Kate Benson in the Sydney Morning Herald:
When Mehdi Jaffari was told his left carotid artery was so severely blocked he faced the risk of an imminent stroke, he turned the clock back to medieval times.
The 52-year-old counsellor, from Chatswood, bought more than 35 leeches from a Victorian farmer and applied them to his body daily. Within five days, a CT angiogram showed the artery had cleared, stunning staff at Royal North Shore Hospital and his family.
Leech therapy, first documented in Greece more than 4000 years ago, is not new in Sydney. More than 50 Richardsonianus australis leeches are kept in a tank at Liverpool Hospital for use on patients who have had skin grafts or severed digits because their saliva contains hirudin, a chemical that acts as a powerful anticoagulant and vasodilator.
More here. [Thanks to Susan Anthony.]
While the report said Australia had overtaken the United States as the fattest nation on the planet, recent U.S. studies show around 34 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.
And small Pacific nations top World Health Organization lists, with 94.5 percent of people in tiny Nauru classed as overweight, leading to chronic diabetes problems on the island.
The Federated States of Micronesia (91.1 percent), the Cook Islands (90.9 percent), Tonga (90.8 percent) and Niue (81.7 percent) rounded out the WHO top five, while the United States came in at number nine, with 74.1 percent overweight or obese.