• Older city-dwellers face a higher chace of living with a chronic disease than their country-side counterparts, University of Sydney research shows.
  • New guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma and trauma-informed care and service delivery have just been released.
  • A joint university research project shows that only eight per cent of women aged 86-91 years are eating the recommended amount of food.
  • La Trobe University researchers have developed a new diagnostic tool to identify foot problems early

Chronic diseases are more prevalent in older people who live in the city than in those who live rural and remote areas of Australia, new research has shown.

The University of Sydney study tracked seven years of longitudinal data for more than 1,250 over-45s who had lived in the same area for at least 20 years.

Published in the this month’s edition of the Australasian Journal of Ageing, the research results show that ageing Australian city-dwellers are more likely to suffer from non-infectious chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, arthritis, cancer and asthma than their rural counterparts.

The research also found that every additional year of a city-dweller’s age increased the odds of having a long-term health condition by 1.05, while living in the lowest socioeconomic area increased the odds of having a long-term health condition by 90 percent compared with the previous year.

Lead author, Professor Deborah Black from the University’s Ageing, Work and Health Research Unit, said the research responds to a pressing need to better understand the problems faced by Australia’s increasingly urban, ageing population.

The peak body, Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), has just released the world’s first set of evidence-based guidelines in Australia for the treatment of complex trauma and trauma-informed care and service delivery.

Funded by the Department of Health and Ageing, the guidelines were created by ASCA to inform health professionals, workers and organisations about new ways of responding to trauma, in clinical practice and in health and human service settings.

The guidelines aim to influence, advise and educate staff on treatment of complex trauma and the implementation of trauma informed care and service.

Clinical guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma have not previously existed, and the new guidelines are the world’s first to collate the last 20 years of national and international research.

“These guidelines address a long outstanding gap in the knowledge and understanding of informed responsiveness to complex trauma and a trauma informed approach to care,” president of ASCA, Dr Cathy Kezelman, said.

“These practice guidelines have received widespread national and international endorsement even prior to release. They will enable new possibilities for recovery for the estimated four to five million Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma.”

ACSA is the national organisation focussed on the needs of adult survivors of all forms of childhood trauma.

Women in Australia are exercising less and most are not eating nearly enough vegetables, researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) and University of Newcastle have found.

In one of the biggest studies ever conducted with Australian women – the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) – researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle have compared women’s lifestyles with national guidelines for good health behaviours and screening.

The study reports that fewer women than ever are meeting guidelines around healthy weight, with almost half of all the women surveyed considered overweight or obese.

It also found that only two per cent of women aged 61-66 years and eight per cent of women aged 86-91 years are eating the recommended amount.

UQ Professor Wendy Brown, one of the report’s lead authors, said the findings reflected how changes in women’s lives impacted their physical activity.

“Most women are also failing to meet dietary guidelines, particularly around consuming five servings of vegetables a day,” Prof Brown said.

The report, Adherence to health guidelines: Findings from the ALSWH, launched yesterday by the Honourable Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Health, at the new HMRI Building in Newcastle.

Foot posture can be quickly and reliably identified by using a simple carbon-paper imprint as an early diagnostic tool for foot problems, a recent study from La Trobe University’s Musculoskeletal Research Centre has found.
The Melbourne-based researchers looked at over 600 footprints from people aged 62 to 96 years of age to visually measure the arch in older feet.

Participants in the study were asked to stand in a relaxed position on the carbon-paper imprint material.
A foot axis was then drawn from the centre of the heel to the tip of the second toe, and then the footprint divided into equal thirds excluding the toes.

The researchers examined the Arch Index (AI), which represents the ratio of the area of the middle of the footprint relative to the total foot area to categorise foot posture as high, normal and low—the lower the AI, the flatter the foot.
Variations in foot posture have been found to influence lower limp gait kinematics, muscle activity, balance and functional ability, and predisposition to overuse injury.

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