Public Health Expert

100 years ago today a Death Ship from NZ Arrived in Samoa: A Reminder of NZ’s Responsibilities to its South Pacific Neighbours

Public Health Expert Nov 07, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Ramona Tiatia Today is the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Talune in Western Samoa. This single ship spread the influenza pandemic from NZ to Western Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Thanks to the Rt Hon Helen Clark, there has been an official apology to Samoa … Read More

The health impacts of the First World War for NZ: A Review

Public Health Expert Oct 30, 2018

Nick Wilson, George Thomson, Jennifer A Summers, Glyn Harper, Evan Roberts This blog summarises our just-published article on the mortality and morbidity impacts of the First World War on the NZ population. While much is known about the large health burden of this conflict (especially for the direct participants), there are still various knowledge gaps eg, for the health … Read More

Tobacco product innovation in a smokefree world. Oxymoron or commercial cynicism?

Public Health Expert Oct 23, 2018

Janet Hoek and Philip Gendall Major tobacco companies have presented a vision of a smokefree world, where smoking prevalence has fallen to minimal levels.  This goal has much in common with national tobacco endgame goals and appears to create opportunities for health researchers and smokefree advocates to work collaboratively with a well-resourced industry to achieve a common goal.  Yet, … Read More

Making tobacco less available is both necessary and feasible – New NZ study

Public Health Expert Sep 24, 2018

Dr Lindsay Robertson* In our recently published work, we studied the impact of the NZ Government preventing new retail outlets from selling tobacco from 2020, while allowing existing retail outlets to continue selling it until they closed or relocated. The estimated outcome would be a 50% decrease in the total number of tobacco retail outlets by 2032. This blog puts … Read More

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Screening for lung cancer in NZ is highly unlikely to be cost-effective: New NZ study

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2018

Dr Richard Jaine, Dr Giorgi Kvizhinadze, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Tony Blakely There is reasonably strong evidence screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans is effective at reducing lung cancer mortality. However, new research suggests it is highly unlikely to be cost-effective in NZ. We have just published the first NZ study to examine the cost-effectiveness of … Read More

A 100 years ago today – the likely first NZ death from the 1918 influenza pandemic

Public Health Expert Aug 28, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker The 1918 influenza pandemic began to kill New Zealanders 100 years ago today. Ultimately it killed 9000 NZ citizens and so is by far the largest natural disaster to hit this country. In this blog we reflect on this event and draw links with the present day pandemic risks (including from … Read More

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Closing New Zealand’s Borders to Mitigate a Severe Pandemic has Merit

Public Health Expert Aug 09, 2018

Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Osman Mansoor & Prof Michael Baker Should an island nation like New Zealand close its borders in the face of a severe pandemic threat? In a SciBlogs post last year we argued ‘yes’. We have just published additional modelling that also comes to this conclusion. In a severe pandemic tens to hundreds … Read More

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The case for lowering salt levels in processed foods is now even stronger – new research

Public Health Expert Jun 26, 2018

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Prof Tony Blakely The scientific case for lowering dietary salt intakes became a bit confused in recent years by studies which suggested that both low sodium (salt) intake and high sodium intake were associated with higher risk of death. But new research suggests that low sodium intakes are not associated with … Read More

Capitalising on NZ’s linked data by increasing IT and researcher capacity: Opportunity is knocking

Public Health Expert Jun 19, 2018

Tony Blakely, Andrea Teng, Sheree Gibb, Nhung Nghiem, Barry Milne, Andrew Sporle, Gabrielle Davies, Nevil Pierce, Ruth Cunningham, and on behalf of the Virtual Health Information Network A key strategic advantage for NZ and research is our national routinely-collected datasets.  This can generate new knowledge in academia, service delivery and policy.  Conversely, NZ has some key barriers to … Read More

How much of Māori:European mortality inequalities are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco?

Public Health Expert Jun 15, 2018

Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Nick Wilson Policy-makers need to know how much of ethnic inequalities in health are due to socioeconomic position and tobacco smoking, but quantifying this is surprisingly difficult. In this Blog, and accompanying video, we summarize new research using NZ’s linked census-mortality data, blended with innovative new ‘counterfactual’ methods to determine causal relationships … Read More