Your address will show here +12 34 56 78
Health
According to a new UBC study, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) will become an epidemic over the next two decades despite a decline in smoking rates. COPD is a progressive disease associated with smoking, air pollution and age. Researchers have concluded, the number of COPD cases will increase by more than 150 percent between 2010 and 20130, in the province. COPD rates will be more than triple hiking up by 220 percent, even surprising the researchers. “Everyone who has seen the results has been surprised,” said senior author Dr. Mohsen Sadatsafavi, assistant professor in the faculties of pharmaceutical sciences and medicine. “Many people think that COPD will soon be a problem of the past, because smoking is declining in the industrialized world. But aging is playing a much bigger role, and this is often ignored. We expect these B.C.-based predictions to be applicable to Canada and many other industrialized countries.” Researchers say COPD will overtake all other age related diseases even though they are also expected to increase over the next decades. The study foresees annual inpatients days related to COPD to increase by 185 percent. Co-author Dr. Don Sin, professor in UBC department of medicine’s division of respiratory medicine and head of respiratory medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital said this situation is a burden the health-care system is not equipped to handle. “Our only hope of changing this trajectory is to find new therapeutic and biomarker solutions to prevent and treat COPD, and this can only happen through research and innovation,” said Sin. “Our UBC team is poised to make these breakthroughs.”
0

Health
New study finds that many online resources for preventing Alzheimer’s disease are not accurate and could lead people in the wrong direction. An online survey revealed many of the websites provide poor advice with 20 percent promoting products for sale. “The quality of online information about preventing Alzheimer’s disease ranges,” said Julie Robillard, assistant professor of neurology at UBC with the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and the National Core for Neuroethics. “The few websites offering high-quality information can be hard to distinguish from the many low-quality websites offering information that can be potentially harmful.” Currently 564,000 Canadians have dementia. Considering the increase in aging population, this number is expected to grow close to one million in the next 15 years. With Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form of dementia there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the cause of the disease and how to prevent its onset. Earlier research has shown about 80 percent of people , and half of the older adults turn to the internet for health information. Robillard and Tanya Feng, an undergraduate student, examined close to 300 online articles on preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Their studies revealed that websites with high-quality content usually provided high-level advice recommending individuals to take on lifestyle changes such as controlling their diabetes and exercising regularly. The scientists determined a few common red flags for low-quality information. These speculative websites were the ones recommending products for sale alongside the content. Other signs of low-grade content included websites with very precise recommendations and nutritional guidance. “Many red flags were not specific to what they were saying, but rather how they were saying it,” said Feng. “For example, using strong language like ‘cure’ or ‘guarantee’, promoting their own products, and relying on anecdotal evidence instead of empirical research is suggestive of poor-quality information in online dementia information.” The researchers stated this type of information is pricey with people spending money into products with little or no scientific proof for their effectiveness. In addition, the advice could cause tension and may have an effect on the physician-patient relationship. The patients may lose their trust in their physician, if the Dr. disagrees with the recommendations on the websites. In other cases, the patients may keep their Dr. in the dark about the changes they have made in their daily habits. The researchers are creating a tool named QUEST, a simple test of six questions to help people recognize high-level information online.
0

Environment
New UBC study finds global fisheries are at a risk of loosing close to $10 billion of their annual income by 2050, if climate change is left unchecked. According to the study the countries most dependent on fisheries for food will be the ones most effected. In a previous study, UBC’s Institute for Oceans and Fisheries found the effects of climate change including rise in temperatures, changes in ocean salinity, acidity and oxygen levels will likely result in decreased catches. “Developing countries most dependent on fisheries for food and revenue will be hardest hit,” said Vicky Lam, a postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, and the study’s lead author. “It is necessary to implement better marine resource management plans to increase stock resilience to climate change.” To compensate the financial losses of fishing under climate change and to improve food security, many communities are leaning toward aquaculture, also known as fish farming, as a solution. However,  researchers found it may aggrevate the existing economic losses by further decreasing the price of seafood. “Climate adaptation programs such as aquaculture development may be seen as a solution,” said William Cheung, associate professor at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and a study co-author. “However, rather than easing the financial burden of fishing losses and improving food security, it may drive down the price of seafood, leading to further decreases in fisheries revenues.” Co-author Rashid Sumaila, professor at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and fisheries said global fisheries revenues add up to about $100 billion annually. Sumaila further added that their modelling shows that high emission scenario could result in an average 10 percent reduction in global fishing revenue, while a low emissions scenario could lead to a 7 percent decrease. Scientists found the most vulnerable countries to be the ones that highly rely on fish including island countries like Tokelau, Cayman Islands and Tuvalu. However, many developed countries like Greenland and Iceland could see increase in revenues as fish migrate to colder waters.
0

Environment
New UBC study finds, a 10 percent increase in fish catches in coastal waters when high seas are closed off to fishing. This increase could help the most vulnerable cope with the expected losses of fish caused by climate change. “Many important fish stocks live in both the high seas and coastal waters. Effective management of high seas fisheries could benefit coastal waters in terms of productivity and help reduce climate change impacts,” said lead author William Cheung, associate professor and director of science of the Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. The high seas cover close to two-thirds of the ocean’s surfaces and are outside the jurisdiction of any country. By using computer models, researchers used three different management scenarios to predict catches of 30 important fish stocks in 2050, living in both the high seas and coastal waters. The three different scenarios were as followed: international cooperation to manage fishing, closing the high seas to fishing, and maintaining the status quo. Strengthening governance and closing the high seas to fishing were found to increase resilience of coastal countries to climate change. This effect was especially noticed in tropical countries which are highly dependent on fisheries for food and livelihood. “The scenarios of closing the high seas may greatly reduce the issue of inequity of benefits and impacts among different countries under climate change,” said co-author Vicky Lam, a postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. Countries in the South Pacific, Indo-Pacific, West African coast and west coast of central America are expected to be disproportionately impacted by climate change. According to previous UBC studies, these countries could face a 30 percent decrease, if carbon dioxide levels continue to rise in a similar manner. This decrease would be due to the fish migrating to cooler waters. “The high seas can serve as a fish bank of the world by providing the insurance needed to make the whole global ocean more resilient,” said paper co-author Rashid Sumaila, professor at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and director of OceanCanada, one of the research funders. “By closing the high seas to fishing or seriously improving its management, the high seas can help us mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems.”
0