Monday, February 27, 2012

Fish oil could save billions (?)

This just assumes what it has to prove

GIVING fish oil supplements to patients with cardiovascular disease could save the economy up to $4.2 billion, an economic report from Deloitte Access Economics says.

Researchers analysed the cost benefit of using fish oil supplements taking into account the cost to the economy of the number of years lost due to ill health, disability or death.

The Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia, which commissioned the report, believes the findings will help make the case for making fish oil exempt from GST or a candidate for subsidy under the federal government's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

"Fundamentally that would be a very good outcome for the general population health and a great outcome for the health budget," the council's consumer affairs director, Justin Howden, said. No complementary therapies are GST free or available on the PBS.

The Deloitte report, which will be released on Tuesday, found that patients spent an average of $112.15 a year on fish oil treatments.

Mr Howden acknowledged that a PBS subsidy or GST exemption for complementary medicines would require a radical shift in government policy. "This report is just part of public policy discussion," he said. "It is the start of a very long process, probably up to five years."

Dr Steve Hambleton, the president of the Australian Medical Association, said the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee would require conclusive evidence that fish oil supplements work before considering them for inclusion in the scheme.

Organisations that have endorsed the cardiovascular benefits of fish oil include the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the National Heart Foundation of Australia, and the WHO.


Workers who burn calories at the gym are less depressed

Exercise does seem to have an antidepressive effect but the study below is just epidemiology so doesn't prove it. Some people who did little exercise were probably in poor health -- and that can be pretty depressing

The last thing you may want to do after a long day at work is to pull on your tracksuit and pound out a few miles on the treadmill. But making the effort to head to the gym a few times each week can dramatically improve your mood on the job, say scientists.

A team from Tel Aviv University found that employees who managed to exercise for a few hours a week were half as likely to experience a decline in mental health than those who did no physical activity.

The researchers, led by Dr Sharon Toker, discovered that working out for four hours a week provided the most benefit in reducing the risk of burning out or developing depression.

Depression is a clinical mood disorder while burnout is defined by physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. However, Dr Toker said both contribute towards a 'spiral of loss' where the loss of one resource, such as a job, could have a domino effect and lead to the loss of other resources such as one's home, marriage, or sense of self-worth.

The research, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, assessed the personal, occupational, and psychological states of 1,632 healthy Israeli workers in both the private and public sectors.

The participants were divided into four groups: one that did not engage in physical activity; a second that did 75 to 150 minutes of physical activity a week; a third that did 150 to 240 minutes a week; and a fourth that did more than 240 minutes a week.

They completed questionnaires when they came to medical clinics for routine check-ups and had three follow-up appointments over a period of nine years.

Depression and burnout rates were clearly the highest among the group that did not participate in physical activity. The more physical activity that participants engaged in, the less likely they were to experience elevated depression and burnout levels during the next three years.

The team found those who engaged in at least four hours of exercise displayed almost no symptoms of mental strain. But Dr Toker said even 150 minutes a week helped workers improve their self-esteem and ability to work.

She added that far-sighted employers would benefit by building a gym on company grounds or subsidising memberships to gyms in the community, and by allowing for flexible work hours to encourage employees to make physical activity an integral part of their day.

Such a strategy, she concluded, pays business dividends in the long run.



John A said...

"The Deloitte report, which will be released on Tuesday, found that patients spent an average of $112.15 a year on fish oil treatments."

Wow, $10/month!

Twits. When my insurance pays part of my insulin cost, my co-pay is $43/month. And the company recently said it will only cover about one month in six because the dosage prescrined would allow one vial to support me for 200 foses/days, despite the info on the nox, the vial, and the included paper information sheet all saying that once opened for use it is only good for 28 days - so I will have to pay the whole $143/month. Or us Australia different from the US for insulin coverage?

And a question: just where is all the additional "fish oil" supposed to come from?

Anonymous said...

From fish we will mass harvest....fuck the environment yo