Thanks to Reema Rattan for providing this wrap of recent health and medical reading at The Conversation.
Topics covered include:
- the downside of energy drinks
- infant formula’s chequered past
- Nurofen marketing
- prostate cancer screening
- male circumcision
- some under-recognised cycling hazards
- women and cardiovascular disease
- back pain
- breast cancer screening.
By Chris Semsarian, Professor of Medicine, University of Sydney
When a 17-year-old girl, with a potentially life-threatening heart disorder, recently presented to me with an abnormally fast and irregular heart rhythm, I wondered how the natural history of her disease could so abruptly lead to a potentially fatal electrical rhythm disturbance.
By Dr Jennifer James, RMIT University
A recent change to Nestlé’s NAN H.A. 1 Gold infant formula has been accused of making babies sick and irritable, with parents claiming the “new and improved” formula came with side effects such as constant crying, rashes, dark green watery poo, dehydration and vomiting.
By Ken Harvey, Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University
In 2010, the promotion of the Nurofen range of products “targeting” migraine, back pain, tension headache and period pain was awarded a CHOICE shonky award.
By Mark Frydenberg, Professor of Surgery at Monash University
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a common blood test used by doctors to assess whether an individual has prostate cancer. It also predicts the risk of developing prostate cancer sometime in the future. It’s a good blood test but not a perfect one and the risk of cancer does increase with increasing levels of PSA in the blood tested.
By Ian Haines, Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor and Senior Medical Oncologist and Palliative Care Physician at Monash University
My offer for a public debate was accepted after I co-published opposing viewpoints about the high rates of over-diagnosis and over-treatment of early stage prostate cancer with leading urologist Professor Tony Costello in a Melbourne newspaper last year.
By Brian J Morris, Professor of Molecular Medical Science at University of Sydney and Alex Wodak, Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, St. Vincent’s Hospital
For some time now, all the departments of health in Australia have based their policy on male circumcision on reviews of the scientific literature carried out periodically by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). But the lack of a strong basis on evidence means the government should reconsider this reliance.
By Claire Mahon, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, University of Michigan and Alexandra Phelan, International Health and Human Rights lawyer at Australian National University
In an article published recently on this site, “Male circumcision policy ignores research showing benefits”, the authors stated some alleged benefits of infant male circumcision and argued the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ policy (that infant male circumcision is not warranted in Australia and New Zealand) is misguided and not based on evidence.
By Ian Gibbins, Professor of Anatomy and Histology at Flinders University
Riding bicycles is undoubtedly good for us: great for fitness, cardiovascular health, and burning off those delicious high-energy foods when we over-indulge. But a range of insidious chronic ailments can affect cyclists who spend extended periods on their bikes.
By Lorimer Moseley, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and Chair in Physiotherapy at University of South Australia
Everybody hurts, but not everybody keeps hurting. The unlucky few who do end up on a downward spiral of economic, social and physical disadvantage.
By Caleb Ferguson, Lecturer & Doctoral Student at University of Technology, Sydney; Michelle DiGiacomo, Research Fellow at University of Technology, Sydney and Patricia Davidson, Professor of Cardiovascular and Chronic Care at University of Technology, Sydney.
Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer of women in Australia. It accounts for more than 40% of all female deaths, which means it kills more Australian women than breast cancer and lung cancer combined. But few women are aware of their risk and many wouldn’t necessarily be able to recognise warning signs.
By Niki Ellis, Professor and CEO of the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University
Nearly 10% of Australians (1.8 million people) have back problems, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (based on data from the 2007-08 National Health Survey).
By Fiona Margaret Fidler, Senior Research Fellow of Australian Centre of Excellence for Risk Analysis (ACERA), University of Melbourne and Bonnie Claire Wintle, PhD student at University of Melbourne
An article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says a US charity “overstates the benefit of mammography and ignores harms altogether.” The charity’s questionable claim is that early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer and to support this, it cites a five-year survival rate of 98% when breast cancer is caught early, and 23% when it’s not.