Health round-up: Movember, e-cigarettes and medicinal cannabis trial for insomnia

Richard Laycock 30 November 2017 NEWS

Half shaved moustache

A weekly round-up of Australia's latest healthcare news.

Time to shave off half that mo!

Movember is coming to an end and on this final day of November the organisers of the event are encouraging those who've spent the month embracing their follicular prowess to shave off half their moustache.

Why, you ask?

Well, the folks at the Movember Foundation want you to shave your glorious mo down so that it's flying at half-mast, in honour of all the Aussie blokes that die every year from preventable causes.

“It will take a brave man to step up to the basin and bid farewell to half of their fully-fledged handlebar, wisp, or trucker moustache on the last day of Movember," Movember Foundation country director (Australia and New Zealand) Charlotte Webb said in a statement.

In November alone, 468 Australian men died from prostate cancer, testicular cancer or suicide.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men between the ages of 15 and 44, with roughly six men taking their own lives every day.

Study finds no long-term health concerns for e-cigarette use

A first-of-its-kind study has found that there are no health concerns for relatively young daily e-cigarette users who have never smoked tobacco.

The research, which was presented at the 2017 Congress of Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), looked at non-smokers who used e-cigarettes on a daily basis and tracked their health over three-and-a-half years.

The study found that even in the heaviest e-cigarette users there was no indication of emerging lung injury and no changes in blood pressure or heart rate.

This is good news for Aussies wanting to quit smoking, says School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales Associate Professor Colin Mendelsohn.

“While nothing is completely risk-free, this study provides further evidence that e-cigarettes are a much less harmful alternative to smoking. E-cigarettes deliver nicotine but not the smoke from burning tobacco, which causes most of the harm to health from smoking,” Associate Professor Mendelsohn said in a statement.

Australia gets its first clinical trial for treating insomnia with medicinal cannabis.

Have trouble sleeping? You're not alone.

Recent research found that 39.8% of Australian adults experience some form of inadequate sleep.

Zelda Therapeutics is hoping to help those with sleep issues with its Australian-first trial of medicinal cannabis to treat insomnia.

Zelda has been granted full approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee and Therapeutics Goods Administration to conduct a clinical trial for its medicinal cannabis formulations on chronic insomnia patients.

The trial will be run in partnership with University of Western Australia (UWA) Centre for Sleep Sciences (CSS) and commence sometime at the beginning of 2018.

What else is happening?

The Medical Board of Australia has proposed a requirement for doctors over the age of 70 to have peer reviews and health check every three years to aid patient safety.

The results of the health checks or reviews won't be passed along to the Board unless patients are at serious risk.

Each week our round-up offers a summary of the latest developments impacting Australian healthcare and most importantly, you, the consumer. Check in every Thursday to find out what's happening in health.

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Picture: Supplied

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