Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia [AIHW]

Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia is the second national report to present key data specific to cancer in adolescents and young adults. While cancer in young Australians is rare, it has a substantial social and economic impact on individuals, families and the community. Surveillance of this population is also important as adolescent and young adult cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing a second cancer.

1. In 2010-2014, 4,843 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in adolescents and young adults.

2. In 2011-2015, 499 adolescents and young adults died from cancer.

3. In 2010-2014, 5-year relative survival from all cancers combined for adolescents and young adults was 89%.

4. Adolescent and young adult cancer survivors had a 1.9 times increased risk of developing a second cancer

Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia

Media release: More cases of cancer diagnosed in young Australians, but survival has improved.

ELDAC: Better care at end of life gets a boost with new website

The new End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC) website provides many paths to practical and useful information for palliative care and advance care planning', says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.

The site is part of a 3-year project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health which aims to improve the care of older Australians through advance care planning activities and palliative care connections.

AHHA is a member of the ELDAC consortium led by the Queensland University of Technology, Flinders University and the University of Technology Sydney, and including Palliative Care Australia, Aged and Community Services Australia, Leading Age Services Australia, and Catholic Health Australia.

'As an ELDAC project partner we are proud to have been involved in the development of this website, where health professionals and aged care workers can access information, guidance, and resources to support palliative care and advance care planning for older people and their families', Ms Verhoeven said.
 
'One of the features of the site is a set of 5 online toolkits developed by palliative care, aged care, primary care and legal experts covering Residential Aged Care, Home Care, Primary Care, Working Together, and Legal matters.

'For example, the Primary Care toolkit, which was developed by AHHA, leads healthcare workers and primary care teams through the various steps involved in supporting advance care planning with patients and their families, including considerations for people of various religious and cultural backgrounds. There are links to fact sheets, guides, discussion starters, patient resources and podcasts.

'Users can also access materials on assessing palliative care needs, providing palliative care, managing dying, and bereavement', Ms Verhoeven said.

ELDAC website.

Cognitive ageing and decline: Insights from recent research

Cognitive decline is feared by many as they approach old age. Yet the severe cognitive decline associated with dementia is not a normal part of ageing. In Australasia, the prevalence of dementia in those aged 60 and over is less than 7% (Alzheimer's Disease International, 2015). Nevertheless, the personal and economic costs associated with dementia are considerable, and due to Australia's ageing population, an increasing number of Australians require treatment and exit the workforce due to cognitive impairments. 

So, how do we combat this? How do we lower the risks or delay the development of dementia, and design care and treatment interventions that reduce the personal and economic costs of the disease?

This research brief explores the impacts of cognitive ageing and decline on individuals, as well as on the wider Australian economy. The brief emphasises how cognitive impairment is a significant barrier to those over sixty staying in the workforce and managing their finances properly. The brief also discusses the current and proposed future ways to diagnose and prevent cognitive impairment before it becomes severe.

Cognitive ageing and decline: Insights from recent research

Survey of Health Care: selected findings for rural and remote Australians [AIHW]

Survey of Health Care: selected findings for rural and remote Australians

Among Australians 45 and over who visited a GP in the past year, those living in rural and remote areas were less likely than others to have a usual GP or place of care. Not having facilities nearby was a barrier to seeing a specialist and having a medical test.

Key findings:

* 3 in 5 people in Remote/Very remote areas said not having a specialist nearby stopped them from seeing one.
* People in Remote/Very remote areas were the most likely to report going to an ED because no GP was available.
* People reported decreasing information sharing between health providers as remoteness increased.
* People in Outer regional and Remote/Very remote areas were the least likely to have a usual GP.

Survey of Health Care: selected findings for rural and remote Australians

Cardiovascular health in remote and rural communities

This report provides analysis of RFDS aeromedical transport data for the period July 2013 to December 2016. This analysis revealed:

- An average of 112 patients per week or 16 patients per day were transported for CVD;

- On average, per day, 10.1 (63%) were male and 5.9 (37%) were female, a ratio of 1.7 males for every female;

- All age groups were represented; the mean age group was 55–59 years, more than one-third (35.3%) were aged 60–74 years, and 1% were children under the age of 5 years.

