|February 2005||National Research Flagship||www.csiro.au|
Message from the Director
Recent research has highlighted the impacts of Australia’s ageing population. Our nation is faced with a future with a doubling of the number of people aged over 65, to one quarter of the population, by 2044-5.
This will increase pressure on future health spending, which is expected to almost double to 10.3 per cent of GDP by 2044-5, according to the Productivity Commission report (April 2005).
We’ve also seen new data on the impacts of neurodegenerative disease from Access Economics (March 2005), revealing that dementia is expected to affect 200,000 Australians this year, about 1 per cent of the population, costing Australia $6.6 billion in direct and indirect costs. By 2050 the number of Australians with dementia is expected to exceed 730,000.
These figures reinforce the importance of the Preventative Health National Research Flagship’s big, hairy, audacious goal of improving the health and well-being of Australians through prevention and early detection.
In this second edition of UPDATE, we highlight some of the work being undertaken in the Flagship to tackle this challenge.
We share the details of another of our Flagship projects dealing with early detection of colorectal, or bowel, cancer, the second most deadly cancer for Australians. Australia and New Zealand are amongst the five countries in the world with the highest incidence of this cancer.
And, as promised, we look at the impact of the atmospheric environment (air quality) on our health, how we can better monitor it and how atmospheric environment forecasting might improve our quality of life.
We’re in exciting times in the Preventative Health Flagship. Flagship Business Manager Dr Lynne Cobiac and I are involved in helping to organise an international conference on Nutrigenomics to be held in Singapore in December this year, by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), Southeast Asia Region.
The CSIRO will have a major presence at the conference, including possibly five speakers. Please see our article in this edition for more details.
Finally, in this edition of UPDATE I want to share with you the story of one of our 100-strong research team - Dr Christine O’Keefe from the Flagship’s Privacy Preserving Analytics project - based at CSIRO Mathematical &Information Sciences.
Please feel free to contact us (include preventative health hot link) for further information about the Preventative Health Flagship. We also welcome your comments and suggestions on the newsletter.
Dr Richard Head
|IN THIS EDITION:|
The Preventative Health Flagship is a CSIRO initiative and part of the National Research Flagships program that aims to deliver scientific solutions to advance Australia's most important national objectives. One of the largest scientific initiatives ever mounted in Australia, it aligns closely with the Federal Government's National Research Priorities. The initiative brings together our national research resources to deliver breakthroughs in fields ranging from healthcare to light metals and the environment.
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