Public Health Expert

New Standardised Packaging Regulations: Some good steps, but many missed opportunities

Public Health Expert Jun 28, 2017

Professor Janet Hoek and Professor Philip Gendall The NZ Government’s recently released Standardised Packaging Regulations contain some important advances over Australia’s legislation, but they also miss opportunities to recognise tobacco industry innovations. This blog discusses changes that establish a new benchmark and why these are important, but also examines how the regulations could have gone further and suggests … Read More

Can pandemic threats justify border closure for island nations like NZ?

Public Health Expert Jun 26, 2017

Professor Nick Wilson, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Osman Mansoor, Professor Michael G Baker Countries prepare for future pandemic risks because of pandemic influenza, novel emerging infectious agents and possible synthetic bioweapons. In a study we just published in a journal, we explored the costs and benefits of complete border closure in NZ in response to new pandemic threats. We found … Read More

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Open data, transparency and power – role of the Virtual Health Information Network

Public Health Expert Jun 14, 2017

Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Barry Milne, Mr Philip Walker, Prof Tony Blakely The NZ Government is showing strong leadership on data sharing. In this blog we describe some of the opportunities and the challenges in this new data environment. We focus on how the Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN) can contribute to stronger health research and therefore benefit the health … Read More

Ethnic inequalities in mortality in NZ and how to reduce them further

Public Health Expert May 29, 2017

Dr George Disney, Dr Andrea Teng, June Atkinson, Frederieke Sanne van der Deen, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely  In a study we just published, we found that whilst there have been declines in all-cause mortality rates, over time, for Māori, Pacific peoples and the European/Other ethnic group, there are still striking mortality gaps that need to be addressed. Read More

A 100 years ago: The worst year of the First World War for New Zealand

Public Health Expert May 01, 2017

Professor Nick Wilson, University of Otago; Professor Glyn Harper, Massey University The year 1917 was the worst year of the First World War for New Zealand from a premature mortality perspective, with 5547 deaths. We have just presented on this topic at a Symposium at Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) and in this blog we summarise … Read More

Will liberalising nicotine availability increase quitting?

Public Health Expert Apr 24, 2017

Prof Janet Hoek, Mei-Ling Blank, Prof Nick Wilson, Lindsay Robertson, Dr Louise Marsh Do the New Zealand (NZ) Government’s proposed changes to liberalise the e-cigarette market set out a robust process for helping people who smoke to switch to e-cigarettes? In this blog, we discuss the proposed regulatory changes and explain some of the complex practices smokers must adopt … Read More

Is it time to pilot a test and treat programme for reducing the stomach cancer burden and inequalities in NZ?

Public Health Expert Apr 18, 2017

Dr Andrea Teng, Dr Melissa McLeod, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Nick Wilson  We have just published a modelling study on stomach cancer prevention in the international journal BMC Infectious Diseases (1). This blog briefly examines how a possible population screening programme, that tests and treats for infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the stomach, may be a cost-effective way to … Read More

What does art have to do with public health, and how can they work together?

Public Health Expert Apr 12, 2017

Jenny Ombler, Dr Sarah Donovan (University of Otago, Wellington) Last month was the first time that the Public Health Summer School (University of Otago, Wellington) has considered art, and its relationship to public health. The Symposium featured artists, arts academics, an architect, and public health practitioners and academics. In this blog we consider some of the issues raised … Read More

BMI keeps on going up – and reflections on the Diabesity Symposium

Public Health Expert Mar 24, 2017

Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Kirsten Coppell, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Andrea Teng Is body mass index (BMI) relentlessly increasing in NZ, or plateauing? In this blog we present trends in BMI by ethnicity in NZ going back to the 1980s. Over the last four decades the annual increase in BMI is linear, relentless increasing; no sign of a plateau, yet. Read More

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Why do so many fear the bicycle?

Public Health Expert Mar 14, 2017

By Prof Alistair Woodward, Auckland University “It is too dangerous.” This is the reason given most commonly for not riding a bike on the road in New Zealand. In this blog, I summarise a paper we have just published quantifying the risk of cycling injury. We found it to be low compared to other activites that New Zealanders commonly engage … Read More

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