world’s third largest by volume according to the Indian government, has earned the moniker of “the world’s pharmacy.”

Data from 2023 indicates substantial growth in Indian pharmaceutical exports to Russia. For example, Mumbai-based Oxford Laboratories saw a remarkable 67% increase in its supplies to Russia, totaling 4.8 million packages. Ipca Laboratories, another major player specializing in generics, witnessed a 58% surge in exports, reaching 13.7 million packages last year.

The geopolitical situation, characterized by Western restrictions, has inadvertently catalyzed bilateral cooperation between Russia and India in various sectors beyond pharmaceuticals. Experts note that this shift has prompted both countries to explore new avenues of collaboration, including pharmaceuticals, chemical, and food industries, as well as oil extraction and diamond processing.

Besides India, other countries also maintained or increased their pharmaceutical exports to Russia last year. France saw a 7.6% rise, with exports totaling 149.4 million packages. Hungary and Israel also experienced double-digit increases, with 11.6% and 11% growth respectively. Hungary delivered 112.5 million packages, while Israel’s exports reached 149.8 million packages, according to RNC Pharma.

Yale New Haven Health Appoints Katherine Heilpern as President Amidst Leadership Transition and Ongoing Developments

Amid its efforts to acquire three hospitals from Prospect medical and recent criticism over closing a daycare facility, Yale New Haven Health system declared Katherine Heilpern as the new president of Yale New Haven Hospital last week. Heilpern, formerly the chief operating officer of the Weill Cornell Division at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and chair of the emergency medicine department at Emory University School of Medicine, is set to assume her new role on March 11. Concurrently, Pamela Sutton-Wallace SPH ’97, previously the interim president of YNHH, will ascend to lead the entire system.

Heilpern, expressing her perspective, stated, “I’ve had leadership positions that have served on both sides of the academic healthcare coin… [which] gives me the opportunity to really understand life at the frontline, and the care that’s being delivered by the providers and how it feels on the side of patients and families.”

Arjun Venkatesh, the chair of emergency medicine, sees Heilpern’s appointment as a significant shift in YNHH’s leadership, especially since she will be one of the few women heading a hospital of its size, which is among the largest in the United States.

Regarding the ongoing developments, Heilpern mentioned that she is unaware of the controversy surrounding daycare closures and views the acquisitions as beyond her current role.

Despite concerns about the expansion, several YNHH officers express confidence in Heilpern and her ability to lead. Venkatesh believes her background as an emergency physician will provide a valuable perspective, emphasizing the importance of clinical experience in hospital leadership.

Alan Friedman, the chief medical officer, believes Heilpern’s clinical acumen will enhance patient care, emphasizing the need for high-quality, safe care. Venkatesh further highlights that Heilpern’s experience may help address overcrowding issues and other systemic challenges.

In an interview, Heilpern outlined her goal of delivering more accessible care and developing an efficient care continuum. She also aims to foster collaboration between various schools within the system to ensure quality care delivery.

With over 5000 medical personnel and nearly 15,000 staff members, Yale New Haven Hospital remains a significant healthcare institution amidst these changes.

Rethinking the 10,000-Step Rule: Experts Shed Light on Optimal Daily Activity Levels for Health

The widely propagated notion of walking 10,000 steps daily as the pinnacle of good health prompts the question: Is this figure truly substantiated? Lindsay Bottoms, an expert in exercise and health physiology at the University of Hertfordshire, underscores the multifaceted benefits of walking, including enhanced cardiovascular fitness, weight management, mood improvement, better sleep, cognitive function enhancement, and decreased risk of chronic illnesses like dementia and certain cancers, and even the amelioration of conditions like type 2 diabetes.

While any form of exercise bolsters immune function and mental well-being, walking stands out for its simplicity, accessibility, and versatility, rendering it suitable for individuals of all ages. Notably, recent research findings highlight the significance of relatively lower step counts. A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology unveiled that walking approximately 3,967 steps daily is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality, while a mere 2,337 steps correlate with diminished cardiovascular disease mortality. Another study, featured in JAMA Neurology, suggests that around 8,900 steps per day may decelerate cognitive decline and brain volume loss among high-risk individuals.

However, the genesis of the ubiquitous 10,000-step goal traces back to a marketing initiative by Yamasa Clock in Japan during 1965. This “Manpo-kei” pedometer, translating to ‘10,000 steps meter,’ served as a promotional tool for the device, cementing the 10,000-step benchmark globally. Nevertheless, some individuals advocate for the benefits of surpassing this target by walking 20,000 steps daily. But is this level of activity truly necessary? Bottoms advocates for a pragmatic approach, suggesting that while there’s merit in breaking up sedentary time and staying active, aiming for 20,000 steps might prove demoralizing and unattainable for many.

