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Fiji cyclone toll rises to 42

Gorkha Post

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SUVA — The loss of life from Fiji’s super-cyclone hit 42 till Tuesday, with authorities saying the Pacific country’s recuperation from the devastating storm could take months.

“The official loss of life now is 42, another eight bodies were found on the island of Koro since Monday,” government spokesperson Ewan Perrin said. “We are anticipating that it should rise but we hope it will rise by a small number,” he added.

The death toll has crept up in the days since Cyclone Winston struck Fiji late on Saturday as communication has gradually been restored with the outer reaches of the archipelago that is home to some 900,000 people.

As aid efforts intensified, communications were established with some of the worst-hit remote communities, revealing the scale of the disaster.

Severe tropical cyclone Winston, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, lashed the island nation overnight on Saturday, packing wind gusts of 325 kilometres per hour and leaving a trail of destruction.

Thousands of people are still sheltering in evacuation centers as their homes destroyed by winds or flooded by the most powerful storm to ever strike a Pacific nation.

Agencies

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Health

Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.

Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

The study  was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”

African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.

Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

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