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Posts Tagged ‘type 2 diabetes’

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

JCU diabetes researcher heads to Toronto

James Cook University Diabetes researcher Sean Taylor is heading to Canada and Germany in search of ways to improve care and management of diabetes in the remote islands of the Torres Strait.

Mr Taylor leaves Cairns this week on a seven-week study tour, supported by a $5,000 Heart Foundation Collaboration and Exchange Award.

JCU diabetes researcher heads to Toronto

JCU Diabetes researcher Sean Taylor (Photo: JCU)

“The Torres Strait region has Australia’s highest prevalence of type 2 diabetes, with one third of the adult population affected,” he said.

“Patients and medical staff also face the added problems of being in a remote location, where many of the healthy food choices recommended for diabetics are not necessarily available or affordable.”

Originally from the Torres Strait, Mr Taylor is a Research Fellow and Doctor of Public Health candidate at James Cook University’s Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention.

He will visit the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre in Toronto, Canada’s leading centre of excellence for innovation in diabetes research, education, and clinical care.

“They’re an important collaborator for us because Canada’a First Nations people face chronic disease problems similar to those experienced by Torres Strait Islanders, and also because of similarities between the Australian and Canadian health systems,” he said.

In Canada Mr Taylor will focus on the behavioural aspects of diabetes management, including patients’ reluctance to use insulin after their doctors have prescribed it.

“There are many reasons for this, and we need to understand it better because it’s a serious barrier to those patients getting the best care available.

“People with diabetes can achieve a good quality of life, if the disease is well managed, so we need to find the smartest and most effective ways to help them do that.”

At the University of Duisburg Essen in Germany Mr Taylor will consult with experts in the use of digital and social media to promote health.

“As well as suffering a higher rate of type 2 diabetes, Torres Strait Islanders with diabetes have much poorer outcomes compared with the non-Indigenous population,” he said.

“The team I’ll be meeting with in Germany has expertise not just in using digital media to support health and medical care, but also in carefully evaluating the usage of social media.

“I hope to find new ways to use those tools to help improve the connection between Torres Strait Islander diabetics and their health and medical support networks.

“For example, if we could improve the rate of people returning to the clinic for check-ups, and encourage more to take their medication consistently, that would make a big difference to their long-term health.”

Mr Taylor says that despite the worrying statistics for type 2 diabetes in the Torres Strait, there is some good news.

“It’s important to focus on those positive achievements, and to share them. People living on Murray Island, for example, have an excellent source of healthy protein in the sardines, which they catch in great numbers.

“Finding affordable and healthy food can be a challenge in a remote area, and digital and social media might provide some ways to share news of what’s working well on different islands.”

JCU School of Public Health

The JCU School of Public Health ensures the program undertakes high-quality and relevant teaching, research and training in population health, with a special focus on the tropics, northern Australia, Indigenous Australia and Australia’s near neighbours.

James Cook University is famous for its focus on tropical and remote health and medicine and provides several programs unique to Australia. James Cook University has

  • the Anton Breinl Centre for Public Health and Tropical Medicine, which is one of the leading tropical research facilities in the world;
  • teaching staff awarded the Australian Learning Teaching Councils’ National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning; and
  • cutting-edge teaching laboratories and research facilities.


Would you like more information about studying public health at James Cook University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

UQ Public Health researcher finds diabetic women face higher risk of stroke

A review of more than 60 studies has shown that women with type 2 diabetes have a 27 per cent higher risk of stroke than men with diabetes.

UQ Public Health School

Sunrise at the University of Queensland

Professor Rachel Huxley, from the University of Queensland, collaborated with researchers from leading public health units at the University of Cambridge (UK) and The George Institute for Global Health.

The UQ School of Population Health researcher said the study was the first to reveal that the risk of diabetes-related stroke significantly differs in women and men.

“Research has previously shown that diabetes confers a greater risk of having a heart attack in women than men, and now we have shown that this gender difference also extends to stroke,” Professor Huxley said. “Data was pooled from three-quarters of a million people, including more than 12,000 individuals who had suffered strokes, both fatal and non-fatal.

“Our analysis of the data showed, in comparison to men with diabetes, women with the condition had a 27 per cent higher relative risk of stroke even after taking into account other risk factors such as age and blood pressure.”

Diabetes is a global health concern, currently affecting an estimated 347 million people worldwide.

It is predicted to increase by more than fifty per cent over the next decade due to the prevalence of overweight, obese and physically inactive people.

“With diabetes on the rise, there is an urgent need to establish why the condition poses a greater cardiovascular health threat for women than men,” she said.

“We don’t yet understand why diabetes is more hazardous for women in determining their cardiovascular risk compared with men, but existing studies suggest that it may be linked to obesity.

