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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:22 pm 
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Canberra doctor to continue practising, despite unsafely prescribing medicines

A Canberra doctor has been allowed to continue practising, despite a tribunal finding that she unsafely prescribed medicines and put patients at risk.

In May 2014, the Medical Board of Australia suspended Dr Syeda Tausif's registration to practise medicine after she failed to meet conditions.

She had been working at the Ginninderra and Phillip medical centres run by Primary Health Care Limited.

Investigations found that between 2011 and 2012, she had risked patient safety by prescribing opioids without approval to patients who appeared to be abusing the system due to addictions.

Dr Tausif admitted to professional misconduct and the Medical Board sought to cancel her registration.

But the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) ordered she be registered as a health practitioner, with strict conditions including supervision and completion of further training.

The tribunal found that Dr Tausif could continue to practise medicine in an environment where a senior doctor was willing to mentor her.

ACAT ruled Dr Tausif's notes could also be subjected to random audits.

The tribunal said it was not aware of any complaints from patients and that a lack of support had contributed to Dr Tausif's professional misconduct.

ACAT found that on her first day at the medical centres, Dr Tausif was shown the billing system on the computer and was required to see patients the same day.

On average Dr Tausif had more than 40 patient consultations per day.

ACAT noted that much of her prescribing during her employment had been appropriate.

Prior to working at two Canberra bulk-billing medical centres, Dr Tausif worked as a general practitioner at Gungahlin Medical Centre as well as an intern at Canberra Hospital and a resident medical officer at Calvary Hospital.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/26024055/ca ... medicines/


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:48 pm 
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The hard truths for a community fighting foetal alcohol syndrome

Seven years ago, our community took the decision to put in place alcohol restrictions.

But after these restrictions were in place we remained concerned about the impact of alcohol on our children.

The mothers, the grandmothers and the great-grandmothers said that these young children were very different from those they had cared for before.

We had all had experiences of caring for and interacting with children who were different.

Children who had trouble remembering instructions. Who found it hard to tell right from wrong. Who were slower to learn than others. Who found it hard to control their emotions. Some of them grew slowly and had faces that looked different.

The mothers, the grandmothers and the great-grandmothers said that these young children were very different from those they had cared for before.

We believed there was a strong connection between these children and the alcohol misuse during pregnancy that was occurring in our community.

But in order to get the help – the treatment and education that children needed, in order to be able to go to agencies and get funding and put programs in place – we needed to understand the burden of what was happening.

Through our work on the alcohol restrictions, we had already met Professor Jane Latimer from The George Institute for Global Health and Professor Elizabeth Elliott, an international Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) expert from the University of Sydney and Westmead Children's Hospital. They were the people who could assist us to conduct the research we needed to understand the true impact of mothers drinking through their pregnancies and the effects of alcohol on their babies.

Dr James Fitzpatrick, a well-respected paediatrician working in our region who was doing his PhD on this subject through The University of Sydney and The George Institute, helped us to carry out the work.

Our research through the Lililwan Project has confirmed high rates of alcohol use in pregnancy and foetal alcohol spectrum disorders. But we are not paralysed by what we have found. These results confirm what we've known for a long time now. These results are the hard truths of what's happening in our communities.

Knowing how many children have FASD helps us plan how best to support our communities and the children we love and care for. Soon these children will become adults and we also need to consider how we can care for them across their whole lives. This is no easy task but one we have thought about deeply. We are considering therapeutic economies in which these young adults could be employed and how to meet their needs as they age.

Our research provides a wonderful tool to help us go to government and others to get help for people living with complex needs within our community.

It has also allowed us to educate and inform as many people as possible in our community, in Australia, and globally about the terrible impacts of alcohol use in pregnancy. And we've done this without pointing any fingers. Without shaming or blaming.

We have already presented our journey to politicians and officials in Canberra and Sydney. We have travelled throughout Western Australia and across wider Australia telling our story. We have twice presented to the United Nations in New York. And we have talked about our work at FASD conferences around the world.

As a direct result of our research, we have established the Marulu unit (a word from the Bunuba language meaning precious) to serve our communities, employing local people to help disseminate information and present workshops to increase the community's understanding of this issue.

We have educated across all sectors – teachers, health workers, police – as well as mothers, fathers and the young people who will be our future parents.

This is all aimed at developing a community that is a safe and caring environment for our children and adults who call this place home.

We know this is a long road to travel.

We have a nurturing cultural life around which our community revolves – but these foundations of support and hope are trembling under the deep unresolved issues of trauma that our families and communities carry as a result of our histories and personal experiences.