More than half (52.5%) of all CVD transports were for CHD. The two main CHDs that lead to a patient requiring an aeromedical transport were 'acute myocardial infarction' (heart attack) (38.9%) and 'angina pectoris' (angina) (9.4%). Almost one-quarter (22.2%) of CVD transports were for patients experiencing other forms of heart disease; the two main other forms of heart disease were 'heart failure' (4.6%) and 'atrial fibrillation and flutter' (4.0%).

This report's purpose is to detail the CVD burden on remote and rural Australia, and to propose action to ameliorate CVD impacts. Many CVD events are preventable. Increased investment in, and access to, evidence-based, culturally appropriate prevention and early intervention for people at increased risk of CVD, and those who have experienced a CVD event, is required.

Similarly, better treatment options for remote and rural Australians are also required. For example, between 2001 and 2008 the South Australian integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network (iCCNet) established a support program for remote and rural primary care services to manage heart attacks by providing expert risk stratification, point-of-care troponin testing and cardiologist-supported decision making. The program's evaluation demonstrated a 22% improvement in 30-day survival rates for remote and rural patients, which closed the mortality disparity that had previously existed between city and country hospitals.

Cardiovascular health in remote and rural communities.

Indigenous NSW: Findings from the 2016 census

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander(ATSI)peoples continue to experience worse outcomes across a range of indicators compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. According to the Australian National University's Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, this divergence in areas such as income are an ongoing consequence of historic violence, dispossession and other forms of colonial domination faced by ATSI people.

This paper uses the latest 2016 Census figures to provide a snapshot of how the ATSI peoples of NSW compare with non-Indigenous residents across a range of key indicators, including population, age, education, income and employment. The paper also provides a comparative analysis of these indicators over three Censuses (2006, 2011 and 2016) for both NSW as a whole and for three custom NSW regions that incorporate different State Electorates based on their location. These geographies were selected to not only to provide an indication as to how location affects the wellbeing of the State's Indigenous peoples, but to also help Members of the NSW Parliament gain greater insight into the Indigenous peoples residing in or around their electorates.

Indigenous NSW: Findings from the 2016 census.

Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 [AIHW]

Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 quantifies the health impact that alcohol and illicit drug use place on Australia, including as risk factors for other diseases and injuries. It estimates that alcohol and illicit drugs were collectively responsible for 6.7% of Australia's disease burden in 2011.

The report highlights that health inequalities exist, with lower socioeconomic groups and more remote areas generally experiencing higher rates of disease burden due to alcohol and illicit drug use.

* Nearly 1 in every 20 deaths in 2011 were from alcohol and illicit drug use, equating to 6,660 deaths.
* 6.7% of all disease burden in Australia was from alcohol and illicit drug use in 2011 (9% for males and 4% for females).
* 4.6% of all disease burden in Australia was from alcohol use alone, of which one-third was due to alcohol dependence.
* On its own, illicit drug use was responsible for 2.3% of Australia's disease burden.
* 41% of the illicit drug use burden was from opioids, followed by amphetamines (18%), cocaine (8%) and cannabis (7%).
* Alcohol use was responsible for around one-third of the burden of road traffic injuries.
* The rate of burden from alcohol use fell slightly between 2003 and 2011 and further reductions are expected by 2020.
* The rate of burden due to amphetamine use is projected to rise by 14% between 2011 and 2020.

Download report: Impact of alcohol and illicit drug use on the burden of disease and injury in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011

Media release:1 in 20 Australian deaths caused by alcohol and illicit drugs.

