Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal fears that mass pull out by top athletes from the Commonwealth Games will rob spectators of a chance to witness some great contests.Reports of tourist-attack and foot-bridge collapse, coupled with fears of dengue epidemic and doubts over hygiene of Games Village have let to the withdrawal of many top stars and Saina said she is disappointed.”I’m disappointed with the pull-out of some top athletes from the Delhi Games. If competition is not there it does not feel good as people come to see good contests,” Saina said on the sidelines of a promotional event on Thursday.Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal. Photo: Bhaskar PaulA number of participating countries have criticised the living conditions of the rooms in the towers that have been installed for the athletes and Saina said she was pained to read and hear about these negative publicity.”I am sad and it feels bad to hear these on television.But I cannot comment about the Games village as I am yet to see it. Without seeing it’s not proper for me to comment,” Saina said.In what should bring cheers to the ears of the under-fire Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, Saina also gave a big thumbs up to the badminton venue.”I have played there and it’s a top class arena. The stadium is excellent,” she said.Talking about India’s chances at the Commonwealth Games, Saina said the hosts are well poised to win a medal in each of the six events in badminton in Delhi.advertisement”We have all trained very hard in Hyderabad for the Commonwealth Games and I’m confident we have a chance to win a medal in every event we participate in,” said the world No.3.Six gold medals and an equal number of silver and bronze are on offer in badminton which is to be held at the Siri Fort Complex along with squash.Saina said the challenge for India would come from Malaysia, Singapore and Scotland.”We can expect tough challenge from Malaysia, Singapore and Scotland,” said the Hisar-born shuttler who is the brightest medal hope in badminton for the country in the CWG as well as the November Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.Talking about her own chances, especially in the light of the comments from her predecessor Aparna Popat that the country expected nothing less than a gold from her, Saina promised she would do her best.”I cannot promise a medal though I will be aiming for the gold. But I will give it my best shot,” she said.Saina said she had put the World Championship, where she lost in the quarter finals despite being ranked second, well behind her and was looking forward to the Delhi Games followed by the Asiad.”I am happy I tried my best and am now looking forward to the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. I feel my fitness levels have increased by over 60 per cent since the world championship. But we have to wait and see how things pan out,” she said.Saina said it was totally wrong to compare the sports infrastructure that exists in India to that of China because only in the last couple of years that the country has started to do well at the top most level like the Olympics.
AddThis Share2David Ruth713firstname.lastname@example.orgJeff Falk713email@example.comRice U. study: Studies may have overestimated effect that smoking bans play in reducing hospitalizations HOUSTON – (Sept. 19, 2016) – Previous studies of tobacco policies aimed at reducing hospitalizations may have overestimated the benefits of bans on public smoking and underestimated the benefits of cigarette taxes, according to new research by experts at Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, Yale University, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.Credit: shutterstock.com/Rice UniversityIn new findings published in the journal Medical Care Research and Review, the authors describe the results of a new nationwide evaluation of the effects of smoking bans and cigarette taxes on three important health conditions that are exacerbated by tobacco use: acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure and pneumonia. The researchers analyzed county-level data from 28 states on hospitalization rates for these conditions from 2001 to 2008.“Public-place smoking bans play a critical role in improving public health, and we are not arguing that smoking bans be lifted in restaurants, bars and workplaces,” said research co-author Vivian Ho, the chair in health economics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and director of the institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences. “However, policy makers and public health workers must be realistic in understanding the benefits of alternative policy interventions like taxes and bans. We found that raising cigarette taxes can have an immediate beneficial effect in terms of reducing costly hospitalizations. As for smoking bans, while these may eventually lower hospitalizations, our research found no immediate benefit in terms of reduced hospitalizations.”In 2010, the Institute of Medicine reviewed the literature on the relationship between secondhand smoke and hospitalizations and concluded that there was evidence to “support an association between smoking bans and a decrease in the incidence of heart attacks …” However, the authors of the new research found that each of the studies used in the 2010 Institute of Medicine review had “at least one important limitation, such as a small study population, lack of a contemporaneous control population or failure to account for the full range of factors that could influence hospitalizations for smoking-related conditions, such as increased cigarette taxes and local patient and health care market characteristics,” according to the new report. While one previous study had concluded that there was no association between public smoking bans and smoking-related hospitalizations, the sample of hospitalizations was incomplete, so the null finding may have been due to measurement error, the authors said.In the new analysis, the authors measured the effects of smoking bans by comparing counties with no smoking bans to those that implemented comprehensive bans in bars, restaurants and workplaces between 2001 and 2008. Unlike most previous studies, the authors could compare hospitalization rates in counties, both before and after a smoking ban or tax change was introduced, with data from counties that did not change their policies on bans or taxes through 2008. Therefore, the researchers could control for the fact that hospitalizations declined over this time period for other reasons, including improved control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.Contrary to most previous studies, the researchers found no evidence that comprehensive public-place smoking bans lowered hospitalization rates in the short-term for acute myocardial infarction or heart failure. However, higher state cigarette tax rates were associated with lower heart failure hospitalization rates for all age groups and lower pneumonia hospitalizations for persons ages 60 to 74.“A Nationwide Assessment of the Association of Smoking Bans and Cigarette Taxes With Hospitalizations for Acute Myocardial Infarction, Heart Failure and Pneumonia” was also co-authored by Joseph Ross, associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine; Claudia Steiner, a senior research physician at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Aditya Mandawat, an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston; Marah Short, associate director of the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences; Meei-Hsiang Ku-Goto, research programmer at the Baker Institute; and Harlan Krumholz, professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. Ho is also a professor of economics at Rice and a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.The study was made possible through a collaboration with the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.-30-For more information, to receive a copy of the study or to schedule an interview with Ho, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-348-6775.Related materials:Ho bio: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/vivian-ho.Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow the Center for Health and Biosciences via Twitter @BakerCHB.Follow the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality via Twitter @AHRQNews.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.