The number of people living with depression is increasing, 18% between 2005 and 2015. In the lead-up to World Health Day on 7 April, which this year will focus on this increasingly important issue, WHO is releasing today a new global report on health estimates on depression. This report provides latest available estimates of the prevalence of depression and other common mental disorders at the global and regional level, together with data concerning the consequences of these disorders in terms of lost health. Reliable, up-to-date estimates of the proportion of a general population affected by different diseases or health conditions is a key ingredient of effective health policy, planning and evaluation.
Energy efficiency tips from the Public Health Agency on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day
More than two in five households in Northern Ireland are in fuel poverty. A household is in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of income on energy costs to adequately heat the home, and Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of fuel poverty households than any other region in the UK. Tracey Colgan, Senior Health and Wellbeing Improvement Officer at the PHA, said: “There are serious health risks to those living in fuel poverty, as not being able to heat your home properly means cold and damp can contribute to respiratory illnesses, hypothermia and issues affecting vulnerable people who already have underlying health conditions. Keeping a room warm to at least 18 degrees, taking regular warm drinks and food, and putting on extra layers such as a blanket, or hat even when indoors, can reduce the risk of hypothermia”.
New research from safefood reveals men and young adults the least able when it comes to food and cooking skills
The research has measured the state of the nation’s food and cooking skills and has found men and young adults had lower levels of confidence and used less food and cooking skills like planning, cooking in batches or using up leftovers. Among those surveyed for the research, keeping basic food cupboard ingredients and sharing cooking responsibilities were viewed as positive ways to encourage more home cooking, however time pressures and "fussy eaters" were identified as barriers to cooking. Amanda McCloat, Head of The Home Economics Department at St. Angela's College, Sligo and Research Contributor commented “What was really evident from the research is how people gained confidence from simply trying out a recipe and how we should be encouraging non-cooks to give it a go.”
The Department of Health in Northern Ireland today published the 2017 sub-regional report on health inequalities
This report provides an up-to-date picture of health inequalities within Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts and Local Government Districts (LGDs) in relation to area differences in morbidity, mortality, utilisation and access to health and social services.
Health outcomes are generally worse in the most deprived areas within each Trust/LGD when compared with those seen in the Trust/LGD as a whole.
Male life expectancy increased across the period in all Trust areas and Local Government Districts (LGDs), with the exception of Antrim & Newtownabbey LGD, where it remained similar
Female life expectancy also increased across the period in all Trust areas and in approximately half of the LGDs, while remaining broadly constant in the remainder
Over the period analysed, a larger number of indicators for each HSC Trust, saw widening inequality gaps than those where gaps had narrowed. This was also true for the majority of LGDs with the exception of Fermanagh and Omagh, Mid Ulster and Mid and East Antrim
As seen regionally, deprivation related inequality was most evident in indicators relating to alcohol and drug use, suicide/self-harm and teenage births
The Health Well welcomes the Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) as its latest partner website
The Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) works on an all-island basis to enhance the health and wellbeing of men and boys. It is a diverse network of individuals and organisations, men and women, which seeks to:
identify the key concerns relating to male health;
increase understanding of these issues;
support actions which can address any difficulties.
All MHFI research, policies and reports are now searchable on The Health Well. We look forward to collaborating more closely with the MHFI in future.
Cancer cases among women are rising six times faster than in men, according to new research.
According to Cancer Research UK, unhealthy lifestyles are responsible for the rise in cancer cases among both sexes - but women are bearing the brunt of the increase. Obesity is one of the factors that can increase the risk of cancers that only affect women, such as womb cancer and ovarian cancer. Cervical and oral cancers are also on the rise in women. Smoking rates are now falling across the UK - but lung cancer figures are beginning to reflect women who took up the habit over recent decades. The charity says that cancer rates will continue to climb nearly six times faster in women than men over the next 20 years.
Boys in secondary schools ‘42% fitter than girls’, study suggests
Boys in Irish secondary schools are 42 per cent fitter than girls and the gender gap in fitness levels widens as they get older, a new study of more than 22,000 students suggests. The research for the Irish Life Health Schools Fitness Challenge showing students experienced a significant improvement in their fitness levels after just six weeks of exercise training, with first-year boys (+11 per cent) and fourth-year girls (+14 per cent) showing the biggest improvement levels overall. A report entitled Gender in Sport published by the European Institute of Gender Equality last week said a number of practical barriers to women’s participation in sport still existed.
New report provides an “across the board” snapshot of child health and wellbeing in the UK
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) today launched a landmark State of Child Health report. The report brings together data for the first time on a comprehensive list of 25 measures of the health of UK children, ranging from specific conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, risk factors for poor health such as obesity and a low rate of breastfeeding, to child deaths. Findings show that nearly one in five children in the UK is living in poverty and inequality is blighting their lives, with those from the most deprived backgrounds experiencing much worse health compared with the most affluent. Despite some improvements in the health of UK children over the last decades, there is clear disparity with Europe, and major cause for concern.
Women aged 25 to 60 across Ireland are being urged this week to look after their health by making sure they’re up to date with their free smear test to help prevent cervical cancer. The campaign marks the beginning of European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, which takes place from January 24th to 30th. Regular cervical screening can detect changes to the cervix early. Most of the changes detected will not lead to cervical cancer but early detection and treatment of pre-cancerous cells can prevent cancer developing in most cases.
New report from WHO offers global resource on using the law to improve health
Soda tax in Mexico. Salt limits in South Africa. Plain tobacco packaging in Australia. National health insurance in Ghana. A new report produced by WHO and partners has case studies on how new laws have improved the health and safety of people, providing a resource for countries to learn from positive experiences in other parts of the world.