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Welcome to this edition of Expat News

Expatriate Healthcare update the news everyday on their website. Here's a round up of the top stories from last month . . .


Monthly round-up: February 2012

In February, there were a number of stories focusing on Spain. There was discussion regarding whether or not expatriates should buy Spanish property, with one expert claiming this is a great investment opportunity and anther arguing this could put people in a difficult financial situation.

The northern regions of the country were described as beautiful, while it was pointed out the nation has warm beaches, golf courses and a pleasant culture.

A poll of expats revealed Canada is perceived to have the best quality of life, with Qatar and Casablanca identified as emerging locations.

Medical provisions and problems in Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait were described and a study found communities with small businesses nearby generally have healthier populaces.

Investigations were carried out into Dementia, with scientists finding more about the spread of Alzheimer's disease and a specialist in the condition advising people to look out for warning signs.

A promising treatment for stroke was discovered, for which researchers also found a genetic marker.

Lifestyle choices were linked to cancer, while medical professionals looked into the effectiveness of a colonography, found out about breast cancer death risks and advised individuals to understand their bodies in order to spot tumours early.

Read on to catch up on other health news from around the world . . .


Universal flu vaccine 'could cause widespread prevention'

International health insurance companies may soon be providing expatriates around the world with the same flu immunisation shot, following recent discoveries made by scientists at Princeton University. The research, which was recently described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found a universal influenza vaccine could make it more difficult for the virus to spread and would make a bout of the disease less severe. Furthermore, by affecting parts of the virus that remain relatively unchanged during mutations, it would make it difficult for the illness to evade immunity through evolution.

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Depressed children 'more likely to be bullied'

Expatriates with international health insurance policies may wish to ensure their children receive treatment if they suffer from depression, following research that revealed these individuals are more likely to be bullied in school. The study, which was published in Child Development, found this mental health problem is a positive indicator of a person's likelihood of suffering from difficult relationships with their peers in adolescence. Furthermore, researchers discovered no evidence to support popular assumptions that suffering from bullying leads to depression.

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UAE expats 'lack cultural knowledge'

Holders of expat insurance living in the UAE have a poor knowledge of the country's customs, new research has indicated. A survey conducted by 999 Magazine found 72 per cent of those born overseas and living in the UAE were not aware of the local culture, something Lt colonel Awadh Saleh Al Kindi, editor of the publication - which is the official magazine for Abu Dhabi Police and Ministry of Labour - described as "dismaying". "Many expat residents have a very limited knowledge of the customs, traditions and heritage of the UAE," he stated.

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Eurozone property 'is risky investment'

Although international medical insurance can be an essential investment when relocating abroad to European countries, real estate might not be. Buy-to-let specialists Assetz have claimed property values in many eurozone nations have an unacceptable level of risk, highlighting Spain, Portugal and Italy as some of these locations. Although expatriates may be able to find accommodation in these places that is 50 per cent cheaper than it was at the start of the global economic downturn, people ought to wait until the sovereign debt crisis in Greece is resolved before they purchase any of these assets, the company recommended.

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Study finds family history can impact heart disease risk

Expatriates may soon be able to find out their likelihood of suffering from a cardiovascular problem that can be treated with international health insurance by examining their familial medical history. Researchers at the University of Nottingham have proven this is a significant tool in assisting healthcare professionals to discover individuals at the highest risk of suffering from heart disease. Collating this information is acceptable to members of the public, inexpensive and simple, the scientists in the institution's Division of Primary Care department stated.

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Expats 'want to live in Australia'

International health insurance customers considering relocating abroad are most likely to choose to live in Australia, research has shown. The HSBC Expat Explorer survey polled 3,385 expatriates from more than 100 nations and found Australia was ranked as the top location for their next assignment, beating other countries such as Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. Of those that selected the country as their nation of choice, 71 per cent said it was because they perceived they could achieve a better quality of life down under.

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Pregnant women 'should eat healthily'

Pregnant women with expatriate international medical insurance may wish to avoid consuming processed foods. Louise Whyte, founder of Penelope Fitstar and personal trainer specialising in pregnancy and post natal exercise, said these females ought to eat natural products that are nutritious and healthy. "Wholegrain bread, pasta and rice are ideal" as they give people energy through slow-release carbohydrates, she stated.

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New mothers 'should be careful when exercising'

Women who have just given birth may recognise that exercise can reduce the likelihood of them suffering an illness that would require them to make a claim on expatriate medical insurance policies, but may be unsure what physical activities are safe for them to do. Penelope Fitstar personal trainer Louise Whyte called walking with the pram "ideal". This form of gentle workout can be slowly built up, with women increasing the intensity of their movement as they become more confident, she declared.

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Are expats using Facebook instead of forums?

People relocating abroad to foreign countries could increasingly be using social networking sites instead of forums to discover information. This is according to Chris Marshall, resident of Almerimar and journalist for the Telegraph Expat, who wrote in the publication that bulletin board systems (BBSes) used to be "the first port of call for expats seeking information". Members of the public may need a wide range of recommendations and assistance when moving to a foreign country, relating to issues such as international private medical insurance, housing and a huge variety of other important subjects.

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Tinnitus treatment 'should be as early as possible'

People who believe they are suffering from tinnitus ought to contact expatriate health insurance providers and medical professionals as soon as possible. "It is very important to get help quickly," The Tinnitus Clinic director Josephine Swinhoe stated. Sometimes, this ailment can be due to impacted ear wax, which can be easily removed, while at other times a person will be referred to an ENT physician or audiologist for further investigation, she added.

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