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myDr's top 10 health news stories of 2016
These are the top 10 news stories of 2016 from the myDr website. Not surprisingly, diabetes continues to be a popular topic among Australians and the long-awaited new treatments for hepatitis C were a highlight.
Gum disease linked to erectile dysfunction
Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) has been linked to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, with men with chronic periodontitis more than twice as likely to suffer from ED.
Scurvy returns to Australia due to poor diet
Scurvy, a disease caused by lack of vitamin C, has resurfaced in Australia in a diabetes clinic in Western Sydney. Symptoms of scurvy include swollen bleeding gums, joint pain and wounds that don't heal.
Warmer weather brings white-tail spiders out to play
White-tail spiders are on the prowl, according to data collected by myDr.com.au, with the warmer weather bringing more people into contact with the nocturnal arachnids.
Happy spouse improves your health
People with a happy spouse are much more likely to report better health, regardless of their own happiness, with 3 potential reasons why a happy partner enhances a person's own health.
Eating berries significantly reduces risk of diabetes
Eating more berries may significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, possibly due to their anthocyanin content, an analysis of 8 studies has found.
Exercise improves fatty liver
Exercise on its own can achieve reductions in liver fat in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, even if a person doesn't lose weight, a study has found.
Healthy fats can improve insulin resistance
High-fat foods can improve insulin resistance if they are plant-based and eaten instead of animal fats and refined carbohydrates, an analysis finds.
Zinc shortens the length of a cold
Zinc has been shown to reduce the length of symptoms of the common cold in analysis of 3 trials. People who took zinc acetate lozenges had colds that were around 2 to 3 days shorter on average.
Insulin has no long-term benefit in type 2 diabetes
Insulin has no long-term benefit in type 2 diabetes, according to a large combined analysis of trials. And it is likely to cause hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar) events, French researchers report.
Pre-diabetes can be reversed by weight loss
A weight loss of 11% of body weight in an obese person can reverse pre-diabetes, where a person has impaired glucose metabolism. Pre-diabetes puts a person at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Experts warn against HIV home tests
Vulnerable patients are being put at risk when purchasing online HIV self-testing kits because many tests lack any Australian pre- or post-test advice, public health experts warn.
Obese children costing Australia more
Obese children aged 2 to 5 are up to 3 times more likely to be admitted to hospital and have substantially higher healthcare costs than healthy weight children, Australian research shows.
7 Worrying facts about ice use in Australia
Nearly 7 per cent of Australians have tried ice, and 2.5% are currently using it, according to a worrying nationwide survey of 1053 Australians just published.
Shingles increases the risk of stroke for several years after
Infection with herpes zoster, the virus that causes shingles, raises the risk of stroke and TIA (transient ischaemic attack) for several years after having shingles.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) linked to gut imbalance
People with CFS - chronic fatigue syndrome - have imbalances in the microbial populations of their gut (the microbiome) which could explain the inflammatory symptoms present in chronic fatigue.
Paracetamol in pregnancy increases risk of autism in boys
Taking paracetamol while pregnant raises the risk of a male child having symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, and of a child of any gender having ADHD.
Measles alert after 3 confirmed cases in Victoria
Health authorities are concerned there might be multiple undetected cases of measles in Victoria following 3 confirmed cases. None of the cases has travelled overseas and no index case has been identified.
Starting exercise later in life improves quality of life
Starting physical exercise later in life improves quality of life, but does not reduce risk of heart disease or make you live longer.