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Archive for April 5, 2013

New blood test may predict mortality rate in heart failure patients

Blood test which measures a new bio-marker of early heart disease called “GDF15” has the potential to reduce this risk.

A new blood test may predict if a patient who has heart failure can pull through, which can then help doctors in their treatment. And for the first time, it is being tested on Asian population.

SINGAPORE – A new blood test may predict if a patient who has heart failure can pull through, which can then help doctors in their treatment.

And for the first time, it is being tested on Asian population.

Heart failure – a condition where the heart becomes weak and fails to pump blood out efficiently – is the top cause of hospitalisation among the elderly in Singapore.

More than half of the patients with this condition die within five years.

But a blood test which measures a new bio-marker of early heart disease called Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15) has the potential to reduce this risk.

Results from an on-going study by researchers at the National University Health System of 394 heart failure patients showed that the higher the level of GDF15, the more likely the patients will die or are re-hospitalised within a year.

An interim analysis after one year showed that 118 patients were re-admitted for heart failure, while 35 patients died.

The study is expected to run for a further three years.

Currently, the factors which doctors use to determine heart failure outcome include age, functional status and a standard bio-marker called NT-proBNP.

Researchers believe that if this GDF15 marker reaches the clinical stage, it will improve accuracy of diagnosis.

Associate professor Carolyn Lam, a consultant at National University Heart Centre’s cardiac department, said: “A marker that tells the doctor who is going to do worse is important, because there are many effective therapies for heart failure that exist.

“In medical therapy, there are many classes of drugs. Each of these drugs is associated with side effects. So knowing who needs it more, will make us be more aggressive in making sure that we escalate the doses.”

Going forward, the research team plans to increase its pool of patients, as well as study the blood marker in more categories, such as gender and ethnicity.

– CNA/ck

New centre for autistic children


Permata Negara patron Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (centre) checking out a model of the Permata Kurnia centre which will be built in Jalan Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, at an estimated cost of RM28 million. Pic by Fariz Iswadi Ismail


INTERVENTION PROGRAMME: Construction of Permata Kurnia likely to start in August with completion in 18 months

PUTRAJAYA : THE  Permata Kurnia centre, which is a  new programme under Per mata Negara, will help to teach  autistic children and address the prob lems faced by them.autistic children in the country.

Datin Seri Rosmah  Mansor, the Permata  Negara patron and, who is also  the prime minister’s  wife,  said it was timely  to have such a centre,  especially when the  country was heading to wards achieving the developed nation  status.

“In order for us to be a  developed nation, we  must have a systematic  and scientific centre to  address such issues and  Permata Kurnia would  be catering for autistic  children.

“It will also be a centre  where wewhich will teach par ents to understand their children  better and to help them to cope with their  disorderdisability,” said Rosmah during the  centre’s pre-launching event held at  Seri Perdana complex,   here, yesterday.

Permata Kurnia, to be built on a  1.05ha2.6-acre plotplot in Jalan Sentul, Kuala  Lumpur, at an estimated cost of and the approximate cost is  RM28 million, is, which is fully funded by the  government.

Construction of the centre is expected to start  in August with completion will take in 18  months to complete (Feb 2015).

The pre-launch of Per mata Kurnia was held in  conjunction with the World  Autism Day celebrated  celebration which is held on April 2 annually.

Rosmah said that even though autistic  children had special  cognitive abilities.

“Some of these chil dren are talented,  whether academically  or musically.

“So, with the interven tion programmes that would be pro vided by the centre, they  can be equipped with  skills that will help them  go through their lives as  normally as possible.” aside from developing their abilities.”

She said that the centre  would providebe providing three  types of services, name ly and they are full-time intervention, family and  support intervention and training  programmes.

They and would be designed to cater to  the needs of  parents and their children.

“For example, the full-time inter vention programme is for a catered to children  aged 4 to 6 who has been diagnosed with mild  autism.

“This early intervention pro gramme willwould be used to guide and help the chil dren toso that they would be ready for their formal edu cation.”  Rosmah added.

Rosmah added that the idea ofto  building the centre was conceived  during working visits to various autism cen tres in the United States and the  United Kingdom between Feb 4 and  Feb 11, 2013.

The objective of the working visits  was to learn and observe the im plementation of autism pro grammes in the centres.

Read more: New centre for autistic children – General – New Straits Times






新华网上海4月4日电(记者仇逸 李荣)记者从上海市卫生和计划生育委员会获悉,截至4日23时,上海共发现6例人感染H7N9禽流感确诊病例,死亡4例,2例正在救治之中,6例病例之间均无关联性。一名死亡病例的密切接触者中,有一人出现发热、流涕、咽痒等症状,已被隔离治疗。






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