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HEALTH/MEDICINE

Explainer: what is Helicobacter pylori?

Helicobacter pylori normally infect the stomachs of children where they can stay forever, if undetected. Tatiana Shepeleva In 1982, two Australians – Robin Warren and Barry Marshall – presented their first observations of strange bacteria living in the human stomach. They went on to propose that these bacteria caused a common condition called gastritis, which is essentially inflammation of the...

Four lessons for Australia from England’s system of rating its aged care homes

Ratings work mostly because they change the behaviour of care providers. from shutterstock.com ABC’s Four Corners coverage showing mistreatment of residents in Australia’s aged care facilities has led to much discussion about ideas to improve care. One proposal is to introduce ratings, which would provide a score reflecting the quality of residential aged care services. Ratings have come up before in reports about...

What evolution and motorcycles have in common: let’s take a ride across Australia

Evolution and the art of motorcycle development, now that’s an interesting connection. Shutterstock/The Conversation How can the development of motorcycles have anything to do with the story of the evolution of life on Earth? You need a palaeontologist to help answer that question, and one with a love of motorcycles. Thousands of people around the world will don some of their...

If privacy is increasing for My Health Record data, it should apply to all medical records

Everyone was up in arms about a lack of privacy with My Health Records, but the privacy is the same for other types of patient data. from www.shutterstock.com In response to the public outcry against the potential for My Health Record data to be shared with police and other government agencies, Health Minister Greg Hunt...

How Music Helps with Mental Health – Mind Boosting Benefits of Music Therapy

“If you were to look at those brains, you couldn’t tell the difference between people who were interacting through music and people who were interacting verbally” – Edward Roth Music has been with us for thousands of years as a form of entertainment, communication, celebration, and mourning. There are so many different emotions that...

Planned trade deal with Europe could keep medicine prices too high

Extending pharmaceutical monopolies would substantially increase costs for taxpayers. Shutterstock The United States’ withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership and the recent US-China tariff wars have flamed concerns that international trade is becoming unstable. Trade talks between Australia and the European Union – Australia’s second-largest trading partner – launched in June this year to much...

How our residential aged-care system doesn’t care about older people’s emotional needs

Most aged-care residents don’t feel like they are loved or belong in their facility. from shutterstock.com All humans have fundamental needs. These are physiological (food, drink, clothing, sleep), safety (emotional security, physical safety, health), love and belonging (friendships, community), esteem (respect, dignity) and self-actualisation (accomplishment, personal development). For people living in...

I can’t sleep. What drugs can I (safely) take?

There are many pharmacological options available for insomnia. But they will mostly make you reliant upon them for sleep. from www.shutterstock.com If you’re having trouble sleeping, medicines shouldn’t be your first option. Exercise regularly, cut back on coffee (and other caffeinated drinks) after midday, eat less in the evening, ease up on “screen time” before,...

Genes, joules or gut bugs: which one is most to blame when it comes to weight gain?

Stop blaming your parents for your weight.  from www.shutterstock.com With obesity on the rise, so too is the diet and weight loss industry, currently valued at US$70 billion in the US alone. But most of us are still confused about the factors that lead to weight gain. Three commonly attributed factors are our genes, our microbiome (gut bugs) and our energy intake (kilojoules). So...

Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people

For decades, doctors have been prescribing low-dose aspirin for healthy people over the age of 70. from shutterstock.com Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US. We also found...

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