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India confers Padma Shri on senior Nepali ophthalmologist Dr Ruit

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NEW DELHI — Indian President Ram Nath Kovind has conferred Padma Shri award to senior Nepali ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit on Monday.

“#PresidentKovind presents Padma Shri to Dr Sanduk Ruit for Medicine (Ophthalmology). He is an AIIMS-educated Nepali Opthalmologist who reduced the cost of cataract eye surgery by 90 per cent. He treats 2,500 patients every week and offers free treatment to those who cannot afford to pay,” Indian President Kovind tweeted.

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Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan.

Dr Ruit’s innovation in the 1980s led to a 90 percent reduction in the cost of cataract eye surgery. The low-cost cataract surgery lenses are exported more than 30 countries.

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Diabetes drug might ease heart failure risk

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A new research has showed that the diabetes drug Farxiga might do double-duty for patients, helping to ward off another killer, heart failure.

According to the findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with their presentation at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, Type 2 diabetics who took Farxiga saw their odds of hospitalization for heart failure drop by 27 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

Farxiga is a type of drug called a SGLT2 inhibitor. The compound is called dapagliflozin.

The study included more than 17,000 type 2 diabetes patients aged 40 and older. Nearly 7,000 had heart disease and more than 10,000 had numerous risk factors for heart disease, Wiviott’s group said.

Patients were randomly assigned to take a dummy placebo pill or 10 milligrams of Farxiga each day.

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“When it comes to helping our patients control and manage blood glucose, the ‘how’ appears to be as important [as] the ‘how much,” said study author Dr Stephen Wiviott, a cardiovascular medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When choosing a therapy, trial results like these can help us make an informed decision about what treatments are not only safe and effective for lowering blood glucose but can also reduce risk of heart and kidney complications,” Wiviott said in a hospital news release.

Taking the drug did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular-related death, the research team noted. However, patients who took the drug did see healthy declines in their blood sugar levels, plus an added bonus: a 27 percent decrease in their risk of hospitalization for heart failure.

Their risk of kidney failure and death from kidney failure also fell, researchers noted.

Two other recent studies of this class of drugs show that they “robustly and consistently improve heart and kidney outcomes in a broad population of patients with diabetes,” Wiviott noted.

With Inputs from HealthDay

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