Thursday, December 22, 2016
Less education is associated with more heart attacks, a lot more
This is just the old trilogy of IQ, wealth and health. IQ is the key variable. Smart people are better at getting rich and going far in education. High IQ also appears to be in most cases just one indication of general biological fitness. The brain is just another part of the body, after all. So a well functioning brain and a well functioning heart tend to go together
The lower your education the more vulnerable you are to suffering a heart attack or stroke, according to a new Australian study.
The Sax Institute's 45 and Up Study, published in the International Journal for Equity in Health, found Australians who leave school without a school certificate are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack as those with a university degree.
Lead researcher Dr Rosemary Korda says the findings of the five-year longitudinal study are "disturbing but clear".
Researchers investigated the links between education and cardiovascular disease events - such as heart attack or stroke - by following more than 276,000 men an women in NSW aged over 45.
In adults aged 45-64 years, heart attack rates among those with no educational qualifications were more than double those with a degree.
The risk was about two-thirds or 70 per cent higher for those with some tertiary qualification, such as that obtained for a trade, just not a university degree.
The study shows just how much cardiovascular disease can be prevented. Dr Korda says a similar pattern of inequality existed between household income and cardiovascular disease events.
She also noted there are lots of complexities to this study and their findings could reflect a number of factors.
"It could reflect different lifestyle behaviours, so different levels of smoking in the community, different levels of obesity, so those risk factors that increase your risk of heart attack of stroke."
"It could reflect healthcare, so we know that there could be differences in the uptake of the use of preventative medication to reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke."
What these differences in cardiovascular disease rates between more and less disadvantaged groups show is just how much cardiovascular disease in the population can be prevented, said Dr Korda.
"With better education often you have better income and more resources to draw on so you are in a better position."
Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia, with an average of one Australian dying every 27 minutes.
Heart Foundation NSW CEO Kerry Doyle says this research provides further opportunity to "unpack" the specific relationship between educational achievement and cardiovascular disease risk.
"We know that good education impacts long-term health by influencing what type of job you have, where you live and what food choices you make," Ms Doyle said.
Australia avoids rating downgrade after revised forecasts
AUSTRALIA avoided a feared downgrade of its coveted AAA credit rating Monday after sticking to its ambition of returning the budget to surplus in 2020-21 despite softer growth forecasts.
The country’s resources-driven economy has enjoyed more than 20 years of growth but it is now transitioning out of an unprecedented mining investment boom, and the going has been bumpy with revenues under pressure.
In a midyear fiscal update, the government revised down the nation’s cash deficit of $37.1 billion in 2016-17 — as announced in the May budget — to $36.5 million.
But it forecast widening deficits in the next three years before a return to surplus. “The government’s plan to restore the budget to balance remains on track,” Treasurer Scott Morrison said in a statement.
Higher iron ore and coal prices would help support tax revenues, the update said, but this would be more than offset by weaker wages and non-mining company profits.
After knife-edge elections last year, Standard and Poor’s warned Australia’s rating could be lowered if Canberra did not improve its budget balances and deliver on surplus plans.
It said Monday the update had no immediate effect on its stance but warned the “government’s worsening forecast fiscal position ... further pressures the rating”.
S&P said it would continue to monitor the situation and was “pessimistic about the government’s ability to close existing budget deficits and return to surplus by the year ending June 30, 2021”.
Australia is one of only a handful of countries to hold the top AAA rating from all three major agencies, having dodged a recession during the global financial crisis.
Moody’s and Fitch also kept their ratings on hold, for now. Generally, losing the AAA means the nation would be forced to pay higher interest on its debt.
Steve Price on a year of controversies and giving a voice to ‘white, old men’
STEVE Price doesn’t mean to annoy you. It’s just a perk of the job. “I do like upsetting people who have got thin skins, absolutely. I don’t set out to do it but when I do it it’s very enjoyable,” he tells news.com.au.
It means 2016 has been particularly entertaining for the controversial broadcaster. He’s found himself at the centre of several media storms in the past 12 months — from the now infamous stoush with The Guardian columnist Van Badham on ABC’s Q&A to countless fiery showdowns on Ten’s The Project. Uproar and calls to have him pulled from the air ensued.
