Wednesday, 20 September 2017

New mum critical as doctors call for super flu vaccine

Sarah Hawthorn, 33, from Cobram, who is fighting for life in hospital after getting the flu

Re-published from The Age, Sept 20 2017. Written by Rick Morton, Social Affairs reporter, Sydney (@SquigglyRick) and Simone Fox Koob, Journalist, Sydney (@SimoneFoxKoob)

A young mother is fighting for her life in a Melbourne hospital having never held her newborn son after contracting a powerful flu strain.

The mother is the latest victim in a deepening crisis that has prompted Health Minister Greg Hunt and the nation’s top doctor to investigate “new and strengthened vaccines” available overseas.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Gastric bypass surgery associated with increased sleep-medication use

A new study led by SPHPM PhD student Winda Ng has shown that gastric bypass surgery is associated with increased use of medication to enable sleep. The findings, published in Obesity, were consistent at both 3- and 5-years post-surgery and reveal a need for ongoing support to these patients.

Winda and her research colleagues at Karolinska Institutet, Deakin University and The Baker Institute compared two groups of Swedish adults 18 years and over with obesity. One group lost weight by gastric bypass surgery, whilst the other underwent intensive lifestyle change programs. At one-year follow-up, the surgical group lost 37kg on average, and the lifestyle modification group lost 18kg on average.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Turning preventable deaths into saved lives

Dr Lyndal Bugeja

The word ‘coronial’ is often associated with death. But as the Department of Forensic Medicine’s (DFM) Dr Lyndal Bugeja proves, the coronial system often has a bigger role in sustaining life.

Lyndal first worked at DFM after graduating from criminology. She did an internship with the National Coronial Information System (NCIS, and no, there is no connection with the TV show). This fantastic opportunity introduced Lyndal to one of the most inspiring people in her career.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Viewing pornography now the norm for young Australians

Based on a media release by Angus Morgan

A landmark study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health has shown extremely high use of pornography among young Australians. 

The study surveyed 941 young people aged 15-29 and is the first of its kind in Australia since smartphones simplified access to pornography.  The researchers, from the Burnet Institute and Monash Public Health, found associations between pornography use and outcomes such as mental health problems and sexual activity at a younger age.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Standing up for research participants

Jane Tiller (left) presents to the inquiry

By law in Australia, any genetic finding discovered in the course of medical research returned to the participant must be disclosed to life insurance providers when applying for a policy, should the provider request it. Providers can use this as a reason to deny or restrict cover, regardless of whether the change is proven to increase the risk of disease.

SPHPM’s Dr Paul Lacaze and Jane Tiller made a case for legislation or a moratorium on the use of genetic information by life insurers at the Parliamentary Inquiry into the life insurance industry in Canberra recently. A legislative ban or moratorium would give researchers time to understand the clinical significance of genetic risk variants and would bring Australia into line with countries including the UK, Canada and most of Europe.


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