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In Depth Articles

Testing options for H. pylori

December 13, 2017

Identified in 1983 by Australian Nobel prize winners Marshall and Warren, H. pylori is linked to a spectrum of disease including non-ulcer dyspepsia, peptic ulcer, gastric cancer and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma.
Infection is estimated to be present in about 30% of adult Australians, though not uniformly distributed in the population. …

New hope for kids with severe food allergies

One of the new class of biologics may have a pivotal role in desensitising children with severe food allergies, US researchers say.
That was the conclusion after their placebo-controlled study showed that a preliminary short course of the monoclonal antibody, omalizumab (Xolair) improved the safety and efficacy of oral immunotherapy in …

Understanding Victoria’s new assisted dying laws

December 06, 2017

Victorians with a terminal illness will be able to request an assisted death from the middle of 2019, after the state’s parliament became the first in Australia to legalise voluntary assisted dying. Victorian residents over the age of 18, of decision making capacity, who have six months to live and …

Don’t hold back on giving patches to pregnant smokers

All pregnant women who are smokers should be offered nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as an option to help them quit, Australian researchers say.
In a review published in the MJA, authors said that even though there was a general acknowledgement that there was no firm evidence that proved NRT was safe …

Schistosomiasis

November 29, 2017

Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, is the second most prevalent tropical disease after malaria and is a leading cause of morbidity in many parts of the world.
It is not uncommon in Australia because of the many travellers who visit endemic areas and swim or bathe in freshwater lakes and streams.
Places …

Unprecedented Rise In Scarlet Fever In England And Asia

Scarlet fever is on the rise.
According to the latest issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases, cases of scarlet fever in the UK reached a 50 year high last year with a seven fold increase in new cases in the last five years.
In addition, similar increases having been reported in a …

Can lithium prevent dementia?

November 22, 2017

When people think of lithium, it’s usually to do with batteries, but lithium also has a long history in medicine. Lithium carbonate, or lithium salt, is mainly used to treat and prevent bipolar disorder. This is a condition in which a person experiences significant mood swings from highs that can …

Pressure increased on hypertension treatment

New US guidelines are the most aggressive yet in terms of targets for blood pressure control.
Put out by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, and published in JAMA, the guidelines recommend we now consider anyone with a BP of 120/80 mmHg or above as having abnormal …

Measuring Troponin In General Practice

November 15, 2017

High sensitivity(HS) troponin measurement in the emergency room/hospital setting is now widely established in Australia and is now being recommended for widespread
implementation in the USA.
Lower cut-offs into the normal range may find value as a single determinant for exclusion
purposes in the acute emergency ward setting, however, because HS troponin may …

Antibiotics Still Best For Suspected UTI

At a time when there is increasing pressure on GPs not to prescribe antibiotics, a new primary care study endorsing their role in the early treatment of uncomplicated UTI makes a welcome change.
The trial, recently published in the BMJ showed that not only did early antibiotic treatment for a lower …

Alcohol A Risk For Fathers-To-Be

November 08, 2017

Abstaining from alcohol during preconception and pregnancy is usually considered to be the woman’s responsibility. The main concern surrounding alcohol exposure during pregnancy often relates to well-established evidence of newborns developing a range of behavioural, physical and cognitive disabilities later in life.
But recent research is also pointing to a link …

A Proven, Practical Alternative For Pain

There has been a lot of noise around opioid use lately. In particular, in the States where it’s been declared a public health emergency.
While concerted efforts are being made to ensure that patients who are experiencing chronic pain are not also in a position where they also have to deal …

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