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Jonathan Gornall, Author at Live Healthy

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Humans are notoriously bad at estimating risk. Most people fear flying far more than driving, even though the odds of dying in a car accident (1 in 107 in the US, for example) are far higher than perishing in an aircraft crash (about 1 in 11 million). What we are really good at, however, is self-deception. Take smoking. By now, just about everyone must surely know that tobacco is extremely bad for us in all...

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On December 14, 2019, the UAE celebrated what appeared to be a remarkable achievement. In just one year it had climbed 10 places on the Global Food Security Index, ranking 21st out of 113 countries and apparently on course to fulfil its extraordinary ambition of achieving a top-10 position by 2021. At the time, Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, said the jump reflected the government’s determination “to transform the UAE into...

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As the citizens of Israel and the UAE are discovering with collaboration between the two countries blossoming in multiple areas, there is much they have in common, and much to be gained in trade deals across multiple sectors. But behind the much-publicized wealth-creating deals in technology and aerospace, a more down-to-earth and yet vitally important collaboration in healthcare is under way that could save both nations vast sums of money, and improve and even save...

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There is, as the doctor always says in countless medical gags, good news, and bad news. Let’s start with the good news. In general terms, we are all living longer than our parents and grandparents, and our children are predicted to live for even more years than we will. That’s the overwhelming conclusion drawn by the mammoth and ongoing Global Burden of Disease (GBC) study, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gates Ventures...

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At a time when the entire world is undergoing the largest vaccination program ever rolled out by modern medicine, it has never been more important to understand how drug trials actually work. In general, trials of new drugs or treatments boil down to a simple analysis of risk versus benefit — do the benefits of taking a certain drug outweigh the risks? Finding out is a methodical business, which goes something like this. Before any...

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Much confusion has been generated among medical professionals and men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer by a recent radical rethink on treatment guidelines published by the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The NCCN is a well-respected body that for years has supported the generally accepted approach that the best treatment for men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer is to do nothing — or, rather, to monitor the progress of the disease through “active surveillance”. Now...

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The sun’s rays are all our bodies need to generate the vitamin D that is so essential to our health and, as those of us making it through another long hot summer in the region well know, there is no shortage of those in the Gulf. So why is it that the Middle East and North Africa region consistently has some of the highest rates of vitamin D deficiency in the world? And, as a...

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There is a basic truth that dictates survival rates for all kinds of cancer. Detect it early enough and, with appropriate treatment, a patient stands an excellent chance of surviving and living a normal life. The problem is that many cancers are tough to detect in their early stages and, because of a lack of definitive tests for most types of cancer, in most countries screening is carried out for only three of them: bowel,...

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From Aarskog-Scott syndrome to Zumbusch psoriasis, generations of clinicians and medical researchers have earned fame, fortune and a kind of immortality through the honor of having the rare disease or disorder they have identified named after them. But when an entire region or country finds itself associated with a deadly infectious disease, the result is more of a curse. Over the years there have been plenty of examples, including the “Spanish flu,” responsible for the...

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It will still be many months before we see the back of Covid-19, but as various vaccines start to come onstream there is light at the end of the tunnel. Yet even as the beginning of the end of the pandemic looms, research from around the world is beginning to pose unsettling questions about where and when it all began and, in the process, offering clues to how the world might better defend itself against...