The Health News Australia April 17 2018

  • The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute is leading the largest national study looking at the impact of a family history on heart disease. Cycling commentator Matt Keenan will take part in this pioneering Australian study looking at the impact of family history on heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, killing 1 person every 27 minutes.
  • University of Queensland drug and alcohol experts have cautioned that thresholds for safer alcohol use might need lowering.  Professors Wayne Hall and Jason Connor from the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research have made the recommendations following a study on global alcohol consumption. Current alcohol consumption guidelines vary around the world – in Australia, no more than 140 grams per week (14 standard drinks) is the current recommended limit.
  • The Lancet Countdown report on health and climate change was published in October 2017 by The Lancet and will be updated annually through to 2030. Doctor Ying Zhang, a senior lecturer in the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, and Associate Professor Paul Beggs, from Macquarie University, wrote in the MJA that, from an Australian perspective, “with our high level of carbon emissions per capita, it will be important to reflect on our progress and how it compares with that of other countries, especially high-income countries”.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/cardiology/5/news/aap/national-study-looking-at-the-impact-of-a-family-history-on-heart-disease/3293/

The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute is leading the largest national study looking at the impact of a family history on heart disease. Cycling commentator Matt Keenan’s intricate knowledge of the sport has him in full control when behind the microphone calling a major race like the Tour de France. But when it comes to knowing the intricacies of what makes his heart tick, he’s in the dark and has every reason to be concerned. Kennan’s grandfather and two uncles on his mother’s side all died of heart attacks in their forties.
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The impact the sudden deaths had on his mother was also “huge” and the anxiety it caused had a flow-on effect for the commentator.Kennan added:  “I’ve felt that sense that maybe I don’t have complete control over this, I could be making all the right lifestyle decisions but if there is something there genetically I might just be unlucky.”

But not satisfied with leaving it to luck, Keenan will take part in this pioneering Australian study looking at the impact of family history on heart disease. The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute study will be led by Professor Tom Marwick, who believes cardiac imaging can play a pivotal role in detecting people with the early stages of heart disease before it leads to devastating events like a heart attack. Researchers will use X-ray scanning to detect the early stages of plaque build-up in the arteries among healthy individuals who have a strong family history of coronary artery disease.

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, killing one person every twenty seven minutes.

http://health.uq.edu.au/article/2018/04/experts-urge-review-of-alcohol-consumption-guidelines

University of Queensland drug and alcohol experts have cautioned that thresholds for safer alcohol use might need lowering.  Professors Wayne Hall and Jason Connor from the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research have made the recommendations following a study on global alcohol consumption. The study is one of the largest ever, co-authored by over one hundred international academics who analysed alcohol use in five hundred ninety nine thousand nine hundred twelve drinkers in nineteen countries over five decades.

Professor Hall said: “The study found that increased alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of stroke, coronary disease, heart failure, aortic aneurysm, and fatal levels of high blood pressure. Around half of people in the study reported drinking more than one hundred grams (or ten standard drinks) of alcohol per week and almost ten percent drank more than three hundred fifty grams per week.”

Current alcohol consumption guidelines vary around the world – in Australia, no more than one hundred forty grams per week (fourteen standard drinks) is the current recommended limit. Professor Hall added: “The study supports an adoption of lower limits of alcohol consumption than are recommended in most current guidelines across the globe – one hundred grams per week maximum.”

https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/uos-atj041218.php

The Lancet Countdown report on health and climate change was published in October two thousand seventeen by The Lancet and will be updated annually through to two thousand thirty. It tracks progress on health and climate change across forty indicators divided into five categories: climate change impacts, exposures and vulnerability; adaptation planning and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; economics and finance; and public and political engagement.

Doctor Ying Zhang, a senior lecturer in the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, and Associate Professor Paul Beggs, from Macquarie University, wrote in the Medical Journal of Australia that, from an Australian perspective, “with our high level of carbon emissions per capita, it will be important to reflect on our progress and how it compares with that of other countries, especially high-income countries”.

Zhang and Beggs wrote: “The project recognises the importance of the climate change challenge in Australia, including its relevance to human health, and also the unique breadth and depth of the Australian expertise in climate change and human health. The Australian countdown will mirror the five domain sections of the Lancet Countdown, adopt the indicators used–where feasible and relevant to Australia–and include any useful additional indicators.”

The authors concluded: “The inaugural Australian report is planned for release in late two thousand eighteen and is expected to be updated annually. We hope to raise awareness of health issues related to climate change among Australian medical professionals, who play a key role in reducing their risks.”

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