60 percent of Gold Coasters deemed overweight or obese

It’s been revealed more than half of Gold Coasters are overweight or obese, but we’re still doing better than the whole of Queensland.

In light of World Obesity Day last week, new figures have showed that 60.5 percent of Gold Coast adults are overweight or obese.

To fall into that ‘overweight’ category, you must have a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 25 and 29.9, ‘obesity’ requires a BMI of 30 or above.

The Gold Coast has clocked a 28.3 percent obesity rate in adults, according to the latest figures from the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University.

It falls second only to Brisbane’s rate, which was the lowest in the state at 23.8 percent.

The Mitchell Institute analysis claims the overweight/obesity rates around the country seem to correspond closely to where people live.

Asthma-related deaths drop among women

The number of asthma-related deaths among Australian women has dropped across the country but the rate for men remains stagnant, new data shows.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show there were 389 asthma-related deaths in Australia last year, with 250 women and 139 men dying of the respiratory disease.

The numbers is less than the 441 deaths – 300 women and 141 men – recorded in 2017.

National Asthma Council Australia chief Siobhan Brophy said the drop in female fatalities could be due to a combination of factors.

“We believe that increased awareness around asthma risks following the epidemic thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne in 2016 have played a huge part in this reduction, as have innovations in severe asthma treatments,” she said.

State by state, New South Wales had the highest number of asthma-related deaths in 2018 with 152, followed by Victoria with 89.

Severe asthma affects between three and 10 per cent of the 2.5 million Australians with asthma and requires regular treatment.

General practitioner Ian Almond said the condition can be deeply distressing for patients and their families.

“While it’s important that people who can benefit from new treatments are identified correctly, it’s just as important to ensure people understand what type of asthma they might have and how to properly manage their condition,” Dr Almond said.

Ms Brophy urged asthma sufferers to take a proactive approach to their own treatment.

“If your asthma treatment isn’t working for you, it may be because your asthma or allergies aren’t well controlled,” she said.

“Simply speaking to your doctor or pharmacist could give you the chance to get your life back on track and breathe better.”

© AAP 2019

Zantac

Heartburn drug recalled over cancer fears

GlaxoSmithKline says it is recalling the popular heartburn medicine Zantac in all markets as a “precaution”, days after the US Food and Drug Administration found “unacceptable” levels of probable cancer-causing impurity in the drug.

Zantac, also sold generically as ranitidine, is the latest drug in which cancer-causing impurities have been found. Regulators have been recalling some blood pressure and heart failure medicines since last year.

Britain’s medicines watchdog said GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was recalling four prescription-only Zantac medicines: a syrup, an injection and tablets of 150mg and 300mg dosages.

Over-the-counter 75 mg dosage Zantac products are produced by a different company and are not affected by the recall, it added.

“GSK informed the MHRA of our decision to suspend the release, distribution and supply of all dose forms of Zantac products,” a company spokesman confirmed to Reuters.

“GSK is continuing with investigations into the potential source of the NDMA,” he said, adding that the investigations include continued engagement with its suppliers and with external laboratories to conduct tests on finished product batches of Zantac.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said healthcare professionals were told on Monday to “stop supplying the products immediately, quarantine all remaining stock and return it to their supplier”.

“We are advising that patients should not to stop taking their medication, and do not need to see their doctor until their next routine appointment but should seek their doctor’s advice if they have any concerns,” the MHRA said.

US and European health regulators said last month they were reviewing the safety of ranitidine, after online pharmacy Valisure flagged the impurities.

The FDA said Valisure’s higher-temperature testing method generated very high levels of NDMA from the ranitidine drugs.

NDMA had previously been found in some blood pressure medicines from a class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs.

After checking the over-the-counter drugs using a low-heat method of testing, the FDA said it found much lower levels of NDMA than was discovered with a higher temperature test employed by Valisure.

The US regulator has asked ranitidine makers to conduct their own testing to assess levels of the impurity and to send samples of their products for testing by the agency.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis halted global distribution of its ranitidine drugs last month.

