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In Depth Articles

New Medicare-Funded BRCA Testing – Use With Caution

September 05, 2018

GPs may have to correct some patients’ misunderstanding following reports in the general media suggesting that testing for high risk cancer genes was now available to everyone free of charge.
Writing in the latest issue of the MJA, Australian genetics experts say that testing for specific high- risk genetic mutations, especially …

Health Check: How Long are You Contagious with Gastro?

August 29, 2018

There’s no way you’d want to go to work when you’ve got the telltale signs of gastro: nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. But what about when you’re feeling a bit better? When is it safe to be around colleagues, or send your kids to school or daycare?
The health department …

Inpatient Rehab After Knee Surgery – a Rort?

August 28, 2018

Why are Australians having rehabilitation as an inpatient after their total knee replacements rather than as an outpatient at a rate higher than any other country in the world?
And why are our rates of inpatient rehabilitation as opposed to community or home-based rehab increasing?
That’s what researchers were investigating in a …

Detecting and treating Mycoplasma genitalium

August 22, 2018

Mycoplasma genitalium (M. genitalium), is thought to affect up to 400,000 Australians.
It causes urethritis in men, and in women it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, cervicitis and preterm labour. It is also a recognised cause of anorectal proctitis along with other infections including Chlamydia trachomatis (including the LGV strains), gonorrhoea, …

Managing the cardiovascular time bomb in patients on antipsychotics

The physical health of mentally ill patients is a “massive problem and we are doing very badly at it,” psychiatrist Dr Matthew Warden told doctors at a recent Healthed evening seminar in Sydney.
In particular, the prevalence of high cardiovascular risk among patients with a history of psychosis, means this population …

Pass the salt

August 15, 2018

Salt may have been unfairly targeted as a killer in the healthy heart stakes, according to newly published research.
The observational study of over 90000 people in 300 communities across 18 countries, found that sodium consumption was not associated with an increase in health risks unless the average daily consumption was …

Typhoid in the modern era

August 08, 2018

The microbiology laboratory has made great strides in introducing clinically useful diagnostics over the past couple of decades, particularly in recent years with the development of molecular assays that ‘narrow the gap’ and provide early diagnoses.
While introducing new tests, it has also been important to evaluate and discard old tests …

LDL – The Lower the Better

Low density lipoprotein cholesterol is the well-known culprit in terms of cardiovascular risk.
Courtesy of a large meta-analysis of statin trials done in 2010 (the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists Collaboration), we know that for people starting with higher LDL-C levels (approximately 3.4 mmol/L), they can lower their risk of having a major …

Fewer Caesars with earlier induction

August 15, 2018

Among low-risk, nulliparous women, inducing a pregnancy at 39 weeks will not only be at least as safe as letting nature run its course but it will reduce the risk of having a Caesarean, according to US research.
According to the randomised trial involving over 6000 women, those who were assigned …

Farmers experiencing drought-related stress need targeted support

August 01, 2018

Emma Austin, University of Newcastle; Anthony Kiem, University of Newcastle; Brian Kelly, University of Newcastle; David Perkins, University of Newcastle; Jane Rich, University of Newcastle, and Tonelle Handley, University of Newcastle
For farmers, drought is a major source of stress. Their livelihoods and communities depend on the weather. To better support …

Managing the anxious child

Children who persistently or frequently experience high anxiety need help, says psychologist Jennie Hudson, Professor and Director of the Centre for Emotional Health, at Sydney’s Macquarie University.
“There has been a tendency to believe kids are going to grow out of [their anxiety]”, she said. In the past, anxiety in children …

The HIV pandemic: time to recalibrate and target the weak spots

July 25, 2018

HIV remains a global challenge. Between 36.7 million and 38.8 million people live with the disease worldwide. And more than 35 million have died of AIDS related causes since the start of the epidemic in the mid-1980s. Two years ago the International Aids Society and The Lancet put together a …