Women's health

Breast cancer linked to chronic disease later in life

Women who receive hormonal therapy for breast cancer are at increased risk of developing chronic conditions later in life, according to new research published in the Medical Journal of Australia this month.

Researchers from Flinders University and the University of South Australia found that rates of depression, osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, chronic pain and gastric disorders were higher among breast cancer survivors who had received hormonal cancer treatment than among those without breast cancer.

Dementia Australia launched

A unified, national peak body for people of all ages living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers has been launched.

Dementia Australia is the new voice of what was previously Alzheimer's Australia.

Announcing the change, the organisation said that while Alzheimer’s disease was the most common form, there were more than 100 types of dementia and, for this reason, its message needed to be inclusive of all.  

The organisation said that awareness and understanding about dementia was still alarmingly low, but the prevalence of dementia was growing.

Give the gift of life in 2018

Australians are being asked to begin the year by discussing their organ and tissue donation wishes with family and friends and joining the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Federal Minister responsible for organ and tissue donation, Ken Wyatt AM, said almost anyone could become a registered donor, including people aged in their 70s and 80s.

“I’m calling on all Australians to make this a priority for 2018,” Mr Wyatt, who is also Minister for Ageing, said.

Bupa calls for pensioners to pay more for care

A shock increase in aged care costs could be included in this year’s Federal Budget if Treasury heeds a call to force pensioners to pay more for nursing home services, according to a report this week on retirement website YourLifeChoices.

The proposal by insurance company Bupa recommends that the capped value of people’s homes be increased from the current $162,087.20, so those with valuable homes are asked to pay more for care.

Better ways of assessing cognitive health

Given the central importance of normal cognitive function to decision-making in later life, National Seniors Australia contracted the Flinders Business School and the University of Western Australia to undertake a study into better ways of assessing cognitive health. This research project investigates the relationship between cognitive health and financial decision-making among older Australians aged 55 years and over, and identifies factors that will encourage regular cognitive screening among older Australians.

Healthy Ageing: The state of the evidence and available resources

Australia’s population is growing older and a greater proportion of Australians are living longer than ever before. As a result, more people are developing, and living longer with, diseases and disabilities associated with ageing. With escalating health care demands the expected increase in burden of disease in Australia has been reported to be unsustainable. On an individual level, disease and disability can impair quality of life and wellbeing by restricting activity, mobility, social connectedness, and community participation.

Australia’s worst flu outbreak

Australia is suffering its worst flu outbreak on record.

Vaccination advocates The Immunisation Coalition said that as of the morning of 16 August, more than 75,000 cases of influenza had been laboratory confirmed, including a record-breaking 30,000 cases nationwide last month.

New South Wales and Queensland were the worst-affected states, with reported cases numbering 35,315 and 19,662 respectively.

The Immunisation Coalition’s Professor Paul Van Buynder said that with several weeks of flu season still to go, 2017 was set to be a record breaker.

Lack of sleep costing billions, report shows

Australians are not getting enough sleep and it is costing the country billions, a new report shows.

The report Asleep on the Job: Costs of Inadequate Sleep in Australia, compiled by Deloitte Access Economics for the Sleep Health Foundation, found that inadequate sleep kills more than 3,000 people a year.

This includes 394 dying after falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle or from industrial accidents involving tired workers.

Regional carers struggle to find support

It will come as no surprise to many people, but a new survey has found carers in regional and rural Australia find it harder than those in the city to access many forms of support.

A total of 13,200 people took part in the University of Canberra’s 2016 Regional Wellbeing Survey. It is the first time the survey, which began in 2013, has examined the experiences of carers.

The survey is Australia’s largest into the wellbeing of people living in rural and regional areas.

The results showed those living in regional areas had fewer places to turn to for help.

Out of date drugs a danger

If you keep left over or unwanted medicines at home, you may run the risk of accidental poisoning or medication mismanagement.

The drugs may also be a potential danger to young children visiting your home.

Toni Riley, spokeswoman for government-funded company Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM), said a new awareness campaign is urging people to take out-of-date drugs to their local pharmacy for safe collection and disposal.

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