In any response we must ensure a genuine acknowledgement and responsiveness to the deep healing that is needed.

We must incorporate this reality into any sustainable change.

We understand women drink for all sorts of reasons, many that we cannot change. We hope that by raising awareness of FASD, pregnant women will understand and grasp the magnitude of the consequences, and refrain from drinking while pregnant.

But we know we must have supports in place to help women make safe decisions.

From all we have learnt on our journey, we are aware that this is not just a problem for our community.

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders are an issue for every community where alcohol is present, whether it's local, national or global.

If other communities truly want to understand the impact and trauma of alcohol, it is a matter for them to make the decision to pursue that truth. But we hope we stand as an example of one brave community that has not brushed this aside but has stood firm as we approach the huge challenge that lies ahead.

In our culture, children are a precious gift, the future of Aboriginal Australia. Aboriginal people must drive the solutions to the challenge of FASD in our communities. We must speak out for vulnerable mothers and children and do all that we can to protect our future generations from the scourge of alcohol.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment ... 2smit.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:58 am 
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Consigning fetal alcohol scourge to history

DESPITE searing heat, 15-year-old Tristan McCarthy is relaxed as he poses in front of a boab tree in his home town of Fitzroy Crossing. He laughs when an onlooker tells him how handsome he looks. “Just go and behave!” he replies.

In childhood, Tristan was diag­nosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. With brother Sebastian and sister Rani, he is among a ­generation whose physical and behavioural deficits — ­including abnormal facial features and intel­­lectual disability — alerted their community to a sinister wave sweeping the Kimberley.

The Lililwan Project last week delivered news confirming that one in eight school-age children — 120 out of 1000 — in the Fitzroy Valley has fetal alcohol syndrome. Published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, the landmark study revealed one of the world’s highest rates of disability caused by mothers drinking alcohol while pregnant.

At 12, Tristan featured in a short video about FASD in the Kimberley. His birth mother told an interviewer: “I was wrong … drinking with him, damage his brains.” Tristan told the interviewer: “I just want to be normal.”

Yet the teenager, who recently had a serious health scare ­related to his disability, has the Fitzroy community gathered around him.

At Fitzroy Valley District High School, he attends the yellow class, where his learning diffi­culties are addressed by patient teachers, aided by his social carer, Thomas Luscombe. “I like going hunting, I like going fishing, I like swimming,” said the boy who once was barely able to put two sentences together and could not control impulsive behaviour.

A high incidence of FASD youngsters ended up in trouble with the law, said June Oscar, lead ­instigator of the Lililwan study and chief executive of the Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre.

Family members and police struggled to handle affected children, “yet FASD is not recognised by disability ser­vices, so families can’t apply for assistance”.

Ms Oscar and fellow community leaders have pioneered strategies to “Make FASD History”. They have created an early childhood centre around FASD children’s needs as well as a therapeutic program, and a mobile ­Marulu Unit team delivers messages about preventive mat­ernal and child care.

In the coming months, a $1.3 million West Australian Health Department program will roll out the Marulu message throughout the Kimberley and Pilbara.

An NHMRC-funded early-­intervention trial, the “Alert Program”, will be run in Fitzroy Valley schools to identify children needing help with memory and learning, although private sponsorship and one-off government funds for Fitzroy community’s own programs were running out, said Ms Oscar.

James Fitzpatrick, a lead ­author for the George Institute for Global Health and University of Sydney study, says FASD children “need intensive work to overcome their handicap”.

He said Fitzroy Valley leaders had responded to the crisis “with a determination I’ve not previously seen in a remote community”.

Ms Oscar and Lililwan’s research team travel to Vancouver in March to address an international conference on FASD.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 7190016940


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:37 am 
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TV Alcohol Ads Increase Risk of Binge Drinking in Teens, Study Finds

Television advertisements do not only affect their target groups. According to a new study, teenagers who are more receptive to alcohol advertisements have a greater risk of binge drinking than those who do not.

"The alcohol industry claims that their advertising self-regulation program protects underage youths from seeing their ads. Our study indicates that it does not," lead study author Susanne E. Tanski, pediatrician at the Chilldren's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and associate professor of pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University, said in a news release.

For this study, the researchers surveyed more than 3,000 participants between the ages of 15 and 23 in 2010 and 2011 via the phone. After the survey was completed, the participants were required to complete an image related assignment online. The researchers conducted follow-up surveys two years later. A total of 1,596 people participated.

The team found that 23 percent of the youngest participants that saw alcohol ads reported liking them and were able to identify the brands in the ads. The rate for the oldest participants was slightly higher at 26 percent. The researchers noted that liking and remembering the ads were signs of higher receptivity, which was linked to a greater risk of binge drinking.

