Latest health news

Children with ADHD go without drugs for most of childhood


Emma Kelly 11:30 PM   Australian families are reluctant to medicate children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a 20-year study has found.

Progress towards publicly-funded home births

Publicly funded homebirths in the ACT are a step closer.

Natasha Boddy 11:30 PM   Women may be offered a publicly-funded home birth service in the ACT if an insurance scheme moves forward.

New end-of-life initiative to help doctors give families what they want

Clinical nurse consultant Sue Quayle support project officer cancer ambulatory and community with the information DVD "What should health care professionals CONSIDER when planning your end-of-life care? at the Canberra Hospital.

Natasha Boddy   A new initiative is helping doctors to understand what is important to patients and their families at the end of their life.

Mental health overhaul: 'Mental illness doesn't discriminate, it can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime'

The most recent health data shows the use of seclusion among adult mental health patients has dropped in the last six months.

Amy Corderoy   The NSW Mental Health Commission has revealed an overhaul of mental healthcare in the state.

Australian researchers make breakthrough in fight against bowel cancer

Every extra two hours spent sitting each day was linked with a 10 per cent increased chance of developing cancer of the bowel.

Julia Medew   Australian researchers have identified some of the earliest causes of bowel cancer, revealing how the disease begins, grows and develops resistance to drug treatments.

How we kill sleep, one screen at a time

The Sinnico family.

Amy Corderoy   Bedrooms are supposed to be a place of temptation. But it seems Australians are succumbing to a temptation of a different kind, with almost half of us unable to resist the urge to take laptops and other electronic devices into bed with us - setting ourselves up for a bad night's sleep.

'I felt I had been abandoned': inconsistency and fear surrounds late-term abortion

Fraught area: Frank and Cindy have been through the distress of late-term abortion.

Amy Corderoy   The silence still haunts them. It filled the room as mother-to-be Cindy had the ultrasound on her 25 week-old foetus.

African parasitic worm found in man's foot

An X-ray of the parasitic worm  in the foot of a Melbourne man.

Julia Medew   Parasitic worms that grow up to a metre long have been found in a Melbourne man who probably acquired them by drinking contamined water in Africa.  

Another painful Christmas on the waiting list

Painful wait: Maria Curcio has had three hernia operations cancelled in the past 13 months.

Amy Corderoy   It's Christmas time in South Wentworthville, and Maria and Batista Curcio's house seems picture perfect. There is tinsel on the walls, and panettone and espresso on the table.

Easing the pain: the medicalisation of emotion

Jessica Edward

Jessica Edward   Australians are the second-highest users of antidepressant medications among 33 nations, with 89 per 1000 people taking them. And they're readily available.

The 'fruit and veg' claims debunked by Cancer Council

Uncle Tobys Roll Ups, which proclaims among its "nutritional benefits" that it is "made with real fruit", only contained only 25 per cent fruit.

Harriet Alexander   Processed food and drinks that carry fruit and vegetable claims on their packaging contain as little as 13 per cent real fruit and many have negligible nutritional value, a study has found.

Hunting the paleo beast/Survival of the fittest

Chef Pete Evans.

Larissa Dubecki   Ask not what the experts say about the paleo diet; what does paleo say about us? Cult, fad, manscaping, secret to longevity - or cultural nostalgia?

On top of the world

Professor Helen Herrman: "The prevalence of violence against young women in the community is quite high, sadly."

Konrad Marshall   Helen Herrman's father, who was imprisoned by the Japanese in World War II, told her it was only by sticking together and people working together that prisoners survived. His words have inspired her during her stellar career in psychiatry.

Damning ambulance response times


Julia Medew and Craig Butt   More than 86,000 critically ill people, including those having heart attacks and strokes, waited longer than 15 minutes for an ambulance last year – almost double the number who suffered the same fate in 2010, damning new data shows.

'Nothing equips you for this'

Richard Grellman with his wife Suellen on holidays in Israel
and Hawaii
shortly before she became too ill to travel. Mrs Grellman has young onset

Rachel Browne   Corporate philanthropists band together to create a future fund to fight dementia, predicted to become the leading cause of death by 2050.

Major inquiry launched into disability abuse scandal

Yooralla: Facing inquiries.

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker   Victoria's ombudsman has launched a major inquiry into the bungling of sex abuse allegations involving Yooralla amid new allegations the disability services provider may have also engaged in financial misconduct.

Payout for drug linked to gambling, sex addiction

Pat Galea, who suffers from Restless Legs Syndrome, was part of the class action against drug company Pfizer.

Kate Hagan   Almost 200 Australians who developed gambling and sexual addictions after taking prescription drugs used to treat Parkinson's Disease will be awarded compensation over alleged failures to warn them about side-effects.

Hospital's bed count includes those at home

Hospital bed numbers under attack.

Harriet Alexander   The beleaguered NSW health system has come under renewed attack with allegations that its bed count includes people sleeping in their own homes, parents staying with sick children and patients being moved between hospitals.

Meet the $1.3 billion super woman

Radiation oncologist Dr Bronwyn King.

Julia Medew   Bronwyn King knows the lethal power of tobacco better than most.

How we're driving the obesity pandemic

Bulging issue: Processed foods and climate change are hastening the obesity pandemic.

Nicky Phillips   New research finds that obesity has become a major pandemic and looks set to get worse - in animals as well as humans.

New cancer drug on wait list


Julia Medew   How much is an extra year of life worth when you have a terminal disease?

Toddler died because he wasn't given antibiotics soon enough

Leroy Scott

Julia Medew   A 15-month-old boy who lost his life to a bacterial infection three years ago would almost certainly be alive today if doctors at Geelong Hospital gave him antibiotics sooner than they did, a coroner has ruled.

Home birth safer, UK women told

Home births are safer in some cases, British health authorities say.

Amy Corderoy   Hundreds of thousands of British mums will be given the choice of having their second child at home - a move welcomed by Australian midwives but not doctors.

Surgery deaths due to flawed care

generic thumbnail, hospital, doctor, hospital, emergency, surgery

Amy Corderoy   Audit finds more than one in 10 deaths during or after surgery involved flawed care or serious injury caused by the treatment.

Dementia threatens a century's health gains, envoy warns

World Dementia Envoy Dr Dennis Gillings said the economic impact of dementia was "increasing relentlessly".

Dan Harrison   The "ravages of dementia" could wipe out much of the hard-won health gains of the 20th century, World Dementia Envoy Dennis Gillings has warned. By Dan Harrison.

Complementary 'medicines' may cause harm during cancer treatment

Julia Medew   Complementary "medicines" thought to help people with cancer, such as fish oil, ginger, green tea and liquorice can negatively interact with medical treatments, causing harm, new research suggests.    

Older brains still learn, but maybe too much

Black and white: A study has shown learning-related changes in one part of older people's brains involve mainly white matter, while grey-matter activity changes in the young.

Geoffrey Mohan   Researchers studying how older people learn have made intriguing discovery.

Cancer patients get better deal in private care

Better chance: Private patients live longer.

Julia Medew   Research reveals private patients live eight months longer on average than those treated in public hospitals.

Weight loss not a piece of cake

Zip it: Well-intended advice can make an obesity battle worse.

Julia Medew   Tempted to comment on a loved one's eating habits? Don't.

Arrest rate rises but so too does drug use

Spiking: More than 1 million people in NSW have used an illicit drug in the past year.

Amy Corderoy, Emma Partridge   Increase in arrests for minor drug offences is extraordinary, harm reduction expert says.