New guide for health professionals working to close the gap in health equality

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, has launched the updated third edition of the National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The guide is a practical resource intended for all health professionals delivering primary healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

This edition:

  • equips primary healthcare providers and their teams with a comprehensive and concise set of recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, with additional information about tailoring advice depending on risk and need
  • advises on activities that can help prevent disease, detect early and unrecognised disease, and promote health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, while allowing for local and regional variations.
  • encourages clinicians to consider the social determinants of health when providing preventive healthcare
  • Includes the following new topics and features:
    • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
    • Preventing child maltreatment – supporting families to optimise child safety and wellbeing
    • Family abuse and violence
    • Prevention of lung cancer
    • Young person lifecycle summary wall chart

National guide to a preventive health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Closing the Gap Report 2018

The Closing the Gap framework was established in 2008 to address Indigenous disadvantage. 10 years on, the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have improved but more gains need to be made. It is clear that continued effort and action is required.

 

The Closing the Gap framework provides an annual national snapshot of progress made against the targets – and helps maintain our collective focus. While acknowledging this, it is important to recognise the success and achievements of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, demonstrating that when equal opportunities are provided, disadvantage can be overcome.

 

The chapters in this report detail the progress made against the seven Closing the Gap targets – and focus on health, education, employment and community safety. They also showcase a range of Indigenous success stories – from inspiring individuals, to growing businesses and organisations making a positive difference to their communities.

 

Closing the Gap Report 2018.

Latest nutrition review confirms that community control is critical to improve the nutritional status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet has published a new Review of nutrition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It provides detailed information on food, diet and nutritional health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and includes data for diet-related conditions, morbidity, mortality and burden of disease.

This review highlights the importance of nutrition promotion and the prevention of diet-related disease, and provides information on relevant programs, services, policies and strategies that help improve food supply, diet and nutritional health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Media release

Review of nutrition among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Review as PDF

NATSIHWA encourages using a ‘Scope of Practice’ for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association (NATSIHWA) has launched a supportive publication, the National Framework for Determining Scope of Practice for the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Worker and Health Practitioner workforce. The Framework is designed to support Employers and Managers to work with their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners to establish and define their scope of practice.

Ms Josslyn Tully, Chairperson of NATSIHWA said 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners are vital to improving the health of our peoples. The Framework for developing a Scope of Practice will better enable and support these employees in health services to reach their potential and utilise their skills and capabilities.

Senate inquiry to examine claims Indigenous suicide prevention funding misspent

Claims that funding for Indigenous suicide prevention programs is being spent on travel costs will be examined at Senate inquiry into rural and remote mental health services.

The inquiry was approved in the Senate on Monday with backing from Labor and the Greens and will look at the higher rates of suicide in rural Australia, quality of and access to mental health services in rural and remote Australia, shortfalls in the mental health workforce, and the use of technology and e-health services.

Rural areas have higher rates of suicide than capital cities and the rates of suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is twice the non-Indigenous suicide rate.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/19/senate-inquiry-to-examine-claims-indigenous-suicide-prevention-funding-misspent

Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia [AIHW]

The Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia web report presents the latest available data on new cases of type 1 diabetes, insulin-treated type 2 diabetes and insulin-treated gestational diabetes, and is part of the ongoing national reporting using the 2016 National (insulin-treated) Diabetes Register.

Data visualisations can be explored by age, sex, trends, population groups (Indigenous status, remoteness and socioeconomic groups), and geographic areas (state and territory, Primary Health Network and statistical area level 3) for type 1 diabetes and insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.

Download web report: Incidence of insulin-treated diabetes in Australia.

Health Translations : consumer health information for CALD populations.

The Victorian government Health Translations website enables health practitioners and those working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to easily find translated health information.

* The Health Translations Directory provides direct links to reliable translated health resources produced in Australia. Organisations are responsible for registering their own multilingual resource on the Health Translations Directory.

* Over 14000 resources in over 100 languages and counting : New resources are regularly being added.

* Information can be found in a variety of ways. Search on topics, languages, or organisations.

* Health practitioners and organisations who work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities can use the site to find reliable translated health information, including a unique tool to help identify what language your client speaks.

