Red Meat & Processed Meat: Summarising the Public Health Issues

Thursday, November 5th, 2015 | Kate Sloane | 3 Comments

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely

Processed and reat meat blogThis blog was triggered by the recent highly publicised review on the cancer risk from processed meat and red meat. Here we briefly look at this topic and also take a wider perspective on other aspects of meat consumption on human health and the environment, and risk communication.

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Living longer, living healthier? Latest Official Report on independent life expectancy in NZ

Monday, August 31st, 2015 | Kate Sloane | 1 Comment

Professor Tony Blakely and Professor Alistair Woodward

Independent Life Expectancy in NZIn this blog we review the latest update by the Ministry of Health on how much of NZers life expectancy can be expected to be in good health. The good news? We are both living longer, and living longer in good health. The bad news? According to this report, the percentage of our lives with some dependency due to poor health is increasing. And there are marked inequalities in healthy life expectancy. This sort of analysis, as hard as it is to get right, is important – as a society we do not want to just live longer, but live longer in good health. However, we have concerns about the accuracy of this Report, and critique it in this blog.

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Faster mortality decline – slower population ageing. How could this be?

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 | Kate Sloane | 3 Comments

Professor Alistair Woodward and Professor Tony Blakely

SNZ predictions of number of New Zealanders aged 65 plus

SNZ predictions of number of New Zealanders aged 65 plus

Have you sat in a meeting recently, or listened to the radio, where someone is invoking the aging population as a harbringer of doom and gloom due to the tsunami of older people with poor health? A tsunami that will overload health and social services, etc. Have you then asked yourself “Hang on a minute, if people are living longer are they not also healthier?”. Or even “Why on earth do government agencies and some academics keep talking about the number of people aged greater than 65 as a marker of some dependency on the state?”. Well, this Blog is for you. We use a paper just published in PLoS ONE that demonstrates how with falling mortality rates, population aging may actually slow due to a rapid increase in the age at which your remaining life expectancy is 15 years or less. And we draw on analyses from our own book, The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand, to critique naïve assumptions about population aging. Which begs many questions, such as “Why is the age of entitlement for New Zealand superannuation still 65?” Read on.

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The long shadow of war on the health of military personnel

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Associate Professor Nick Wilson

Fig 4 WW1 injuries - AmbulanceThis blog post looks at a recently published study of the lifespan of NZ soldiers who participated in the First World War. It then asks more broadly what is known about the longer term health outcomes for military personnel participating in war – and suggests that such issues need to be considered carefully by governments before participating in foreign military engagements.

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Death rates dropping – it is a good time to be alive

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 5 Comments

Professor Tony Blakely and Professor Alistair Woodward  

The fact we are living longer is well-known, as witnessed by discussions such as those around the retirement age and superannuation policy. But few are aware just how dramatic the changes in cause-specific mortality have been in the last century. We are publishing a book later this year (The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand; AUP) that looks in depth at the fascinating story of mortality decline in New Zealand. The path to low mortality that this country followed was unique in many ways. For example, did you know that New Zealand (non-Māori) had the highest life expectancy in the world from 1870 to 1940? Or that life expectancy for Māori rose by 20 or more years between 1900 and 1950? To find out more, read the book! In this blog we whet your appetite by looking at some data just released by the Ministry of Health on trends since 1945 in cause-specific mortality.

Alistair Woodward and Tony Blakely are publishing a book  The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand in October this year.  Here they blog about recent Ministry data on falling mortality rates

Alistair Woodward and Tony Blakely are publishing a book The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand in October this year. Here they blog about recent Ministry data on falling mortality rates

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