Pancreatic cancer screening – why are we not there yet?

10th September, 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

Let’s face it. We all dread the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in any of our patients. There aren’t too many red flags that we can rely on to warn us that something is not right with this deep seated abdominal organ. Many of the symptoms are either subtle or non-specific like nausea, intermittent epigastric pain, nausea, weight loss, loss of appetite or back pain.…

Stopping statins in the “elderly” – are you sure?

12th August 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

We are often reminded to review statins prescriptions for primary prevention in the “elderly” because the evidence of benefit of statins in this group of patients is often “lacking”. Lacking doesn’t mean it there is no benefit. It may mean there are no or limited studies done in that age group.…

SGLT2i, GLP1-RA and CVOTs – sorting out the confusion

11th August 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

All new anti-diabetic agents since 2008 have been mandated by the US FDA to conduct cardiovascular outcome trials (CVOT) to ensure that they are safe, or in statistical jargon, “non-inferior” to placebo in relation to major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE). 15 CVOTs assessing DPP‐4 inhibitors, GLP‐1 receptor agonists and SGLT‐2 inhibitors have been completed by the end of 2018 with several others to come yet.…

Visceral fat deposits – not all fat deposits carry the same risk

28th July 2018, Dr Chee L Khoo

Visceral obesity is a better correlate with cardiometabolic risk, morbidity and mortality than general obesity. However, not all visceral fat depositions are the same. Some visceral fat depositions are worse than others in their contribution to atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic risk. The development of new imaging techniques has revolutionised the study of human body composition including measures of visceral fat.…

Curing Hepatitis C – are you the stumbling block?

28th July 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

It’s not often that we cure anyone of any disease. Hepatitis C is one of those exceptions to the rule. The World Health Organization (WHO) set the ambitious target of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030 [1]. Australia is one of the very first countries in the world to have made the direct acting anti-viral (DAA) agents available on the PBS.…

Early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer Disease – where are we at now?

12th July 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo 

When we think about Alzheimer disease (AD) we think about the two classes of abnormal structures, extracellular amyloid plaques and intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles. The soluble building blocks of these structures are amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides for plaques and tau for tangles. We have known about the association between Aβ and tau and AD for some time yet the only therapies available for patients with AD are the cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine which only target the symptoms of the disease.…

Montelukast and neuropsychiatric events in kids with asthma – is there a link?

10th June 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Children with moderate to severe asthma often needs more than the usual bronchodilators. Even the newer long acting beta agonists (LABA) or long acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMA) may not be enough to control the symptoms and reduce exacerbations and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are often needed. But we are careful to keep the total daily dose of corticosteroids to a minimum.…

Early weight loss following T2DM diagnosis – does the body remember?

8th June 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

The majority of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are diagnosed and managed in primary in the early years. We know from the UKPDS that early tight glycaemic control have enduring legacy effects on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We also know from the DiRECT trials that significant weight loss when the diabetes duration is short can lead to diabetes remission (1,2).…

New faster acting insulin – how fast is faster?

6th June 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

I thought short acting insulin was fast acting until fast acting insulin came along. Just when you think fast acting is truly fast acting, along came faster acting. So, what is this faster acting insulin aspart (fiasp)? Is it just another play with semantics? Or is it just another attempt in extending a patent?…

SGLT2 inhibitors and the diabetic kidney – friend or foe?

26th May 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Sometimes when a drug is contraindicated for patients with low eGFR, it may mean that usage of the drug may further damage the kidneys or increase the risk of certain adverse events. For example, the use of metformin in patients with eGFR <30 significantly increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Usage of lithium in patients with impaired renal function (low eGFR) may further damage the kidneys.…

GP: The centre of type 2 diabetes care – are you up to the task?

26th May 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

GPs in south west Dydney (SWS) are increasingly overwhelmed by the numbers of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) coming through the doors. We know that this cohort have a more “aggressive” disease and much higher and earlier complication rates. T2DM continues to be strongly associated with numerous cardiovascular and renal complications.…

Breakfast – how important is it?

23rd April, 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Somehow, it has been drummed into us, as doctors and consumers, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What does that even mean? As discerning scientists, we should seek to clarify what outcome measures they are referring to when they say, “the most important meal of the day”. We should also question what type of breakfast they are referring to and the subjects recruited in the studies.…