Science and health
Mucous membranes keep us alive. They line the external walls of the organs and other body cavities. Current research shows a growing interest in the fundamental role that mucous membranes play as protective barriers, by preventing a wide variety of diseases generated by pathogenic microorganisms, allergens or toxic environmental particles.
They are the forgotten healthcare providers. Their work is widespread, but almost completely unrecognized by society. No matter how efficient the system may be, without their efforts, it would not generate the same results for patients or society.
People have always seemed to play a somewhat passive role in relation to their own health. However, since the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, it has become clear that health is not just about the sick; it concerns everyone.
What is pharmacovigilance? Pharmacovigilance is a public health activity which aims to identify, evaluate and prevent the risks posed by medicines once they are on the market. Pharmacovigilance is about making decisions to maintain the positive risk-benefit ratio a drug and, if necessary, to suspend its use when this is not possible.
Ask anyone what, in their opinion, the main cause of death is in their country, and they would probably answer cancer, or infections or even violent death. However, the reality is that in almost every country, especially those in the first world, people die most frequently from cardiovascular diseases, especially heart attack and stroke. In Spain, for example, a third of deaths in 2013were down to these causes, ahead of cancer and respiratory diseases.
In one scene from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Randle McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), presumed to be suffering from a psychiatric disorder, has to be violently subdued in a straitjacket. The health workers are brutal, a group of them holding him down, immobilizing him. This is a powerful way to represent an agitation crisis.
The benefits of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been made apparent in many studies. Yet in most of the world blood levels of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA and DHA) are in the low to very low range. This is because sufficient quantities are not being consumed. However, the recommended EPA and DHA intakes established by various scientific and governmental organizations diverge.
Just saying the word ‘pandemic’ causes alarm. It somehow evokes the blight and misfortune of the medieval plagues. The combination of a large number of people being affected and a high death rate leads, on the one hand, to social panic and, on the other, to the mobilization of all available tools to tackle it, with no haggling over resources.
On World Cancer Day... let's talk about tumors of unknown origin 4th February is World Cancer Day. Founded by the Union for International Cancer Control, its main objective is to raise awareness, both in society and among public bodies, about how much more can and must be done to fight cancer.