NZ’s Smart Use of Big Data: Employment & Income Impacts of Selected Health Conditions

Monday, March 14th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

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Prof Nick Wilson, Dr George Disney, Prof Tony Blakely

Word Cloud "Big Data"New Zealand is making rapid strides in the smart use of big data to provide better health information for decision-makers. Here we look at a recent output: a Treasury Working Paper that considers the employment and income effects of eight health conditions. Such information could ultimately inform the best use of resources for disease prevention and treatment interventions from a societal perspective.

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Mounting Complexities in the Dietary Salt & Health Relationship

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 9 Comments

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

salt picA large prospective study on dietary salt and health has recently been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. While reinforcing extensive past work that a (very) high intake of salt is hazardous to health – an increased hazard was also found for low intakes of salt (i.e., a “J-shaped” or “U-shaped” relationship). This blog post considers this new study in more detail and suggests that we need a high-level international review to clarify the research and policy agenda from here. Our interpretation should be treated as preliminary on what may be an important study; therefore, we welcome and encourage comments on this blog post.  [SEE MULTIPLE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG BELOW.  AND IN PARTICULAR SEE SUBSEQUENT BLOG WHERE WE UPDATE ANALYSIS BELOW BASED ON DISCUSSIONS WITH COLLEAGUES – IMPORTANT.]

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Daily aspirin for preventing cancer and heart disease – where to from here in NZ?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 1 Comment

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Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely

Aspirin imageA recently published review has quantified the estimated benefits and harms of taking regular aspirin for disease prevention. The results indicate a relatively favourable benefit-to-harm ratio (good for preventing various cancers and heart attacks – but also harmful in terms of causing gastric bleeding and one type of stroke). But for some people, the relative size of the benefit may still not be enough to outweigh the dislike of taking daily medication. This blog briefly looks at the issues and considers possible responses by NZ health agencies and research funders.

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