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Irregular heart beat leads poor physical execution in senior people

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NEW YORK – A new study has found that older people who develop irregular heartbeat are likely to have more age-related declines in walking speed, strength, balance and other aspects of physical performance.

The findings showed that the elderly who are suffering from atrial fibrillation — the most common type of irregular heartbeat — are especially vulnerable to losing strength, balance, gait speed and coordination.

“Particularly in older adults, we need to be mindful that the effects of atrial fibrillation (AFib or AF) go beyond increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke,” said led researcher Jared W. Magnani, assistant professor at Boston University in the US.

In atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two small upper chambers (atria) beat irregularly and too fast, this may increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other conditions.

The results, published in journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, revealed that overall participants’ physical performance declined with age.

The excess decline in physical performance in people with AFib was equivalent to an extra four years of aging.

The participants diagnosed with AFib had a significantly greater decline in physical performance tests of balance, grip strength, how far a person could walk in two minutes, and the time needed to walk 400 metres.

“Small declines in physical performance in older adults may have big consequences. The declines that we observed in participants with AFib are associated with increased frailty, which can result in loss of independence, decreased mobility, poorer quality of life, institutionalisation and death,” Magnani pointed out.

There may also be other factors, such as inflammation or accelerated muscle loss that contribute to both increased risk of AFib and declining physical performance, the researchers added.

The researchers examined physical performance at ages 70, 74, 78, and 82 in 2,753 participants (52 percent women, 41 percent African American).

The results may not apply to older adults with greater cognitive or physical limitations, as the study enrolled adults who were living independently.

In addition, these results do not prove a direct cause-and-effect link between AFib and declining physical performance, the researchers maintained.

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Tourist arrivals jumped 73.5 percent in July

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KATHMANDU — Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 73.5 percent in the month of July, according to statistics released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The NTB said that this increment is because of a sharp increase in the number of travellers from countries like India, China, the US and the UK. The growth in the numbers has also been attributed to Indian pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, via Nepal.

The statistics show that Nepal received a whopping 73,285 international tourists in July—a time of the year that is considered to be an off-season for tourists due to the monsoons. With July’s figures, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal in the first seven months (January–July) of 2018 reached 593,299, which is an increase of 18 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Total 18,385 Indian tourists visited Nepal via air transport, which is up 80.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

After India, Nepal received the highest number of visitors from China. The Chinese tourist numbers have more than doubled to 13,123 in the month of July. This is a 125.4 percent growth in comparison to the arrivals in the same month last year.

Overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a growth of 66 percent, in comparison to the same month last year. However, arrivals from Bangladesh declined by nine percent. Arrivals from rest of the Asian countries have also recorded a robust growth of 86.2 percent.

Visitors from Japan and South Korea to Nepal also increased by 36 percent and 21.9 percent respectively.

Likewise, an overall increase of 54.1 percent in July has been recorded from European source markets. However, arrivals from Austria declined by 72.6 percent.

The number of visitors from the US and Canada have also grown by 79.6 percent and 73.3 percent respectively.

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