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HEALTH/MEDICINE

Opting out of My Health Records? Here’s what you get with the status quo

Most hospitals have a mix of paper and digital records. Shutterstock Australians have just under three months to decide whether they want a My Health Record, which would allow the various health professionals who look after them to access and share their health information. From October 15, those who haven’t opted in or out will have a record automatically generated. In emergency...

Dogs’ sensitive noses may be the key to early detection of lung cancer

Author Tim Edwards’ dog Tui is part of a team of canines being trained to detect lung cancer in breath and saliva samples.  University of Waikato We know that dogs have an excellent sense of smell. They are already helping rescue teams locate people in disaster areas and work with customs officers to identify contraband. Some have been trained to sniff out...

How to ask someone you’re worried about if they’re thinking of suicide

Family and friends have an important role to play in detecting suicide risk and supporting the person. Thomas Peham/Unsplash Australia’s leading mental health organisations have launched a new campaign – #YouCanTalk – to encourage Australians to ask people they’re concerned about if they’re thinking about taking their own life or have made a plan to do so. This recommendation runs counter to commonly-held...

Omega 3 supplements don’t protect against heart disease – new review

Something fishy or something to assist?  R_Szatkowski/Shutterstock.com Many people take a daily omega 3 supplement in the belief that it is good for their heart. But our latest research, a systematic review of 79 clinical trials, found no evidence for this belief. We examined the effects of omega 3 on heart disease and stroke, deaths from heart disease and stroke, and death from...

Science or Snake Oil: is glucosamine good for joints?

Glucosamine for osteoarthritis is one of the most commonly used complementary medicines in the western world. from www.shutterstock.com Pharmaceutical companies have been promoting glucosamine supplements as a treatment for osteoarthritis for many years. Taking glucosamine for osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of complementary medicine in western societies. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage lining the surfaces of the joints...

Carbon monoxide exposure in homes is a risk – here’s how to protect yourself

Faulty or unflued gas heaters can leak carbon monoxide, which is potentially fatal in high concentrations.from www.shutterstock.com Winter is a good time to remind ourselves of the potential risk of carbon monoxide exposure from faulty or unflued gas heaters or other gas devices. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas arising from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. In a...

Thinking you’re ‘on a diet’ is half the problem – here’s how to be a mindful eater

The more you diet, the more obsessed with food you become.  from www.shutterstock.com Adult obesity rates began to increase dramatically in Western society in the 1980s, due to an increase in the popularity and consumption of high-energy convenience foods. Alongside this, a new trend in dieting occurred, with many people trying new and often unsuccessful ways to restrict their food intake and lose weight. Unfortunately,...

What should my heart rate be and what affects it

Fitness makes the heart rate slower, which appears to be better for health and longevity. from www.shutterstock.com Humans have been aware of their heart rate for thousands of years. But knowing the meaning behind the beats isn’t so simple. Myriad factors affect our heart rate, including our age, medical conditions, medications, diet, and fitness level. Today, we’re even more aware of our...

Having a scan? Here’s how the different types work and what they can find

Medical imaging such as MRI can seem daunting, and perhaps even a little sci-fi. from www.shutterstock.com Our first introduction to medical imaging occurs when a doctor asks us to have an x-ray or scan to investigate an injury, pain or symptom that cannot otherwise be explained. We can be overwhelmed when we see how complicated, large and noisy some...

Research Check: does drinking coffee help you live longer?

The study contains some good news for people who drink a lot of coffee. StudioByTheSea/Shutterstock There’s only one thing better than a hot cup of coffee in the morning: a new research paper telling you your daily habit is good for your health. Headlines this week presented the good news from the journal JAMA Internal Medicine: TIME ✔@TIME Drinking coffee—even decaf—may help you...

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