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Lauren Vogel | CMAJ | September 22, 2017

  • Health Canada announced a ban on partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of artificial trans fats that raise levels of low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol. The oils are used in baked goods and some packaged foods to extend shelf life, and companies have a year to find alternatives.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Canadians don’t meet guideline-recommended levels of exercise, compared to 1 in 5 people in 16 other countries, according to a Lancet study. Researchers estimated that 1 in 12 premature deaths worldwide would be prevented if everyone exercised the recommended 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  • Some doctors voiced support for proposed tax reforms that would eliminate certain benefits for incorporated physicians. Doctors for Tax Equity and Doctors for Fair Taxation questioned the fairness of tax benefits not available to all physicians or other Canadians.
  • Canadians shouldn’t judge people struggling with opioid addictions, urged federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor. A former social worker, Petitpas said the stigma of addiction only adds to the problem.
  • About a third of Canadians sleep fewer hours than recommended for optimal health, according to Statistics Canada. Sleep guidelines recommend 7–9 hours for people age 18–64 and 7–8 hours for people age 65 and above.
  • The new neonatal intensive care unit at BC Women’s Hospital will be the first in North America to offer care for newborns and mothers in the same room. Some rooms will have a hospital bed, breast-pumping station and reclining chair to allow mothers to recover from birth without leaving their children.
  • Ontario’s organ donation agency will study providing liver transplants to patients with alcohol-related liver disease without first requiring them to be sober for six months. Trillium Gift of Life Network plans to provide 100 transplants to such patients over three years, starting next August.
  • Reports of crystal meth use in Alberta nearly tripled over the past five years. According to Alberta Health Services, 7475 people who sought addiction treatment in 2016–17 said they used meth in the previous year, compared to 2522 in 2011–12.
  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority will pay two private homecare companies $15.7 million over the next three years to provide a new transitional homecare service. The program will provide up to 90 days of intensive at-home care to reduce time spent in hospital and prevent premature transfer to personal care homes.
  • New Brunswick will reintroduce a mental health docket to the provincial court that will divert people with mental illnesses who are convicted of crimes into medical care instead of serving jail time. In a previous pilot project, 85% of people did not reoffend.

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