Professor Tony Blakely
Compared to a ‘normal’ body weight (BMI 20-<25), being obese (BMI ≥ 30) is associated with a 69% higher coronary heart disease death rate and a 47% higher stroke death rate . The same excess rates for overweight (BMI 25-<30) are 26% and 13%, respectively. In this blog, we look at a recent combined analysis of 97 studies on how much of the overweight/obesity association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths is due to high blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose , and what this means for how health policy can address the obesity epidemic. We also reflect on a seminal paper on BMI and mortality by the late Gary Whitlock.
Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Amber Pearson, Dr Nisha Nair
In a just published study (and accompanying evaluation summary and media release), we found that the NZ Government’s investment in HPV vaccination for girls is clearly a “good value-for-money” way to protect health – even at the modest 47% coverage. Because of slightly higher coverage for Māori girls, and higher anticipated future HPV-related diseased rates, the programme makes a contribution to reducing health inequalities. But a more intensive school-only vaccination programme (73% coverage as in Australia) would achieve more health gain and still be cost-effective. In this blog we discuss these findings and how the country could catch-up to the much higher HPV vaccination coverage levels seen in Australia and the UK.
Professor Alistair Woodward, epidemiologist and climate change expert. Alistair was Convening Lead Author of Chapter 11 (Human Health) in the 5th IPCC Assessment Report. A commentary on the full chapter is available at the Lancet. Listen to Alistair on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon programme just after 9am on Friday 4 Apirl, discussing this report and his reflections.
Last Saturday in Japan the lights went off at 8.30 pm. This was to mark Earth Hour, the mass event intended to show support for global environmental issues. Fortuitous, some suggested, that it coincided with the final day of the IPCC meeting in Yokohama. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) had gathered to approve the second of the 5th assessment reports, which was written by Working Group 2 and deals with climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.