Reinfeldt: Retire at 75
The age for retirement in Sweden is 65, but that may change if Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt gets his way. Reinfeldt told daily Dagens Nyheter that he believes working life ought to continue until age 75. This to uphold the desirable pension in Sweden. Reinfeldt is soon about to host the Northern Future Forum, during which the Nordic countries, the Baltic states and David Cameron, England’s Prime Minister will meet and discuss how older people can fit into the labor market of the future. Every second child who is born today, is expected to reach the age of 100 years—and this, according to Reinfeldt, means a structural change that has yet to be understood. "If people believe that we can live longer and shorten our working life, the pension will surely be reduced,” he said in the DN interview. “The next question is then: Are people prepared for that. In most cases I don't think so.” Reinfeldt suggests people better prepare for a higher retirement age, but his suggestion has already met with much criticism.

More Swedes abroad in distress
More and more Swedes are getting ill while traveling abroad. The reasons seem to be older passengers, riskier destinations and an increase in general traveling. Upset stomach is the most common of ailments. SOS International in Copenhagen, an insurance company, says they received 28,000 calls from traveling Swedes in distress last year, which is 4000 more than just two years ago. “We’ve noticed an increase for several years now. Traveling is no longer a luxury, and that is mirrored in the calls to us,” says Per Byberg, key account manager at SOS International. Six out of the 10 calls from Swedes concern illness, anything from upset stomachs to heart attacks, though stomach problems are most common. “If the stomach problems are so severe that they make traveling difficult, one has to have a doctor’s note to get compensation from the insurance company. So people call to find out what they should do,” Byberg continues. The fact that older people travel abroad more often also means the number of travelers with heart problems has increased. This older age group also suffers from stomach problems more often than others. “These days more people travel to exotic destinations where the risk for nasty bacteria is greater and where health care is at a different level than at home,” explains Daniel Claesson, information officer at If insurance company. “Not everyone is aware of that.” At If the number of illness cases in connection with foreign travel has increased from 3000 to 5000 in just a year or so. Neither the Swedish Church abroad nor the Ministry for Foreign Affairs have statistics that cover how much is being done for traveling Swedes in distress, but the increase in traveling has certainly made its marks. Says Camilla Åkesson Lindblom at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Press Information: “At the same time we have fairly strict rules about what we can do. Only in extremely rare cases do we lend someone money, for instance. One must think before traveling, one must, for example, make sure to have a home insurance.” And Per Byberg adds: “It’s crazy when one is abroad traveling. SOS International cannot do anything if the person does not have a home insurance.” Another problem SOS International oftentimes runs into is the fact that travelers aren’t aware of the fact that their insurance normally is good for foreign travels for no more than 45 days.

Obesity leads to smaller brain
Scientists at Uppsala University have come to the conclusion that the part of our brain that affects our hunger is smaller in older people who are obese. It is believed that bad food habits during a longer period of time have weakened the brain function that helps us control our hunger. The scientists studied the brain in close to 300 older women and men with the help of a magnetic camera over a period of five years. The study will be presented in The International Journal of Obesity.

Sharp increase for ADHD meds
During 2011 there were three times as many ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) drugs prescribed for children in Skåne in the very south of Sweden, as before, according to new numbers from Socialstyrelsen. "Today the ADHD drug is classified as standard,” Mikael Hoffma, director of Nätverk för läkemedelsepidemiologi (Foundation Network for drug epidemoiology), explains. “That means more doctors can prescribe it. Add to that that we know more today, we have a greater understanding about ADHD.” Chief physician at the department of Children’s Psychiatry Malmö/Lund doesn’t think the sharp increase in ADHD prescriptions is strange either. “It is only lately that we have realized how many children suffer from ADHD,” he says. “I see nothing wrong in medication, but other forms of support are also enormously important, support from the school as well as from the family. Much more can be done there.”

Wedding ring found around carrot
Seventeen years ago, Lena Påhlsson from Dalarna lost her wedding ring, a white gold piece of jewelry with seven diamonds that she herself had designed. She and her husband Ola had searched high and low with no success, after the ring disappeared from their kitchen counter. She had given up on ever finding it again. Then just recently, as Lena was pulling up the last of this year's carrots she noticed that one of the carrots had something attached to it. Ola explains: “Our daughter Anna was at home at the time and she heard an almighty scream from the garden.” Anna thought her mother had hurt herself and ran out into the garden to help. But Lena was just sitting on a chair, looking shocked. Because there was Lena’s wedding ring, missing since 1995, wrapped around the top part of a carrot. Lena and Ola have come up with a theory for how the ring ended up attached to a carrot: They believe their sheep, which is often fed kitchen scraps, somehow gobbled it up and its manure was spread over the vegetable patch. Unfortunately Lena hasn't been able to wear the ring again yet, as her fingers have grown over the last 17 years, so it now needs to be re-sized to fit properly. Until then, she’s keeping it in a safe place.

Last chance for wolf
A genetically important female wolf that lives in an area with reindeer in Jämtland and Västernorrland is now to be captured and moved for the third time in less than a year. In spite of several attempts to frighten her away, she remains in the area. Helene Lindahl Vik, project director for the genetic reinforcement of the wolf strain says it was a difficult choice for Naturvårsverket (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency), the agency which chose to move the wolf rather than hunt it. “We’ve had to take all kinds of factors into consideration,” she says. “Among them that it is now mating time for the wolves, which increases the chances of her staying somewhere, according to our estimations.” Lindahl Vik adds that Naturvårdsverket doesn’t know whether it is the reindeer that exhort pull over the wolf, or if it simply feels at home in biotopes like this one. Not even scientists can answer that question, she says. Each time the wolf is moved it costs about half a million SEK ($72,021). Add to that a lot of stress as moving means the wolf is chased by a helicopter and shot with anaesthetic arrows. Daniel Ligné at Jägareförbundet (the Swedish Hunting Association) is skeptical though: “What circumstances are there that make them believe they will succeed this time? It’s about a wild animal that has been put under a lot of stress at each move and, in addition to that, has been separated from its partner during the last moves. Now it’s going to be chased again.” Naturvårdsverket says the wolf has recovered from the last moves and that it is very important for the genetic reinforcement to try moving it again. If the wolf cannot be moved this time, will it be hunted? “If it doesn’t work to frighten it away—yes,” says Helene Lindahl Vik.