While some personalities might read the cues and pipe down for a few months, limiting their appearances and softening their views, the 61-year-old chooses to go full-steam ahead. Because according to Price, it’s about time “white old men” were heard.
“Just because I’m a white old man doesn’t mean that my voice has to be silenced,” he says. “Old white men have as much right to have a view as anyone else. The left seem to think that unless you’re from some lobby group or some feminist action group or an LGBTQI community spokesgroup then that’s the only people who are allowed to have a view about things. Well, that’s not true.”
When that sentiment is repeated back to him — that old white men aren’t allowed to have a voice — he quickly clarifies.
“Well, I’m not because I’ve got a huge audience to express my opinion, I’m very lucky. (And) For a start, I don’t feel old,” he says.
And he’s right. His audience is massive. This week’s final radio survey for 2016 had Price’s nightly program at the top of its timeslot in Sydney and Melbourne for the year. The show is broadcast to 56 stations across the country on the Macquarie Media network and, for the past six years, he’s appeared twice a week on Channel Ten’s The Project.
On the popular current affairs program, it’s easy to pick what side Price will take when an issue is flung his way. His opinions on bikeways and politically correct seasonal greetings are enough to get under people’s skin. But it’s his thoughts on harder issues that see him hit the headlines — and rile the show’s hosts Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore.
“Carrie’s had a chip at me a couple of times this year. I must say they’re all very good people to work with, I don’t have a personal issue with any of them. We just have different political views. And I think that helps the show,” he says.
Despite the barbs he regularly throws at Aly on the air — their most recent biff earlier this month was about protesters who descended upon Parliament House — Price admits he has no issue with the host.
“No. It might look it, but no,” he says. “Waleed has very strong views about issues like offshore detention. He has strong views on climate change, he obviously has strong views about the Islamic community’s role in Australia. And my views happen to be completely opposite to that.”
Prior to his mainstream notoriety, Price became familiar with the burn of national backlash. In 2003, he came under fire for comments he made on his 2UE breakfast radio show about a gay couple on The Block. But even by the standards of a controversial broadcaster — he doesn’t see himself as a “shock jock”; he has a “journalistic background” — 2016 was a particularly rocky one.
On a personal level, he doesn’t care. When it comes to work and the controversies that follow, Price says he doesn’t let it affect his home life with wife of ten years, Wendy Black, who’s the Chief of Staff to industry minister Greg Hunt. “We just have to have a fence up between what I do and what she does,” he says. But he does get aggravated when commercial interests are targeted.
“The only time I get concerned is when people try this nonsensical idea of trying to convince advertisers not to advertise on your station — whether it’s radio or television — because of what someone’s said,” he says.
“There was a huge online campaign to try get advertisers not to advertise on Channel Ten — there was a massive campaign to get me thrown off The Project. Neither of those things happened. Not one advertiser cancelled. And not at any time did anyone who was running Channel Ten or The Project do anything but say to me, ‘We’ve got your back, nothing is furthest from our mind than having you on’. And in fact, in the middle of that Van Badham thing, it was contract time for next year and we re-signed.”
Four months after “that Van Badham thing”, Price admits he “should’ve seen it coming”.
He explains the finer details that happened behind the scenes that Monday night in July: He was told Derryn Hinch would also be a panellist. He wasn’t told Van Badham — “who I’d never heard of, quite honestly” — would be a guest. He says he was called that day by a producer who warned him there would be a “question about the Eddie McGuire, Caroline Wilson blow-up in regard to drowning and women and domestic violence” and to have an answer ready to roll out.
“What they do then, of course, is they then plant that question with someone in the audience,” he says. “The bloke who asks the question, he had a tragic story about how his sister had been a victim of domestic violence and been murdered by her partner.
“That question was aimed directly at me right at the end of the program, hoping they would get some reaction from me. I already had a view about Eddie and Caroline. I said, ‘Look we should’ve all just moved on’. And I didn’t recognise the tragedy of this guy’s story — and that’s what became the story, because Van Badham just started shouting at me.”
In the moment, Price told Van Badham: “I think you’re just being hysterical.”