Empirical evidence suggests that the threshold for optimal health outcomes lies significantly below the 10,000-step mark. Research indicates that mortality rates and cardiovascular disease incidents plateau at approximately 7,500-8,500 steps, with some studies even demonstrating mortality reduction in women with as few as 4,400 steps daily.

So, what’s a reasonable step goal to support overall health? Bottoms advises aiming for as many steps as feasible while prioritizing the interruption of prolonged sitting. A target of 7,000 steps daily serves as a practical benchmark, with incremental increases recommended for those falling short. She emphasizes the importance of integrating physical activity into daily routines, such as walking during work calls or opting for brisk walks with pets in lieu of sedentary breaks.

Bottoms further stresses that it’s not solely about step counts but overall physical activity. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise), coupled with at least two muscle-strengthening sessions.

In essence, while the 10,000-step goal persists in public consciousness, emerging research suggests that reevaluating this standard may be prudent. Embracing physical activity in various forms, including walking, remains pivotal for fostering holistic well-being.

Women with Fatty Liver Disease from Alcohol Consumption Face Higher Mortality Risk Than Men, Study Find

A recent study conducted by researchers from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai and their colleagues has revealed that women diagnosed with fatty liver disease due to alcohol consumption are at nearly double the risk of mortality within a specific timeframe compared to men with the same condition.

The study, published in the esteemed Journal of Hepatology, underscores the imperative for women at risk of liver disease to abstain from excessive alcohol consumption.

Also termed steatotic liver disease, fatty liver disease develops when an excess of fat accumulates in the liver, potentially leading to enduring liver damage. This condition is also associated with an elevated risk of heart disease.

Dr. Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, the director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute and the lead author of the study, emphasized, “Steatotic liver disease is a significant and increasingly prevalent ailment, likely serving as an underlying precursor to numerous conditions, including those affecting the heart. We are increasingly concerned about steatotic liver disease as we observe its close correlation with established cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.”

Recent medical discourse has introduced new terminology to classify distinct types of steatotic liver disease, including metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD), alcohol-related liver disease (ALD), and metabolic dysfunction-associated and alcohol-related liver disease (MetALD).

The investigators from Cedars-Sinai endeavored to investigate how these variants of steatotic liver disease might manifest differently in men and women.

Data spanning from 1988 to 1994, sourced from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, were scrutinized by the investigators. The study participants underwent comprehensive medical assessments, including questionnaires, physical examinations, and liver imaging scans, providing insights into alcohol consumption patterns, cardiometabolic risk factors, and liver health.

The analysis encompassed over 10,000 individuals aged 21 and above residing in the United States, with accessible data from liver scans and other medical evaluations. Approximately one-fifth of the cohort, totaling 1,971 individuals, exhibited steatotic liver disease, with MetALD accounting for over 75% of cases. While all forms of steatotic liver disease were approximately twice as prevalent in men compared to women, the data unveiled a significantly elevated risk of mortality among women over a median duration of 26.7 years. For instance, women diagnosed with MetALD faced an 83% higher risk of mortality compared to men without liver disease. Moreover, women afflicted with ALD confronted a mortality risk 160% greater than their male counterparts with ALD.

Dr. Alan Kwan, MD, a research instructor in the Department of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai and a collaborator on the study, remarked, “These findings are particularly alarming against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which alcohol consumption and associated mortality, particularly among women, have surged.”

Indicators of underlying metabolic liver disease include being overweight or obese, prediabetes or diabetes, high blood pressure, or abnormal blood cholesterol levels. The investigators caution that women exhibiting these risk factors should be particularly vigilant regarding excessive alcohol consumption.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines moderate alcohol consumption for women as one drink per day or less.

The researchers intend to further explore why alcohol exerts a more pronounced impact on the female liver than the male liver and identify lifestyle modifications, beyond curtailing alcohol intake, that may mitigate a woman’s susceptibility to fatty liver disease.

They underscore that since the study relied on data collected between 1988 and 1994, additional research is imperative to ascertain how the prevalence of liver disease and alcohol consumption patterns may have evolved over time.

Dr. Yee Hui Yeo, MD, and Dr. Hirsh Trivedi, MD, both affiliated with Cedars-Sinai, also contributed to the study.

Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation Could Mitigate Health Risks for Individuals with Obesity

Loneliness and social isolation, prevalent global issues, may play a significant role in mitigating health risks associated with obesity, according to a recent study. The findings are particularly noteworthy as individuals classified as obese tend to experience higher levels of loneliness, according to the report.

