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Editorial (Dr K K Aggarwal)                                                                                          (Dr RN Tandon)
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17th July, 2017
Do not ignore "trends" in lab reports
 
Laboratory tests have become routine. Not only do doctors order lab tests, often patients or even otherwise healthy people get them done of their own accord. What is important is how we interpret these reports.
 
Often the results of the tests are interpreted in relation to the normal reference range mentioned alongside, whether the values are within the reference range "normal" or fall outside it "abnormal". Labs usually have their own reference range.
 
Generally, we tend to give too much weight to a normal result and are reassured by it. But, here it is important to keep in mind the fact that a normal result is just a picture at that point of time. It can change.
 
And, what is equally important is that instead of looking at a single test result, one should look for trends in the results. Always compare the results of a particular test with previous reports even when a result is normal. Results that show change over time i.e. show a rising or declining trend are important and should not be ignored.
 
Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI
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Dietary calcium should be preferred over supplements, IMA
Young girls increasingly deficient in calcium, which can cause many health issues at a young age

New Delhi, 16 July 2017: According to a recent study, calcium deficiency in women is becoming a prevalent problem in both rural and urban India. This can be blamed on the changing dietary habits, particularly in urban Indians, which has undergone a major change in the last few decades. As per the IMA, people are increasingly relying on processed and packaged foods and consequently, their intake of whole foods has gone down by a major proportion.
 
About 20% of adolescent girls in the age group of 14 to 17 suffer from calcium deficiency, according to statistics. About 70% of our bone weight is due to calcium phosphate crystals, the reason why calcium is the most important nutrient for good bone health. Women need more calcium than men as they are more prone to bone health problems with age.
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