News in brief: FreeStyle Libre 2 now on NDSS; Doctor wins $450k damages for malicious reviews; GLP-1 RA cardiovascular benefits from visceral fat loss?

Tuesday, 17 Aug 2021

FreeStyle Libre 2 now on NDSS

The FreeStyle Libre 2 flash glucose monitoring system is now available on the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) through the Continuous Glucose Monitoring Initiative for people with type 1 diabetes who meet the same eligibility criteria as for the Freestyle Libre device.

The new device has optional and customisable real-time alarms so that users can choose to be alerted of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia instantly, according to manufacturer Abbott.

Dr Grant Cracknell, a Brisbane endocrinologist, said the new features provided extra layer of reassurance for people with diabetes who have high rates of anxiety and depression related to glucose control

“It gives people assurance that if their alarm isn’t going off, their glucose levels should be in range, giving them the opportunity to check whenever they need,” he said.

GLP-1 RA cardiovascular benefits from visceral fat loss?

The GLP-1 receptor agonist liraglutide may help achieve weight loss with cardiovascular benefits through selective loss of  visceral fat, a US study shows.

In a 40 week study in 128 adults with overweight and obesity at high cardiovascular disease risk,  a once-daily dose of 3mg liraglutide resulted in significantly greater loss of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and ectopic (liver) fat compared with a placebo, when used as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity counselling.

Notably, the effects of liraglutide on fat reduction were two times greater for visceral adipose tissue and six times greater in the liver than seen on overall bodyweight, the authors noted

The findings supported a hypothesis that the cardiovascular disease risk reduction previously seen with the GLP-1 receptor agonist may be  mediated via modification of dysfunctional adiposity characterised by visceral and ectopic fat, they concluded in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Doctor wins $450k damages for malicious reviews

A Sydney surgeon has been awarded $450,000 in defamation damages from a woman who mounted a campaign of online abuse and false claims against him after he refused to operate on her.

Dr Warwick Nettle, a Bondi-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon, became the target of virulent abuse, falsehoods and negative reviews from Catherine Cruse in 2018 when he declined to perform surgery on her, based on warnings from another surgeon who had previously treated her.

Dr Nettle took his case to the Federal Court of Australia, which found that his behaviour was professionally appropriate and justifiable, and that the online comments and maliciously false reviews reviews had seriously damaged both his professional reputation and his thriving practice.

As a results of Ms Cruse posting negative reviews, Dr Nettle’s “Google rating” fell from 5 to 3.5 stars and his workload declined significantly.

The court awarded damages of $450,000 to Dr Nettle and granted permanent injunctions barring Ms Cruse from posting further false and defamatory material about him. However Ms Cruse did not take part in the proceedings and could not be traced, having apparently deliberately concealed her whereabouts, the court was told.

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