The George Institute’s top three most read research stories of 2019!

The George Institute’s three most read research stories of 2019!

2019 has certainly been significant for The George Institute for Global Health - not only did we celebrate our 20th year but we also delivered ground-breaking research that will have a positive impact on the health of people around the world.

Our top three stories of the year include a landmark study heralding the first new treatment for diabetic kidney disease in 20 years, the testing of an innovative new way to assess depression in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and a global survey showing which countries have the healthiest packaged foods.

1. New breakthrough treatment for kidney disease offers hope for hundreds of millions of people with diabetes worldwide

April saw the publication of the landmark CREDENCE trial showing that a new treatment for people with diabetes and kidney disease reduced kidney failure rates by a third.

The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also showed heart failure was reduced by over 30%, and major cardiovascular events by about 20%.

“This definitive trial result is a major medical breakthrough as people with diabetes and kidney disease are at extremely high risk of kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and death,” said Professor Vlado Perkovic, Dean of Medicine, UNSW.


2. New screening tool to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people combat depression

In July, our researchers showed that a culturally-appropriate depression screening tool for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples not only works, but should also be rolled out across the country.

The screening tool was evaluated 10 urban, rural and remote primary health services across Australia in partnership with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait primary care providers, and highlighted the importance of using culturally appropriate language to identify those with, or at risk of depression.

“This tool, which was developed in conjunction with Aboriginal communities and researchers, will help us address easily treated problems that often go undiagnosed,” said Professor Maree Hackett, Program Head, Mental Health.


3. British food crowned the healthiest in major global survey

In August, our survey of more than 400,000 food and drink products from 12 countries

found that when it comes to having the healthiest packaged foods and drinks, the UK tops the charts, with the USA in 2nd place and Australia coming in at 3rd.

The results, published in Obesity Reviews, found that when ranked using Australia’s Health Star Rating system, the UK had the highest average Health Star Rating of 2.83, followed by the US at 2.82 and Australia at 2.81. India got the lowest rating of just 2.27 followed by China at 2.43 with Chile coming third from bottom at 2.44.

“Our results show that some countries are doing a much better job than others. Unfortunately it’s the poorer nations that are least able to address the adverse health consequences that have the unhealthiest foods,” said the study’s lead author Elizabeth Dunford.