by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australian Journal of Pharmacy : April 2005
pharmacy pro pharmacy professional updates Diagnosis of dementia set to increase T HIS year, nearly 52,000 Aus- tralians, or 1,000 people every week, will be newly diagnosed with dementia, according to a new report by Access Economics for Alzheimer’s Aus- tralia. The report, Dementia estimates and projec- tions: Australian states and territories, projects that in 2005, the number of Australians with dementia will exceed 200,000, or 1 per cent of the population. By 2050 the total number of people with dementia will exceed 730,000, or 2.8 per cent of the projected population. The new estimates and projections are 12.5 per cent higher today and 25 per cent higher by mid century than previously projected in 2003. The report cites three main reasons for the increased figures: higher rates of diag- nosis of dementia; more precise (and higher) prevalence rates of dementia among the oldest of our elderly; and revi- sion of ABS demographic projections yielding higher forecasts of the future Aus- tralian population, particularly in the older age groups. Author of the report, Dr Lynne Pez- zullo, Access Economics, said: ‘The higher estimates and projections for dementia incidence and prevalence across Australia since 2003 show the sen- sitivity of the projections to relatively minor changes. While this means that such forecasts should be used with cau- tion, it also indicates that any actual delay in the onset of dementia—as a result, for example, of dementia research and med- ical breakthroughs—could have a dra- matic impact on the future number of cases and the real costs of dementia.’ ‘Earlier work had shown that if the onset of Alzheimer’s disease can be delayed by five years, by mid century there will be a 49 per cent reduction in the projected number of cases,’ she said. ¦ Blood pressure treatment could cut risk of strokes and heart attacks A new treatment strategy for hyper- tension can cut the risk of strokes by around 25 per cent and coronary events by around 15 per cent, according to the preliminary results of the Anglo-Scandi- navian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT). The ‘first look’ at the data also found that those on the new treatment strategy had a one third less chance of developing diabetes compared with the older strat- egy. The trial had been comparing a new treatment strategy for hypertension, or high blood pressure, against an old one, in order to discover which is better at pre- venting various cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. The newer treatment strategy using the calcium channel blocker, amlodipine, and the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, perindopril was compared with the older treatment strategy based on the beta-blocker, atenolol and the thiazide diuretic, bendroflumethiazide. In November 2004, the trial was stopped after the Steering Committee of ASCOT accepted the recommendation of its Data Safety Monitoring Board that the blood pressure arm of the trial should be stopped, due to far better results for those patients on the new treatment. ‘Although these are only preliminary results, we are confident the overall results will follow the trend we have seen so far,’ said ASCOT study co-chairmen Peter Sever from Imperial College London, UK, and Björn Dahlöf, from the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Östra, Sweden. ‘A reduction of 25 per cent in strokes and 15 per cent in the incidence of coro- nary events can make a huge difference to high blood pressure sufferers. Blood pres- sure is the commonest risk factor con- tributing to the global burden of disease, and with a projected 1.5 billion sufferers of hypertension by 2020 it is vital that we develop more effective treatments.’ Of more than 19,000 patients ran- domised to the two different blood pres- sure strategies, approximately 10,000 were also randomised to treatment with either atorvastatin or placebo in the ASCOT Lipid Lowering Arm (ASCOT- LLA). The ASCOT-LLA was stopped pre- maturely in October 2002, as a result of substantial benefits associated with statin use in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes ¦ NHMRC approves new guidelines for diabetes management and HRT EW clinical practice guidelines for the management of diabetes were approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) at its meeting in Alice Springs last month. The guidelines address the diagnosis and all relevant aspects relating to the management of type 1 diabetes in chil- dren of all ages, including adolescents up to the point of transition to adult care. The NHMRC also approved guidelines for the detection and prevention of foot N 238 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 APRIL 2005 problems in people with type 2 diabetes. These cover primary prevention, case detection, routine management and the prevention and management of compli- cations. In addition, the NHMRC endorsed three easy-to-read information booklets on hormone replacement therapy for women and their GPs, including a ‘deci- sion aid’ or checklist to help women make an informed decision on whether or not to undertake the therapy. ¦