"If you compare low- to high-receptivity kids, their risk of transitioning to binge drinking was over four times higher," said Dr. James Sargent, the study's senior author from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Lebanon, New Hampshire reported by Reuters. "This study suggests that alcohol marketing does affect subsequent drinking behaviors."

In 2013, roughly two-thirds of all American high school students stated that they have drank alcohol before. About a third of these students drank alcohol within the past month and about one in five of them reported binge drinking recently. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion.

"Our study found that familiarity with and response to images of television alcohol marketing was associated with the subsequent onset of drinking across a range of outcomes of varying severity among adolescents and young adults, adding to studies suggesting that alcohol advertising is one cause of youth drinking," the authors wrote in their paper. "Current self-regulatory standards for televised alcohol advertising appear to inadequately protect underage youth from exposure to televised alcohol advertising and its probable effect on behavior."

The researchers added that they conducted a similar experiment examining the link between fast food TV ads and drinking behaviors. They did not find a connection.

http://www.newseveryday.com/articles/68 ... -finds.htm


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:25 pm 
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Just-say-no alcohol stance 'missing mark'

By targeting 18-year-olds the NSW Government misses the mark when it comes to educating young people about alcohol abuse, a youth lobby group says.

Youth Action is calling for a change to the NSW Government's 'just say no' approach to alcohol education in schools.

'We would like to see an adaption that acknowledges the reality that young people are going to touch alcohol before 18,' the group's policy and advocacy director Eamon Waterford told AAP.

The group wants a reformed alcohol education program added to the curriculum for the PDHPE - personal development, health and physical education - subject.

Mr Waterford said 55 per cent of males and 30 per cent of females aged 15-17 usually consumed five or more standard drinks when they were drinking.

Youth Action has sent a submission to Education Minister Adrian Piccoli ahead of the upcoming state election calling for a comprehensive education program targeting 15 to 17-year-old students.

Mr Waterford said it would teach students to drink safely - as opposed to the current don't drink at all stance - and how to look after a mate.

'We would see a shift in amounts consumed and reduction in binge drinking,' he said.

'If we are able to improve the drinking habits at an early age we can see a reduction in alcohol-related violence and long term improvements to health.'

Mr Waterford doesn't believe it will be difficult to get parents onside with the initiative but policy makers who 'might be stuck behind the times'.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national ... mark-.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:11 pm 
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Keeping your New Year’s resolutions afloat

Do you need to hit the refresh button on your New Year’s resolutions?

Research shows that as we enter February, about a third of us who’ve made resolutions will have already given up. At six months, about 40 to 46 percent of us who’ve made New Year’s resolutions will be successful, which means more than half of us aren’t.

More than likely that’s because we are too ambitious, too vague or too hard on ourselves, when it comes to making and keeping resolutions, say experts on making resolutions and life changes.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up. You just may need to rethink your resolution, formulate a better plan, be less critical of yourself and be more persistent.

‘Life happens’

Wichitan Sharon Durmaskin makes New Year’s resolutions every year and has learned from her experiences.

“I’ve learned over the years to not make resolutions unrealistic,” she said. In the past she’s made resolutions to lose weight, but abandoned them “mostly because I became frustrated that I didn’t lose 50 pounds overnight. I knew I didn’t eat more than the average human and honestly, I couldn’t figure out why it was so difficult for me to lose weight, in spite of exercising and eating right.” Later, when she started eliminating sugar because of a health issue, she started losing weight.

She also has learned “life happens,” and can cause you to slip, like she did recently when she missed doing the daily meditation she’d resolved to do this year.

“But I will keep on keeping on,” Durmaskin said. “We’re humans, and we’re going to misstep and make a mistake, and I’m OK with that.”

That’s the kind of thinking that Joseph Donaldson, a counselor with FirstStarr Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health in Wichita, encourages.

“We’re creatures of habit so it’s going to be hard to break habits, but that doesn’t mean it’s not doable,” Donaldson said. “We beat ourselves up because we want to see results, and we’re gung ho and if we fall off, we get discouraged. It doesn’t mean life is over or that the goal is over.”

We often fail whenever we try to tackle something new, said Katherine Milkman, an assistant professor at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania who has done research on people making behavior changes.

“I don’t think there is anything special about New Year’s resolutions in this respect,” Milkman said in an e-mail interview. “The important thing though is that you can’t hit a home run if you don’t swing. New Year’s gets us swinging, and I think that’s great even if every swing doesn’t produce a home run.”

