Obesity linked to early growth
ACCELERATED growth in early childhood is an indicator for chronic obesity in adulthood, a 38-year longitudinal New Zealand study published in the Archives of Paediatric & Adolescent Medicine has found. The finding was part of a study measuring genetic markers for later obesity, which found that individuals with higher genetic risk scores were more likely to be chronically obese in adulthood. The genetic risk first manifested as rapid growth during early childhood but was unrelated to birthweight. The researchers said their results could inform public health initiatives and research priorities.

Waist size predicts diabetes
WAIST circumference has emerged as being independently and strongly associated with type 2 diabetes, particularly in women, according to research published in PLoS Medicine. Obese women with a waist circumference of more than 88 cm were 31.8 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women with a low normal weight and waist circumference. Obese men with waist circumference greater than 102 cm were 22 times more likely to develop diabetes. The study’s authors said measuring waist circumference in overweight individuals identifies a high-risk subgroup who could benefit from individualised preventive action.

National guide on Indigenous health
THE Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has released a new edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The guide is a practical resource for health professionals delivering primary health care to Aboriginal and/or Torres Straight Islander peoples. It contains recommendations, risk calculation tables, evidence statements, and a child and adult life-cycle wall chart listing activities recommended at each age group.

Pre-diabetes boosts stroke risk
US researchers have found that pre-diabetes is associated with a higher risk of stroke in a meta-analysis of 15 studies involving more than 760 000 people published in the BMJ. Pre-diabetes, defined as impaired glucose tolerance or a combination of elevated fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance, was not only a risk factor for stroke but was also frequently associated with the presence of one or more other recognised major cardiovascular risk factors, the researchers said. They said the research underscored a need to evaluate both fasting glucose and 2-hour postprandial glucose challenge for identifying people with pre-diabetes who may be at risk of stroke.

Childhood CT scans triple cancer risk
CT scanning in children that delivers cumulative radiation doses of about 50 mGy (5–10 scans) might triple the risk of leukaemia and doses of about 60 mGy (2–3 scans) might triple the risk of brain cancer, according to a study published in The Lancet. The authors said while the absolute risk of these cancers occurring after CT were small (one excess case of leukaemia and one excess case of brain tumour per 10 000 head CT scans), the findings showed that radiation doses should be kept as low as possible and alternative procedures considered if appropriate.

Posted 12 June 2012

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