Canberra, Oct 30 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The life expectancy of Australian males has hit its highest mark on record, data has revealed.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Tuesday said that the male life expectancy has grown 1.5 years in the last decade to a record-high 80.5 years.
Female life expectancy was 84.6 years, meaning that the life expectancy gap between the two genders continue to shrink.
"Australian males can now expect to live 10.8 years longer than the world average of 69.7 years, according to the United Nations 2015-2020 estimates," ABS Demography Director Anthony Grubb said in a media release on Tuesday.
"Female life expectancy in 2017 remained the same as the previous year (84.6 years) and compares to the global average of 74.3 years," Grubb said.
Australia's male life expectancy has grown by 12.9 years since the 1960s compared to 10.4 years for females.
"Australians have a higher life expectancy than our counterparts in New Zealand, the United Kingdom (Britain) and the USA," Grubb said.
Victoria had the highest life expectancy among the six Australian states and two territories at 81.3 years followed by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) while the reverse was true for females with the ACT leading the way.
The Northern Territory, the smallest of Australia's states and territories by population, had the shortest life expectancy among males and females at 75.9 and 79.4 years, respectively.
However, male life expectancy in the NT grew by 3.5 years in the last decade, comfortably the biggest growth by either gender in any state or territory.
San Francisco, Oct 29 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Researchers from China's Taiwan Province have found that a common drug used to treat type 2 diabetes may have an effect of lowering the possibility of developing a disease leading to blindness, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) said Sunday.
The San Francisco-based academy said the research, disclosed at AAO 2018, its 122nd Annual Meeting being held in Chicago from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, showed the diabetes patients who took the medication of metformin have a significant lower rate of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the leading causes of blindness in Americans aged 50 or above.
The researchers studied the statistics of the health insurance research database in Taiwan from a period spanning from 2001 and 2013 and found that 45,524 type 2 diabetes patients who took metformin have better chances to avoid suffering AMD that affects about 2.1 million people in the United States.
The study suggests that metformin, which controls the blood glucose level in type 2 diabetes patients, can suppress inflammation and oxidative stress, the two major factors that play a key role in the development of both diabetes and AMD.
"Our study is the first to reveal the protective effect of metformin on the development of AMD," said lead investigator Yu-Yen Chen.
The AAO is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, with a global community of 32,000 medical doctors, which is committed to advocating the protection of sight and empowering lives by promoting eye care and health for the public.
Sydney, Oct 25 (Xinhua/UNB) -- University of Queensland researchers said on Thursday that they have developed new breast cancer pathology guidelines that will give patients a better chance of fighting the major disease.
The guidelines allow medical specialists to identify which patients have more aggressive forms of breast cancer, which means they can be classified appropriately and their treatment can be tailored, according to a university statement.
The team which developed the guidelines specifically investigated metaplastic breast carcinomas (MBC), a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer, said the university's Amy McCart Reed.
"For patients with MBC, we found the number of different cell types in the tumors had a significant impact on survival," she said.
"The more diverse the tumor, the worse the patient's prognosis is likely to be.
"Among patients with a bad tumor type like MBC, there are some who will do well and some will do poorly, and this new metric helps us to categorize this."
The World Health Organization (WHO) will also incorporate the guidelines into the fifth edition of its major "Blue book" and "Classification of Tumours of the Breast" from next year, said the university.
"Previously, the WHO guidelines have described the types of cancer cells within tumors without telling pathologists specifically what and how much to record," said McCart Reed, whose team's study was reported in The Journal of Pathology medical publication.
"Now we can advise pathologists to record the number of types of morphologies within tumors because a more accurate prognosis can be made based on this."
Honolulu, Oct 25 (AP/UNB) — Hawaii scientists found two tiny baby octopuses floating on plastic trash they were cleaning up as they monitored coral reefs.
Marine ecologist Sallie Beavers of Kaloko-Honokohau (KAH-loh-koh Hoh-noh-KOH-how) National Historical Park said Wednesday that the octopuses were the size of green peas.
She believes they were likely either day octopus or night octopus, both species commonly found off Hawaii. They can grow to 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) as adults, with arm spans of 3 feet (1 meter.)
Scientists found them months ago, but the U.S. Interior Department highlighted them this week when it posted a photo of one on social media.
Octopus babies hide under logs and other floating debris until they're a few months old. Beavers says one squirted a tiny bit of ink when they released it in the ocean.
Johannesburg, Oct 16 (AP/UNB) — The World Health Organization says it is convening a meeting on Wednesday to determine whether Congo's latest Ebola outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
Aid organizations have expressed alarm as the rate of new cases has more than doubled this month and community resistance to Ebola containment efforts in some cases has turned violent.
This is Congo's tenth Ebola outbreak but this is the first time the deadly virus has appeared in the far northeast, an area of active rebel attacks that health workers have compared to a war zone.
WHO recently said the risk of regional spread was "very high" as confirmed cases were reported close to the heavily traveled border with Uganda.
Congo's health ministry says there are now 179 confirmed cases, including 104 deaths.