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In The News

Sarcopenia is now a recognised disease, but we can all protect ourselves

July 10, 2019

As we grow older, the size and strength of our muscles progressively deteriorates. This can affect our capacity to perform everyday activities like standing up from a chair, climbing stairs or carrying groceries.
For some people, muscle wasting becomes more severe, leading to falls, frailty, immobility and a loss of autonomy.
People …

Emerging treatment for neurogenic faecal incontinence

July 03, 2019

Faecal incontinence is a condition that can cause such embarrassment that even estimating it’s prevalence is difficult. More concerningly, relatively few sufferers seek medical attention despite treatments being available.
We do know that the condition affects at least 10 to 20 per cent of Australians, that the likelihood increases with age …

New stillbirth risk figures help women’s decisions on timing delivery

Prolonged pregnancy is a known risk factor for stillbirth, but a new analysis on stillbirth data has shed further light on how this risk increases over time.
The research, led by Queen Mary University of London and recently published in PLOS Medicine, analysed data on over 15 million pregnancies across the …

The science of PMS food cravings

Premenstrual food cravings are the punchline of endless jokes. Like most good jokes, they’re funny because they’re true.
Certain parts of a woman’s menstrual cycle do seem to go hand in hand with the desire for chocolate ice cream and potato chips. I hear about this every day from my OBGYN …

Screening for depression as part of the new heart health checks

June 26, 2019

The latest government statistics, released last week, show that from 2001-2016, the rate of cardiac events (heart attacks or unstable angina) fell by more than half among Australian women.
That’s largely because of greater education about risk factors for heart disease (smoking rates continue to fall), and medical advances in prevention …

New online tool tasked with reducing food allergies

A new website has been launched to educate health care providers and parents on the latest recommendations for introducing common allergens to babies.
The Nip Allergies in the Bub website was developed as part of the National Allergy Strategy Food Allergy Prevention Project and includes free resources for health professionals on …

UTI test missing the mark

Standard UTI tests could be missing a large number of women with infections, according to researchers.
The rapid dipstick test currently used for urinary tract infections works when bacteria infects the inside of the bladder, but not when bacteria gets inside the cells lining the bladder, chronic UTI expert Professor James …

Study Finds Nearly 400 Ineffective Medical Treatments

June 19, 2019

All new medical practices are trialed before adoption by health professionals, but just as important is continuing randomised controlled trials based on new evidence and scientific understanding.
This message was highlighted by a new analysis of ‘medical reversals’, where a treatment is found not to work, to cause more harm than …

The hidden childhood concussion epidemic

At age 15, Jamie is a keen soccer player who loves nothing more than getting stuck into every tackle, practice and game. As a result, Jamie experiences injury like any young person might do. During a routine sports physical, Jamie complains to the doctor about headaches, sleeping difficulties and feeling …

Two hours in nature linked to better health

The idea that spending recreational time in natural settings is good for our health and well being is hardly new. Parents have been telling their kids to “go play outside, it’s good for you” for generations. Now, colleagues and I have published a study in the journal Scientific Reports which …

The problem with mindfulness

June 12, 2019

Mindfulness, it seems everybody’s doing it. You might have even tried it yourself – or have a regular practice. Thanks to the help of an app on your phone that speaks to you in dulcet tones, you are reminded to “let go” and to “observe your breath”. From the public …

Electronic inhaler monitoring reduces hospitalisations in patients with COPD

For patients with COPD, inhaled medications are a critically important part of their care. For medical professionals however it’s nearly impossible to assess how a patient is using these medications based on self-reporting. This is the dilemma that Cleveland Clinic researchers attempted to address in a study of the effects …