The Health News – 30 September 2016

Overview:
•  A University of New South Wales Kirby Institute report shows about 230,000 people were living with hepatitis C across in Australia last year, but only one in five received treatment. An oral anti-viral treatment, with a cure rate over 90 per cent, was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in March, and more than 26,000 people have accessed help since.

• Researchers from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) compiled a report into smoking patterns, finding less than 13 per cent of Australians are daily smokers. Overall, the report found improvement in a majority of indicators used to measure smoking rates under a strategy to reduce tobacco usage.

• An international study, led by University of Queensland researchers, identified 60 genetic variants associated with birth weight, 53 of which were not previously known. The study, published in Nature journal, revealed the genetic regions linked to low birth weight overlapped with those connected to an individual’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  30th of September 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/australia-leading-world-in-hepatitis-c-treatment/7887692

More people are on track to be cured of hepatitis C in Australia this year than over the past two decades combined, new research has shown.

A University of New South Wales Kirby Institute report shows about 230,000 people were living with hepatitis C across the country last year, but only one in five received treatment.

Hepatitis C is transferred by blood-to-blood contact and is often spread by sharing drug injecting equipment.

An oral anti-viral treatment, with a cure rate over 90 per cent, was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in March, and more than 26,000 people have accessed help since.

Professor Gregory Dore said the report results put Australia far ahead of other nations.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with hepatitis C, diagnoses have increased by over 40 per cent in the past five years.

A second study from the UNSW Centre for Social Research and Health showed access and awareness of treatment among other marginalised groups continues to be a problem.

It found of the 405 gay and bisexual men surveyed, only about a third were aware a treatment to cure hepatitis C was available.

Professor Carla Treloar said it showed tailored solutions were necessary.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/smoking-rates-at-record-lows-as-number-of-smokers-almost-halves/7886316

Australians are lighting up in fewer numbers than ever before, and tobacco use is continuing to decline, a new report into cigarette smoking has revealed.

Researchers from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) compiled a report into smoking patterns, finding less than 13 per cent of Australians are daily smokers.

Overall, the report found improvement in a majority of indicators used to measure smoking rates under a strategy to reduce tobacco usage.

Mr Beard said smoking rates had rapidly dropped over the past two decades.

The report also said fewer high school students were experimenting with cigarettes.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/genetic-link-between-newborn-weight-and-diabetes-discovered/7885148

A baby’s birth weight is genetically linked to its chances of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease later in life, a new study has found.

The international study, led by University of Queensland researchers, identified 60 genetic variants associated with birth weight, 53 of which were not previously known.

The study, published in Nature journal, revealed the genetic regions linked to low birth weight overlapped with those connected to an individual’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

UQ’s head of Genomic Medicine Professor David Evans said the risk of those diseases developing was relatively small.

The university’s Dr Nicole Warrington said it had been assumed the link was due to long-term impacts of the foetus’ nutritional environment.

The study analysed the genetic differences of almost 154,000 people and linked it to data on birth weight and previous studies on diabetes and heart disease.

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