Dr. Lu Qi, the lead author of the study published in JAMA Network Open, emphasized the current focus on dietary and lifestyle factors in preventing obesity-related illnesses. However, he highlighted the importance of considering social and mental health to improve the well-being of individuals with obesity. Dr. Qi, a professor and interim chair of the department of epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, conveyed this message via email.

The research, drawing data from nearly 400,000 individuals in the UK BioBank, a comprehensive biomedical database, explored the long-term impact of loneliness on health. Participants initially did not have cardiovascular disease when data collection commenced, and the study followed up between March 2006 and November 2021.

The results revealed a notable 36% lower rate of all-cause mortality for individuals classified as obese who reported lower levels of loneliness and social isolation over the study period. Dr. Qi suggested integrating social and psychological factors into intervention strategies to prevent obesity-related complications.

Surprisingly, social isolation emerged as a greater risk factor for all-cause mortality, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, compared to depression, anxiety, and lifestyle risk factors such as alcohol consumption, exercise, and diet.

Dr. Philipp Scherer, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, expressed that while the findings weren’t surprising, they underscored the potential of improving social isolation as a remedy to reduce mortality.

Loneliness, often overshadowed by discussions on diet and exercise, has gained recognition as a major risk factor for poor health outcomes. A study from June 2023 found that socially isolated individuals were 32% more likely to experience premature death than their socially connected counterparts. Chronic loneliness can act as a form of stress, adversely affecting the body through stress hormones, as explained by Turhan Canli, a professor of integrative neuroscience at Stony Brook University.

Canli suggested that the link between loneliness and poor health outcomes might also be tied to socially isolated individuals having reduced access to medical care or engaging in other unhealthy habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol use. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a social network as a health-promoting activity, akin to regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Rachael Benjamin, a licensed clinical social worker based in New York City, highlighted that despite the plethora of online connections available, individuals might still feel lonely. Feeling known by others and integrated into the community is crucial for combating loneliness. Benjamin pointed out that fatphobia could make it challenging for people with obesity to feel understood and accepted within their communities.

Addressing bias on an individual level may be challenging, but Benjamin outlined steps to foster quality relationships. She defined a quality relationship as one where individuals can be themselves without the pressure to pretend. Benjamin encouraged self-reflection to identify self-imposed isolation habits and recommended making an effort to connect with people regularly, even if it feels uncomfortable initially. Building quality connections, she noted, takes time, effort, and patience.

The study sheds light on the interconnectedness of social well-being and physical health, particularly for individuals classified as obese. Integrating strategies to alleviate loneliness and social isolation alongside traditional approaches may contribute to more comprehensive efforts in preventing obesity-related complications.

AAPI Honors Dr Abhijat Seth, President of India’s National Board of Examinations, Dr. Minu Bajpai, Executive Director of NBEMS, Dr. Rakesh Sharma, Member of BEMS During GHS in New Delhi

(New Delhi, India — January 9, 2024) The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical association in the Un8ted States representing over 20,0,000 physicians of  Indian Origin honored Dr Abhijat Seth, President of National Board of Examinations, India with the Life Time Achievement Award in appreciation and recognition of his distinguished leadership exceptional contributions and lifelong commitment to the field of medical education in India during the 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit 2024 held in New Delhi on January 5th, 2024.

Dr SharmaWhile introducing Dr. Seth, Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chairman of AAPI BOT said, “Dr. Seth is the president of NBEMS, who has brought significant contributions to medical education, increase in much needed post graduate seats I n medical education in India, and has encouraged family medicine post graduated and diploma courses,” he said.  “ in addition, he has taken CPR awareness initiatives and worked with several healthcare institutions including NMC, Dental, Nursing, Para Medic, whose numbers have reached more than 2 million people as of 2023.”

Dr. Abhijat Sheth completed his post-graduation in Cardiothoracic Surgery from  KM School of Postgraduate Medicine and Research, Ahmedabad. He extensively worked as an academician at various medical colleges in Ahmedabad. In 1998, he went to UK for further training in Cardiothoracic Surgery where he had  worked as a Senior House Officer and Registrar in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

Dr. Sheth obtained his FRCS in General Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Glasgow in 2000. Since 2001, his main focus of work has been in the Cardiothoracic Department of St George’s Hospital NHS Trust in London, where he has worked with the eminent cardiothoracic consultant Professor Brendan P Madden. Dr. Sheth has undertaken his MD (Research) degree from London University under the supervision of Professor Brendan P Madden and MBA (Health Executive) from Keele University, Manchester.

Dr. Sheth has a long and distinguished career in adult Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiothoracic Research andDr Bajpai Academia, initially in India and then extensively in the UK. He published more than 20 peer reviewed publications in prestigious journals, including in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 40 abstract presentations and 40 conference presentations at the British Thoracic Society, World Congress of Brontology, European Respiratory Society and American Thoracic Society. His major research and publications are in the fields of large airway intervention and Sildenafil therapy for patients with pulmonary hypertension.

