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BEWARE! Even one alcoholic drink a day can raise risk of stroke, says study



While it is known that excess drinking is harmful for health, a new study suggests that even consuming one or two alcoholic drinks a day can raise stroke risks, challenging previous claims.

The study, published in The Lancet journal, showed that alcohol directly increases blood pressure and the chances of having a stroke.

It dismissed the previous claims that 1-2 alcoholic drinks daily might protect one against stroke, adding that every four additional alcoholic drinks per day increased the risk of having a stroke by about 35 per cent.
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“Stroke is a major cause of death and disability. This study has shown that stroke rates are increased by alcohol. This should help inform personal choices and public health strategies,” said Liming Li, Professor at the Peking University in China.

“There are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke,” said Zhengming Chen, Professor at the University of Oxford in the UK.
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According to the World Health Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability globally and claims 6.2 million lives each year.

The researchers stressed that stronger policies are required adding that the alcohol industry, which is thriving, should be regulated in a similar way to the tobacco industry.

For the study, the researchers involved 500,000 Chinese men and women for a period of 10 years.


To help accelerate vaccine candidates Govt launches ‘Mission Covid Suraksha’.



The government has launched ‘Mission Covid Suraksha’ to help accelerate the development of approximately 5-6 vaccine candidates and ensure that these are brought closer to licensure and introduction in the market, the Department of Biotechnology said on Wednesday.

The mission envisages Covid-19 vaccine development with end-to-end focus from preclinical through clinical development and manufacturing and regulatory facilitation, the DBT said.

Earlier this month, the government had announced a package of Rs 900 crore for vaccines.

“Government of India (GOI) announced the third stimulus package of Rs 900 crore for the Mission Covid-19 Suraksha- the Indian Covid-19 Vaccine Development Mission. This grant will be provided to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for research and development of Indian Covid-19 vaccines.

“This will help accelerate development of approximately five-six vaccine candidates and ensure that these are brought closer to licensure and introduction in the market for consideration of regulatory authorities for introduction in public health systems to combat further spread of Covid19 infection,” the DBT said.

Earlier, the DBT had announced programme for vaccine development and other Covid-19-related solutions, but this mission will be dedicated purely for development of vaccines, a DBT official said.

A total of 10 vaccine candidates have been supported by the DBT so far in both academia and industry. As on date, five vaccine candidates are in human trials, including the Russian Vaccine Sputnik-V, with at least three more in advanced stages of pre-clinical to enter human trials shortly.

The important objectives of the fund will be to accelerate pre-clinical and clinical development, licensure of Covid-19 vaccine candidates that are currently in clinical stages or ready to enter clinical stage of development.

Its aim is to also establish clinical trial sites and strengthen the existing immunoassay laboratories, central laboratories and suitable facilities for animal studies, production facilities and other test facilities to support Covid-19 vaccine development, the DBT said.

“The other important objective will be supporting development of common harmonized protocols, training, data management systems, regulatory submissions, internal and external quality management systems and accreditations,” it added.

Capabilities for process development, cell line development and manufacturing of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) batches for animal toxicology studies and clinical trials will also be supported under the mission.

A key element will be development of a suitable target product profile so that vaccines being introduced through the mission have preferred characteristics applicable for India.

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