“Men tend to become diabetic at lower levels of body mass index compared with women.

“Consequently, by the time women develop diabetes and begin receiving intervention from a GP, their levels of other cardiovascular risk factors—including BMI—are higher than in men with diabetes who may have been picked up and treated at an earlier stage of the condition.

“It may be this chronic exposure to high levels of cardiovascular risk factors in the lead up to developing diabetes that may be responsible for the greater risk of stroke that we see in women with diabetes than in similarly affected men,” said the UQ Public Health professor.

UQ School of Population Health

The UQ School of Population Health’s postgraduate programs in public health give health professionals the knowledge and skills they need to define, critically assess and resolve public health problems in a changing world.

The Master of Public Health program prepares health professionals from a broad range of backgrounds, with knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines, to define, critically assess and resolve public health and nutrition problems. Various fields of study allow students to focus on Australian public health issues or on international public health, including nutrition and tropical health in the Asia Pacific region.

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February and July
Duration: 1 – 1.5 years (depending on candidate’s background)
Application deadline: The application deadline for UQ’s Master of Public Health program is May 15, 2014 for July 2014 intake.

Apply to the University of Queensland Public Health School!


If you have any questions about the University of Queensland’s Master of Public Health program, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, January 10th, 2014

University of Newcastle researchers say sleep linked to diabetes

Getting less than six hours sleep each night (compared to seven hours) may increase type 2 diabetes risk by 30 per cent but has less impact on heart disease than previously thought, researchers from the University of Newcastle have found.

In the largest study of its kind, the team led by Hunter Medical Research Institute statistician Dr Elizabeth Holliday and epidemiologist Professor John Attia analyzed data from 240,000 people in the NSW “45 and Up Study” and tested for potential contributing factors such as existing illnesses and medications.

“A number of previous studies have looked at sleep deprivation and the risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease but the statistical power was relatively low and not all of them had corrected for potential confounders that can affect results,” Professor Attia said.

“Once we adjusted for the confounders the risk for heart disease went away, other than in those who had prior illness, but the relationship with type 2 diabetes remained significant no matter what we adjusted for.”

Of the 240,000-strong cohort, more than 7,000 people fell into the risk category of fewer than six hours’ sleep, with the findings just published in the international journal PLOS ONE.

Dr Holliday said it was surprising to see the cardiac link diminish.

“The relationship between short sleep and cardiovascular disease has been widely reported but results across various studies have been inconsistent. We were able to show that this relationship might be confounded by pre-existing illness, which we didn’t see with diabetes,” the University of Newcastle statistician said.

The researchers believe the results tie in with previous studies where volunteers became insulin resistant after several consecutive nights of acute sleep deprivation.

“There are other changes in hormones such as ghrelin and leptin that regulate hunger and the feeling of satisfaction after eating,” Dr Holliday added.

“When you’re sleep deprived you tend to crave carbohydrates and eat more sweets.”

Tips to improve sleep quality include exercising before 6 p.m., abstaining from caffeine in the afternoon and early evening, reducing stimulation from social media and texts, and observing regular bed and rising times.

“GPs should be interested in this result because there are a number of people with pre-diabetes who are at high risk,” Professor Attia said.

“Getting more sleep might be a way of improving insulin sensitivity and delaying the onset of frank diabetes. “It may also be a factor for people who are already diabetic and having trouble getting glucose control.”

About the Master of Public Health program at the University of Newcastle

The Master of Public Health program at the University of Newcastle provides its students with opportunities to undertake professional development and develop a strong foundation in public health. The program will be of interest to individuals of all ages, at any stage of their career, who have a basic undergraduate degree in health and are working in, or intending to work in, the area of public health.

Program: Master of Public Health
Location: Newcastle, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 1 year
Application deadline: While there is no set application deadline for this public health program, applicants are strongly encouraged by the University of Newcastle to submit their applications a minimum of three months prior to the program’s start date.

Entry Requirements: To be eligible to apply, you must have a bachelor degree in an approved health-related discipline; or other qualifications approved by the pro-vice-chancellor, Faculty of Health.

Apply to the University of Newcastle Public Health School!


For more information about research, public health degrees, international public health degrees and epidemiology degrees, including Master of Public Health entry requirements, application deadlines, tuition fees, scholarships, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355.

Contact OzTREKK for more information about how you can study in Australia and about public health programs at Australian universities.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Monash University medical researchers find brain atrophy linked with cognitive decline in diabetes

New research at the Monash University Department of Medicine has shown that cognitive decline in people with Type 2 Diabetes is likely due to brain atrophy, or shrinkage, that resembles patterns seen in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Chris Moran and Associate Professor Velandai Srikanth of Monash University led the first large-scale study to compare brain scans and cognitive function between people with and without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). They found that brain atrophy, rather than cerebrovascular lesions, was likely the primary reason for cognitive impairment associated with T2DM.