In his 10 years of academic career at St. George’s Hospital, he successfully guided a number of specialist registrars in developing competency with endobronchial intervention, pulmonary artery catheterization and management of patients with secondary pulmonary hypertension.

Dr. Minu Bajapi, Executive Director of NBEMS and a former Dean of AIIMS Delhi was honored with the Outstanding Leadership Award in appreciation and recognition of his distinguished leadership, exceptional contributions, and lifelong commitment to the field of medical education.

AAPI also presented Dr. Rakesh Sharma, Member of BEMS with the Outstanding Leadership Award in appreciation and recognition of his distinguished leadership, exceptional contributions, and lifelong commitment in the field of medical education.

The focus of the recently concluded 17th Annual Global Healthcare Summit by The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) held in Delhi and Manipal has been sharing of knowledge and expertise on The Future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence, providing hundreds of delegates from abroad and India to interact and learn from one another about the trends in modern technology in healthcare and best practices that can help physicians to provide the best and affordable healthcare to the patients.

“It’s a well-known fact that physicians of Indian origin excel in their respective areas of work and continue to play key roles in patient care, administration, academics and medical research. In order to cater to its diversity of medical specialties, AAPI continues to use a multi-disciplinary conference format. The essence of AAPI is educational,” Dr. Anjana Samadder, president of AAPI, while describing the objectives of CME said. Dr. Samadder expressed AAPI’s commitment to collaborating with prestigious institutes like AIIMS and MAHE.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS highlighted the significant Indian involvement in the American health sector and the aim of the global health conference, discussing innovative technologies’ relevance. Stressing the growing focus on AI technology globally, the conference has aimed to explore its possibilities in healthcare, he added.

AAPI is an umbrella organization which has nearly 160 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations. For over 41 years, Indian physicians have made significant contributions to health care in this country, not only practicing in inner cities, rural areas and peripheral communities but also at the top medical schools and other academic centers. Almost 10%-12% of medical students entering US schools are of Indian origin. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, AAPI represents the interests of over nearly 200,000 physicians, medical students and residents of Indian heritage in the United States. For more details please visit:  www.aapiusa.org

Surge in Medical Seats Signals Robust Growth in India’s Healthcare Infrastructure

In a recent announcement, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya disclosed data illustrating a substantial surge in the number of medical seats across India, marking a significant improvement in the country’s healthcare infrastructure over the past decade.

According to Minister Mandaviya’s tweet on his official Twitter handle, India has experienced a more than twofold increase in both MBBS and PG medical seats in the last 10 years. The data revealed that the total number of MBBS seats in India has risen to 108,940, and PG seats have reached 70,674, compared to the 2014 figures of 51,348 seats.

Highlighting this growth trajectory, the Health Minister stated that an impressive 57,592 new MBBS seats were introduced between 2014 and 2024. The expansion was particularly notable in PG medical seats, with the addition of 39,489 seats during the same period.

Dr. Mandaviya emphasized the government’s commitment to raising awareness and ensuring healthcare services reach the last mile. He highlighted India’s unique four-tier healthcare system, operating from grassroots to primary to secondary to tertiary levels. The establishment of institutes like Ayushman Arogya Mandir in rural and urban areas played a crucial role in this strategy.

“Differing from other nations, India has a four-tier healthcare system that functions from grassroots to primary to secondary to tertiary, wherein institutes such as Ayushman Arogya Mandir have been established across rural and urban areas,” Dr. Mandaviya stated.

These institutes not only provide a wide range of healthcare services but also act as connectors, facilitating secondary and tertiary level consultations at their respective locations. This approach aims to save patients time and money while delivering services and care with ease at affordable rates.

Furthermore, the Minister reiterated the government’s persistent dedication to ensuring equal and accessible healthcare. Initiatives like Ayushman Bharat have been implemented to make healthcare services more affordable and available to everyone in society.

The significant increase in medical seats underscores the government’s strong commitment to enhancing healthcare infrastructure, ensuring fair access to healthcare, and strengthening the country’s medical facilities to meet the growing needs of the people.

ADA Announces Diverse and Accomplished Leadership Team for 2024, Featuring Three Indian-Origin Experts

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has disclosed its roster of principal officers and board of directors for the year 2024, a lineup that notably features three accomplished individuals of Indian origin. The ADA’s 15-member board, comprising professionals from the medical, scientific, education, and executive business realms, was detailed in a recent news release.