Last week, Walmart Inc joined pharmacy chains CVS Health Corp, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and Rite Aid Corp in suspending the sale of over-the-counter heartburn drugs containing ranitidine.

Canada’s health authorities have asked makers of the drugs to halt distribution as they gather more information. Last month, regulators in Hong Kong pulled four products, while in Ireland 13 products containing ranitidine were recalled.

The impurity was believed to have been introduced by changes in the manufacturing process.

© RAW 2019

Mammogram

Shocking data released for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Shocking new data has revealed breast cancer could claim thousands more lives over the next decade, if adequate research isn’t done.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) released the data to coincide with the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It shows another 30,000 lives could be lost to breast cancer over the next decade, without adequate research investment.

The data also revealed the following data:

  •  A woman’s risk of breast cancer is now 1 in 7, up from 1 in 8 in the last year alone.
  •  8 women would continue to die every day which is the 2nd highest cancer killer in Australian
    women.
  • Over 76,000 Australians would also lose a direct family member – a mother, sister, or daughter
    by 2030.
  • Australia would stand to lose over $1.868 billion in wages just through lives lost to breast
    cancer, this year alone.

The NBCF has funded vital life-saving research into breast cancer since 1994, with data now showing that funds have saved over 44,000 lives in this time.

Funding has helped find new risk factors, improve early detection and create more effective, less harsh treatment options.

Professor Sarah Hosking, CEO of the National Breast Cancer Foundation, believes no-one should have to die from breast cancer, and that continued investment to life-saving research is the only way to change these statistics.

“This year alone nearly 20,000 Australians, both men and women, will come face to face with the disease and unfortunately more than 3,000 will lose their life.

“This doesn’t have to be the case though; the National Breast Cancer Foundation has launched an ambitious target of zero deaths by 2030 but it is up to everyday Australians to help us achieve it.

“Our target is possible but only if we continue to receive direct investment for the world-class research we fund.

“We are at a critical juncture whereby a future where no Australian has to lose a parent, partner, sibling or child to this devastating disease is in sight.

“By investing in NBCF’s vision of zero deaths from breast cancer, they can support our game-changing research projects and help us achieve the target,” Ms Hosking said.

Walk for Womens Cancer

Locals urged to sign up for Gold Coast Walk for Women’s Cancers

It’s nearly time for Gold Coasters to band together and take strides to support local women affected by cancer.

Cancer Council Queensland are calling upon Gold Coast locals to pre-register for Walk for Women’s Cancers and to help raise vital funds for its work in women’s cancers.

The family-friendly event will be held on Saturday, September 21 at Kurrawa Park from 8am, and attendees are encouraged to rock pink attire.

Currently, one in six Queensland women will be diagnosed with a breast or gynaecological cancer in their lifetime.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillian encouraged locals to show their support for women affected by cancer by registering for the event.

“Participation in events like this help fund research for life-saving treatments and support programs to ensure nobody goes on a cancer journey alone,” Ms McMillan said.

“Thanks to advances in treatment options, screening programs and prevention, more Queenslanders are alive today.

“More than 51,800 Queensland women are alive today after a diagnosis of a women’s cancer in the past 25 years.

“However, some gynaecological cancers have no screening programs and vague symptoms, making them hard to detect and diagnose.

“This is why we need your help, to help us fund more research and save more women’s lives.

“Register now to walk with us at Gold Coast Walk for Women’s Cancers and help us raise funds so we can ensure the women you love have a cancer free future.”

Gold Coast locals can expect a fun-filled morning consisting of a full line up of activities including entertainment on the outdoor stage, market stalls and food vans.

Registration before the day is only $25 (3km) or $30 (6km) for adults. On the day adult registration is $35. Children under 5 walk free and children between the age of 6-17 can pre-register for $5 or register on the day for $10.

All funds raised will be invested in vital research, patient support services and prevention programs to help reduce the burden of women’s cancers.

To register, or find out more information, visit walkforwomen.org.au/.