Causes of death patterns and people's use of aged care

Nearly 245,000 older people (Indigenous Australians aged 50 and over, and non-Indigenous Australians aged 65 and over) died between July 2012 and June 2014. This report presents information on the cause of death patterns, and any aged care services they used before their death. This is the first time this analysis has been done in Australia.

The leading causes of death for these older Australians were Coronary heart disease (14% of deaths), Dementia (9%), Cerebrovascular disease (stroke) (8%), Lung cancer (5%), Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (5%) and Diabetes (3%).

These 6 conditions also account for more than 40% of the total burden of disease for older Australians.

4 in 5 (80%) of people in the study cohort had used an aged care program sometime before their death. Cause of death patterns differed somewhat between this group and people who had not used any aged care.

Coronary heart disease (14%) was the leading underlying cause of death for people who had used aged care, followed by Dementia (11%). For people who had not used aged care, Coronary heart disease was also the leading underlying cause of death (16%), but this was followed by Lung cancer (9%). Cancer-related causes were more common among those who had not used any aged care.

Causes of death patterns and people's use of aged care.

Friday mental health forum: Coping during drought

DROUGHT is not isolated to the northern parts of the country. In fact, the Hunter region has been severely affected of late, and other parts of NSW continue to dry off at a rapid rate.

During Friday’s Friday Forum at 12pm, The Land and the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) are partnering to bring together the Rural Resilience Workers, RAMHP, NSW Farmers and a researcher to answer your questions, including the warning signs someone isn’t coping; how to prepare mentally for drought; signs of depression; practical ways to stay mentally healthy, and getting farmers to talk openly about mental health.

See more at: http://www.theland.com.au/story/5278798/friday-forum-coping-during-drier-times/?cs=5020

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia data visualisations [AIHW]

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a new web report with data visualisations:

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia presents the latest available information on national population screening programs, cancer incidence, survival, prevalence and mortality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, compared with non-Indigenous Australians. Information is available to explore by sex, age, state and territory, remoteness area and trend.

Latest findings:
* Between 2009 and 2013, an average of 1,279 new cancer cases were diagnosed each year in Indigenous Australians
* Between 2011 and 2015, there was an average of 551 cancer-related deaths each year for Indigenous Australians
* In 2007-2014, Indigenous Australians diagnosed with cancer had a 50% relative chance of surviving five years
* In 2009-2013, Indigenous Australians were 1.1 times as likely to be diagnosed with cancer as non-Indigenous Australians
* In 2011-2015, Indigenous Australians were 1.4 times as likely to die from cancer as non-Indigenous Australians
* In 2007-2014, Indigenous Australians had lower five-year relative survival compared with non-Indigenous Australians

Download web report: Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia.

Media release: Indigenous Australians more likely to be affected by cancers associated with preventable risk factors and are 1.4 times as likely to die from cancer as non-Indigenous Australians.

NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pharmaceutical/Pages/nsw-cmas.aspx

The NSW Cannabis Medicines Advisory Service provides expert clinical guidance and support to NSW doctors considering prescribing a cannabis medicine for their patient.Based at John Hunter Hospital at Hunter New England Local Health District, the Service offers expert clinical advice to NSW doctors on whether cannabinoids may be an appropriate treatment option for their patient, available clinical evidence, known contraindications and risks, available products, and monitoring requirements.

The Service is part of the NSW Government $21 million commitment to advance our understanding for the safe and appropriate use of cannabis medicines to treat serious and debilitating symptoms. It is available to NSW doctors and health care professionals. It is operational Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm snd can be contacted by email HNELHD-CMAS@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au<mailto:HNELHD-CMAS@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au or by telephone (02) 4923 6200.

The Service can assist with:

* understanding the latest evidence around cannabis medicines
* understanding the regulatory requirements for cannabis prescription
* considering tools to monitor a patient's progress whilst using cannabis medicines
* provision of protocols to facilitate cannabis medicine prescribing
* information about dosing and titration in individual patients