Health Matters

Nationwide clapping is heartfelt and very lovely, but as we all know, the best thing we can do to support the NHS and other key workers right now is to stay at home. Whilst many of us are extremely lucky to be able to stay at home with our families, this drastic change in routine and lack of face to face social interaction could take a toll on our mental health – especially considering the uncertainty of our futures and the constant bombardment on TV and social media by coronavirus-related news.

Published in the highly regarded scientific journal Nature*, a team lead by Professor Tove Fall at Uppsalla University in Sweden have completed the largest study of its kind: they tracked 3.4 million over forty year-olds and found that dog owners live longer and have a 20% lower risk of early death from cardiovascular disease than non dog owners! This effect was amplified for those that lived alone with a dog – rising to a 33% lower mortality. This effect dwarfs the results of benefits seen in many of the drug trials on statins and blood pressure treatments.

Exhausted all the time? Keeping your partner awake with your snoring? It might be that your breathing is temporarily stopping whilst you snooze. Whilst this sounds alarming, there are expert tests and treatments available for the problem. Our London-based consultant cardiologist and sleep apnoea expert, Dr Boon Lim explains what sleep apnoea is and how to diagnose it quickly and easily with this simple test.

Have you ever considered that the niggling back pain that’s been bothering you may have nothing whatsoever to do with a back problem? Or wondered why your knees are hurting when you can’t remember injuring them? Turns out that all sorts of aches and pains further north in the body are actually caused by your gait – the way you walk or run. Correcting an abnormal gait early on can help prevent all sorts of musculoskeletal problems later in life.

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