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Reflections On Science

Saturated fats debate plays out in media

John Kerr posted in on October 31st, 2013.

by SMC media advisor John Kerr It was once taken for granted that dietary fat was what made us… well… fat. However, the issue of obesity, its causes and health effects is becoming more muddled in the wake of academics, both in New Zealand and abroad, calling for a re-evaluation of the role of fat […]

The global cost of stroke – experts respond

Dacia Herbulock posted in on October 24th, 2013.

An international study, lead by New Zealand researchers, has calculated the total worldwide cost of stroke in terms of years of good health lost to death and disability — 100 million years. The research, published in leading medical journal the Lancet, used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) to estimate […]

Dietary fats and heart disease in New Zealand- experts respond

John Kerr posted in on July 31st, 2013.

Switching ‘bad’ fats for ‘good’ fats in the typical Kiwi diet would have a substantial impact on heart disease in New Zealand, according to a new analysis. The question is, how can we make the change happen? In a new study, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington analysed the data from several international studies […]

Painkiller use high despite risks – study

John Kerr posted in on February 15th, 2013.

The anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, sold as Voltaren in New Zealand, has come under fire internationally for being too widely used in place of other equally effective, yet safer options. A study in this week’s PLOS Medicine finds that the painkiller diclofenac (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)) is the most commonly used NSAID in 15 countries […]

Is chocolate good for the heart?

John Kerr posted in on August 30th, 2011.

High levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease, according to a new study. However, the authors and independent experts urge caution in the interpretation of the results.   The research, to be published today in the British Medical Journal, analysed data from previous studies […]

Continue reading “Is chocolate good for the heart?

Experts Respond: Moderate salt reduction benefits questioned

Peter Griffin posted in on July 6th, 2011.

A review of scientific literature by The Cochrane Library suggests moderate reductions in salt intake don’t lead to reduced risk of a person suffering cardiovascular events or dying. The paper, Reduced Dietary Salt for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (Cochrane Review)’ by R.S. Taylor et al. will be published […]

Anti-smoking drug increases heart attack risk

John Kerr posted in on July 5th, 2011.

A new study has found that a smoking cessation drug prescribed in New Zealand is associated with an increased risk of heart attack. The research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined data from several randomised controlled trials and found that the use of varenicline (branded Champix in New Zealand) was associated with a […]

Combined forces of ‘polypill’ cut down heart disease

John Kerr posted in on May 27th, 2011.

An international study involving New Zealand patients and researchers has shown that a pill containing  a combination of treatments has significant impact on heart disease in at-risk individuals. The international randomized controlled trial tested the efficacy of the ‘polypill’ in reducing risk factors for heart-disease, such as blood pressure and cholesterol. The pill contains a […]

NZ Herald: Popular painkillers ‘lift stroke, heart risk’

Peter Griffin posted in on January 14th, 2011.

Martin Johnston writes in the New Zealand Herald about a new study which suggests that the long-term use of popular painkillers, including NSAIDs like ibuprofen and diclofenac, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. It found that ibuprofen use was associated with three times’ higher risk for stroke than placebos (the highest risk), with […]

Elevated trans fats in dairy supply may be linked to health risk

Dacia Herbulock posted in on October 8th, 2010.

New Zealand Herald’s Chris Barton investigates new evidence of palm kernel-derived trans fats in New Zealand dairy products and their suggested link to polyvascular disease and stroke in at-risk patients. An excerpt: “It’s long been known that naturally occurring trans fats are present in the milk and the meat of ruminant animals such as sheep […]

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