Current Issue



We have a lot of healthcare news for you in this issue � from new research from leading laboratories to important goings on in the region and interviews from the Arab Health exhibition.

Interesting and rather shocking research coming out of Saudi Arabia shows that one in four adults under 40 years old is set to have a heart attack within the next 10 years. The lead author, Dr Muhammad Adil Soofi, points out that �most of the people we studied were between 20 and 40 years old and 26% were at high risk of a heart attack or death from a heart attack in 10 years. Unhealthy lifestyles start at a young age in the Gulf and people reap the consequences early in life.� Read the report on page 20.

The effects of climate change on health are not immediately apparent, but several studies indicate the increasing appearance of infectious diseases in new places and new hosts. We report on one such study where the lead researcher notes that it�s �not that there�s going to be one �Andromeda Strain� that will wipe everybody out on the planet� � referring to the 1971 science fiction film about a deadly pathogen. �There are going to be a lot of localized outbreaks putting pressure on medical and veterinary health systems. It will be death by a thousand cuts.� The Ebola and MERS outbreaks are examples. Read more about this on page 26.

In our focus on anaesthesia we look at a survey of Swedish anaesthetists, which has implications for anaesthetists worldwide. It found that many anaesthesia professionals were not sufficiently aware of the risks of postoperative cognitive side effects, particularly in elderly and fragile patients. Postoperative cognitive impairments may arise early on after surgery, such as the short-lasting, but still distressful postoperative emergence agitation. Postoperative delirium usually makes its debut one or two days after surgery, sometimes giving rise to major concerns. The more subtle but longer lasting postoperative cognitive dysfunction generally starts during the first week after surgery, but may last for a month. The survey found that anaesthetists considered these of rather low importance and noted that there is a need to improve knowledge of postsurgical cognitive side effects of anaesthesia. Read about the survey on page 30.

Also in anaesthesia, but on a lighter note, researchers have found that prescribing liquorice to patients following surgery significantly reduces the side effects associated with anaesthesia, such as sore throats, coughs and hoarseness.

There is a lot more interesting news in this issue. Read on�

Callan Emery

(Mar-Apr 2015)

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