Melbourne Medical School Collected Works - Research Publications

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    Examining the impact of reimbursement on referral to bone density testing for older adults: 8 years of data from the Barwon Statistical Division, Australia
    Brennan, SL ; Kotowicz, MA ; Sarah, B ; Leslie, WD ; Ebeling, PR ; Metge, CJ ; Dobbins, AG ; Pasco, JA (SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2013-12-01)
    UNLABELLED: In 2007, Medicare Australia revised rei:mbursement guidelines for dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for Australians aged ≥70 years; we examined whether these changes increased DXA referrals in older adults. Proportions of DXA referrals doubled for men and tripled for women from 2003 to 2010; however, rates of utilization remained low. INTRODUCTION: On April 1, 2007 Medicare Australia revised reimbursement guidelines for DXA for Australians aged ≥70 year; changes that were intended to increase the proportion of older adults being tested. We examined whether changes to reimbursement increased DXA referrals in older adults, and whether any sex differences in referrals were observed in the Barwon Statistical Division. METHODS: Proportions of DXA referrals 2003-2010 based on the population at risk ascertained from Australian Census data and annual referral rates and rate ratios stratified by sex, year of DXA, and 5-year age groups. Persons aged ≥70 years referred to the major public health service provider for DXA clinical purposes (n = 6,096; 21 % men). RESULTS: DXA referrals. Proportions of DXA referrals for men doubled from 0.8 % (2003) to 1.8 % (2010) and tripled from 2.0 to 6.3 % for women (all p < 0.001). For 2003-2006, referral ratios of men/women ranged between 1:1.9 and 1:3.0 and for 2007-2010 were 1:2.3 to 1:3.4. Referral ratios <2007:≥2007 were 1:1.7 for men aged 70-79 years (p < 0.001), 1:1.2 for men aged 80-84 years (p = 0.06), and 1:1.3 for men 85+ years (p = 0.16). For women, the ratios <2007:≥2007 were 1:2.1 (70-79 years), 1.1.5 (80-84 years), and 1:1.4 (85+ years) (all p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: DXA referral ratios were 1:1.6 (men) and 1:1.8 (women) for 2007-2010 vs. 2003-2006; proportions of referrals doubled for men and tripled for women from 2003 to 2010. Overall, rates of DXA utilization remained low. Policy changes may have had minimal influence on referral; thus, ongoing evaluation over time is warranted.
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    Shining the Light on Sunshine: a systematic review of the influence of sun exposure on type 2 diabetes mellitus-related outcomes
    Shore-Lorenti, C ; Brennan, SL ; Sanders, KM ; Neale, RE ; Lucas, RM ; Ebeling, PR (WILEY, 2014-12-01)
    Prospective observational studies uniformly link vitamin D deficiency with the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), yet trials supplementing participants at risk of T2DM with vitamin D to reduce progression to T2DM have yielded inconsistent results. Inconsistencies between supplementation trials may be due to insufficient dosing or small sample sizes. Observational studies may also have reported spurious associations due to uncontrolled confounding by lifestyle or genetic factors. Alternatively, observational and intervention studies may not be entirely comparable. Observational studies show an association between higher vitamin D status, which is predominantly derived from sun exposure, and decreased incidence of T2DM. Trials intervene with vitamin D supplementation, and therefore may be missing alternate causes of the effect of sun exposure, as seen in observational studies. We propose that sun exposure may be the driving force behind the associations seen in observational studies; sun exposure may have additional benefits beyond increasing serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels. We performed an electronic literature search to identify articles that examined associations between sun exposure and T2DM and/or glucose metabolism. A best evidence synthesis was then conducted using outcomes from analyses deemed to have high methodological quality. Ten eligible full-text articles were identified, yielding 19 T2DM-related outcomes. The best evidence analysis considered 11 outcomes which were grouped into six outcome types: T2DM, fasting glucose, glucose tolerance, fasting insulin, insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. There was moderate evidence to support a role of recreational sun exposure in reducing odds of T2DM incidence. High-level evidence was lacking; evidence presented for other outcomes was of low or insufficient level. This review highlights significant gaps in research pertaining to sun exposure and T2DM-related outcomes. Further research is encouraged as we aim to identify novel preventative strategies for T2DM.