News in brief: Endocrine Society recognition for Prof Ken Ho; Costly burden of PCOS related care; Doctor suspended for testosterone prescribing

Tuesday, 21 Sep 2021

Profesor Ken Ho

Endocrine Society recognition for Prof Ken Ho

Professor Ken Ho has been honoured with the Outstanding Scholarly Physician Award in the Endocrine Society’s list of 2022 Laureate Award winners.

The annual award recognises outstanding contributions to the practice of clinical endocrinology in academic settings.

Professor Ho, Emeritus Professor at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, University of NSW and Honorary Consultant Endocrinologist, St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, is a globally recognised expert in pituitary and metabolic diseases.

Amongst his many contributions, he established a gold-standard diagnostic test for growth hormone (GH) deficiency and developed standards for the use of GH replacement therapy in adults.

He currently serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of the Endocrine Society and as a member of the Society’s Nominating Committee.

Costly burden of PCOS related care

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in the US cost an estimated $8 billion to diagnose and treat in 2020, according to an economic analysis published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The meta-analysis of 29 published studies and medical treatment cost data includes new estimates of the direct costs of treating long-term metabolic health conditions related to PCOS as well as pregnancy-related costs. The economic burden of this care is an estimated $4.3 billion a year as of 2020.

The analysis expands upon an earlier study, which found that diagnosing and treating common reproductive complications such as infertility, abnormal uterine bleeding and menstrual dysfunction related to PCOS cost an estimated $3.7 billion annually.

Researchers found the most expensive aspects of PCOS care were the treatment of long-term metabolic health conditions, including stroke and type 2 diabetes.

“Our results suggest that diagnosing PCOS sooner could help reduce the complications women experience and lower the overall cost of providing care,” the authors said.

The analysis did not include increased risks of endometrial, breast and ovarian cancer and mental health disorders that women with PCOS face due to limited availability of data.

Doctor suspended for testosterone prescribing

A Melbourne doctor has been found guilty of professional misconduct and suspended for a year for prescribing testosterone supplements to bodybuilders.

Dr Annie Bin Bin Zhao who trained in regenerative and anti-ageing medicine was reprimanded by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in a case brought by the Medical Board over her inappropriate prescribing of therapies including testosterone and clomiphene while working at a Box Hill Clinic.

The tribunal heard from expert witnesses who considered that her prescribing of drugs such as testosterone, anastrozole and HCG was not clinically justified, and that she failed to do adequate tests for hypogonadism or refer patients to an endocrinologist for monitoring.

The doctor told the tribunal that she believed her practice was in line with the training she had received with the American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine.

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