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North Sydney, Australia

Weston K.M.,Center for Population Health
New South Wales public health bulletin | Year: 2010

A public health clinic was established to provide antiviral prophylaxis to school contacts during the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza outbreak in NSW, Australia. Children (n = 74) and staff (n = 9) were provided with antiviral (oseltamivir) prophylaxis following exposure to a confirmed case of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza. The success of the clinic included attention to infection control and quarantining of potentially infectious children and staff, attendance at the clinic of pharmacists to ensure accurate dispensing of suspension medication, availability of experienced public health staff at short notice, and provision of accurate information to staff, school children and families attending the clinic.

Hardy L.L.,University of Sydney | King L.,University of Sydney | Hector D.,University of Sydney | Lloyd B.,Center for Population Health
Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Objective: To describe the weight status and weight-related behaviors of children commencing school. Methods: This study is a representative cross-sectional survey of Australian children in their first year of schooling (n=1141) in 2010. Height and weight were measured, and parents reported their child's diet, physical activity and screen-time. Results: 18.7% of children were overweight/obese. Compared with non-overweight/obese peers, overweight/obese boys were 1.73 times (95% CI 1.08, 2.79) as likely to exceed recommended screen time and 2.07 times (95% CI 1.11, 3.87) as likely to eat dinner three or more times/week in front of the TV. Overweight/obese girls were twice as likely to have a TV in their bedroom (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.12, 3.59) and usually be rewarded with sweets for good behavior (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.09, 3.51) and were 1.65 times as likely to be inactive (95% CI 1.08, 2.55). Conclusion: We showed that many children begin school with established weight-related behaviors that occur in the home environment. The inclusion of parents and the home environment in intervention strategies will be important to support changes to reduce childhood obesity. The weight status and weight-related behaviors of children entering school may potentially be a general indicator of the overall effectiveness of obesity prevention interventions among preschool-aged children. © 2012.

Ding D.,University of Sydney | Do A.,Center for Epidemiology and Evidence | Schmidt H.-M.,Center for Population Health | Bauman A.E.,University of Sydney
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background Socioeconomic inequalities in health outcomes have increased over the past few decades in some countries. However, the trends in inequalities related to multiple health risk behaviours have been infrequently reported. In this study, we examined the trends in individual health risk behaviours and a summary lifestyle risk index in New South Wales, Australia, and whether the absolute and relative inequalities in risk behaviours by socioeconomic positions have changed over time. Methods Using data from the annual New South Wales Adult Population Health Survey during the period of 2002-2012, we examined four individual risk behaviours (smoking, higher than recommended alcohol consumption, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake, and insufficient physical activity) and a combined lifestyle risk indicator. Socioeconomic inequalities were assessed based on educational attainment and postal area-level index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage (IRSD), and were presented as prevalence difference for absolute inequalities and prevalence ratio for relative inequalities. Trend tests and survey logistic regression models examined whether the degree of absolute and relative inequalities between the most and least disadvantaged subgroups have changed over time. Results The prevalence of all individual risk behaviours and the summary lifestyle risk indicator declined from 2002 to 2012. Particularly, the prevalence of physical inactivity and smoking decreased from 52.6% and 22% in 2002 to 43.8% and 17.1% in 2012 (p for trend<0.001). However, a significant trend was observed for increasing absolute and relative inequalities in smoking, insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption, and the summary lifestyle risk indicator. Conclusions The overall improvement in health behaviours in New South Wales, Australia, co-occurred with a widening socioeconomic gap. © 2015 Ding et al.

West S.,University of Oulu | Vahasarja M.,University of Oulu | Bloigu A.,Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare | Pouta A.,University of Oulu | And 9 more authors.
Human Reproduction | Year: 2014