Tips for restarting

Here are some tips the experts have for getting back on track with your resolutions.

- Revisit your resolution. If you failed to psyche yourself up for this year’s resolution, revisit it and develop realistic goals and a specific action plan, experts said.

Jill D. Miller, a business consultant and owner of Jill D. Miller Creative Solutions, likes to advise her clients to use a method called SMART for both personal and professional goal-setting. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, determine how many pounds you want to lose in a certain amount of time. Losing 50 pounds in two months isn’t realistic, so that will make the goal unattainable, along with irrelevant. An average, healthy weight loss is about 1 to 3 pounds per week. Doing regularly scheduled weigh-ins makes the goal measurable.

She, along with other experts, recommend doing regular progress checks to stay on track or to make adjustments to stay successful. Evaluate how you are doing on meeting your resolution at regular intervals, say weekly or monthly. For example, if your goal was put $100 in savings per month, check your finances weekly to determine if you had any budget pitfalls and how you could have avoided them. Would eliminating one day a week out of your coffee shop habit make up the deficit? If you know the next week or month will have some higher expenses, you may also need to adjust your savings goal for the month.

- Plan for slips. “There are a lot of variables that can come into play to cause us to get off track, so you have to plan for it,” Donaldson said. For example, how will you handle an invitation to join friends at a restaurant, if your goal was to lose weight? Rather than sacrificing social connections for a number on a scale, review the restaurant’s menu beforehand or ask the waiter for healthy options.

If you’ve already abandoned your resolution, look back and try to figure out why, he said. Did you give up on improving physical fitness because you missed a couple of exercise classes? Why did you miss the classes? Maybe you discovered that you were too fatigued from working out seven days a week, but could handle five.

“If you know why, you can look at how you can incorporate that and then plan for it,” Donaldson said.

- Be positive. John Norcross, author of “Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing your Goals and Resolutions,” recommends not getting negative about yourself or your slips.

“It’s a thinking error,” he said about most people who succumb to negative thoughts about a slip. “Some people think ‘it’s over so there’s no use to doing it.’” Avoid thinking that the slip is proof positive of incompetence, he said. Look at your slip as a learning experience, he said, citing that in one research 71 percent of resolvers said their first slip strengthened their efforts.

Donaldson, too, subscribes to being more optimistic. If you were able to keep your resolution for 14 days before you abandoned it, look back and evaluate what progress you did make and take note of that success, he said.

“If you had the energy, motivation and understanding to do it for those 14 days, you can do it for another 14 days. Any progress is good.”

- Be persistent. As the saying goes, change takes time. According to Norcross, it takes three months before a change becomes routine.

Ways to help with persistence are creating some accountability, said Milkman.

“Make them (goals) public to family, friends and co-workers so you have people who will hold you accountable,” Milkman said. “Consider creating a commitment contract on a website like Stickk.com, so you have money on the line that you will forfeit if you fail to achieve your goal.”

- Make a fresh start. Keep in mind that New Year’s isn’t the only time you can make a goal.

While the start of the new year is probably the most popular time for people to make resolutions, Milkman’s research shows that people use other landmark times, or “fresh start” occasions, for making changes. Other popular fresh start times, according to her published study, are the beginning of a week, a month, a semester, after one’s birthday and the day after a federal holiday.

http://www.kansas.com/living/health-fit ... 22877.html


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:53 am 
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Too Much Alcohol at Midlife Raises Stroke Risk

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Too much alcohol in middle age can increase your stroke risk as much as high blood pressure or diabetes, a new study suggests.

People who average more than two drinks a day have a 34 percent higher risk of stroke compared to those whose daily average amounts to less than half a drink, according to findings published Jan. 29 in the journal Stroke.

Researchers also found that people who drink heavily in their 50s and 60s tend to suffer strokes earlier in life than light drinkers or non-imbibers.

"Our study showed that drinking more than two drinks per day can shorten time to stroke by about five years," said lead author Pavla Kadlecova, a statistician at St. Anne's University Hospital International Clinical Research Center in the Czech Republic.

The enhanced stroke risk created by heavy drinking rivals the risk posed by high blood pressure or diabetes, the researchers concluded. By age 75, however, blood pressure and diabetes became better predictors of stroke.

The study involved 11,644 middle-aged Swedish twins who were followed in an attempt to examine the effect of genetics and lifestyle factors on risk of stroke.

Researchers analyzed results from a Swedish registry of same-sex twins who answered questionnaires between 1967 and 1970. By 2010, the registry yielded 43 years of follow-up, including hospital records and cause-of-death data.

