Healthcare & Lifescience Talking Points | 12/07/2017

In today’s talking points: Research Update: Why do some stay awake while the rest of the world is sleeping; Adding years to your life, one sip at a time; Chinese colleges called to introduce health education courses; Building a healthy China with better medical education

Research Update: Why do some stay awake while the rest of the world is sleeping

According to a recent US study by the Royal Society, a healthy mixture of early birds, night owls and wakeful elderly people may have evolved as a clever way of protecting the community from wild beasts and dangerous environments during the night. By tracking the sleep activity of 22 modern-day Hadza hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, researchers found over a period of 20 days that there were only 18 minutes when no one was awake, suggesting that these sleeping patterns may have had a survival function.

In contemporary society, the legacy of these evolutionary adaptations can explain the role of natural sleeping pattern variety in labour division. For instance, Track rider Lucy Yeomans, who gets up at 3am each day, has found her job perfectly suited to her natural sleep pattern.

Read more at: Sydney Morning Herald


Adding years to your life, one sip at a time

We all know that coffee can come in handy if you’re wanting to stay awake, but how about it’s effect on your overall longevity? According to the conclusions of two new studies published in the U.S. journal Annals of Internal Medicine, people who drink coffee appear to live longer, providing further confirmation on the health benefits of coffee consumption. According to the first study, which spanned across 10 European countries and was the largest ever of its kind, those who consume the most coffee have a significantly lower risk for death.

The second study, which focused on exploring how variations in race and caffeine level may impact on the overall health benefits of coffee-consumption, found that the variables had little effect on the other findings, suggesting that the results highlighted a notable continuity across diverse lifestyles and various disease risk prone groups.

Of course, as was pointed out in an accompanying editorial of the journal “Recommending coffee intake to reduce mortality or prevent chronic disease would be premature”, but nevertheless the study is good news for all the coffee-lovers out there!

Read more at: Xinhua


Chinese colleges called to introduce health education courses

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has issued a guideline encouraging Chinese institutions of higher education to establish public courses on health education. The content of the courses will include disease prevention, mental health, sex and reproductive health to teach students about healthy lifestyles. Health education should be integrated with the education system, where resources are used to outline health education plans that are personally tailored to the student’s circumstances.  However, despite institutions’ efforts to improve their health education in recent years, students are yet to fully appreciate health education. MOE’s guideline appears to address this issue and seeks to improve health education in China.

Read more at: Xinhua


Building a healthy China with better medical education

At the national conference on medical education reform, written instructions by Premier Li Keqiang urged the Ministry of Education, the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the National Health and Family Planning Commission to improve China’s medical education and professional training. This includes training a large number of qualified medical professionals to improve existing health services and to have equal regards for both Chinese and Western medicine. Accordingly, Vice Premier Liu Yandong also encouraged education and medical authorities to improve the quality of medical education in hopes of building a “healthy China.”

Read more at: China Daily