A 100 years ago: The worst year of the First World War for New Zealand

Monday, May 1st, 2017 | hensa32p | No Comments

Professor Nick Wilson, University of Otago; Professor Glyn Harper, Massey University

The year 1917 was the worst year of the First World War for New Zealand from a premature mortality perspective, with 5547 deaths. We have just presented on this topic at a Symposium at Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) and in this blog we summarise the mortality patterns we described. We also consider to what extent some of these deaths may have been preventable with knowledge available at the time. Continue reading

Will liberalising nicotine availability increase quitting?

Monday, April 24th, 2017 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Prof Janet Hoek, Mei-Ling Blank, Prof Nick Wilson, Lindsay Robertson, Dr Louise Marsh

Do the New Zealand (NZ) Government’s proposed changes to liberalise the e-cigarette market set out a robust process for helping people who smoke to switch to e-cigarettes? In this blog, we discuss the proposed regulatory changes and explain some of the complex practices smokers must adopt when commencing vaping. We suggest limiting supply of nicotine e-cigarettes to specialist vape stores and pharmacies, to ensure people wishing to quit smoking can obtain expert advice and thus maximise their chances of quitting. We also argue that, at the same time as liberalising access to nicotine e-cigarettes, the Government should restrict access to tobacco, which remains available at thousands of retail outlets throughout NZ.

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Is it time to pilot a test and treat programme for reducing the stomach cancer burden and inequalities in NZ?

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 | hensa32p | No Comments

Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Melissa McLeod, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson 

We have just published a modelling study on stomach cancer prevention in the international journal BMC Infectious Diseases (1). This blog briefly examines how a possible population screening programme, that tests and treats for infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the stomach, may be a cost-effective way to reduce the stomach cancer burden and ethnic inequalities in stomach cancer incidence and mortality in New Zealand.

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What does art have to do with public health, and how can they work together?

Monday, April 10th, 2017 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Jenny Ombler, Dr Sarah Donovan (University of Otago, Wellington)

Last month was the first time that the Public Health Summer School (University of Otago, Wellington) has considered art, and its relationship to public health. The Symposium featured artists, arts academics, an architect, and public health practitioners and academics. In this blog we consider some of the issues raised and build the case for ongoing collaborations between the arts and public health. So what was the point of this eclectic gathering?

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BMI keeps on going up – and reflections on the Diabesity Symposium

Friday, March 24th, 2017 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Kirsten Coppell, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng

Is body mass index (BMI) relentlessly increasing in NZ, or plateauing?

In this blog we present trends in BMI by ethnicity in NZ going back to the 1980s. Over the last four decades the annual increase in BMI is linear, relentless increasing; no sign of a plateau, yet. Given this trend, The Diabesity Crisis symposium just held in Auckland, under the auspices of the Better Start and Healthier Lives National Science Challenges and Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research seems aptly named. What are the forthcoming research and policy priorities?

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