Conditions & treatments

Know the signs of type 1 diabetes

Diabetes Australia is urging Australians to know the signs of the life-threatening disease that too often goes undiagnosed.

Marking National Diabetes Week (9-15 July), Diabetes Australia’s Professor Greg Johnson, said the It’s About Time campaign encouraged people to recognise the early signs of type 1 diabetes.

“Each year hundreds of Australians, including many children, end up in hospital emergency rooms in serious, life-threatening situations because the early signs of type 1 diabetes are not recognised,” Prof. Johnson said.

The staggering cost of unlucky breaks

A new report shows the cost of treating brittle bones in Australians aged over 50 is expected to be a staggering $3.1 billion in 2017.

And the total cost is expected to climb to nearly $22 billion by 2022.

But many of those affected were unaware they had osteoporosis and osteopenia, even after they had suffered a fracture, according to Osteoporosis Australia’s report: Osteoporosis: a burden of disease analysis.

Call for more support for people with dementia and their families

A new discussion paper calls on the federal government to fund quality respite and counselling services to ensure people living with dementia, their carers and families are well supported.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW’s Relationships and Dementia, calls for more help for people to work through complex feelings of grief and loss.

Council set up to oversee medical cannabis

A peak industry body has been set up to oversee production, supply and distribution standards for medical cannabis products.

The Medical Cannabis Council includes health experts, researchers, and medical cannabis producers and manufacturers.

CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia and board member of the Medical Cannabis Council, Carol Ireland, said early research indicated medical cannabis could treat areas of epilepsy where conventional medicine had been largely ineffective.

Postcodes determine stroke treatment

Your postcode may determine your likelihood of suffering a stroke and how well you recover from it.

The Stroke Foundation’s report No Postcode Untouched: Stroke in Australia 2017 shows 12 of the country’s top 20 hotspots for stroke incidence are in regional Australia, where people are 19 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke than those living in metropolitan areas.

Simple blood test to detect heart conditions

A New Zealand-based medical technology company has developed a cardiovascular test that can diagnose a condition called unstable angina – often the prelude to a heart attack.

Upstream Medical Technologies’ CEO Ruth Appleby said he simple blood test, called UARatio, would be the first in the world to enable emergency department physicians to quickly rule out heart attacks.

It was estimated the test could save hospitals around $1,500 for every chest pain patient. 


The eyes have it

Legendary British actress Dame Judi Dench is a class act on the screen.

Now she’s extending her influence off-screen by encouraging Australians aged over 50 to have their eyes tested for macular degeneration.

The 82-year-old Oscar and BAFTA winner, perhaps best known for her role as M in seven of the James Bond films, inherited the disease from her mother and is receiving ongoing treatment.

While there’s no cure for the disease, early detection has been crucial in maintaining her quality of life.

Tasmanian seniors welcome budget health focus

Tasmanian seniors have welcomed record health spending announced in the 2017-18 state budget, but they were disappointed that ageing was overlooked again for a ministerial portfolio.

National Seniors’ Tasmanian Policy Advisory Group’s Mary Parsissons said $7 billion in health spending over the next four years would help deliver 106 new hospital beds, construct and upgrade health facilities, and employ more doctors, nurses and health professionals.

WA over 65s not getting flu vaccine

Older people in Western Australia are failing to have their flu vaccinations, new data from the state’s health department has shown.

In 2016, there were 7,937 confirmed influenza cases in Western Australia, 1,788 of which involved people aged over 65. Nearly one quarter of them required hospitalisation.

Yet despite these high numbers, the uptake of the flu vaccine in this demographic was 56 per cent in 2016, down from 64.2 per cent in 2014.

Hidden numbers suffer from rare disease

Sufferers of one of Australia’s rarest diseases are calling for greater public awareness, which may lead to better treatments and even a cure.

Myositis is one of 80 auto-immune diseases affecting about 10 per cent of the population in Australia and New Zealand.

An estimated five to 10 people per one million Australians are afflicted across each of the three major forms of myositis - dermatomyositis, polymyositis and inclusion-body myositis.

Juvenile myositis affects children as young as three but the true numbers are unknown.

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