In the past few years there have been many headlines related to the potential side-effects of taking calcium pills, particularly for women. Last week, the Daily Mail reported that 'women with high calcium levels are at twice the risk of dying from heart disease', which was in the same vein as their previous stories such as 'calcium pills "put women at 30% risk of heart attack"'(2010) and 'high doses of calcium supplements "can raise men's heart risk by 20%"' (2013). We look at research quoted in these articles, and examine how concerned consumers really should be about taking calcium pills.
- 07 February 2013
Tall people rejoice - your Body Mass Index (BMI) might be lower than you think it is. Nick Trefethen from Oxford University's Mathematical Institute has worked out a new way to calculate the healthy weight measurement, which takes individuals' height into greater consideration.
BMI - which measures whether you are underweight, healthy or overweight - was tradionally calculated by dividing a person's weight by their height squared. According to Mr Trefethen, however, this is insufficiently sensitive to differences in height and often leads to short people's weight being divided by too large a number - meaning that they are often fatter than their score indicates.
The new calculation divides 1.3 times a person's weight by their height to the power of 2.5. Thanks to the new system, people over six feet tall are likely to drop about one point down the BMI scale - but it's bad news for the very short.
To see how you fare under the new system, try the Telegraph's interactive calculator.
- 07 February 2013
Stress-busting techniques designed to help you cope with the ups and that we face in our everyday lives are described in a new book that claims to bring a “gentle and safe” mode of healing to the English-speaking public for the first time, writes Joanne Hunter.
Instant Serenity for Life & Work reveals “an easy way” to lead a calmer, more relaxed life.
- 01 February 2013
Not only can a good book entertain and inform, but research also suggests that the act of reading can reduce stress by up to 67%. For those looking to escape from the daily grind, or enhance their mood when they're feeling low, the Reading Agency has published a list of 27 'mood-boosting' books, which reading groups have voted most likely to cheer people up when they're down.
Amongst the titles are the heart-warming 'Major Pettigrew's Last Stand' by Helen Simonson, Bill Bryson's humourous travel book 'Notes From A Small Island', and comedic crime fiction novel 'The Big Over Easy' by Jasper Fforde. Libraries across the UK have pledged to stock all of the titles, and books are free to borrow providing you have a valid library card. (Also free to obtain.) To see the full list of books, visit the Reading Groups website.
- 29 January 2013
It might come as a surprise for anyone who has experienced the hustle and bustle of nocturnal London, but the capital's inhabitants are getting some of the best sleep in the country. Together with the residents of Scotland, Londoners currently acheive the highest sleep quality scores in the UK, according to the Great British Sleep Survey.
- 21 January 2013
In the winter months, the thought of dragging yourself out of bed to go for a jog in the chilly morning, or going to the gym after a hard day at work, can be deeply unappealing. Fortunately, however, there are lots of great ways to improve your fitness in your lunch break, allowing you to keep those new year's resolutions without compromising your sleep or social life.
Going for a long walk, for example, is a great way to get healthier without paying for gym membership or having to change in and out of sports gear. Research suggests that a brisk daily walk can help you lose weight, boost your mood and make you less prone to seasonal illnesses.
- 09 January 2013
Norovirus, often called the 'winter vomiting bug', has been especially prevalent over the past few months. In fact, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) reports that as many as 1.19million people in the UK could have been affected, with more contracting the virus every day. This season, the dominant strain of the virus has come from Australia, where outbreaks have lasted longer than usual - prompting fears that the same may happen over here.
As it only takes around 20 virus particles to infect someone, Norovirus is highly contagious. It is, however, usually not serious and most people recover after a couple of days.
- 12 November 2012
Learning a language or brushing up on your maths skills in your spare time can boost your life satisfaction in the same way as a £750 a year pay rise, according to new research.
That was one of the findings from research commissioned by the Government. Key findings of the research included;
- People who take an adult learning course, ranging from an art class to improving IT skills, have better health, are less likely to be depressed and visit their GP less regularly
- Those with poor basic skills tend to have worse health: for example, people who struggle with maths are three times more likely to have health problems
- Learning boosts self-confidence and raises people’s aspirations, with those taking part more likely to further their career and expect higher salaries
- People in their fifties and sixties also benefit, with learning offsetting a natural decline in wellbeing as we age
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said, “This research shows how adult learning, whether it’s a course to further someone’s career or an evening class for enjoyment, has the potential to change lives for the better, whilst also creating a highly-skilled nation that will help businesses to get the skills they need to grow and boost our international competitiveness.”
- 09 November 2012
Going for a walk or bike ride has the potential to tackle the worst effects of the UK`s growing health gap between rich and poor.
Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson has written an introduction to an evidence review by UK sustainable transport charity Sustrans, and said transport infrastructure could encourage people to combine physical activity with their everyday journeys.
- 21 February 2012
One of the most talked-about things in health insurance is medical inflation. Insurance companies use it as a blanket term when informing members of their increased renewal premiums. Kevin Melton, sales director at AXA PPP International, discusses why medical inflation is going through the roof.
Medical inflation is affected by claiming history, the cost of new technologies, and the medical landscape. And it always seems to be on the increase. Below are some of the reasons why.
When the world is in a recession, more people seem to claim. When times are good, many people don’t bother settling claims for minimal amounts for things like medicines or a trip to the general practitioner. But when times are lean, people claim for every expense they can.
And who can blame them? That is, after all, why you buy insurance.
Recession often also means redundancies, so employees on a company scheme often push through treatment if they think their job is at risk.
- 25 October 2010
Moving to live in a new country is about enriching your life and fulfilling your potential.
However, the single biggest cost you could face abroad is healthcare - whether the incidental doctors' visits and the medication they prescribe, or the unexpected events that can result in a long hospital stay - and a huge bill.
When moving to another country, it is absolutely essential that you have not only medical insurance but the correct kind of medical insurance.
Medical insurance request case study
We were recently contacted by a gentleman looking for medical insurance to cover his sister-in-law in the USA. The wording of the request, though, did appear to suggest that not only did she require treatment but she was, in fact, already in hospital.
When we contacted the gentleman for further information, he told us a sadly familiar story. His sister-in-law had purchased some medical insurance, but opted for the cheapest-possible cover. As it turns out, it was a plan that covered emergency events, and the stabilisation of emergency situations, only. When she was rushed into hospital several days after arriving in the US, she did have the initial emergency stabilisation covered.
However, that's where the cover ended. His sister-in-law was now still in need of treatment, and was attached to medical equipment, but with no insurance for the necessary followup treatment. The hospital would not begin the treatment until they were provided with a 'premium insurance' plan to cover the cost.
The gentleman was now desperately trying to find a medical insurance plan to cover this. Unfortunately, it was too late. No medical plans would be prepared to cover this treatment, as it was effectively now a pre-existing condition. However, if she had bought an international private medical insurance plan before travelling, her treatment would have been covered without any problems.
This is a desperately sad situation for this lady and her family, but it just goes to show why having the correct medical cover is essential. There is no point being wise after the event: it's too late then, so be wise before the event.
When it comes to expatriate healthcare insurance, less definitely isn't more; medical problems abroad can result in hefty bills.
For further information, go to www.medibroker.com