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​Healthy lifestyle and the primary prevention of cancer

A recent article published by Medical Journal of Australia states "It is estimated that at least a third of all cancer cases are preventable.


In June 2015, Cancer Australia released Lifestyle risk factors and the primary prevention of cancer, a position statement that provides a summary of the best available evidence drawn from international literature on cancer risk reduction and modifiable risk factors.


Obesity identified as a risk factor for a number of cancers including breast, colon, endometrium and kidney. " (1)


1. Helen Zorbas Med J Aust 2016; 204 (7): 255.


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​Chinese Herbal formula for preventing stroke 

A Cochrane review of three RCTs (5042 participants) were included. One higher quality study (4415 participants) compared Nao-an capsule with aspirin for primary prevention in high-risk stroke populations. Nao-an capsule appeared to reduce the incidence of stroke compared with aspirin. 


The authors conclude that the herbal capsule may be a choice for the primary prevention of stroke. However, due to study limiations no firm conclusions can be drawn and a further high quality research is required.


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​Level 1 Scientific Evidence for Acupuncture 

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis.


A meta-analysis of 17,992 patients shows highly significant effects (p<0.01) of acupuncture for 4 chronic pain conditions: back & neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headaches & shoulder pain. 

The authors of the study conclude that: the results from individual patient data meta-analyses of nearly 18 000 randomized patients in high-quality RCTs provide the most robust evidence to date that acupuncture is a reasonable referral option for patients with chronic pain. (1)


1.Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, Lewith G, Macpherson H, Foster NE, et al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Archives of internal medicine 2012:1-10..


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​Preventing disease through healthy environments: Towards an estimate of the environmental burden of disease



How much disease could be prevented through better management of our environment? The environment influences our health in many ways — through exposures to physical, chemical and biological risk factors, and through related changes in our behaviour in response to those factors. To answer this question, the available scientific evidence was summarized and more than 100 experts were consulted for their estimates of how much environmental risk factors contribute to the disease burden of 85 diseases.

This report summarizes the results globally, by 14 regions worldwide, and separately for children. The evidence shows that environmental risk factors play a role in more than 80% of the diseases regularly reported by the World Health Organization. Globally, nearly one quarter of all deaths and of the total disease burden can be attributed to the environment. In children, however, environmental risk factors can account for slightly more than one-third of the disease burden.

These findings have important policy implications, because the environmental risk factors that were studied largely can be modified by established, cost-effective interventions. The interventions promote equity by benefiting everyone in the society, while addressing the needs of those most at risk.

World Health Organization (WHO)



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