Coffee

Study finds drinking coffee is good for heart health

Great news for caffeine addicts!

New research has revealed that drinking up to three coffees a day is good for your heart.

Experts at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia analysed 11 major international studies and found that drinking coffee may protect against common heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias).

Cardiologist Dr Peter Kistler, who led the study, said while doctors typically advised patients with heart problems to avoid caffeine, they found that it may actually reduce the frequency of arrhythmias.

“There is a public perception – often based on anecdotal experience – that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems,” he said.

“Our extensive review of the medical literature suggests this is not the case.

“In numerous population-based studies, patients who regularly consume coffee and tea at moderate levels have a lower lifetime risk of developing heart rhythm problems and possibly improved survival.”

The study suggests up to 300mg of caffeine per day (approximately 3 coffees) is likely to be safe for arrhythmic patients.

The study was published in Clinical Electrophysiology, a journal of the American College of Cardiology. For more information, click here.

Speech

Kids and adults needed for largest ever stuttering study

Queenslanders aged seven and above who have a history of stuttering are being encouraged to volunteer for the nation’s largest ever ‘Genetics of Stuttering Study’.

3000 Australians are required for the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Speech and Language study, which aims to pinpoint the genes that predispose individuals to stuttering.

Co-chief investigator, Speech Pathologist, and Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) at Griffith University, Professor Sheena Reilly says the study outcomes may open the door for new treatment opportunities for stuttering in the future.

“Finding genes associated with stuttering will help identify biological pathways involved and unveil new therapeutic opportunities to treat the disorder,” says Professor Reilly. “By volunteering for this research study, participants will be helping us to identify these genes.

“Participation in this study will ultimately help to shed light on how to best treat stuttering before it affects an individual’s confidence and quality of life.”

Stuttering affects people from all backgrounds, intelligence levels, and personalities. It typically emerges between two-to-four years of age, after children have already begun to speak, with around four percent of young children experiencing a phase during which they prolong words, or “get stuck” trying to talk.

Although the exact cause of stuttering is unknown, genetics does play a role in the disorder, with a number of genetic mutations identified to date.

Boys and girls aged seven and above, together with men and women nationwide who have a history of stuttering, may volunteer for the study. Volunteers will need to complete a 10-minute online survey and record a short sample of their speech. Recruitment will close in December 2019.

Those who qualify will be invited to provide a saliva sample for DNA analysis, to enable researchers to unravel the genes that predispose people to stuttering.

Queensland residents who currently stutter, or have a history of stuttering, and wish to volunteer for the ‘Genetics of Stuttering Study,’ or to learn more, can head to geneticsofstutteringstudy.org.au or email [email protected]

Vegetables

Things you should do to reduce your cancer risk

The causes of cancer are complex, but according to Cancer Council Queensland, many cases can be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices.

At least one third of cancer cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, with four of the top five most commonly diagnosed cancers in Queensland – lung, bowel, melanoma and breast cancers – among the most preventable.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan reveals some ways you can reduce your risk:

Achieve a healthy weight
Evidence shows that being overweight or obese significantly increases your risk of some types of cancer, including cancers of the bowel, breast and oesophagus.

Eat a healthy diet
Fruit and vegetables are high in fibre, low in fat and kilojoules, and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Fruit and vegetables also contain natural protective substances. On the other hand, eating red meat and, in particular, processed meat, may increase the risk of bowel cancer. So, to reduce your risk, eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day, limit red meat intake to less than 500 grams a week and avoid eating processed meats.

Be physically active
Incorporating one hour of moderate activity or 30 minutes of vigorous activity into everyday life can reduce your risk of some cancers.

Cut down on alcohol
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, bowel, liver and female breast. Cancer Council Queensland recommends people drink within the national guidelines for alcohol consumption, which is no more than two standard drinks a day.

Don’t smoke
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, causing 16 different cancer types. For support to quit, contact your doctor or call Quitline on 13 7848.

Protect yourself from the sun
The sun’s UV radiation is the major cause of skin cancer, so Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunglasses when you head outdoors.

For more information about how you can reduce your cancer risk, visit cancerqld.org.au.

Vaccination

Fears of horror Qld flu season with numbers already on the rise

Queensland is facing another horror flu season, with the number of people being struck down by influenza already surpassing what we saw at the same time last year.

In 2017, more than 56,000 cases of influenza were diagnosed in Queensland, making it one of the state’s worst seasons on record, with 2961 cases alone between January 1 and April 1.

Statistics out today show more than 3242 people have already been laid low by the bug, making it the busiest start to a year since 2008.

That’s more than 36 people getting sick every day this year.

Health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Cancer Council Queensland Zinc

Cancer Council Queensland urge Games visitors to be Sun Smart

Cancer Council Queensland has issued a warning to Commonwealth Games attendees to be vigilant of harsh UV levels.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan urged visitors to download a free SunSmart app for live updates on UV levels to determine when sun protection is needed.

“Sun protection is needed when the UV Index is 3 and above, which can be from early in the morning until late afternoon,” Ms McMillan said.

“Do not use temperature as a guide when deciding what sun protection to use, as the UV Index can still be extreme in low temperatures.

“We recommend all five sun protective measures are taken – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide – when outdoors watching the Games, visiting the beach or exploring surrounding areas.

“Once skin damage occurs from UV radiation, it is impossible to reverse, but it is never too late to make improvements to your sun protection behaviours.”

Cancer Council Queensland further warned that the symptoms of sunburn can sometimes be so severe that medical attention is needed.

“First degree sunburn is known as mild sunburn that reddens and inflames the skin – second degree sunburn is a more serious reddening of the skin and water blisters,” Ms McMillan said.

“Third degree sunburn requires medical attention. You should see a doctor if you experience blistering, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or severe pain.”

Slip on protective clothing, slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen, slap on a broad-brimmed hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses when outdoors.

The SunSmart app is free for smartphones and tablets, and can be found by searching ‘SunSmart’ in the app store. Sun protection times and UV levels are also available at sunsmart.com.au.