Health + Medicine — Analysis and Comment

The risk of a woman dying from a road accident is approximately 25 times that of death from a pill-related clot. epSos .de/Flickr

Don’t panic about the pill – it’s safer than driving to work

Newer contraceptive pills pose a higher risk of serious blood clots, says a study published in the BMJ today. The finding isn't new, but it may be cause for a different kind of concern.
Direct links between universities and industry funders pose significant risks – but can they be managed? Shannon Kringen/Flickr

Viewpoints: should universities accept funding from industry?

The University of Sydney's announcement of a role funded by the Blackmores Institute raises perennial questions about whether industry-funded research can be truly independent.
For every death there’ll be many more hospital admissions for things such as strokes and heart attacks. Vladimirs Koskins/Shutterstock

Cold weather is a bigger killer than extreme heat – here’s why

Most people are acutely aware of the toll the heat can take on human life. So it may come as a surprise that more Australians die from the cold than the heat.
There’s a sense that people who want to be child-free are somehow draft-dodging the duty of parenthood – we’ve done it and suffered, so why haven’t you? Hanna Nikkanen/Flickr

People who don’t want kids deserve respect for their choice

Societies overwhelmingly endorse reproduction, but the pressure this places on people who don't want to have kids may be putting their health at risk.
An independent UK inquiry estimated that perhaps one in five of the cancers detected via breast cancer screening are overdiagnosed. Army Medicine/Flickr

Most people want to know risk of overdiagnosis, but aren’t told

Researchers have been talking about the dangers of overdiagnosis for some time. But now a national survey shows most people aren't told about the risk it poses to their health – and they want to know.
If you need doctors to work in the country, you need a selection system that picks people with those values and commitments. University of Exeter/Flickr

Getting doctors to the bush depends on more than just uni places

Three features of a medical school help predict where medical students will eventually work as doctors: selection, the curriculum, and the professionalism of the newly-qualified doctors.
Sweat is made up of water and minerals that are collectively known as electrolytes. Chris Hunkeler/Flickr

Health check: what’s the deal with electrolytes?

Sports drinks claiming to contain electrolytes have innundated stores in recent years. So what are electrolytes? Are they good? How can we best get them?
People with skin cancers due to outdoor work receive around 15% of the total compensation paid. sixninepixels/Flickr

Workers exposed to cancer-causing agents deserve compensation

Unlike workplace accidents, where injuries can be relatively quickly assessed and compensation awarded, it can take years or many decades before work-related cancers are diagnosed.
Given the increasing number of vaccines recommended for adolescents and adults in Australia, the newly announced initiatives are a very good idea. Wellcome Images/Flickr

New register shows importance of vaccination beyond childhood

Tucked away in the budget papers is an intitiative worthy of applause – the establishment of an adult immunisation register and the expansion of the childhood register to include adolescents.
The leaked measures would have benefited consumers and taxpayers, with small imposition on the lucrative bottom lines of pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry. NVinacco/Flickr

Budget entrée disappoints but PBS reform still on the menu

Despite numerous leaks about impending changes to medicines policy, the budget showed savings of just $252.2 million over five years from adjusting the price of a small number of PBS-listed drugs.