Health Report - Full program podcast-logo

Health Report - Full program podcast

ABC (Australia)

Specialist and mainstream audiences alike rely on the Health Report to bring clarity to health and medical issues from social, scientific and political points of view.


Sydney, NSW


Specialist and mainstream audiences alike rely on the Health Report to bring clarity to health and medical issues from social, scientific and political points of view.




Health Report GPO Box 9994 Sydney, NSW Australia 2001 02 8333 1423


11 July: Tackling obesity | Standards on how to handle sepsis | The right amount of Vitamin D

In 2009 Australia launched a National Preventive Health Strategy with the aim of being the healthiest country in the world by 2020—where we're at with it now. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare has created a national clinical care standard for diagnosis and treatment. Many people are told to take a vitamin D supplement, especially in winter when there's less sunshine, but you can have too much of it.


4 July: Coming to terms with long COVID; Vaxes for variants; An artificial pancreas; Protecting pandemic teens

Australia has many stories from people who say they have long COVID but who are unable to access help | Updated versions of coronavirus vaccines targeting the Omicron variant have been announced, yet the virus still mutates | People with Type 1 diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose but automatic systems are being trialled to assist them | A study on the behaviour of teens undertaken during the pandemic identified some of the particular health risks for this group.


Speculating on an Australian Centre of Disease Control and Prevention; How Indigenous culture can protect the heart; Associations between mental health and mortality

What an Australian Centre for Disease Control might aim to be; An Indigenous perspective and research to engage culture for protection against cardiovascular disease and stroke; Research on links between mental health and mortality concludes that both mental and physical health can be adversely impacted.


Breast density and MRIs, diet and mental health, genomics and osteoarthritis

There may be a link between what you eat and your mental health—also, avoiding overtreatment for breast cancer; predicting your risk of osteoarthritis; and whether mammogram results should inform women about breast density.


The cancer risks that run through generations

The cancer risks that run through generations of families—and the growing frontier in medicine trying to change that.


Cancer treatment and 'time toxicity'; youth mental health and smoking; a paradox for cholesterol levels

The term 'time toxicity' expresses the idea that if treatment to extend a patient's life means lengthy periods in medical facilities, it may be time wasted; In Australia smoking has decreased generally, but tobacco use is higher than average in young people with mental health issues; The bad form of cholesterol is LDL — low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein is the good form. An new study suggests there's a limit on how high HDL should be.


Abortion access, lipid profiling; quality of life and cancer drugs; exercise and kids' heart surgery

Those at greatest risk from unplanned pregnancy are often least able to access it; Study on 800 different lipids to check your metabolic risk and health profile; It's important to ask if someone's life will be improved by taking cancer drugs; Heart defects in kids may need surgery but new research considers exercise as a key to improving their life expectancy.


What is monkeypox and where is it coming from? treating the rise in melanoma cases; better stroke management; comparing data on mental health conditions against immune-related diseases

Combating monkeypox with increased vaccination—and monitoring polio cases in Ukraine; Treating the increasing number of melanoma cases; A faster and more mobile way to diagnose stroke; Comparing data on some mental health conditions against immune disorders.


Considering health issues ahead of an election

Ahead of the election, The Health Report hosts a discussion between experts about the pressing health issues. What are the most pronounced problems, and what health questions have not been raised at all?


Mortality mapped to electorates, prostate surgery and relationships, how doctors can better treat Indigenous patients

The risk of premature mortality has been mapped on to federal electorates and Australia's lack of response to the disparity contrasts with that of the UK. The effects of prostate surgery affect the man and his partner—and sometimes it means a change to sexual function. Doctors can struggle to communicate with Aboriginal patients—a podcast featuring Aboriginal elders offers advice on delivering culturally safe healthcare.


Climate and new virus vectors; advice on prescribing opioids for pain; triggers for an oesophagal problem; cost of macular disease medication

Global warming will probably mean that wildlife travels more and mixes with other species—and an effect will be to spread unfamiliar viruses; There is new guidance to help hospital doctors and clinicians prescribing opioids for pain; A disorder of the oesophagus creates symptoms similar to reflux or allergies, but the cause of the disorder is not known; The non-availability of a treatment for age-related macular degeneration has eye surgeons arguing for change.


The lowdown on longevity

It's expected now that we will generally live longer, but what really interests people is how to spend their longer life in good health—what to do now in order to set a good foundation.


Chimeras in medicine, Pt2—avatars; What's to be done about tinnitus

Oncologists don't always know which chemotherapy drug will work best, and even then, one treatment won't suit everyone. So there's growing research on potential therapies using animal 'avatars'. And later ... an estimated one in six Australians lives with tinnitus but told nothing can be done to help it.


Chimeras in medicine: xenotransplantation

Many people are waiting for an organ donation and some of them may die before a suitable organ is found. Some researchers think that in the near future we will be able to grow organs in animals to be safely transplanted into humans. The first of two features about medicine's use of animals for organ and tissue transplantation. This program was originally broadcast in October 2021.


Effect of pain medication on immunity; impact of the Budget on GPs and healthcare; importance of planning global vaccination

A review of multiple studies on common painkillers found that they have a marked effect on our resistance to infection—which is sometimes bad and sometimes good. Some of these medications could also reduce our response to a vaccination—especially if taken straight before one. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals keep you healthy. But despite Australia's relative good health it has major problems with general practice. By international standards we are probably overproducing medical...


Research on passive antibodies to combat Omicron | Is Transient Ischaemic Attack an obsolete term? | Treating blood pressure may affect blood flow to the brain? | How hormones and hypertension are related

Assessing the continuing ability to treat COVID-19 with antibody infusions. | A 'temporary stroke' means people get the signs of a stroke but the symptoms go away it's a called a Transient Ischaemic Attack - but that could be a misnomer. | If you have high blood pressure and lifestyle controls are not helping - by how much should pressure be reduced? | Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a hormonal cause of high blood pressure; it's treatable and there's a simple test.


The changing demographic of blood groups; diet to ease MS; relationship of mental health and dementia

What we know about the diversity of blood group types in Australia has just been updated—it reflects patterns in immigration. And we discuss the potential benefits of modifying diet to treat multiple sclerosis. And whether mental health issues may raise the risk of cognitive decline.


Japanese Encephalitis vectors; climate change and effect on health; archival heart transplant; and data behind decreased heart attacks

Japanese Encephalitis (JEV) is common in Asia but now causing concern in Australia. The rise of JEV in Australia happened when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) were reporting on climate change—a key aspect of which was the effect of climate on health. There's unique archival audio from the 1980s of the surgeon who performed a heart transplant operation on Baby Fae - using a baboon heart. And the records of 80 million people have been assessed to see why there are now...


Out of pocket health costs; faecal microbiome transplants; stomas

Australia is lucky to have free healthcare services—but there can be big gaps in who receives it; reports on two people with bipolar disorder finding benefit from a faecal microbiota transplant; and how stomas help the intestine heal.


COVID didn't come from a lab; can you trust blood pressure monitors; your preference for more—or perhaps less—health care; studying concussion and head knocks

Two recent scientific publications show that the pandemic originated in the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, in Wuhan, China. The publications are not yet peer reviewed but seem to put paid to the theory that the virus escaped from a Wuhan virology lab.