STUDY QUESTIONTo what extent do self-reported oligo-amenorrhea and hirsutism affect reproductive performance (childlessness, age at first delivery, family size and miscarriage rates)?SUMMARY ANSWERAt the age of 44, among women with both self-reported oligo-amenorrhea and hirsutism the prevalence of childlessness was not significantly different from non-symptomatic women but they had a smaller family size than non-symptomatic women.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADYPolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder characterized by oligo-amenorrhea or amenorrhea, hyperandrogenism and hirsutism and it is the most frequent cause of anovulatory infertility, but there are few studies on the reproductive capacity of women with PCOS. In our previous population-based cohort study the women with self-reported oligo-amenorrhea and hirsutism were found to have more infertility problems and smaller family size than non-symptomatic women at the age of 31.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATIONA prospective population-based cohort study. The population of the study is derived from the prospective Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966), comprising all expected births from the year 1966 in the two northernmost provinces of Finland (n = 12 058). Of them, 5889 were females. Enrollment in this database begun at the 24th gestational week and so far data have been collected from the subjects at the ages of 1, 14 and 31 years.PARTICIPANTS/ MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODSA postal questionnaire including questions about oligo-amenorrhea and hirsutism was sent to all women at the age of 31 (n = 5608, response rate 81%, n = 4535) and a clinical examination was performed (attendance rate 76.5%). Those who reported both hirsutism and oligo-amenorrhea were defined as women with both symptoms (n = 153). Data on pregnancies/ deliveries were obtained from the Finnish Medical Birth Register (FMBR) in 2010 when the women were 44 years old.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCEWomen with both symptoms had delivered at least one child as often as non-symptomatic women [75.2 versus 79.0%, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.86, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.57-1.30], were of similar age [mean (SD)] at first delivery [27.7 (4.81) versus 27.3 (4.71)] and had similar incidence of miscarriages. However, non-symptomatic women had more often ≥2 deliveries (61.6 versus 52.9%, adjusted OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.49-1.00, P = 0.048) and had larger family size [mean (SD)] [2.4 (1.4) versus 1.9 (0.8), P < 0.001]. Women with both symptoms had been treated more often for infertility than non-symptomatic women (6.1 versus 2.4%, adjusted OR 2.74, 95% CI 1.14-6.60, P = 0.024).LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTIONThe diagnosis of oligo-amenorrhea and hirsutism was based on a questionnaire, suggesting a risk of information bias in reporting the symptoms. However, we have previously shown that self-reported oligo-amenorrhea and hirsutism can distinguish most women with the typical profile of PCOS. Only the women who had delivered at least once were recorded in the FMBR, thus excluding from the study those who had experienced miscarriages and/or infertility treatments but did not have a live birth. This feature could potentially decrease the differences in incidence of miscarriages and/or infertility treatment between symptomatic and non-symptomatic subjects.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGSThis is one of the few studies, in which the impact of self-reported oligo-amenorrhea and hirsutism on lifetime reproductive success can be measured. Our results suggest that even at more advanced age, women with both symptoms do not quite match the parity of healthy non-symptomatic women, and that infertility treatment does not always restore normal reproductive capacity in these women. Obese women with both symptoms had the worst prognostic as regards reproduction, which emphasizes the importance of life intervention and preventive politics against obesity in this group of women. © 2013 The Author.

Schaffer A.,Center for Epidemiology and Research | Muscatello D.,Center for Epidemiology and Research | Broome R.,Environmental Health Branch | Corbett S.,Center for Population Health | Smith W.,Environmental Health Branch
Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source | Year: 2012

Background: From January 30-February 6, 2011, New South Wales was affected by an exceptional heat wave, which broke numerous records. Near real-time Emergency Department (ED) and ambulance surveillance allowed rapid detection of an increase in the number of heat-related ED visits and ambulance calls during this period. The purpose of this study was to quantify the excess heat-related and all-cause ED visits and ambulance calls, and excess all-cause mortality, associated with the heat wave. Methods. ED and ambulance data were obtained from surveillance and administrative databases, while mortality data were obtained from the state death registry. The observed counts were compared with the average counts from the same period from 2006/07 through 2009/10, and a Poisson regression model was constructed to calculate the number of excess ED visits, ambulance and deaths after adjusting for calendar and lag effects. Results: During the heat wave there were 104 and 236 ED visits for heat effects and dehydration respectively, and 116 ambulance calls for heat exposure. From the regression model, all-cause ED visits increased by 2% (95% CI 1.01-1.03), all-cause ambulance calls increased by 14% (95% CI 1.11-1.16), and all-cause mortality increased by 13% (95% CI 1.06-1.22). Those aged 75 years and older had the highest excess rates of all outcomes. Conclusions: The 2011 heat wave resulted in an increase in the number of ED visits and ambulance calls, especially in older persons, as well as an increase in all-cause mortality. Rapid surveillance systems provide markers of heat wave impacts that have fatal outcomes. © 2012 Schaffer et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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