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In The News

Type 2 diabetes: small reduction in alcohol, big reduction in heart disease risk

August 07, 2019

People with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of getting cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke. Lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, affect the risk of developing diabetes, but there has been little research about how people with diabetes can change their lifestyle to lower …

Research Check: Have scientists found the cause of endometriosis?

July 31, 2019

Headlines over the past week have given false hope to the roughly 8–10% of women of reproductive age with endometriosis:
Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium) is found outside the uterus, causing pelvic pain and/or infertility.
We don’t know what causes …

New risks revealed when stopping statins

Healthy 75-year-olds who stop taking statins have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a study published this week in the European Heart Journal has found.
The nation-wide French study is the first to evaluate the impact of discontinuing statins taken for primary prevention in older people, according to the European Society of Cardiology.
The …

Rheumatoid arthritis: researchers count costs

A team of researchers from Finland have created a model to compare the cost-effectiveness of the different types of treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.
The group of researchers, who are affiliated with several institutions in Finland, have described in a paper published in PLOS One how they created a model that uses …

Genetics outweigh environment for autism risk

July 24, 2019

The results of a study across five countries on the factors linked to autism risk has recently been published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
The study followed more than 2 million children from birth to 16 years of age, just over 22,000 of which were diagnosed with autism. The factors assessed …

Bioidentical hormone therapy: Ineffective, dangerous, costly

Although condemned by many medical societies and warned against by overseas regulatory bodies, bioidentical hormone therapy is still being prescribed in Australia through a combination of false advertising, outdated fears of alternatives and a lack of regulation. Several menopause experts, including President of the International Menopause Society Dr Susan Davis, …

Opioid deaths soared where pain pills flowed

A database of US opioid shipments has recently been made public, allowing investigative journalists to draw a direct correlation between the distribution of prescription pain pills and death rates from opioid overdose from 2006 through 2012.
The grim data highlights a ‘belt’ of counties stretching through middle-America where per-capita opioid distribution …

Menstrual cups found safe, as effective as other products

July 17, 2019

Although they have been available for decades, both awareness of and willingness to use menstrual cups remains low. Many women have concerns about effectiveness, comfort and above all safety compared to other products.
However, a new systematic review published in The Lancet Public Health journal has found no safety concerns with …

Could targeting this enzyme halt ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer remains one of the deadliest types of cancer, primarily due to the difficulty of early detection. The lack of distinct symptoms mean that by the time a diagnosis is made, cancer cells have already spread to other parts of the body.
To further complicate treatment, high-grade serous ovarian cancer …

The TGA’s proposed breast implant ban exposes a litany of failures, and fails to protect women

The proposed ban on some textured breast implants announced by the Australian pharmaceuticals and medical devices regulator earlier this week tells us something very disquieting about the effectiveness of consumer protection.
It will not reassure women living with breast implants concerned about their risk of cancer, or anyone else with an …

Study explores link between mental health and social media

July 10, 2019

A survey from the American Psychiatric Association has revealed that more than one-third of US adults view social media as harmful to their mental health, and believe that its usage is related to social isolation and loneliness.
Only five per cent of respondents viewed social media as being positive for their …

Thinking of laser hair removal? Here’s what you need to know

Unwanted facial and body hair can affect the way we feel, our social interactions, what we wear and what we do.
Options to camouflage or remove unwanted hair include plucking, shaving, bleaching, using creams and epilation (using a device that pulls out multiple hairs at once).
Longer-term options include electrolysis, which uses …