Australian Medical News Brief March 2016

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Welcome to Medshop Australia’s monthly series, News Brief, where we talk about what you may have missed. These are mostly articles we’ve posted in our social media news feeds. We consider them the most newsworthy events in Australian health and medicine from the last month. You will find links to the posts on Facebook as well as links to the original articles. Let’s look back and review the top stories from March.
   
926d2a5c_edit_img_facebook_post_image_file_40673102_1458764203.pngAs reported by PopSugar, a 75+ year Harvard study that has been running continuously since 1930 has uncovered the secret to happiness in life.
 
Following the lives of a group of boys over their lifetimes the study has revealed that regardless of money, career, fame or fortunes, the happiest people are ultimately the ones who have the best relationships with others.
 
A while ago we wrote a blog about managing healthy relationships for busy medical professionals. Seems we knew all along...
   
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As documented by The Brisbane Times, Medibank's latest Better Health Index study reports that Queenslanders have the worst health statistics of all the states and territories in Australia.
 
Queenslanders are documented to have the poorest nutrition and the highest consumption of alcohol on average per state.
 
The rest of the country is not flawless. Australia, in general, has a rather high level of alcohol consumption with the average being 10.58 standard drinks per week per person. Overall Australia's health index has improved since the study was initially launched in 2007, with the rate of alcohol consumption, smoking and medical illness decreasing since then.
 
Looking for some tips to improve your own health and fitness in 2016? We wrote a blog that might help to give you a nudge in the right direction.
   
3493 2As reported by The Guardian, consumer advocacy group Choice has named and shamed a range of Australian health insurers for what they consider junk policies.
 
These policies are costing consumers in the range of hundreds to thousands of dollars per year, yet when investigated it has been uncovered that they offer little more than what standard Medicare cover provides.
 
This report comes in the wake of the recent discussion about the high costs of health insurance in Australia, with policy premiums expected to rise an additional 5.59% in the coming days as part of the customary annual review.
   
2000.jpgAs reported by The Guardian, antibiotic resistance is on the rise and a new coalition of 85 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies have joined forces to help combat the epidemic, calling on support and funding from governments around the world for assistance.
 
The food production sector has also been called to arms, by 2017 in the US it will be illegal to use medically important antibiotics in livestock feed or water to prevent disease or promote growth.
 
Various chain restaurants including Subway and McDonalds have also taken a stand, vowing to source antibiotic free meats moving forwards.
 
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As reported by Australian Network News, going vegan isn't necessarily the best move for optimising your health.
 
Vegan diets and lifestyles are becoming increasing popular as many people question the ethical foundations for consuming meat and animal products, as well as the increasing environmental problems that the animal farming industry contributes to.
 
A recent Mayo-Clinic study has revealed that many vegans are not getting enough vitamin B-12, iron, calcium, protein, amino acids or omega 3 essential fatty acids. Deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals can lead to severe health problems down the track.
 
This study is not intended to discourage people from adopting a vegan diet or lifestyle but it encourages those who do to consult a doctor or nutritionist to ensure they are not missing out on important nutrients.
 
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