Monash University Medical School

Learn more about Monash Medical School

The World Health Organization reports that more that more than 347 million people worldwide live with diabetes and around 90 per cent of these cases are Type 2.

Associate Professor Velandai Srikanth of Monash University’s Department of Medicine said the findings had important implications for Australia’s ageing population.

“Type 2 Diabetes and dementia are both highly common disorders affecting the ageing population and this research shows that there may be a mechanistic link between them. Indeed, generalized brain atrophy may be the key driver of cognitive decline in Type 2 diabetes and such atrophy is also commonly seen in people with dementia,” Associate Professor Srikanth said, adding that by 2031 it is estimated that around 3.3 million Australians will have diabetes. The burden of dementia in the population will be greatly increased if a significant number of these individuals experience cognitive decline.

The research built on previous studies that had shown there may be a greater risk of future dementia in people with T2DM. However, it was unclear whether T2DM was a causal factor for the development of cognitive impairment, and if so, what mechanisms may be involved.

The researchers compared cognitive function and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain in more than 700 people with and without T2DM.

Those with diabetes performed less well in certain cognitive tests and had greater shrinkage in specific regions of the brain, which appeared to drive the differences in cognitive function. Although the researchers found that participants with diabetes also had more strokes on MRI, this did not explain the cognitive differences between groups.

The findings, published in Diabetes Care, will lead further research in trying to identify why people with Type 2 Diabetes develop brain atrophy, and how such atrophy may be prevented or slowed.

About Monash Medical School

The Monash Medical School in Australia offers the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree, which first began at the Gippsland Campus in 2008, and is a four-year graduate-entry medical program. The Monash Medical School’s graduate-entry degree emphasizes clinical communication skills and early clinical contact visits to medical practices, community care facilities and hospitals.

The undergraduate-entry medical program at the Monash University Clayton Campus (main campus) is only offered to high school leavers (and for up to two years after) who have not undertaken any other studies at a post-secondary level. The course is 5 years in duration and there is only one intake per year, which is in February.

Application Deadline for the February 2014 intake is Friday, September 27, 2013. (Please note that all application documents must arrive at the OzTREKK office by this date.)

Have you just completed high school? Will you be finishing high school soon? Check out Monash University Medical School’s undergraduate medical program!

Have you already completed an undergraduate degree? Then Monash University Medical School’s graduate medical program is for you!


Are you interested in Monash Medical School? Are you wondering what it’s like to study in Australia? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Broghan Dean at broghan@oztrekk.com or call toll free 1 866-698-7355 for more information.


Monday, April 8th, 2013

UQ Public Health study suggests type 2 diabetes treatable with Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine could be a key weapon in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, a joint international study has found.

Researchers, including the University of Queensland’s Dr Sanjoy Paul and Peking University’s Professor Lilong Ji from Beijing, have found that conventional drugs were significantly more effective when used alongside traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The study involved a controlled clinical trial of 800 type 2 diabetic adults, comparing anti-diabetic drug Glibenclamide as a stand-alone treatment and treatment with Glibenclamide in conjunction with traditional Chinese medicine.

Dr Paul, who is director of the Queensland Clinical Trials and Biostatistics Centre in UQ’s School of Population Health, said results showed patients treated with traditional Chinese medicine were more than a third less likely to experience hypoglycemia—dangerously low levels of blood sugar—than those treated with Glibenclamide only.

“They were also less likely to experience other symptoms of diabetes, including fatigue, hunger and palpitation,” Dr Paul said.

“Traditional Chinese medicine has long been used to treat diabetes in China and around the world but until now there has been a lack of evidence regarding its safety and efficacy.

“This absence of scientific understanding has caused skepticism and criticism about traditional Chinese medicine.”

Dr Paul said more studies were needed to interpret just how traditional Chinese medicine worked to reduce hypoglycemia, but the study results highlighted its potential to reduce the treatment gap in developing countries where diabetes was at epidemic proportions.

“A vast majority of people in developing countries depend on herbal medicine for basic health care,” Dr Paul said. “The findings of this study may improve the safe delivery of effective health care to people who may otherwise be unable to access treatment.”

The study is the largest scientifically designed clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine on hypoglycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Find out more about UQ Public Health School and the Master of Public Health program.

For more information about public health degrees and international public health degrees, including Master of Public Health entry requirements, application deadlines, tuition fees, scholarships, please visit OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools page.

If you have any questions, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Public Health Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady or Admissions Manager Beth McNally.

Email Rachel at rachel@oztrekk.com or Beth at beth@oztrekk.com; or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355.

Contact OzTREKK for more information about how you can study in Australia and about public health programs at Australian universities.