Saturday, November 23, 2013


I received a sad news yesterday evening. My condolences to his wife and two (2) children.
As always, he said good morning to his wife and children then was on his way to work on foot in earlier hour in the morning. He fall on public footpath, bystanders rushed to his rescue whilst some called for Emergency.  He was pronounced death by the time the ambulance reaches the Hospital Emergency Department. He leaves behind a wonderful wife and two children.
This article is all about "Stroke Awareness".
The cause of death "Stroke".
Stroke Fact Sheet 


A stroke is a medical emergency. When an artery to the brain blocks or ruptures, brain cells in the area die from lack of oxygen. Sometimes, this can result in death. Symptoms or warning signs of a stroke include sudden blurred or decreased vision in one or both eyes, numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg, difficulty speaking or understanding, dizziness, difficulty swallowing and severe headache.   
Source Better Health Channel


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Would sugary drinks Tax could swell coffers, shrinks waistlines?

Note: Article Assumed Education to my daily e-mail newsfeed. 
A study published in the journal of the British Medical Association, BMJ, says a tax on sugary drinks could cut the number of obese adults in the United Kingdom by 180,000. Similar Australian projections predict an even bigger impact.
The BMJ study shows people aged from 16 to 29 years would be most affected, and the tax would raise up to £276 million (AU$442 million) annually, which could be invested in the health sector.
Lennert Veerman, senior research fellow in population health at the University of Queensland, is in the process of doing a similar projection with Australian data.
He has found that if such a tax were implemented here, the number of Australians with obesity would drop by 110,000, a 2.6% drop in the nation’s obesity rate. This is twice the impact expected in the United Kingdom according to the BMJ study. 
Veerman said that one reason for the difference is “unique consumption” of sugary drinks in the two countries; people in the United Kingdom consume less sugary drinks per person than Australia.
Another reason is that we are reliant on very old data; Australia’s last national nutrition survey was conducted in 1995. The survey collects data on what and how much people consume.
Veerman also noted that such studies tend to underestimate true effects because people under-report how much they indulge in unhealthy habits.
Nutritional clinical affiliate at the University of Sydney, Suzie Ferrie said a tax on sugary drinks would greatly benefit society.
Ferrie said “patterns of consumption” show young people under the age of 30 drink more soft drinks than older people, so the potential for change would be great because this age group is when habits really become entrenched.
“Changing youth drinking habits to healthier options could carry on to future generations,” she said.
But the chances of having such a tax implemented are low.
“Not many countries have managed to successfully implement these taxes,” said research fellow at Deakin population health, Gary Sacks.
The problem is that all governments have faced opposition from the private sector. In France, Sacks pointed out, “the food industry threatened to close down some of their factories”.
Despite full-page ads in Mexican papers opposing the measure, the government has just implemented a tax of one peso (A$0.08) per litre of soft drink and a 5% excise on high-calorie packaged food.
It is also too early to understand the full effect of the tax on the obesity rates in these countries because most laws have only been in effect for a couple of years. So, there is still only a limited amount of data to analyse.
However, when Denmark put a tax on fatty foods, consumption dropped by 15%, which was consistent with the modelling, Sacks said.
In an accompanying editorial in the BMJ, assistant professor of population medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Jason P Block suggests the only way we can truly find out what the impact of such a tax would be is by implementing it and reviewing the results.
But Ferrie suggested a pilot study would be adequate to collected data.
A new national nutrition survey to update from the one in 1995 may be a better way help calculate the results of such measures. It would be very expensive, but useful for many public health initiatives.
“We’re really suffering now because we still use old data,” Ferrie said. “I think the investment is worth it.”
The Conversation
This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)

Five years ago, I have signed up with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program - An initiated program by the Australian Government.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommended screening with FOBT every 2 years from the age of 50 years.
The test is called Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). Although no screening test is 100% accurate, the FOBT is at present the most well researched screening test.

The result at time (5 years ago) was negative. Yesterday I received another Screening Program Kit by mail.

The kit comes with a complete set needed for screening purpose including the plain English instruction.
It is easy, quick, pain free, done in my home and at my convenience. In just a few minutes, sample would be collected and send it back courtesy of the Pre-paid envelope.
In Australia about one in 19 men and one in 28 women will develop bowel cancer before the age of 75. This is one of the highest rates in the world. In 2009 about 14,410 new cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed and 2010 approximately 4,000 people died from the disease. This marks bowel cancer the second most common cause of caner-related death after lung cancer.
Men diagnosed with Lung cancer: 4,934 cases, Prostate cancer: 3,234 cases, Bowel cancer: 2,205 cases. Women diagnosed with Lung cancer: 3,165 cases, Breast cancer: 2,840 cases. Bowel cancer: 1,777 cases. (Source: National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Booklet)
What is Bowel Cancer?
Bowel Cancer is a malignant growth that develops most commonly inside the large bowel.
Most bowel cancers develop from tiny growths called polyps. Polyps look like small spot on the bowel lining or like cherries on the stalks. Not all polyps become cancerous. If polyps are removed, your risk of bowel cancer is reduced.
What is screening?
Screening involves testing for  cancer in people who do not have any obvious symptoms of the disease. The aim is to find polyps or cancer early when they are easier to treat and cure.
Bowel cancer can develop without any early warning signs. The cancer can grow on the inside wall of the bowel for several years before spreading to other parts of the s of blood leak from these growths and pass into the bowel before any symptoms are noticed.
Source: National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Booklet ISBN: 978-1-74241-975-6. May 2013)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


When it comes to meats, we tend to think of or opt for beef, pork and chicken instead of fish. 

According to the Australia's health research boy - the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), suggests that we should eat more fish.

 Researchers worldwide have also discovered that eating fish regularly – one or two serves weekly – may reduce the risk of diseases ranging from childhood asthma to prostate cancer.
While there are health benefits of eating fish, researchers have also had a word of warning on some fishes that contain high levels of Mercury - should be eaten rarely or not at all (more information of fishes contain high level of Mercury below).
Healthy ways to enjoy fish include baked, poached, grilled and steamed.



Friday, November 1, 2013

Drugs and their effects

A glim look at Australia on the issues of Drugs and Their effects. I find it is interesting and a must share for general reading purpose.
(please bear in mind that I didn't write this article. It (article) was published on October, 29th 2004 in health & wellbeing section at ninemsn Health > Family.)

Here below are some excerpts from the article 

Australia is a drug-using society. The most common drugs used are alcohol, coffee, nicotine and various medications. Less commonly used are illegal drugs such as cannabis (marijuana), ecstasy, heroin and amphetamines (speed).

How are drugs classified?

Drugs are commonly classified according to their legal status or their effects on the central nervous system.
Legal and illegal drugs
Laws and regulations control the availability, quality and price of the "legal" drugs. For example, tobacco may not be sold to persons under the age of 18.

Illegal drugs
Because they are illegal, there are no price or quality controls on the illicit drugs such as heroin and ecstasy. This means that a user can never be sure that the drug they are taking is in fact what they think it is; for example, PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine), a toxic form of amphetamine, has been sold as ecstasy. The user also cannot be sure of a drug's strength or purity. Various batches of an illegally manufactured drug may have different mixtures of the drug and additives such as poisons, caffeine or even talcum powder.