His reply added fuel to the fire and left the audience in shock as they gasped.
Still, there’s only one thing about the moment he would change.
“The only thing I regret about that whole incident is I should’ve acknowledged the bloke’s loss of his sister at the beginning of my answer — that’s the only thing I regret,” he says. “And the only reason I didn’t was I’d already formulated in my mind what my answer to the question about McGuire and Wilson was going to be. So when you’re sitting there on live television in front of an audience ... I mean, I didn’t really hear clearly, as well as what I should have. I didn’t understand exactly what he was saying and I should’ve. I don’t regret using the word ‘hysterical’ because I had no knowledge that it had some historical meaning which people then started quoting at me the next day.”
So, is it too easy for Price to be set up as the bad guy?
“There’s not too much sympathy for me — I think most people realise I’m able to stand up for myself,” he replies when asked if he’s become a human punching bag. “If you have views that are a little bit awkward for people to hear, views that people feel are a little bit too aggressive, it’s easy to portray that person as the bad person. I don’t feel like the bad guy at all, I just stick up for myself. I have consistent views about things and if I need to express them I will.”
And it’s what makes him and Macquarie Media — the network behind his current radio show — money.
In 2002, as the breakfast host on Sydney’s 2UE, he was reportedly sitting on $1 million a year. He refuses to comment on his current salary.
“2GB’s a commercial radio station which survives on provocative content and strong opinions. And it only survives if it rates in the ratings. So what I will say about my show is that we rate number one. We make money and management leaves you alone,” he says.
Given that simple strategy to success, some may question the authenticity of the broadcaster’s “provocative” views. But Price denies ever hamming it up just to engage and enrage audiences.
“I’ve never ever confected an opinion about anything,” he assures. “If you don’t genuinely believe in what you’re saying, it’ll catch up with you. If you’re doing four hours of radio a night five days a week then you have to be true to your opinions. Otherwise, you will stumble at some point and say something and the audience will pick you up and say, ‘Hang on, last year you said this and now you’re saying that’. And saying you’ve just changed your mind is just not good enough.
“If it’s a strong view about something, you’ve got to genuinely hold it.”
Even if it gets you in trouble.
Crazy Queensland cop who pulled his gun on a speeding driver and hurled abuse at him is found guilty of assault
He has been stood down since being charged
A police officer who was filmed pulling his gun on a speeding driver before threatening to 'put a f***ing hole in you' has been found guilty of criminal charges.
Senior constable Stephen Flanagan, 46, was convicted of assault and deprivation of liberty at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Flanagan tried to argue that he believed motorist Lee Povey was armed and driving a stolen vehicle during the traffic stop in May last year, but his claims were dismissed.
Magistrate Paul Kluck said Flanagan's version of events was 'implausible', adding 'I don’t accept his evidence as being credible.'
Flanagan's defense team produced a psychological report that showed he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder at the time, the Courier Mail reports.
The officer is scheduled to reappear in court in the new year for sentencing once a full mental health report has been prepared.
Earlier in the trial the court was shown footage of the incident taken from Flanagan's own dashcam and filmed by Anna Cruse, Mr Povey's partner, on her phone.
In the video, Flanagan can be seen pulling up alongside Mr Povey's silver ute, blaring his horn but without using his sirens or lights.
As Mr Povey keeps driving, Flanagan is heard saying: 'F***ing pull over now c***.'
The footage then shows the police car pulled over as Flanagan gets out and walks in front of the vehicle with his sidearm drawn and pointed at Povey. 'Get out of your f***ing car, right now' he can be heard shouting.
Speaking to the court, Mr Povey said: 'I took my seatbelt off, looked over and there he was. 'He said "do you know I could put a f***ing hole in you?"'
Mr Povey said he felt the firearm pressed in between his shoulder blades as he was handcuffed.
The driver told the court he was compliant the whole time and didn't try to argue with the officer.
Mr Povey said he seen a police car driving behind him with no flashing lights or sirens and thought the officer was trying to overtake him.
Miss Cruse added: 'I've been pulled over by the police a couple of times before for speeding ... never been pulled over with a gun before - I thought it was some sick prank that someone had set up.'
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here