The Health News – 9 March 2016

Overview:
• Listening to people who have survived a suicide attempt could be key to the way Australia approaches prevention, a peak body has said, as new data reveals an increase in the number of people taking their own lives.

• Lindsey 26-year-old woman who received the first transplanted uterus in the United States says she is looking forward to getting pregnant next year.

• Currently there are about 380,000 Australians with dementia, but researchers at the University of Canberra (UC) have projected that number will rise substantially over the next four decades.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-08/suicide-survivors-key-to-curbing-suicide-rates/7229118

Listening to people who have survived a suicide attempt could be key to the way Australia approaches prevention, a peak body has said, as new data reveals an increase in the number of people taking their own lives.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show 2,861 people died from suicide in 2014, up from 2,335 in the previous report, released in 2009.

That equates to almost a 14 per cent increase.

Suicide was found to be the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 44.

Lifeline Australia described the situation as an emergency and said the ABS figures meant there were almost eight suicides every day or one every three hour.

Lifeline CEO Pete Schmigel said it was time for Australia’s health authorities to acknowledge it was a crisis.

While it ranked 13th on the overall list of causes of death, suicide accounted for more than 97,000 years of potential life lost, significantly more than the country’s top killer, heart disease, which was about 77,000.

Ms Murray has echoed calls by other suicide prevention experts for people with a “lived experience” of suicide to share what they know.

“People who have lived through suicidal crisis have unique insights that will help build our knowledge and understanding,” she said.

“What drove them there? More importantly, what helped them live?”

Ms Murray said suicide was costing Australia dearly on both an economic and social scale.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-08/first-us-woman-with-uterus-transplant-looks-forward-to-pregnancy/7229100

A 26-year-old woman who received the first transplanted uterus in the United States says she is looking forward to getting pregnant next year.

Lindsey, who was born without a uterus and received a womb from a deceased donor in her 30s, read a brief statement to reporters at a news conference.

She was in a wheelchair and is still staying at the hospital for monitoring.

The transplant, done in a nine-hour surgery on February 24, was the first of 10 uterine transplants planned as part of a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic, which has screened 250 potential recipients.

The team of surgeons conducting the trial said they worked closely with doctors in Sweden, where five babies have been born since 2014 to mothers with transplanted wombs.

Women who get a womb transplant in Cleveland will stay in the hospital one to two months following surgery, then return home and lead a fairly normal life on immunosuppressant medications to keep their bodies from rejecting the transplanted organ, doctors at the news conference said.

Lindsey must wait a year to get pregnant …

After one or two babies, the uterus will be removed so that she does not have to spend her whole life on anti-rejection drugs, the doctors said.

Embryos from her eggs and her husband’s sperm will be implanted in her uterus.

She cannot conceive through intercourse because the uterine transplant does not include the fallopian tubes.

The baby will be delivered by caesarean section as close as possible to its due date, the doctors said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-08/australians-with-dementia-expected-to-reach-almost-1-million/7228772

The number of Australians with dementia is expected to more than double by 2050 to reach almost 1 million, researchers say.

Currently there are about 380,000 Australians with dementia, but researchers at the University of Canberra (UC) have projected that number will rise substantially over the next four decades.

UC Professor Laurie Brown from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling said the figures were star[t]ling, but would help governments and organisations develop strategies to deal with the illness.

Professor Brown said the number of Australians with dementia would continue to increase as the population aged.

[She] said there was a range of risk factors that were incorporated into the figures.

“Some of the key risk factors for dementia are the same for cardiovascular disease,” she said.

“Mid-life obesity is a key risk factor for late life dementia. But importantly, things like education, you have twice the risk of getting dementia if you’re an early school leaver.

“Early education and learning and development will influence late life.”

Professor Brown said the findings would help governments and other organisations better target policies and strategies to deal with the illness.

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