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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: March 2011

Spain featured heavily in March's news, with a number of reports on the state of the country's property market and the bargains available to expatriates.

Other popular destinations included France, with one survey noting that a higher level of interest from buyers is starting to push up prices in Paris.

Meanwhile, health stories reminded expatriates of the benefits of a good and trustworthy doctor.

Eye specialists highlighted the health benefits of having regular eye checkups, while mothers-to-be were advised to contact a good health professional to help them with nutritional issues.

Read on to check out the other major headlines from March . . .

Obesity 'could lead to infertility'

People might want to look into international health insurance to help with infertility problems, which can be rather costly. According to recent research published in Endocrinology, the offspring of obese women are more likely to struggle with infertility. The study looked at a group of mice and discovered that the hormone ghrelin is low in obese mice.

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Enquiries in Spanish property 'rising'

International health insurance could be needed by people considering moving to Spain. According to Property-spanish.com, enquiries regarding property in Spain have already increased by 150 per cent this year in comparison to 2010. Mile Price, sales director of the firm, commented: "We have seen a clear increase in enquiries for property on the Costa Calida, especially along the coast and in the regions gold resorts."

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Spanish property prices to continue decline

Individuals thinking of relocating to Spain may be interested in recent comments regarding house prices in the country. According to the Bank of Spain, the current decline in home values, which has seen 17 per cent knocked off prices since the market peak, could be set to continue. The bank explained that the country's economy could be in dire straits for many years, with the high mortgage debt burden a key factor in preventing full recovery from taking place.

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Expats enjoy better quality of life

People considering moving abroad could be glad to hear that expatriates tend to have a better quality of life. Indeed, a recent survey conducted by the Post Office, found that 70 per cent of expatriate British people ranked themselves as very happy with their new life. Furthermore, 60 per cent said that they felt a greater sense of community in their new country than they had experienced in the UK.

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Ask questions when choosing care home

International healthcare insurance customers who are looking for a care home for a family member have been advised to ask plenty of questions. Daniel Blake, development manager at Action on Elder Abuse, explained that families should talk to existing residents at the home to determine how good the establishment is. He also explained that the care home should be asking the prospective resident a lot of questions in return.

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Regular eye examinations 'beneficial'

Expatriate health insurance customers would do well to take advantage of their health cover and have regular eye examinations. According to Tony Veverka, chief executive at Ultralase, problems like diabetes and high blood pressure can be identified through these examinations, allowing for early treatment and a better chance of recovery. He added that the average person should be "having an eye examination about every two to three years"; but noted that different lifestyle factors can impact eye health.

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Partners' support 'affects mental health during pregnancy'

Pregnant women are likely to find that the support of their partner will have the greatest influence on their mental health during pregnancy. A recent study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health found that maternal emotional distress is most likely to be caused by the lack of support from a partner or spouse. Since anxiety and depression during pregnancy can result in a premature birth of a low birth weight, international medical insurance customers might want to look into antenatal classes together to avoid these problems.

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Pregnancy 'ideal time' for health advice

Overseas medical insurance customers might be interested to learn that pregnancy is one of the best times for women to learn about healthy lifestyles. According to a review paper published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, health professionals should take advantage of the fact that pregnancy increases a woman's awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Indeed, they were advised to use this time to advise obese women about weight management and health living.

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Paris property prices on the rise

People who are thinking about moving abroad might be interested to learn that property values in Paris have risen substantially over the past five years. According to the Paris Chamber of Notaries, residential property prices have risen by 40 per cent since 2005. Indeed, prices jumped by almost 18 per cent in 2010 alone, following a four per cent decline during 2009.

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French administration 'problematic'

Expatriate health insurance could be particularly important for people living in France due to the country's problematic administrative processes. A recent article in the Telegraph noted that it can take years to acquire the necessary documentation to gain access to the country's healthcare system. Expatriate Cathy Boylan explained that she retained her native UK health insurance when she first moved to France due to her excessive travel plans.

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