Health literacy is a relatively young field of research which focuses on people’s ability to understand health information and make decisions about their own health care. By helping patients to become more health literate, researchers hope to find ways to improve public health outcomes across low, middle and high-income countries.
Medical research and advanced mathematics are usually considered separate disciplines. But for one WUN collaboration, bringing maths and biology together could hold the key to understanding how cells in the human body signal to each other, and might potentially unlock the secrets of a range of non-communicable diseases.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as allergies, asthma, cancer, diabetes and obesity are on the rise. Inflammation and immune dysregulation are common features of these conditions, often associated with environmental and lifestyle risk factors such as dietary patterns, environmental pollutants, microbial patterns and stress.
There has been a significant increase in asthma and allergies in high-income countries over the past few decades. These diseases are also increasingly prevalent in developing countries, which can substantially increase mortality rates since proper medication is often expensive. The causes of asthma and allergies are not well understood, and there is currently neither a cure or effective prevention. At the same time, parasitic infections have decreased and have known immunological effects.
Based on the methods used to calculate the Global AgeWatch Index which measures the wellbeing of older people in the world, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Jockey Club Institute of Ageing, with support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Charities Trust, revealed that Hong Kong ranked 24th among 97 countries or territories in 2014.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Ageing held a Launch Conference on ‘Creating Age-Friendly Communities’ on 8 October 2015 to enable experience sharing and discussion on various aspects of the theme. Topics covered in the conference included: Redesigning Communities for Aged Society, Frailty and Geriatric Syndromes, and Age-friendly Hospital and Service. The event attracted some 300 renowned academics in gerontology from the U.S., Singapore, Japan, mainland China and Hong Kong, as well as representatives from organizations working on improving seniors well-being and welfare.
Professor John Hearn, Executive Director of WUN and Chairman of the Australia-Africa Universities Network, discusses the prolific threats that continue to plague public health and outlines initiatives in place that promote education and prevention.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is investing £1.4 million in the University of Leeds to help counteract the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes. The new funding, announced on Friday 23 October, is part of the BHF’s new research strategy which commits to spending over half a billion pounds on research in the next five years. Professor Mark Kearney, from the School of Medicine, is leading a team looking at ways to help protect people with diabetes from an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.