Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 16th 2015 Contents and have better access to health care than most.
Still, even US President Barack Obama recently
joked with Canada s new Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau---who is about a decade younger than
Obama---about how a country s top office can speed
up aging. Obama advised Trudeau he should start
dying his hair to avoid going gray.
LONDON---Leading a country comes with extraor-
dinary privileges but also, apparently, a price: new
research suggests that heads of state age faster than
normal and that the stress of the job may shave
almost three years off their life expectancy.
Doctors analyzed how long presidents and prime
ministers in 17 countries---including Britain, Canada,
France, Germany and the US---survived after leaving
office, compared to the losing candidates. They also
observed the number of years that heads of state
lived versus what was expected for someone of the
same age and gender.
After considering the fates of 279 heads of state
and 261 runner-ups, they concluded former leaders
lived for almost three fewer years than expected. The
study was published online Monday in the medical
journal, The BMJ.
"To lose a few years is significant," said Dr Anupam
Jena of Harvard Medical School, the study s senior
author. "(Leaders) probably felt national priorities
were much more pressing than eating right and exer-
cising," he said, saying former US President Bill Clin-
ton s admitted weakness for fast food may have
resulted in "stress eating."
"Maybe if there had been world peace, his lifestyle
would have been different," Jena said.
After leaving office, Clinton had bypass surgery;
he subsequently said he lost weight and became
vegan to try to reverse his heart disease.
Other researchers have found that US presidents
actually live longer than their constituents.
"The stress (of leading a country) could accelerate
the graying of hair and wrinkling of skin, but that
doesn t mean they ll die earlier," said S Jay Olshansky,
a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
His research on former commanders in chief found
they had a longer-than-expected life expectancy,
partly because they are part of the top one per cent
of the population that are highly educated, wealthy
Mexico has approved the use of the world s first
vaccine against dengue fever, the health ministry
The deadliest form of the mosquito-borne disease
kills 22,000 people per year, according to the World
French pharmaceutical company Sanofi said it
developed the vaccine, Dengvaxia, over the past 20
Some 40,000 people will receive the treatment in
Mexico in an initial phase.
"With this decision, Mexico moves ahead of all
other countries, including France, to tackle the spread
of this virus," said the health ministry in a state-
Dengue fever affects more than 400 million people
a year across the world, mainly urban areas in tropical
and sub-tropical climates. It is a leading cause of
hospital admissions in most Latin American and
Asian countries, says the WHO. Most of the victims
The vaccine will be available only to children over
the age of nine, and adults under 49 who live in
areas where the disease is endemic.
It is designed to prevent four types of dengue virus,
"It s a very important moment in the history of
public health," the head of Sanofi Vaccines Division,
Olivier Charmeil, told the AFP new agency.
The company said it spent more than US$1.6bn
developing and creating the treatment.
The symptoms of dengue fever are similar to those
of a severe flu. It is transmitted from person to person
by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also spreads
chikungunya, zika fever and other diseases.
The first cases of dengue were registered in the
1950s in Thailand and the Philippines. (BBC)
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Mexico to get world's
first dengue fever vaccine
Presidents, prime ministers
may age faster, die sooner
Former US president Bill Clinton, left, and current US President Barack Obama.
New research suggests that heads of state age faster than normal and that the
stress may shave almost three years off their life expectancy. AP PHOTO
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