Among the distinguished appointees are Dr. Mandeep Bajaj, Dr. Rita Rastogi Kalyani, and Dr. Madi Rajulapalli, each bringing a wealth of expertise to the ADA’s leadership. Dr. Mandeep Bajaj, holding the position of president of medicine and science, serves as the vice chair for clinical affairs in the department of medicine and holds a professorship in medicine and molecular and cellular biology at the esteemed Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Bajaj occupies the role of chief of the endocrinology section at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, concurrently acting as the medical director of the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Diabetes Program and Baylor Medicine Endocrinology and Diabetes. His contributions extend beyond clinical roles, having served on the association’s scientific sessions meeting planning committee, finance committee, and research grant review committee. The ADA has acknowledged his exceptional contributions with the Outstanding Physician-Clinician award.

A graduate of the renowned All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, Dr. Bajaj pursued fellowship training in endocrinology and diabetes at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. His impressive background and dedication to the field have positioned him as a respected figure within the ADA.

Dr. Rita Rastogi Kalyani, assuming the role of president-elect of medicine and science, is an associate professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Kalyani previously chaired the ADA’s professional practice committee, responsible for formulating the ADA standards of care in Diabetes in 2018. Her involvement with the ADA also extends to her presidency of the ADA’s Maryland community leadership board.

Currently serving as an associate editor for BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, Dr. Kalyani is a Harvard alumna, having earned her bachelor’s degree there. She completed all her medical training at Johns Hopkins, solidifying her academic and professional credentials.

Dr. Madi Rajulapalli, entrusted with the position of regional medical director for Medicare Case Management at CVS Health, boasts a distinguished career path. Before her current role, she served as the chief medical officer for Aetna Better Health of Louisiana and held leadership positions as the chief medical officer for provider-based health plans and population health, as well as chief medical officer for community healthcare centers.

Dr. Rajulapalli holds diplomas from the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Quality and Utilization Review Physicians. Her educational journey includes an MBA from Texas Woman’s University and executive education from Harvard Business School. Beyond her corporate responsibilities, Dr. Rajulapalli actively contributes to the ADA as the president of its board, Louisiana-Mississippi chapter. Additionally, she participates in the value-based care council—executive leadership advisory committee (EAC) for the National Association of Managed Care Physicians.

In her leadership role, Dr. Rajulapalli aligns with the ADA’s mission as a voluntary health organization committed to addressing the diabetes epidemic and enhancing the well-being of individuals living with diabetes.

The ADA, through its newly appointed principal officers and board members, continues to play a pivotal role in combating the challenges posed by diabetes. The inclusion of these three accomplished individuals of Indian origin underscores the organization’s commitment to diversity and excellence in its leadership. As the ADA strives to “bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic” and support those affected by the condition, the collective expertise of Dr. Bajaj, Dr. Kalyani, and Dr. Rajulapalli promises to contribute significantly to the organization’s ongoing efforts.

Novavax’s Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Gains WHO Emergency-Use Approval for Ages 12 and Up, Marking a Milestone in Global Immunization Efforts

Novavax has secured emergency-use authorization from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its updated COVID-19 vaccine, extending its eligibility to individuals aged 12 and older. This approval, granted on Tuesday, follows the previous authorization the vaccine received in the United States just last month. The enhanced Novavax shot is designed to combat a variant stemming from the XBB lineage of the coronavirus, which held global prominence earlier this year.

The World Health Organization’s emergency use listing serves the crucial purpose of expediting regulatory approvals for the importation and administration of these vaccines by member states. This streamlined process is fundamental in ensuring a swift and efficient response to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing for more expedited deployment of the Novavax vaccine.

Novavax faced setbacks during the initial stages of the pandemic, missing out on the vaccine success experienced by mRNA counterparts. Manufacturing issues hampered the company’s ability to file for regulatory approval during the peak of the pandemic. As a result, its original COVID-19 vaccine obtained authorization in the United States in July 2022, a considerable delay compared to the earlier approvals granted to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

In contrast to the mRNA-based vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, Novavax’s updated shot employs a more conventional protein-based technology. This marks a departure from the innovative mRNA approach that has characterized many of the widely used COVID-19 vaccines.

The market responded positively to Novavax’s recent developments, with shares of the Maryland-based vaccine maker experiencing a 1.8% rise to $5.6 in premarket trading. This increase reflects the optimism surrounding the expanded authorization and the potential impact of Novavax’s vaccine on a broader age range.

In reflecting on the journey of Novavax, the challenges it faced in manufacturing, and the subsequent delay in regulatory approval, the company has now taken a significant step forward with the WHO’s emergency-use authorization. This approval not only validates the safety and efficacy of the updated Novavax vaccine but also facilitates a more efficient global response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

As we delve into the details of Novavax’s updated vaccine, it is crucial to highlight the technology behind it. While Pfizer and Moderna relied on mRNA-based approaches, Novavax has opted for a more traditional protein-based technology. This choice comes with its own set of advantages and considerations, contributing to the diversity of strategies employed in the fight against COVID-19.