Almost 30 percent of participants had a stroke. They were categorized as light, moderate, heavy or nondrinkers based on the questionnaires, and researchers compared the risk from alcohol and health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking.

The researchers found that for heavy drinkers, alcohol produced a high risk of stroke in late middle age, starting at age 50. By comparison, light drinkers' or nondrinkers' stroke risk increased gradually with age.

Among identical twins, siblings who had a stroke drank more than their siblings who hadn't had a stroke, suggesting that midlife drinking raises stroke risks regardless of genetics and early lifestyle, the researchers said.

Midlife heavy drinkers -- those in their 50s and 60s -- were likely to have a stroke five years earlier in life, irrespective of genetic and lifestyle factors, the study found.

http://www.webmd.com/stroke/news/201501 ... tudy-finds


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:43 am 
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Why your body loves time off from alcohol (especially if you’re female)

Thanks to Febfast, Dry July and Ocsober we're getting used to the idea of a holiday from alcohol – a four-week break that can reconnect us with the bright side of zero alcohol like more money and less brain fog. But what about the health benefits of taking more regular mini-breaks from wine, beer and spirits – like the two alcohol-free days a week that are often recommended to help reduce the risks from drinking?

"The main advantage of two alcohol-free days each week – as opposed to occasional alcohol-free days when you're sick, for instance – is that it reduces your lifetime exposure to alcohol, which in turn helps lower the risk of both liver disease and alcohol-related cancers such as cancer of the breast, colon, oesophagus and mouth," says Associate Professor Simone Strasser, a gastroenterologist and spokeswoman for the Australian Liver Association.

Women have the most to gain from these regular breaks because when it comes to treating the sexes equally, alcohol breaks the rules. The damage that drinking too much can cause to the liver happens more rapidly in women and at a lower intake of alcohol, says Strasser, who sees the pointy end of too many drinks in her job as a liver specialist.

"I'm seeing an increase in the number of deaths due to liver failure from alcohol in young people in their 20s and 30s, especially in women," she says.

Still, the liver can be very forgiving – to a point.

"If your liver is already showing the first signs of liver disease – the build-up of fat in the liver that is the first stage of alcohol-related liver disease – then a month-long break from alcohol can be enough to reverse the damage," Strasser says. "Even if the damage has progressed to the second stage where there is some scarring on the liver, the liver function can still return to normal as long as the person abstains from alcohol."

But how would you know if your liver was beginning to show signs of damage? Although there are no obvious clues at first, a new non-invasive and painless scan called FibroScan can detect problems early on.

"If people are worried about the effects of their drinking we can check for signs of liver disease and it may act as a wake-up call," Strasser says.

But apart from reducing the amount you drink, another good reason for two alcohol-free days each week is that it helps to prevent psychological dependence, according to Professor Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance in Britain and adjunct professor at Curtin University's National Drug Research Institute in Western Australia.

"If you can't get through the day without a drink you have to ask yourself why," he says. "It's about developing a sense of discipline so that you don't need alcohol every day."

As for any concerns about two alcohol-free days diluting the benefits of a regular glass of red for your heart's sake there's no need to worry.

"There is a plausible mechanism by which alcohol may help your heart by raising the level of 'good' cholesterol, but if the benefits are real they can be achieved by only one or two standard drinks a week. Also, having four or more standard drinks on any one occasion more than wipes out that potential benefit," Gilmore says.

"When people pour themselves a glass of wine, it is often the equivalent of two or three standard drinks, but they kid themselves they are just 'having one'."

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-an ... 311rp.html


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:14 pm 
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A Break From Alcohol Can Help The Body

A professor from the University of Sydney said that taking two days a week as alcohol-free days could help reduce the lifetime exposure to alcohol when compared to occasional days of being alcohol-free when one is sick. Women are said to gain more from these breaks, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

A gastroenterologist and a spokeswoman for the Australian Liver Association, Associate Professor Simone Strasser, said that the advantage of having two alcohol-free days in a week was that the reduction of lifetime exposure to alcohol could help in lowering the risk of liver disease as well as cancers related to alcohol. The cancers that are related to alcohol are breast cancer, colon cancer, oesophageal cancer and mouth cancer.

She said that too much drinking can cause liver damage more rapidly in women. She explained that she saw an increase in the number of deaths because of liver failure in young adults who were in their 20s and 30s and it was due to alcohol. She also said that this was seen especially in women.

