A patient with complex, advanced stage type 2 diabetes – where do we start?

14th September 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

We all have patients similar to this presenting to the practice not that infrequently. This is a real case that I came across just recently. Joanne was referred to the practice by a friend of a friend. She had just been discharged from the local hospital after three weeks following amputation of the lateral two toes of her right foot.

Immune check point inhibitors, microbiome and antibiotics

13th September, 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

Checkpoint molecules are key regulators of the immune system. These checkpoint molecules are expressed by T cells and are essential for maintenance of immunological tolerance by preventing the unimpeded activation of T cells. Tumour cells capitalise on these checkpoint molecules to protect themselves from attacks by the immune system. Checkpoint therapy block inhibitory checkpoints, restoring immune system function.…

Double diabetes means double jeopardy

10th September 2019. Dr Chee L Khoo

Have you noticed that most patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are not only small and petite but are often devoid of muscles when diagnosed. Insulin is a growth factor and without endogenous insulin, muscle growth is often stymied. We can’t push insulin therapy too hard because it will result in hypoglycaemia. Patients with T1D generally have normal lipids (especially triglycerides) and don’t have elements of metabolic syndrome.…

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.…

Psst! Wanna fly for free?

28th August 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Now, most of us travel overseas a lot. We have already seen how to get lounge access in a previous article. It would be nice if you could also use your frequent flyer points during peak season and fly for free as well. What if you don’t have enough points? Well, what if I can get you more points for free so that you can use those points to fly for free.…

Lipid guidelines – what’s new in 2019?

23rd August 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Remember we used to have lipid targets for patients with diabetes and patients with cardiovascular disease. Life was simple then. Just follow those numbers. Then the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines told us to throw away those targets and put everyone with cardiovascular (CV) risk above a certain figure on maximally tolerated statins. It’s kind of set and forget strategy.…

Adding ezetimibe to statins in the elderly – should we bother?

13th August 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Although persons 75 years or older account for 6% of the population, they account for more than 65%of all deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) (1). We know from numerous trials that intensive treatment to reduce lipid levels reduces CV events in patients after they have an ACS (2). What about elderly patients (>75 years old)?…

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.…

QT interval – how long is too long? Is it relevant in GP?

26th July 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

All of us remember the association of QT prolongation with the dramatic Torsale de Pointes (TdP) and sudden cardiac death (SCD) from medical school. Fortunately, both are relatively rare in general practice and we really don’t need to know much about QT prolongation in general practice as it belongs to the hospital people and the cardiologists, right?…