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Characteristics of patients with fatal COVID-19 identified

Hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease were the most common comorbidities. A little over 80 percent of patients had very low counts of eosinophils (cells that are reduced in severe respiratory infections) on admission. Complications included respiratory failure, shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and cardiac arrhythmia, among others.

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Photo by Adli Wahid from Unsplash.com

In a new study, researchers identified the most common characteristics of 85 COVID-19 patients who died in Wuhan, China in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The study reports on commonalities of the largest group of coronavirus patient deaths to be studied to date. The paper was published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In “Clinical Features of 85 Fatal Cases of COVID-19 From Wuhan: A Retrospective Observational Study,” researchers from China and the United States report on an analysis of the electronic health records of patients with COVID-19 who died despite treatment at two hospitals in Wuhan: Hanan Hospital and Wuhan Union Hospital between Jan. 9 and Feb. 15, 2020. Wuhan, in China’s Hubei Province, was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The greatest number of deaths in our cohort were in males over 50 with non-communicable chronic diseases,” stated the authors. “We hope that this study conveys the seriousness of COVID-19 and emphasizes the risk groups of males over 50 with chronic comorbid conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary heart disease and diabetes.”

The researchers examined the medical records of 85 patients who had died, and recorded information on their medical histories, exposures to coronavirus, additional chronic diseases they had (comorbidities), symptoms, laboratory findings, CT scan results and clinical management. Statistical analyses were then done.

The median age of these patients was 65.8, and 72.9 percent were men. Their most common symptoms were fever, shortness of breath (dyspnea) and fatigue.

Hypertension, diabetes and coronary heart disease were the most common comorbidities. A little over 80 percent of patients had very low counts of eosinophils (cells that are reduced in severe respiratory infections) on admission. Complications included respiratory failure, shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and cardiac arrhythmia, among others. Most patients received antibiotics, antivirals and glucocorticoids (types of steroids). Some were given intravenous immunoglobulin or interferon alpha-2b.

The researchers noted: “The effectiveness of medications such as antivirals or immunosuppressive agents against COVID-19 is not completely known. Perhaps our most significant observation is that while respiratory symptoms may not develop until a week after presentation, once they do there can be a rapid decline, as indicated by the short duration between time of admission and death (6.35 days on average) in our study.”

Based on their findings, eosinophilopenia – abnormally low levels of eosinophils in the blood – may indicate a poor prognosis. The scientists also noted that the early onset of shortness of breath may be used as an observational symptom for COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, they noted that a combination of antimicrobial drugs (antivirals, antibiotics) did not significantly help these patients. The majority of patients studied died from multiple organ failure.

“Our study, which investigated patients from Wuhan, China who died in the early phases of this pandemic, identified certain characteristics. As the disease has spread to other regions, the observations from these areas may be the same, or different. Genetics may play a role in the response to the infection, and the course of the pandemic may change as the virus mutates as well. Since this is a new pandemic that is constantly shifting, we think the medical community needs to keep an open mind as more and more studies are conducted.”

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Eating a vegan diet could reduce grocery bill 16%, saving over $500 a year – study

Total food costs decreased in the vegan group by 16%, or $1.51 per day, compared with no significant change in the control group. This decrease was mainly attributable to savings on meat, -$1.77 per day, and dairy, -$0.74 per day. Changes in purchases of other food groups (e.g., eggs and added fats) also contributed to the observed savings.

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Food costs decrease 16% on a low-fat vegan diet, a savings of more than $500 a year, compared to a diet that includes meat, dairy, and other animal products, according to a new analysis from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine published in JAMA Network Open.

“We knew that a vegan diet significantly reduces your risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity—and now we have proof that opting for beans instead of beef will also lead to significant savings on your grocery bill,” says study co-author Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD, director of clinical research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The research is an analysis of a Physicians Committee study in which participants were randomly assigned to a vegan group or control group. The vegan group was asked to follow a low-fat vegan diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, while the control group was requested to make no diet changes. Calorie intake and food costs were not limited for either group.

For the food cost assessment, the participants’ dietary records were linked to food price data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Thrifty Food Plan, 2021.

Total food costs decreased in the vegan group by 16%, or $1.51 per day, compared with no significant change in the control group. This decrease was mainly attributable to savings on meat, -$1.77 per day, and dairy, -$0.74 per day. Changes in purchases of other food groups (e.g., eggs and added fats) also contributed to the observed savings.

These savings outweighed the increased spending on vegetables, +$1.03 per day; fruits, +$0.40 per day; legumes, +$0.30 per day; whole grains, +$0.30 per day, and meat and dairy alternatives.

The findings support previous research showing that a plant-based diet provides more cost savings than one that includes animal products.

In addition to the cost savings, the study found that a low-fat vegan diet resulted in weight loss and improved body composition and insulin sensitivity in overweight adults.

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Thinking of getting your own condo? Prep these 5 things before you do

To help millennials kickstart their homebuying journey, RLC Residences shares a few things that aspiring homeowners should consider.

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Millennials have been observed to search for condominiums online, which has been attributed to them entering their prime years of home buying and wanting to live near where they work. However, moving into a new home is a big step that requires advanced preparation logistically, financially, and emotionally.

“Finding your first home can be daunting. There should be no risk of regrets. This is why we have been extremely thoughtful in designing Sierra Valley Gardens such that it caters to modern needs and aspirations – from installing upgraded smart home facilities, a WFH nook in our units, to providing abundant green spaces and a multitude of amenities for young professionals to enjoy,” saysRLC Residences’ Senior Director, Marketing Head and Chief Integration Officer Karen Cesario.