Strasser explained that if one's liver was showing signs of liver disease, then a break of a month from alcohol could be enough to reverse the damage that had been caused. She said that usually the first stage of liver disease related to alcohol was the building up of fat in the organ. She added that if the liver disease had moved to the second stage where there was scarring on the liver, the organ's function could return to normal if the person abstained from alcohol.

Professor Ian Gilmore, the chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, a collaboration of many organisation that works towards reducing damage caused by alcohol abuse, agreed that two days of being alcohol-free in a week could be beneficial. He said that it could help in the prevention of psychological dependence.

According to Gilmore, if one could not get through the day without a drink of alcohol, one had to question themselves regarding why the dependency. He said that it was about the development of a sense of discipline so that one did not need alcohol on a daily basis.

http://au.ibtimes.com/break-alcohol-can ... dy-1417989


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:35 am 
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This is What Happened When Jennifer Aniston Stopped Exercising for the Movie ‘Cake’

It’s probably a safe assumption that Jennifer Aniston is on many women’s celebrity body crush lists (despite the fact that some criticized her cleavage at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards). She’s 45 and looks amazing. Just stop!

And Aniston works hard for it—when she’s not in yoga class she runs, does Pilates, and oh, at one point told InStyle that she brings 8-pound weights with her whenever she’s staying at a hotel. The woman is dedicated. So when Jennifer needed to stop exercising for about two and a half months for her role as a woman addicted to painkillers in the movie Cake (presumably to lose some of her muscle tone and definition) it initially came as a sigh of relief.

“At first I was thrilled, because I said ‘this will be so great I don’t have to work out,’” she said on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

But as we all know, and Aniston soon found out, exercising is more than just a time-consuming thing you do to stay in shape.

“After a few weeks it really does start to affect your sleep, your stamina throughout the day, your mood,” Aniston continued. “We take for granted how important [exercise] is and why we do it.” Preach.

And Jen speaks the truth: study after study shows how exercise can help you feel less stressed, happier, and even more energized, just to name a few of its many benefits.

So while you may think, “Imagine if I got paid to not work out like Jennifer Aniston!” you, too, would realize what a downer life is without downward dog (or your exercise of choice).

http://news.health.com/2015/01/27/jenni ... ight-gain/


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:31 am 
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Smartphone Apps Just as Accurate as Wearable Devices for Tracking Physical Activity, According to Penn Researchers

PHILADELPHIA — Although wearable devices have received significant attention for their ability to track an individual’s physical activity, most smartphone applications are just as accurate, according to a new research letter in JAMA. The study tested 10 of the top-selling smartphone apps and devices in the United States by having 14 participants walk on a treadmill for 500 and 1,500 steps, each twice (for a total of 56 trials), and then recording their step counts. Led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, this study is a follow-up to a recent JAMA viewpoint suggesting that there’s little evidence that wearable devices alone can change behavior and improve health for those that need it most.

“In this study, we wanted to address one of the challenges with using wearable devices: they must be accurate. After all, if a device is going to be effective at monitoring — and potentially changing — behavior, individuals have to be able to trust the data,” said lead study author Meredith A. Case, BA, a medical student at Penn. “We found that smartphone apps are just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity.”

Each of the study participants, all healthy adults recruited at Penn, had the following devices on during the treadmill trials:

Waistband: one pedometer and two accelerometers
Wrists: three wearable devices
Pants pockets: two smartphones, one running three apps and the other running one

At the end of each trial, step counts from each device were recorded. The data from the smartphones were only slightly different than the observed step counts (with a range of -6.7 to 6.2 percent relative difference in mean step count), but the data from the wearable devices differed more (with a range of -22.7 to -1.5 percent).

“Since step counts are such an important part of how these devices and apps measure physical activity, including calculating distance or calories burned, their accuracy is key,” said senior author Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS, assistant professor of Medicine and Health Care Management at Penn and an attending physician at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. “Compared to the one to two percent of adults in the U.S. that own a wearable device, more than 65 percent of adults carry a smartphone. Our findings suggest that smartphone apps could prove to be a more widely accessible and affordable way of tracking health behaviors.”

The other Penn study author is Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD. This study was funded in part through a grant from the National Institute on Aging (RC4 AG039114-01). Patel’s work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

http://www.healthcanal.com/life-style-f ... chers.html


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:31 pm 
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Drink to your health? Only if you're an older woman, study finds

The idea that alcohol consumption might be good for our health is not a new one, and a welter of studies comparing non-drinkers' health with that of drinkers has inspired hope among those who imbibe that it's true.

But a new study of people older than 50 largely scotches that hope. Unless you're a woman over 65, alcohol consumption is unlikely to forestall your death, a group of British researchers has found. For these older women, they add, the health benefits of alcohol are not enormous, but drinkers were less likely to die during a follow-up period of between six and 10 years.

