A pharmacist's perspective on health and metabolic disease
Over the weekend, I presented on early detection of Metabolic disease at the NZ Hospital Pharmacists conference. I hadn’t been to this conference before and my accepted abstract on a literature review was fairly formal to fit in with their guidelines. The other presentations that I saw all discussed a practical research project, such assessing change after implementing a new workplace strategy such as a pharmacist in the emergency department or ward-based technicians. One project that really impressed me was the use of the classic memory card game to teach children more information about their long-term medication regimens.
But these were all quite formal presentations, so I wasn’t too sure what people would think when I opened my presentation with the phrase “How you every thought about how you are going to die?” (“…….because New Zealanders die of metabolic disease”). This is a phrase that impressed me when Grant Schofield opened a presentation last year and it does make people sit up and take notice!
My presentation was well attended. Although we only had time for one question immediately afterwards (“Where do Omega 6 oils fit into this?”) it was gratifying to see a number of people approach me afterwards either with more questions, or sorry that they had missed it (as there were four concurrent sessions).
So here are some of the highlights:
Most people were unaware that people with normal glucose tolerance are hyperinsulinaemic and hyperinsulinaemia leads to a number of health challenges.
I must remember to take a tape measure the next time I talk about waist to height ratio because almost everyone looked down and put their hands on their waists!
Suggesting that measuring LDL cholesterol is a pointless exercise can be seen as almost “heresy” in some circles, but this point was also taken well. Having really good graphics helps, so hopefully I gave all credit where it was due.
I only had ten minutes, so while it would have been nice to get into all sorts of new pieces of research such as APO-E, AMY1 and CREBRF genes, there just wasn’t the time.
Next time maybe….
Afterwards, I made some good connections with potential for future research and gave away a number of copies of Dr Kraft’s book. Someday I think that if we can influence one or two people, and they in turn influence one or two people, then maybe in a few years we might see fewer people coming through the health system with preventable diseases.