The importance of WHO’s emergency use listing cannot be overstated, particularly in the context of a global health crisis. By streamlining the regulatory processes for member states, the WHO enables a more rapid deployment of vaccines, thereby enhancing the collective effort to curb the spread of the virus. Novavax’s inclusion in this list underscores its role as a valuable tool in the global vaccination strategy.

Novavax’s updated vaccine receiving emergency-use authorization from the World Health Organization signifies a pivotal moment in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. The extended eligibility to individuals aged 12 and older expands the reach of this vaccine, while the more traditional protein-based technology adds a distinctive element to the array of vaccination strategies. As the world grapples with the challenges of the pandemic, such developments underscore the resilience of scientific innovation and global collaboration in the pursuit of public health

Centre Proposes Inclusion of Traditional Medicine in WHO’s List

In a bid to gain global recognition for India’s traditional medicine, the Indian government has made a formal request for the inclusion of Ayurveda and related systems in the 11th revision of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD). This move is aimed at establishing a standardized language that can be utilized by healthcare professionals worldwide.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, the Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, emphasized the significance of this proposal, underscoring that it would play a crucial role in effectively regulating and integrating traditional medicine into the existing healthcare system. He shared his thoughts in an interview with The Hindu.

The envisioned inclusion of the second module for Ayurveda in ICD-11 is anticipated to streamline research and evaluation processes, ultimately establishing its efficacy within the global healthcare framework. This development follows the successful integration of Module-1, covering traditional medicine conditions originating from ancient China, into ICD-11.

The digitization of ICD-11 is an essential aspect of this effort, and the proposed integration of Ayurveda is seen as a major stride towards achieving various goals. It is expected to lead to better insurance coverage, improved reporting of adverse events, and the alignment of traditional medicine practices with global healthcare standards.
The Ministry of Ayush is actively involved in the development of Module-2, drawing upon the knowledge and experiences gained through the National Ayush Morbidity and Standardized Terminologies Electronic portal and the Ayush Health Information Management System.

This initiative is not just limited to the inclusion of Ayurveda in a global classification system; it is expected to have far-reaching implications. It is poised to facilitate the integration of traditional medicine into mainstream health information systems, bridging the gap between traditional and modern healthcare practices. Additionally, it aligns with the objective of achieving universal health coverage, a vision endorsed by the World Health Organization.

The proposed inclusion of Ayurveda and related traditional systems in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a significant step in promoting these age-old healthcare practices on a global scale. This initiative, led by the Indian government, is aimed at providing a common language for healthcare professionals worldwide to better understand and integrate traditional Indian medicine.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, the Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, highlighted the importance of this move. He emphasized that it would not only support the effective regulation of traditional medicine but also facilitate its integration into the existing healthcare system. This integration is crucial for ensuring that traditional Indian medicine, including Ayurveda, can coexist harmoniously with modern healthcare practices.

The proposed inclusion of the second module for Ayurveda in ICD-11 is expected to have several positive outcomes. It will streamline research and evaluation processes, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of Ayurveda and related systems in the context of global healthcare.

ICD-11 has already successfully included Module-1, which covers traditional medicine conditions originating from ancient China. With the digital transformation of ICD-11, the integration of Ayurveda is a significant step forward. It is anticipated to lead to better insurance coverage for traditional Indian medicine, improved reporting of adverse events, and the alignment of traditional healthcare practices with global healthcare standards.

The Ministry of Ayush is actively involved in the development of Module-2, drawing upon the experiences and knowledge gained through the National Ayush Morbidity and Standardized Terminologies Electronic portal and the Ayush Health Information Management System. This involvement demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensuring that Ayurveda and related systems are well-represented in the global healthcare classification system.

Furthermore, this move goes beyond the mere inclusion of Ayurveda in a classification system. It is expected to promote the seamless integration of traditional Indian medicine into mainstream health information systems. This integration will bridge the gap between traditional and modern healthcare practices, creating a more holistic approach to healthcare.

In line with the vision of the World Health Organization, this initiative aligns with the objective of achieving universal health coverage. By recognizing and standardizing traditional Indian medicine, it takes a step closer to making healthcare accessible to all. This is a noteworthy development that has the potential to positively impact the global healthcare landscape.

AAPI Holds Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness CME

“Lifestyle medicine is the simplest yet most powerful approach to true health and healing,” said Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) while setting the context for the Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Webinar organized on November 19th, 2022. “We understand that well-being is more than the absence of disease. It’s our hope that by attending this very important webinar today, we all will experience the transformative power of using everyday choices and habits to achieve peak performance and well-being.”

Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, AAPI’s CME Chair, while welcoming the nearly 200 AAPI members who attended the webinar, introduced Dr. Koushik Reddy, who is passionate and deeply committed to the idea of health promotion and disease prevention, using lifestyle and nutrition-related tools, and, Dr. Param Dedhia, a dedicated internal and integrative medicine practitioner, who is a board-certified Integrative Medicine Physician, Internal Medicine Doctor, Obesity Medicine Expert, and Sleep Medicine Specialist, who led the discussions today on Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness.

“I Have a Carrot and a Stent, You Pick!,” Dr. Koushik R. Reddy, director of interventional cardiology at the James A Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, FL, challenged a record over 200 Physicians who had joined the webinar on weekend morning.  Dr. Kaushik Reddy emphasized the importance of a fundamental diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle approaches in the primordial and primary prevention of many NCDs that can easily be prevented through simple day-to-day choices.

Dr. Koushik Reddy argued that our healthcare system is really a disease management system, but we still have some agency. He shared with AAPI members several pillars he believes will help each of us have a happy, long healthy life. In his address, he said, he is deeply committed to the idea of health promotion and disease prevention, using lifestyle and nutrition-related tools. It is with this passion and commitment, he boldly challenges his patients with – “I have a carrot and a stent, you pick!”

Picture : TheUNN

Dr. Reddy said Lifestyle medicine-certified clinicians are trained to apply evidence-based, whole-person, prescriptive lifestyle change to treat and, when used intensively, often reverse such conditions. Applying the six pillars of lifestyle medicine—a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connections—also provides effective prevention for these conditions. Dr. Reddy discussed the flaws and opportunities inherent in our healthcare system as it relates to heart health. He spoke about the power of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine, and how he incorporates those principles into his current practice.

Both the quality of life and the quantity of life, are inseparable components of a Good Lifestyle, he said. Pointing to how in 1920, the life expectancy was 42, and in 202o, it has nearly doubled to 78. While the quantity of life has increased tremendously, the quality of life has suffered greatly. “While we are living longer, we are also dying longer due to illnesses.”  Dr. Reddy pointed out that the United States is not among the healthy nations of the world because “We are failing the system.” In his efforts to spread the message, he said, “I am happy to work with AAPI and help spread the message of Lifestyle Medicine beyond AAPI and to back home in India.”

Dr. Reddy, after practicing interventional cardiology for ten years, changed his focus towards cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention, using lifestyle and nutrition-based strategies. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology’s working group on nutrition and lifestyle and is board certified in Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, and Lifestyle Medicine. He is closely involved with the department of Whole Health at the Tampa VA hospital. Working in partnership with the local Whole Health leadership, he established two preventive cardiology clinics. “HEAL – Healthy Eating and Living – Introductory Program. CALM – Comprehensive Approach to Lifestyle Medicine – 6 weeks of the multidisciplinary program.”

In his insightful address on “Sleep, The Master Lever Of Health,” Dr. Param Dedhia, who had his education at Johns Hopkins University and Canyon Ranch, which allowed him to bridge eastern and western philosophies, and connect traditional wisdom to modern science, is the Founder & Medical Director of Moveo Health, a personalized health program focused on longevity, shared at length some valuable lessons and words of wisdom on the importance of staying curious and honoring our health.

Referring to Sleep Medicine in the United States as only 40 years old, Dr. Dedhia stressed the importance of sleep in our daily lives and said, “Sleep is about restoring.” He said, “Sleep evolves through adulthood. So, we must evolve our lifestyles to promote sleep. According to him, “Most adults need 7-9 hours” of sleep daily. In his address, he pointed to the function & promise of sleep, which Restores, and Cools the brain and body. It helps regulate ion channels and optimizes physiological growth. Sleep is Anti-Inflammatory, as it helps reduce inflammatory markers. Sleep improves one’s mood, by soothing emotions & mental fatigue.
Sleep is “Actively cardio-protective and Enhances neuro-plasticity.” Another important function of Sleep is to help “Improve memory formation & consolidation.” Sleep “connects us physically, mentally & emotionally” and helps us “Replete energy stores.”

Dr. Dedhia, who continues to pursue his passion and be an advocate for people to live their best lives, quoting scientific studies and evidence-based research, Dr. Dedhia said, “Rx for optimal sleep & health are: (1) Quantity and (2) Quality, which are determined by ‘Daytime Lifestyle’ and ‘Nighttime Sleep,’ by creating ‘Night Time Rituals’ that last a lifetime.”

Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, AAPI CME Chair, said, with the rapidly worsening trends in Chronic Lifestyle Related Non-communicable diseases across the world stemming from modern food and diet practices, inadequate physical activity, poor sleep, worsening stress, poor social relationships, and risky substances abuse – healthcare systems across the world are now inundated with premature and preventable mortality and morbidity from these NCDs. In this context, “Today’s webinar is filled with inspiring and informative talks and presentations by two great speakers that shed the light on the importance of lifestyle interventions as the primary mode of prevention.

In his vote of thanks, Dr, Pankaj Vu, Director of Lifestyle Medicine at Kaiser Permanente, while expressing gratitude to the internationally renowned speakers for their inspiring discussions on Lifestyle Medicine and for AAPI members for being part of this important session said, said, “In support of physician well-being and self-care, such sessions are being offered to the AAPI members, families and friends.”

In his remarks, Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Vice President of AAPI, while referring to the importance of the Webinar, said, “It is well established that evidence-based clinical nutrition and lifestyle practices play a pivotal role in the prevention, treatment, and potential reversal of various common chronic diseases. However, this area of science is underappreciated at all levels of medical education and training. Most medical schools and residency programs do not offer any organized training in nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Given recent data on the rising cost and loss of quality of life secondary to preventable causes, there is an absolute need for a drastic reform of the US medical education system.” Fort more details on AAPI, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

Kids Ages 5-11 Are Now Eligible For Covid Vaccine

An FDA panel of independent advisers to the Food and Drug Administration is recommending that the agency issue an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 years old. The panel voted unanimously to recommend emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s Covid-19 on Tuesday, October 26th.

The FDA panel accepted Pfizer’s data indicating the vaccine is safe and 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in this age group. Members of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee agreed the benefits of vaccinating younger children appeared to outweigh the risks, but some members appeared troubled about voting to vaccinate a large population of younger children based on studies of a few thousand.

“It is reassuring to me that we are giving a lower dose,” said Dr. Paul Offit, who directs the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Pfizer has cut its vaccine to one-third of the adult dose for the children under 12 and said clinical trials showed this lower dose protected children well against symptomatic infection. The hope is it will cause fewer side-effects. Accordingly, a dose of Pfizer for young children will contain one-third the amount of active ingredient compared to the adult dose. Children would receive a second dose 21 days or more after their first shot.

Children 5-11 years of age have accounted for approximately 9% of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. overall, and currently account for approximately 40% of all pediatric COVID-19 cases, says Dr. Doran Fink, clinical deputy director of the division of vaccines and related products for the FDA. Currently, the case rate among children ages 5 to 11 is “near the highest” of any age group, he says.

The committee’s recommendation comes as more than 1.9 million cases have been reported among children ages 5-11, with approximately 8,300 children hospitalized to date, according to the CDC. About one-third of these hospitalized children required treatment in the ICU. The rate of hospitalization is three times higher among children of color than among white children.

Unvaccinated children with COVID-19 can develop a serious complication called multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C, as well as an inflammation of the heart muscle called myocarditis.

Myocarditis occurs naturally after infections with other viruses and it has also been seen as a rare side effect after vaccination with the two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, especially in young men. Myocarditis was a focus of the scientific presentations and discussion on the possible risks of the vaccine if authorized for young children.

Overall, the incidence of serious adverse events reported in Pfizer’s studies was less than 2 in 1,000, Ball said, and all were found to be unrelated to the vaccine. Less serious side effects occurred more often, including swollen lymph nodes in a few children and symptoms like pain at the injection site, fatigue and headache, she said.

Capt. Amanda Cohn, a physician and medical officer with the CDC and also a voting member of the FDA committee, said that the number of children in the Pfizer studies is similar to the number that has been used to approve other childhood vaccines. “I don’t want to minimize the risk,” Cohn told the committee during a debate over the vote. “At this moment, based on the totality of the evidence, the benefits do outweigh the risk,” she said.

The agency typically goes along with the advice of its expert panels, though it isn’t bound to do so. It will issue a decision within the next several days. If the FDA authorizes the vaccine for these younger children, as seems likely, another panel of experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would make its own recommendations and offer guidelines next week on its use among this age group.

The vaccine provides a broad defense against COVID-19 and “effectively neutralized the delta variant” in young kids, said Dr. William Gruber, senior vice president of vaccine clinical research and development at Pfizer, speaking during the committee hearing.

Gruber said the dose size was chosen to “strike the right balance” between providing strong immunity and limiting side effects. He said that the observed adverse effects seen in the company’s studies “did not suggest any safety concerns.” An FDA review supported that conclusion.

The FDA will now take the committee’s vote under consideration and is likely to extend EUA to the vaccine for younger children in the coming days. Then vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet next week, November 2-3, to discuss the decision and decide whether to recommend that US kids get the vaccine. The final word will lie with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and vaccination could begin next week if she gives the go-ahead.

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