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In Depth Articles

Obesity Surgery – Worth The Money

September 27, 2017

For most patients in Australia, obesity surgery is an expensive exercise. The surgery alone is likely to see you out of pocket to the tune of several thousand at least. And then there’s the time off work, specialist appointments, follow-up etc etc.
So you can understand patients being hesitant about the …

New Guidance For Assessment Of Lipids

Non-fasting specimens are now acceptable
Fasting specimens have traditionally been used for the formal assessment of lipid status (total, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides).1,2
In 2016, the European Atherosclerosis Society and the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine released a joint consensus statement that recommends the routine use of …

How much sleep do children really need?

September 20, 2017

How much sleep, and what type of sleep, do our children need to thrive?
In parenting, there aren’t often straightforward answers, and sleep tends to be contentious. There are questions about whether we are overstating children’s sleep problems. Yet we all know from experience how much better we feel, and how …

How long do anxiety patients need medication?

It is well-known that when a patient with depression is commenced on antidepressants and they are effective, they should continue them for at least a year to lower their risk of relapse. The guidelines are pretty consistent on that point.
But what about anxiety disorders?
Along with cognitive behavioural therapy, antidepressants are …

Assassination by pacemaker: Australia needs to do more to regulate internet-connected medical devices

September 13, 2017

In the future, people are going to be just a little bit cyborg. We’ve accepted hearing aids, nicotine patches and spectacles, but implanted medical devices that are internet-connected present new safety challenges. Are Australian regulators keeping up?
A global recall of pacemakers has sparked new fears and splashy headlines about hacked …

New Autism Guidelines Miss The Mark

The first national guidelines for diagnosing autism were released for public consultation last week. The report by research group Autism CRC was commissioned and funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in October 2016.
The NDIS has taken over the running of federal government early intervention programs that provide specialist …

Could It Be Endometriosis?

Endometriosis, or more particularly diagnosis of endometriosis is often a challenge in general practice.
When should you start investigating a young girl with painful periods? Is it worth investigating or should we just put them on the Pill? At what point should these young women be referred?
Consequently, the most recent NICE …

Studying Chromosomes In 2017

September 06, 2017

Examining the structure of chromosomes
The first studies in human genetics were done in the early 1900s, well before we had any idea of the structure of DNA or chromosomes. It was not until the late 1950s that the double helix was deciphered, that we realised that chromosomes were large bundles …

The Newest Gardasil Vax

Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against cervical and other cancers. It works by boosting the immune response against the types of human papillomavirus (HPV) known to be behind most of these cancers.
Girls aged 12-13 have been receiving Gardasil as part of Australia’s school-based immunisation program since 2007. And from …

Zika Now In Fiji

August 30, 2017

In what could represent a major blow to tourism in the region, the US Centers for Disease Control have, this week, issued a level 2 warning that mosquitoes in Fiji have been found to be infected with Zika virus and have transmitted the infection to humans.
Because of the strong link …

Why Animal Trial Results Aren’t The Final Word

Throughout the era of modern medicine, animals have been used extensively to develop and test therapies before they are tested in humans. Virtually every medical therapy in use today – including drugs, vaccines, surgical techniques, devices such as pacemakers and joint prostheses, radiation therapy – owes its existence, at some …

Flu Season Pretty Bad

August 23, 2017

This year, the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza (flu) virus infections began rising earlier than usual and hit historic highs in some Australian states. If you have been part of any gathering this winter, this is probably not news.
States in the south-east (central and southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania …