Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Psycho-social Stress and Atherosclerosis

Your mind has more to do with your heart than you have been led to believe


Atherosclerosis is a chronic illness leading to gradual obstruction of various blood vessels in the body. For those who are genetically predisposed to develop atherosclerosis, this could start as early as in the first decade of life. This was shown in the post-mortem aorta obtained from African-American children killed in the crossfire during the Los Angles riots. Advanced coronary artery blocks, in all the three major epicardial vessels, were observed to have profuse collateral connections in a sizeable number of young soldiers shot dead during the Korean and the Vietnam Wars. The post-mortem angiograms in these 205 soldiers showed significant obstruction to the coronary vessels in the majority.


They could easily have qualified for bypass grafting in the commercial cardiological world.


This goes to show that atherosclerotic blocks do not start after the fourth decade of life to produce various vascular accidents.


Although time evolution in a dynamic organism, like the human body which is continuously fuelled by food and oxygen, depends on the total initial knowledge of the organism's body characteristics, like body mass index, serum cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc, it might not validate future predictions. To complicate matters further, doctors do not, and can not, understand the total initial state of any human being with the tools at their disposal to acquire such knowledge.


Quantum physics, having realised the importance of the human mind in understanding the subatomic world, now places great emphasis on the importance of mind over matter in the affairs of the universe. A similar trend is needed in medicine too. The new science of chaos looks at man as a whole, mind included.


More and more studies in the medical field now point to the fact that human behaviour, human emotions, psychosocial factors and inter-personal relations have a larger impact in bringing about diseases ranging from common cold to cancer. There have been studies of students’ hostile behaviour vis-à-vis the atherosclerotic process in their coronary vessels. These clearly indicated that the process of atherosclerosis has a direct bearing on the hostility score even in students as young as 15 to 20 years.


When it comes to vascular accidents, be it a stroke, heart-attack or a peripheral vessel block, the obstructions to the vessels are not as important as the role played by instantaneous blood clots totally blocking the vessel lumen. Even under these circumstances, all the known risk factors pale into insignificance, compared to the emotional and psychosocial factors. Hostility, anger, depression, hatred and lack of social support came up as independent risk factors in the studies. Conventional risk factors like cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking did not have a major say in the final assault.


An important area of research in the latter field has been job stress. Suffice it to say that the human mind plays a pivotal role in initiating and modulating atherosclerosis on a long-term basis; in addition, the mind brings on the final clot at the final moment of assault.


With the government funds dying up for research even in the advanced West, drug companies and instrument manufacturers are the ones that primarily fund medical research. There are only two ongoing randomised trials under way in this area.


While the first-ever ‘Diet-Heart Study’ in Framingham, having spent $110 million of tax payers’ money, came up with a negative result, showing no relationship between the diet and heart disease at the end of five years, the ‘heart-food’ industry in America, which had by then invested billions of dollars in producing ‘heart-healthy food’, saw to it that the ‘Diet-Heart Study’ results were never published. Big business made billions of dollars of profit by selling cholesterol lowering drugs.


All of them, including the latest statins, at the end of the day, have sent more people to meet their maker in Heaven. Now we know that “it is not what you eat that kills you, but it is what eats you that kills you.”


(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)



Aleeza Morgan

2 years ago

Amazing. Stress is a form of terrorism that infiltrates and attacks our hearts and minds and the effectiveness of our organizations. The situation in which body arteries get hardened or narrowed by the excessive buildup of plaque is called as Atherosclerosis. Lifestyle changes as well as proper medication is must required to out away Atherosclerosis. At Full of Health, we provide natural, but very effective remedies for Atherosclerosis. You can visit our website http://full-health.com/ to gain more knowledge about Atherosclerosis.

