Newsletter #12                                   April 2018
International Science Advisors visit

Future research strategy: 2019-2024
Our international Science Advisory Panel visited New Zealand in February to undertake a science review. They gave us invaluable advice to help in preparing our research strategy for the next 5 years. 

Read more about the Science Advisory panel’s visit on our website.

Global effort to tackle obesity and diabetes
While they were here, two panel members spoke at a public lecture, opened by the Minister of Health, Hon David Clark.  Professor Nick Wareham (UK) and Professor Jeff Reading (Canada) talked about efforts to tackle obesity and diabetes in their countries. They had some interesting suggestions of relevance to New Zealand.

Read more about the public lecture and view videos of the talks on our website.
Spotlight on research: Equitable cardiovascular and diabetes risk prediction

In this issue, we turn the spotlight on the Equitable cardiovascular and diabetes risk prediction research project, which has recently refined risk equations for people of Māori, Pacific and South Asian descent. 

The new risk equations have been incorporated in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment and Management for Primary Care guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Health in February 2018:

This is the first major ‘product’ of Healthier Lives research to be rolled out nationally.  The research was undertaken by a team based at the University of Auckland, who also receive funding from the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Heart Foundation of New Zealand, making it a great example of close alignment in the health research sector to achieve goals of national importance.    
Principal investigator for cardiovascular research within Healthier Lives, Professor Vicky Cameron, explains more about the research in this story on Crunching the data to improve Kiwis’ health.

In the news
Softdrinks on shelf
UK sugary drinks levy
On 1 April 2018, the UK introduced a soft drinks industry levy. Healthier Lives researcher Professor Tony Blakely has explained how the levy works, how it might impact on health and the relevance for New Zealand in a recent blog, which has been picked up in the media.

And now the Brits are doing it: A sugary drink tax levy on the industry - Public Health Expert
New Zealand should tax sugary drinks - researchers say - Newshub
Link between income inequality and obesity
Associate Professor Rinki Murphy’s research on the effect of income inequality on obesity rates among children and teenagers was recently featured in the media.  Rinki is a member of our Science Leadership Team.

Reducing income inequality could cut obesity -


Te Kāika launches in Dunedin
Donna Matahaere-Atariki, a member of the Healthier Lives Kāhui Māori, has been instrumental in setting up a unique health hub offering a range of services to Māori, Pacific Peoples and low-income families in South Dunedin. Healthier Lives has welcomed this initiative which will make a real difference to people’s lives and reduce health inequities.

Iwi-driven health village launches in Dunedin - Healthier Lives
Healthy lifestyle app for Māori and Pasifika
eHealthNews recently profiled OL@-OR@, a co-designed mobile phone app for Māori and Pasifika, developed and currently being trialed by an innovative Healthier Lives research project.

Māori and Pacific health app trialed - eHealthNews

Find out more about OL@-OR@ on our website.
Parry Guilford in laboratory
New blood test could help Māori and rural cancer patients
A new blood test for cancer patients, which has the potential to reduce healthcare inequities for Māori and people living in rural communities, has recently been highlighted in the media. 
This test is being developed by a Healthier Lives research project, CtDNA for better cancer management, led by our Deputy Director Professor Parry Guilford.
New monitoring method could help Māori cancer patients - New Zealand Doctor Online
Blood test checks cancer cures - Waatea News
'Critical' test could help Maori cancer patients – Otago Daily Times
Blood test trials aim to reduce higher Māori cancer rates - Radio New Zealand

Find out more about CtDNA for better cancer management on our website.
Recent publications

Co-designing an mHealth tool in the New Zealand Māori community with a “Kaupapa Māori” approach AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples (2018) 14:1

BetaMe: impact of a comprehensive digital health programme on HbA1c and weight at 12 months for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial Trials (2018) 19:161

Identifying strategic opportunities for Māori community organisations to respond to pre-diabetes: Building a platform for integrated care to deliver change that matters to communities. International Journal of Integrated Care (2017) 17(5):A166.

A full list of publications from Healthier Lives research is available on our website.
Upcoming Events

He ora te whakapiri:  Unleashing the potential of New Zealand life course research
Thursday, 18 October 2018
Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington 

This symposium explores the future direction of life course research in New Zealand. The event will feature keynote addresses by Professor Richie Poulton, leader of the Dunedin Study, and international speakers, and is jointly sponsored by the three health National Science Challenges: A Better Start, Healthier Lives and Ageing Well.

Pacific International Health Symposium
Strengthening Partnerships for Pacific Health
29-30 November 2018
Otago Museum, Dunedin 

The 2018 Pacific International Health Symposium (PIHS) provides a forum for staff and students to engage in the Pacific space, to raise the profile of research in this area, and strengthen collaboration and networks in the Pacific region.
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Healthier Lives - He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge is hosted by the University of Otago and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The Challenge partners are AgResearch, Auckland University of Technology, ESR, Malaghan Institute, Massey University, University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, and University of Waikato.
Copyright © 2018 Healthier Lives - He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge, All rights reserved.

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