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“Obesity is more deadly than previously thought, with Australian research finding those with a BMI over 30kg/m2 have a 40% higher risk of sudden cardiac death than normal-weight people.

The risk is highest in those who are obese from a young age.

And most episodes of sudden cardiac death occur in patients with no other risk factors and seemingly normal hearts.

The systematic review and meta-analysis of 12 studies including 1.4 million people was presented this week at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona.

The authors, both cardiologists from the University of Adelaide, said they were surprised by the findings, in particular, that epicardial fat actually infiltrated into the heart muscle.

“We thought it would be inactive,” said author Dr Rajiv Mahajan.

But he admitted the exact mechanisms at play were still unclear.

A high waist-to-height ratio was also a significant predictor of sudden death, he said.

The team made another surprising discovery.

Being underweight (with a BMI below 18.5kg/m2) was also fraught with more danger than expected, with the data showing it is associated with a 33% higher risk of sudden cardiac death.

Again, the mechanism is unknown but fragility is hypothesised.

Interestingly, Dr Mahajan said that overweight (25-29kg/m2) individuals were in the clear.

He said the results were strong: obesity and underweight are associated with sudden cardiac death, independently of comorbidities.

“I think before we call for new clinical practice guidelines we need more work on the mechanisms,” he said, adding that opportunistic screening in primary care could be shaped from that.”

Dr Sudheer S. Gudipalli

21/Feb/2018

What we do know is a good GP will stick with you through thick and thin which is incredibly important. So what should you look for? Take a look at the video then give us a call at Weston Creek Family Medicine, where your family health is our focus.

At WCFM we are a family oriented general practice which has been operating in the Weston Creek area for almost forty years. The doctors here particularly enjoy the ongoing relationship we form with people. It is our belief that a strong doctor/patient relationship based on mutual respect, trust and a caring attitude is paramount for a family GP to be truly effective. It is not only important for your comfort and peace of mind but it is also important to the doctors who attend you.
There is a strong emphasis on the idea of total care. This implies that we are not just interested in solving the problem at hand but we are interested in prevention. As we get to know you better you will find that your doctor may suggest that it is time that one thing or another is due to be checked. This may be due to some factor in your family history or a past problem. We will often take the opportunity to remind you of background problems or preventative issues if you do not remind us first!
There is also a strong interest in both women’s and men’s health. Those issues, particularly preventative issues that are specific to your gender are addressed. We particularly enjoy our contact with children and infants and we strongly encourage immunisation.
The doctors here have a vital interest in continuing medical education. Their interest in staying abreast of current trends in medicine by attending various conferences and seminars is usually well in excess of statutory requirements.

21/Feb/2018
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Herpes-zoster (Shingles) is a painful blistering rash caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus – the same virus that causes chickenpox. The shingles rash occurs when the dormant chickenpox virus is reactivated in the nerve tissue, causing inflammation of the nerves. Sometimes pain in the affected region can be severe and prolonged. When it lasts more than 3 months it is called post herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Other less common complications may include scarring, skin infections, loss of vision or hearing, pneumonia, or neurological complications.

 

Prevention

Shingles is a vaccine preventable disease. Immunisation against shingles is achieved by a dose of the Zostavax® vaccine which can be given to adults 50 years and over.

National Shingles Vaccination Program

The shingles vaccine is provided free for people aged 70 years under the National Immunisation Program. There is also a five year catch-up program for people aged 71 – 79 years until 31 October 2021. To receive the immunisation visit your local doctor or vaccination provider. It is important to note that although the vaccine is provided at no cost, a consultation fee may apply.

Routine vaccination of persons aged 70–79 years is expected to obtain the greatest benefits against shingles and its complications. Further information is provided in the online version of The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th edition.

People who are not eligible to receive the free vaccine are able to purchase the vaccine on the private market.

Vaccinations don’t stop at childhood. Ask your general practitioner or vaccination provider about other vaccines you may be eligible for.

A range of resources, including posters and factsheets on the National Shingles Vaccination Program are available on the Immunise Australia Publications & Resources website.

For more information please contact us or call us on 02 6288 6008

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21/Feb/2018

I’m not just a GP.

I’m your specialist in life

In this instalment of the RACGP’s ongoing community awareness campaign, we focus on the special relationship between GPs and their patients.

The campaign reinforces the scope of practice GPs deal with in their everyday practice, and the central role they play in delivering the health care that our communities need and deserve.
21/Feb/2018
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The success of a national tax on sugary drinks implemented in Mexico presents a strong case for policymakers around the world to adopt similar strategies, researchers say. The introduction of an 8 cents per litre levy on all non-dairy and non-alcoholic beverages with added sugar has been found to motivate people to swap soft drinks for water since its introduction on 1 January 2014. The findings, published in the BMJ, come as the global anti-sugar movement appears to be gaining momentum. Updated national Dietary Guidelines for Americans released on Thursday recommend specific limits on sugar consumption for the first time. In line with WHO guidelines released in 2015, the US guidelines now recommend that added sugars represent no more than 10% of energy intake per day. Mexico, which had the biggest per capita consumption of sugary drinks in the world in 2011 (163L per person), decided to introduce the controversial tax to help combat skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes. During the first year of its implementation, sugary drink consumption was found to drop by about 4.2L per person, equating to seven fewer 600mL bottles per person over the 12-month period. At the same time, consumption of non-sugary drinks, particularly bottled water, rose by about 13L per person over the one-year period. Countering arguments that the tax is regressive, reductions in sugary drink intake were found to be most substantial among low socioeconomic groups. The results were based on data from more than 6000 households in 53 Mexican cities. In an accompanying editorial, international health economist Dr Franco Sassi said the results were not surprising but were “of the greatest importance” for other governments looking to cut down sugar intake. “The single most valuable contribution taxes can make to a public health strategy is the signal they give consumers … that a government is concerned about the harms associated with unhealthy diets and is serious about tackling them,” wrote Dr Sassi, who is head of the OECD public health program based in France. “This is the strongest incentive for consumers to reconsider choices often made automatically, based on habits or environmental influences, and for players in the food supply chain to reorient their production towards healthier options.” Australian dietary guidelines released in 2013 recommend cutting out added sugars, although no exact limits are set. The Australian Government has not flagged any plans to tax sugar, but a recent Newspoll survey found that more than eight in 10 Australians would support a tax on sugary drinks if the revenue was spent tackling childhood obesity.
21/Feb/2018
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This is a family oriented general practice which has been operating in the Weston Creek area for almost forty years. The doctors here particularly enjoy the ongoing relationship we form with people. It is our belief that a strong doctor/patient relationship based on mutual respect, trust and a caring attitude is paramount for a family GP to be truly effective. It is not only important for your comfort and peace of mind but it is also important to the doctors who attend you.

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