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Strong evidence for benefits of exercise in preventing falls in older people

Strong evidence that falls in people over 60 years of age can be prevented by exercise programs has been published in a new Cochrane Library review. The review, by researchers from The University of Sydney, Australia, and University of Oxford, UK, summarises the findings of 108 randomised controlled trials with over 23,000 participants from more than 25 countries. The average age of participants was 76 years and three-quarters were women. The researchers found that exercise reduced the number of falls over time by 23%, and it reduced the number of people experiencing one or more falls by 15%. High certainty evidence was shown that exercise programs involving balance and function exercises reduced falls, but there was less certainty for programs including multiple exercise categories. The review found that tai chi may also prevent falls, but there was less certainty on the effectiveness of resistance exercises (without balance and functional exercises), including dancing or walking. Read more at: www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD012424.pub2/full.

Campaign launched to confront the stigma of lung cancer

A new campaign, Raw, has been launched by Lung Cancer Australia to confront the lack of empathy facing people living with lung cancer. The campaign will remind people that the stigma not only hurts those living with lung cancer, but can greatly affect their quality of life when they are most vulnerable. According to Lung Cancer Australia, more than one-third of people believe those living with lung cancer are their ‘own worst enemies’ and ‘have only themselves to blame’, and the first question that almost 40% of Australians would ask someone diagnosed with lung cancer is whether they smoked. About one-fifth of those with lung cancer are lifelong nonsmokers. People with lung cancer are reluctant to seek help, leading to delayed diagnoses and access to treatment; more than half are living with distress, anxiety and/or depression; and they are four times more likely to commit suicide, Lung Cancer Australia reports. For more information on the campaign visit www.fairgoforlungcancer.org.au.