The same study initially returned findings that men between the ages of 50 and 65 might reap a small benefit from drinking alcohol. But those apparent benefits evaporated when the researchers scrubbed from their non-drinking "reference group" all those who used to drink but have stopped.

This strange twist does more than disappoint middle-aged men eager to believe that alcohol makes them more robust. It also casts doubt on many studies that have concluded that drinkers are healthier than those who don't imbibe.

It turns out that former drinkers, who may have quit because they became ill or were recovering alcoholics, are a much less-healthy group than people who simply never drank at all. But researchers often lump these former drinkers together with people who have always been teetotalers (the authors of the current study estimate that more than half of those who call themselves non-drinkers are misclassified as people who never drank).

The inclusion of these less-healthy former drinkers makes the average health of "non-drinkers" look poorer. In comparison, those who consume alcohol tend to look healthier.

In the current study, when these former drinkers were expunged from the comparison-group of teetotalers, the non-drinking group suddenly looked healthier. And the bar for showing alcohol's health benefits rose. The apparent benefits of alcohol--at least for men 50-to-65--vanished.

Published Tuesday in the journal BMJ Open, the study suggests that many studies finding health benefits from alcohol consumption suffer from the same fatal flaw. The benefits of alcohol consumption, therefore, have generally been overstated in recent research.

But let's get back to those older ladies. In the current study, compared to women over 65 who were lifelong teetotalers, they were 24% to 33% less likely to die during the study period. And those health benefits did not significantly vary with the amount women drank: those who claimed they drank two or fewer drinks per month were just as protected against death from any cause as those who drank 15 or even 20 "units" of alcohol per week.

The authors warn that older drinkers are more likely to have health conditions, and to take medicine for them, that impair their ability to metabolize alcohol. That puts this group of people at greater risk from drinking alcohol. Even the finding that alcohol consumption benefits older women, they caution, may be the result of "selection bias," wherein the group of women polled for this study were somehow unusually healthy.

http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-s ... story.html


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:32 pm 
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How to drink less alcohol

Pointing out the advantages of cutting back is more effective than traditional approaches that warn of the risks of heavy drinking, according to a study carried out at the University of Sussex.

The research published this week in the British Journal of Health Psychology, found that university students were more likely to reduce their overall drinking levels if they focused on the benefits, such as more money and better health.

They were also less likely to binge drink if they had imagined strategies for how non-drinking might be achieved – for example, being direct but polite when declining a drink, or choosing to spend time with supportive friends.

Dr Dominic Conroy says:

We focused on students because, in the UK, they remain a group who drink heavily relative to their non-student peers of the same age. Similarly, attitudes about the acceptability of heavy drinking are relatively lenient among students.

Recent campaigns, such as the NHS Change4Life initiative, give good online guidance as to how many units you should be drinking and how many units are in specific drinks.

Our research contributes to existing health promotion advice, which seeks to encourage young people to consider taking ‘dry days’ yet does not always indicate the range of benefits nor suggest how non-drinking can be more successfully ‘managed’ in social situations.

Click on the following link for information about the NHS Change4Life initiative.

http://crowboroughlife.com/drink-less-8415/


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:44 pm 
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Free mental health clinic to emphasize total health and wellness

A free mental health clinic this weekend will focus on the overall health of people coping with mental illness to boost their quality of life.

The Community Whole Health Assessment Clinic, sponsored by the Waco chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer mental health assessments to residents, as well as presentations about various wellness activities that will help residents better manage their mental disorders.

“Most people who have a mental health condition, they get treated for it, but they don’t realize that their whole health affects that,” said Cynthia Cunningham, executive director of the Waco NAMI chapter. “There’s a whole bunch of things they can do to improve their mental health besides just focusing on that.”

The whole health management approach has been advanced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in recent years, Cunningham said.

The two-day clinic begins Friday and is free and open to the public, but Cunningham said there is a particular focus on veterans, children, and seniors.

The current “American Sniper” trial of Eddie Ray Routh, accused of killing famed Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle, could serve as a trigger for veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder or other conditions, she said.

Mental health guidance could be useful for students who are coping with bullying or academic struggles in school. And Cunningham said research shows that nursing homes are struggling with caring for elderly residents with mental health issues.

The event will focus on different healthy living factors that impact mental wellness, such as stress management, healthy eating, physical activity, sleep, and spiritual practice. Cunningham said when patients neglect those basic wellness practices, it can throw their mental health condition off balance.

