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Welcome to this edition of Expat News

Country Feature - Cape Verde

Each month, in association with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 'Know Before You Go', we will provide you with information on a particular country or region. This month we focus on Cape Verde.

"While the vast majority of holiday-makers and many investors have nothing but good memories and experiences of Cape Verde, a small minority of investors have not found the experience of buying property in Cape Verde easy or straight forward . . ."

For more country information click here

This information has been provided by FCO Travel Advice

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


Monthly round-up:

During April, there were a few articles detailing overseas destinations. Croatia was described as a great location for boating enthusiasts, while fans of high-adrenaline sports could enjoy finding out what Turkey has to offer.

An expert pointed out people planning to buy foreign property are typically sticking to established markets such as France and Spain, which were classed as good countries for lifestyle buyers.

Brazilian real estate was said to be a good investment opportunity, while the Dubai property market was noted to have begun to move after remaining static for several years.

One study found visiting the seaside can improve a person's mental wellbeing, while another argued the sand could potentially harbour dangerous, disease-causing microbes.

An investigation into air pollutants found children exposed to these substances are more likely to become obese in adulthood than those who breathe in clean air, while soy protein was discovered to reduce the amount of fat in people's livers.

During the last month, many researchers published breakthroughs relating to the treatment of serious health problems. A familial history was revealed to increase the likelihood of a person suffering from liver cancer, a genetic marker for lung cancer was found and iron chelating drugs were linked to a protective effect on the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

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


Rise in melanoma diagnoses in young people found

Expatriates ought to avoid the use of tanning beds, as these have been blamed for a rise in the proportion of young adults suffering from skin cancer. Research undertaken at the Mayo Clinic and published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings found an eightfold jump in the number of first-time melanoma diagnoses between females aged between 18 and 39 from the year 1970 to 2009. Furthermore, the number of men found to have the condition increased four times over this timeframe.

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Partners of cancer sufferers 'have higher cardiac risks'

People whose spouse has suffered from cancer may wish to prepare to fund coronary heart disease treatments through expatriate medical insurance policies, following the publication of a study that revealed they have an elevated risk of suffering from this cardiac condition. The investigation, which was published in the journal Circulation and led by Jianguang Ji and his colleagues at Malmo's Centre for Primary Healthcare Research, said the cause of this correlation is likely to be the negative stress these individuals are exposed to.

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Virus 'could boost effectiveness of chemotherapy'

Expatriates undergoing chemotherapy paid for with international private medical insurance policies may soon be infected with a virus that has been found to boost the effectiveness of this treatment in some individuals. This is following on from an early stage trial, which was published in Clinical Cancer Research and led by Dr Kevin Harrington and colleagues at St James's Hospital in Leeds and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Reovirus type 3 Dearing has been used to develop RT3D, which has a trade name of Reolysin and was created by Oncolytics Biotech

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Designated worry time 'can reduce anxiety'

Expatriates could cut their likelihood of suffering from stress-related conditions by setting aside a short period of time every day to worry. This is according to chartered psychologist and Abicord chief executive Graham Price, who said 30 minutes every evening could be sufficient. "If you find yourself worrying at any other time, defer it to your worry time," he suggested.

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Scientists make malaria breakthrough

Expatriates may soon be using international travel insurance policies to inoculate themselves against malaria, following research into the different strains of parasites that can cause this illness. Experts at the University of Edinburgh collaborated with scientists in Gambia, Kenya, Mali and Cameroon for the study, which was published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and supported by the Wellcome Trust. They identified a protein that appeared to be shared between many forms of malaria and some of the more fatal types of the condition.

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Stress 'could increase cancer risk'

People who suffer from anxiety could have a higher risk of developing severe cancers, research has shown. The study - which was published in PLoS One and conducted by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine - involved exposing hairless mice to ultraviolent light. It revealed those who were particularly risk-averse and reticent developed a larger number of invasive cancers and tumours than their relaxed counterparts.

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Robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery 'has better outcomes'

Using robots to help perform prostate cancer surgery has become commonplace and is more effective, a study has found. The investigation, which was led by experts at Henry Ford Hospital's Vattikuti Urology Institute (VUI) and published in the medical journal European Urology, found using these innovations to aid in the treatment of prostate cancer has a higher success rate than open surgery. Furthermore, it is more popular in the US than other traditional interventions, the research found.

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Thailand 'is adventurous destination'

Older expatriates may wish to consider relocating abroad to Thailand, as it has been described as a "good option" for adventurous travellers. Cheapflights.co.uk travel expert Nadine Hallak pointed out some of the activities that people can get up to on its shores include "island-hopping boat tours" and treks through the jungle. People who prefer to relax can enjoy the "white, sandy beaches" the nation contains, she continued.

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Insomnia 'increases severity of tinnitus'

People with tinnitus are at an elevated risk of suffering from insomnia, which increases their likelihood of suffering from medical problems that could require expatriate health insurance. A study performed in Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital found a significant relationship between the severity of tinnitus and difficulties falling asleep. Insomniacs with tinnitus also reported elevated levels of emotional distress from the noises they hear as a result of the condition.

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Fibrates linked to reduced kidney function

Expatriates prescribed fibrates through international medical insurance policies may wish to monitor their kidney health, following research indicating the drug could damage this organ. Scientists at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the Lawson Health Research Institute revealed one-tenth of new older users of this medicine suffered a 50 per cent spike in the amount of creatinine in their serum. Researchers compared users of fibrates with those who took ezetimide, which is not thought to cause any adverse renal effects.

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