Depression, obesity, and chronic pain are some of the most pressing global health concerns. New research may have found a drug that could one day tackle all of these three conditions.
Almost 40 percent of adults in the United States were living with obesity in 2015–2016. Worldwide, nearly 40 percent of adults are overweight, and 13 percent of them have obesity.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability across the globe. In the U.S., over 17 million adults have experienced at least one episode of major depression in their lives.
Citing what it calls “a substantial and ever-increasing unmet need,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a report that presses for accessible and affordable rehabilitation as a high-priority global health goal.
The “call for action” issued by WHO is the result of a February 2017 meeting of 208 rehabilitation stakeholders from 46 countries—a combination of rehabilitation services users, health policy specialists, funders, researchers, educators, and clinical practice experts that included APTA members Sue Eitel, PT, and Mike Landry, PT, PhD, who also is a member of the editorial board of Physical Therapy. Also in attendance was Emma Stokes, president of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy.
A meta-analysis of studies involving over 3 million participants has concluded that not only does physical activity (PA) reduce cancer mortality, but the mortality risk decreases as the amount of PA goes up—and the effects seem to be even greater for individuals who have been diagnosed with the disease.
In a study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers analyzed results of 71 studies focused on the relationship between PA and cancer mortality. The studies were conducted in North America, Europe, and Asia, and involved both the general population (36 studies) and research focused solely on cancer survivors (35). Authors of the current study were particularly interested in finding out whether the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for PA were sufficient to make a difference in mortality rates. Those recommendations call for a minimum of 2.5 hours per week (h/week) of moderate-intensity PA.
The answer: yes, and then some. Researchers found out that in the overall population, following the minimum recommendations led to a 13% reduction in cancer mortality. Those benefits accrued rapidly at the lower end of the scale, with an approximate 2% reduction in cancer mortality for every metabolic equivalent of task (MET) h/week up to 7.5 (7.5 MET h/week being roughly equivalent to 2.5 h/week of moderate-intensity PA). After that, cancer mortality rates continued to drop, albeit at a rate closer to 1% for every 10 MET h/week over the 7.5 mark.
Around the world, 90% of people in need of palliative care don’t receive it, according to a new study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA). The report, which focused on end-of-life care, shows that the bulk of the need is related to noncommunicable diseases including stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
The study found that over 20 million people require palliative care at the end of life, with nearly 70% of those in need being adults over 60, and 9% being children. According to a press release announcing the report, “the number of people requiring this care rises to at least 40 million if all those that could benefit from palliative care at an earlier stage of their illness are included.”