“For example, when people with a mental health condition go without sleep, it causes a huge crisis, they start having more paranoia and hallucinating,” Cunningham said.

Other skills the clinic will focus on include maintaining a support network, avoiding negative thinking, building optimism and positive expectations and developing a sense of meaning and purpose.

In addition to NAMI staff, representatives from the Heart of Texas Region Mental Health Mental Retardation, the Waco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Central Texas College will also lead booths and workshops.

Molly Howard, wellness coordinator for MHMR’s integrated health clinic, will offer nutrition guidance based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Choose My Plate” initiative.

The integrated health clinic educates clients on the link between mental and physical health, particularly if a person is also battling chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or fibromyalgia.

Howard said the program has partnered with the Family Health Center to provide an on-site health clinic to serve clients who may face financial difficulties in covering their primary health care needs and would be at risk of impacting their mental health.

“If you’re not managing you’re chronic health conditions, you’re probably not going to feel very good,” Howard said. “If you’re already dealing with depression, adding that physical aspect on top of that can really exacerbate some of the mental health issues someone may be dealing with.”

Cunningham noted that studies have indicated that people with mental health conditions typically live 25 years less than the general population nationally, while that figure increases to 29 years in Texas.

“If we can look at, ‘What’s going wrong with these people, what are we not taking care of?’” Cunningham said. “There’s got to be some need that’s not being met, so we want to make sure they learn how to take care of every aspect (of health).”

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/nonprofits ... 81ac0.html


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:11 am 
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Sydney nurse Mavis Lopez on trial for manslaughter after injecting patient Nymphea Anderson with oral medication

A Sydney nurse has been accused of significantly contributing to the death of an elderly female patient by administering a mix of oral medication tablets via an intravenous drip.

Prosecutors say nurse Mavis Lopez was so grossly negligent in her treatment of 97-year-old Nymphea Anderson at St George Hospital that she ought to be convicted of manslaughter by criminal negligence.

But the nurse has pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying that while she did administer the medications in the wrong way, this mistake may not have contributed to the patient's death and does not warrant a charge of manslaughter in any case.

The trial of Ms Lopez, 44, in the Downing Centre District Court heard last week that Mrs Anderson presented to St George Hospital on January 27, 2009 with nausea, vomiting, a urinary tract infection, angina and dehydration.

The mother-of-five and grandmother of many had an "extensive medical history" that included high blood pressure and severe heart disease.

That night Mrs Anderson suffered a heart attack and was, at that point, not expected to survive.

But Crown Prosecutor Maria Cinque told the jury that by the evening of January 30, when Ms Lopez began her shift, Mrs Anderson's prognosis had improved and there was talk of her being released to a nursing home.

Ms Cinque said that, finding that the elderly grandmother was having great difficulty swallowing, Ms Lopez decided, against proper practice, to administer a mixture of three oral medications intravenously.

"So, without checking with a registered nurse or anyone else for that matter, the accused crushed three medications (being tablets or parts thereof) added about 10ml saline and drew the mixture into a syringe before adding it to a burette containing 100ml of the deceased's intravenous drip fluid and then attached it to Mrs Anderson's IV cannulawhich, in turn was inserted into her right arm," Ms Cinque said.

"Shortly after the meds were administered Mrs Anderson told them, in Lopez's presence, that she had terrible pain in her wrist and arm where the IV was. Lopez told them that she would reduce the rate at which the drip was being administered."

Mrs Anderson suffered another major heart attack and passed away at 10.35 that evening.

The court heard that in a subsequent report, forensic toxicologist, Associate Professor Naren Gunja said that "in a frail elderly woman recovering from a significant heart attack, the administration of crushed tablets, including metroprolol, as an IV infusion induced acute cardiac failure'.

"One cannot predict how much longer the patient had to live, but it is likely the error precipitated an earlier death than would otherwise have occurred."

The Crown case is that while Ms Lopez did not immediately disclose to her superiors what had happened, she did so soon after, telling them that Mrs Anderson's family had told her other nurses had administered oral medications to the elderly woman intravenously.

Ms Cinque said this was irrelevant and that Ms Lopez "grossly breached" her duty to look after the patient and to follow proper practice.

The court heard that Ms Lopez does not deny that she administered the medications in the wrong way, but disputes whether this significantly contributed to Mrs Anderson's death, given that the elderly woman had recently suffered a heart attack from which she was not expected to recover.

Ms Lopez is also expected to argue that, even if it was a significant contributing factor to the death, the medical error was not so grossly negligent as to warrant a criminal conviction,

The trial continues.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-nurse- ... 3kzqs.html


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