How everybody is tracking your mobile internet usage
Twitter is using a newly discovered hidden code that the telecom carriers are adding to every page you visit – and it’s very hard to opt out
Twitter's mobile advertising arm enables its clients to use a hidden, undeletable tracking number created by Verizon to track user behavior on smartphones and tablets.
Wired and Forbes reported earlier last week that the two largest cellphone carriers in the United States, Verizon and AT&T, are adding the tracking number to their subscribers' Internet activity, even when users opt out.
The data can be used by any site – even those with no relationship to the telecoms -- to build a dossier about a person's behavior on mobile devices – including which apps they use, what sites they visit and for how long.
MoPub, acquired by Twitter in 2013, bills itself as the "world's largest mobile ad exchange." It uses Verizon's tag to track and target cellphone users for ads, according to instructions for software developers posted on its website.
Twitter declined to comment.
AT&T said that its actions are part of a test. Verizon says it doesn't sell information about the demographics of people who have opted out.
This controversial type of tracking, known in industry jargon as header enrichment, is the latest step in the mobile industry's quest to track users on their devices. Google has proposed a new standard for Internet services that, among other things, would prevent header enrichment.
People using apps on tablets and smartphones present a challenge for companies that want to track behavior so they can target ads. Unlike on desktop computers, where users tend to connect to sites using a single Web browser that can be easily tracked by "cookies," users on smartphones and tablets use many different apps that do not share information with each other. 
For a while, ad trackers solved this problem by using a number that was build into each smartphone by Apple and Google. But under pressure from privacy critics, both companies took steps to secure these Device IDs, and began allowing their users to delete them, in the same way they could delete cookies in their desktop Web browser.
So the search for a better way to track mobile users continued. In 2010, two European telecom engineers proposed an Internet standard for telecom companies to track their users with a new kind of unique identifier. The proposal was eventually adopted as a standard by an industry group called the Open Mobile Alliance.
Telecoms began racing to find ways to use the new identifier. Telecom equipment makers such as Cisco and Juniper began offering systems that allow the identifiers to be injected into mobile traffic.
In the spring of 2012, AT&T applied for a patent for a method of inserting a "shortlived subscriber identifier" into Web traffic of its mobile subscribers and Verizon applied for a patent for inserting a "unique identification header" into its subscriber's traffic. The Verizon patent claims this header is specifically meant to "provide content that is targeted to a subscriber."
Inserting the identifiers requires the telecom carrier to modify the information that flows out of a user's phone. AT&T's patent acknowledges that it would be impossible to insert the identifier into web traffic if it were encrypted using HTTPS, but offers an easy solution – to instruct web servers to force phones to use an unencrypted connection.
In the fall of 2012, Verizon notified users that it would begin selling "aggregating customer data that has already been de-identified" -- such as Web-browsing history and location -- and offered users an opt-out. In 2013, AT&T launched its version -- a plan to offer "anonymous AT&T data" to allow advertiser to "deliver the most relevant messages to consumers." The company also updated its privacy policy to offer an opt-out.
AT&T's program eventually shut down. Company spokesman Mark Siegel said that AT&T is currently inserting the identifiers as part of a "test" for a possible future "relevant advertising" service. "We are considering such a program, and any program we would offer would maintain our fundamental commitment to customer privacy," he said. He added that the identifier changes every 24 hours.
It's not clear how much of a hurdle changing the identifier would present to a targeting company that was assembling a dossier of a user's behavior.
Meanwhile, Verizon's service – Precision Market Insights – has become popular among ad tracking companies that specialize in building profiles' of user behavior and creating customized ads for those users. Companies that buy the Verizon service can ask Verizon for additional information about the people whose unique identifiers they observe.
"What we're excited about is the carrier level ID, a higher-level recognition point that lets us track with certainty when a user, who is connected to a given carrier, moves from an app to a mobile Web landing page," an executive from an ad tracking company Run told an industry trade publication.
And in a promotional video for Verizon's service, ad executive Chris Smith at Turn, touted "the accuracy of the data," that the company receives from Verizon.
But advertisers who don't pay Verizon for additional information still receive the identifier. A Verizon spokeswoman said, "We do not provide any data related to the [unique identifier] without customer consent and we change the [unique identifier] on a regular basis to prevent third parties from building profiles against it." She declined to say how often Verizon changes the identifier. 
The use of carrier-level identifiers appears to be becoming standard. Vodafone, a British telecom, says it inserts a similar identifier into some mobile traffic. A Vodafone spokesman said "Header enrichment is not our default operation and we do not routinely share information with the websites our customers visit."
However, ProPublica found a handful of Vodafone identifiers in its logs of website visitors. That review also showed more than two thirds of AT&T and Verizon visitors to ProPublica's website contained mobile identifiers.
And there appears to be no way to opt out. Last week, security engineer Kenn White noticed an Ad Age news article about Verizon's mobile marketing program and set up a test server to see if he was being tracked. He had opted out years ago, but he noticed a strange identifier in the web traffic from his phone.
His tweets sparked a flurry of discussion of Verizon's actions on the Hacker News discussion board, and articles in the technology press.
Software engineer Dan Schmads, an AT&T user, also tried to opt out. He found that he needed to visit four different webpages to opt out, including one web page not even on AT&T's domain: But he continues to see the AT&T identifier in his mobile traffic.
AT&T's Siegel told ProPublica that he appreciated the feedback on the difficulty of opting out and that the company plans to streamline the process before launching its service.
"Before we do any new program, we'll give customers the opportunity to reset their mobile ID at any time," he said. "It would be like clearing cookies."
Google has proposed a new Internet protocol called SPDY that would prevent these types of header injections – much to the dismay of many telecom companies who are lobbying against it. In May, a Verizon executive made a presentation describing how Google's proposal could "limit value-add services that are based on access to header" information.
Courtesy: ProPublica.org


SEBI bars Vamshi Chemicals, directors from markets

SEBI found that Vamshi Chemicals had collected over Rs60 crore from more than 89,000 investors through redeemable cumulative preference shares-RCPS


Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred Vamshi Chemicals Ltd from raising funds from investors through issuance of securities and also restricted the company and its directors from dealing in capital markets.


SEBI found that Vamshi Chemicals had mobilised over Rs60 crore from more than 89,000 investors through redeemable cumulative preference shares (RCPS) and "prima facie" violated various norms.


The regulator observed that the company allotted equity shares to over 50 persons, which under the rules made it a public issue of securities.


Hence, it would require a compulsory listing on a recognised stock exchange. It was also required to file a prospectus, among others, which it failed to do.


According to SEBI, Vamshi Chemicals issued shares to public but did not comply with provisions of the Companies Act.


"I am of the view that VCL (Vamshi Chemicals Ltd) is prima facie engaged in fund mobilising activity from the public through the offer of RCPS and as such violated the provisions of the Companies Act," SEBI Whole Time Member S Raman said in an interim order.


SEBI in the order said "VCL shall not mobilise funds from investors through the offer of RCPS or through the issuance of equity shares or any other securities to the public/invite subscription, in any manner whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, till further directions."


Further, the company and its directors--Kishan Pal Singh, Chhotelal Shukla, Vishwa Bandhu Vashistha, Deenanath Maurya, Mukesh Kumar Khare--are prohibited from issuing any offer documents for soliciting money from public. They are also restrained from accessing the capital markets.


The regulator has also asked the entities not to dispose any of the properties or assets acquired by that company through issue of preference shares, without prior permission from the regulator as well as not to divert the funds raised from public.


"During the financial years 2003-04 to 2006-07, 2009-10 to 2010-11, VCL allotted RCPS of Rs1,000 each to 89,005 individuals. VCL mobilised funds amounting to Rs61.49 crore through these allotments," SEBI noted.


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