To help millennials kickstart their homebuying journey, RLC Residences shares a few things that aspiring homeowners should consider:

#1. Scheduling the move-out date

Moving out is not easy and it can take a long time to ensure that the new place is clean and ready for occupancy, packing belongings, buying new furniture and appliances, and securing permits and documents.

Buyers of the newly launched fourth building of Sierra Valley Gardens in Cainta, Rizal still have a lot of time to plan their moving out process as the target turnover date is still on 2028. This also means that they have time to learn more adulting stuff like cooking, doing laundry, and budgeting before doing the big move.

#2. Emotionally preparing your family

Traditionally, Filipino families are very close to each other. There is a need to emotionally prepare yourself, your parents, and siblings when deciding to leave the family home. Do allot an ample time to share and explain your big move to your family.

A way to make ‘the talk’ lighter is to assure them that you will still visit often and they, too, can come to your place anytime. For future residents of Sierra Valley Gardens, family time can mean taking a dip at the lap pool, playing basketball at the Multi-purpose court or game room, or simply catching up at the property’s cozy lounge area in the 3-level Clubhouse.

#3. Building a budget

An important ingredient in solo living is budgeting. This makes sure that homeowners are not spending more than they’re earning so they can stay on top of daily and monthly expenses.

In terms of monthly amortizations, Sierra Valley Gardens has flexible payment schemes so millennials can pay with ease. For the new fourth building, RLC Residences is also offering a 5% launch discount so future homeowners can buy their dream home.

#4. Establishing eating habits

A benefit of living with the family is that eating is easier. It’s either they are served meals or ingredients are readily available. Moving out means crafting your own menu, learning recipes, and visiting the grocery to buy ingredients and other essentials.

Located within a destination estate, Sierra Valley Gardens has easy access to the upcoming mall and to now open retail stores and restaurants within the area. Also, future residents will find living here comfortable given its direct access to Ortigas Ave. Extension should they need to go outside the estate.

#5. Keeping an administration and maintenance directory

It’s important to have a directory of service providers like hospitals and police and fire stations in case of emergencies. Condominium dwellers are also advised to have a directory of administration and maintenance offices.

Lucky for the future residents of Sierra Valley Gardens, an Audio/Video intercom is provided that helps residents reach reception in case of emergencies. This is one of the many smart home features the property offers to its future homeowners.

“Moving out, especially for young Filipinos, is not an easy undertaking. It takes a lot of guts and planning to push it through. That is why the decision to do so needs to be a smart move,” shares Cesario.

For millennials thinking of making their smart move in the East with Sierra Valley Gardens, they may connect with a Property Specialist or visit rlcresidences.com to know more.

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Signs of a Healthy Marriage

Although there are many different ways to define a healthy marriage, these three qualities are essential for any lasting and fulfilling relationship.

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A healthy marriage is built on trust, respect, and communication. Couples with these qualities in their relationship tend to be more satisfied with their marriage and overall life. They also report feeling closer to their partner and having stronger well-being. With 2.3 out of every 1000 people in the US experiencing divorce in 2022, it is important to frequently check in on the health of your marriage.

Although there are many different ways to define a healthy marriage, these three qualities are essential for any lasting and fulfilling relationship.

Signs of a Healthy Marriage

A healthy marriage is built on trust, communication, and mutual respect. If you and your partner can effectively communicate and share a mutual level of respect, then your relationship is off to a good start. Trust is also important in a healthy marriage, as it allows you and your partner to feel secure in your relationship and rely on each other.

Many other signs can indicate whether or not a marriage is healthy. For example, couples who can spend quality time together and enjoy shared activities usually do well. Couples who can openly discuss their relationship with each other and work through difficulties together are also more likely to have a happy and healthy marriage. Finally, marriages, where both partners feel like they can be themselves without judgment from their spouse tend to be the strongest and most lasting.

Freedom to be yourself

In a healthy marriage, partners feel free to be themselves. They don’t have to put on a facade or pretend to be someone they’re not. They can be open and honest with each other and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and desires.

Both partners should pursue their interests and hobbies without compromising or sacrificing for the sake of the relationship. There’s no need to agree on everything – in fact, it’s healthy to have some separate interests – but overall, both partners should feel like they’re able to be true to themselves within the relationship.

Lots of good communication

In a healthy marriage, partners can communicate effectively. It means expressing needs and wants and listening and responding to what the other person is saying. There are mutual respect’s opinions, even if there are disagreements. Couples in a healthy marriage feel comfortable communicating with each other about both the good and the bad.

Good sex life

A good sex life can be a major sign of a healthy marriage. A lack of sexual activity can be an early warning sign that something is wrong in the relationship. Often, couples who have a good sex life are more connected emotionally and physically. They are also more likely to trust each other and communicate openly.

Trust in each other

In any relationship, trust is essential. Without trust, there is no foundation for the relationship to grow. In a marriage, trust is even more important. Trusting your spouse means you feel confident in their ability to support you emotionally and financially. It also means that you feel safe sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings with them.

When you trust your spouse, you know they have your best interests. You feel comfortable being yourselves around each other and sharing your hopes, dreams, and fears. Openness and honesty in your relationship allow you to be vulnerable with each other. This vulnerable honesty creates a deeper level of intimacy in your marriage.

When you trust each other, you can be more forgiving when mistakes are made. You know that everyone makes mistakes and that nobody is perfect. You also understand that your spouse is human and capable of making mistakes like anyone else. If they make a mistake, you are more likely to forgive them because you know they are sorry and will try not to make the same mistake again.

Trust is one of the most important foundations of a healthy marriage. If you want your marriage to thrive, build trust in each other.

A successful, strong marriage takes work, but with communication, trust, respect, vulnerability, and affection as its core components, you can together create a partnership that will be long-lasting.

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