A monthly round-up of expatriate news, provided by Expatriate Healthcare
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Welcome to this edition of Expat News

Country Feature - MOROCCO

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 Morocco.

"Morocco is a country of contrast - the Atlantic coastline, the Sahara Desert, the snow-capped mountains - it has a lot to offer ... One thing that really stands out is how different every city seems to be..."

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:

Throughout October, there were several stories relating to relocating to Australia. It was claimed to be a good time to invest in the nation's housing, with some of its real estate having affordable price tags.

St Lucia, Thailand and Malaysia were also said to be good locations for expatriates, although an expert suggested that people only purchase property in foreign countries when their housing markets have bottomed-out.

Vision was another key theme of the month, with experts arguing exercise can reduce a person's risk of developing glaucoma, warning against failure to adequately care for contact lenses or operating them without medical supervision, or asserting that sunglasses should be worn throughout the year.

Working out was said to alleviate conditions including migraines, depression and degenerative illnesses, while reducing the risk of an individual developing bowel cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.

Also in the news was advice to parents who are trying to feed their children healthy products, with professionals claiming involving youngsters in food preparation can make them less fussy and that fizzy drinks in childhood can result in obesity throughout later life.

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


Hormonal changes 'impact diet successes'

Obese people may be more likely to regain their weight after dieting due to changes in their hormones, a study has indicated - something that could interest expat insurance customers. The research, which was undertaken by the University of Melbourne and Austin Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 50 overweight adults who took part in a ten-week program where they consumed a low-energy diet. Investigators analysed their appetite-regulating hormones at the baseline level, when they had completed the regime and one year later.

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Sunglasses 'should be worn all year-round'

Expatriates may be able to prevent increased premiums on international travel insurance by wearing sunglasses throughout the year. AllAboutVision.com editorial director Liz Segre pointed out that the sun never ceases its production of sight-harming UV rays. Being exposed to these raises the likelihood of someone suffering from retina-damaging conditions including macular degeneration, as well as early cataracts, she claimed.

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Exercise 'may prevent migraines'

Expatriates suffering from migraines who do not wish to take medicines prescribed under international private medical insurance might choose to exercise to alleviate their symptoms. Working out "will release some opiates that may have an analgesic effect", The Migraine Trust spokesperson Dr Fayyaz Ahmed explained, adding the exact manner in which this happens "remains uncertain". Similar events are thought to occur during sexual activity, as this releases endorphins with painkilling potential, he continued.

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Italy 'good place for homebuyers'

International healthcare customers may wish to consider relocating abroad to Italy. Its inhabitants have a fewer number of mortgages that are generally smaller, leaving its housing market relatively strong despite wider economic problems, according to Propertyshowrooms.com agents and media manager Terry Hobbs. However, there is an element of seasonality in the country and some areas that appear popular during the warmer months may be "practically boarded-up in winter", he continued.

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HIV 'no longer a death sentence'

Expat health insurance customers no longer need to consider being diagnosed HIV positive as a "death sentence", provided they live in a country with freely accessible adherence support, information and treatment. This is according to AVERT programme and information officer Laura Craggs, who claimed this "has been known in the HIV/Aids world for quite some time". A study published in the British Medical Journal found sufferers of this condition have a life expectancy that is 15 years longer than they would have had if they were diagnosed with it in 1996.

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Computer games 'can help people with Parkinson's'

Expat medical insurance customers suffering from Parkinson's disease may benefit by playing computer-based physical therapy games, a study has revealed. The research, which was led by Red Hill Studios and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing, found this technology can improve the balance and gait of people with this illness. It involved the development of nine clinically-inspired products specifically designed to improve the coordination of individuals with this condition by encouraging them to make scientifically-tested physical movements.

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Expert says involve fussy youngsters in mealtimes

Expat health insurance customers ought to engage youngsters in food preparation if they wish to prevent them from becoming fussy eaters. As it is important for the young to eat healthy balanced diets, with attitudes to food developed when in infancy often continuing throughout life, British Dietetic Association dietician Dr Sarah Schenker recommended giving children "some sort of input" in mealtimes. This can be as simple as cutting up a carrot while supervised or "stirring a pot of soup", she declared.

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Thailand named as top expat destination

Many people may look for an expat health insurance plan for a move to Thailand, as the country has been named as the top destination for people looking to relocate overseas. This is according to the preliminary results of the 2011 HSBC Expat Explorer survey, which questioned 3,385 expats from over 100 countries to find their thoughts. The south-east Asian nation was ranked highly for its economic and lifestyle factors, which may make it an attractive option for individuals seeking a global health insurance policy, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia came second and third respectively.

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People 'should take better care of their feet'

Expat insurance customers may need to ensure they take care of their feet. Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists spokesman Matthew Fitzpatrick claimed people who fail to do so are risking issues such as gout. "The big thing with all things in the body is, prevention is better than cure," he added.

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Oral modifications 'require consideration'

Expat insurance customers should avoid having their tongue pierced, as this is a risky procedure. Snorebond.com dental technician Luis Fairman claimed the most significant danger is that of infection. Those who perform the piercing quite often "only have a cursory knowledge of dental matters", he asserted.

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