More Pain Than Politics

The rough and tumble of Australia's impending federal election campaign may seem like a picnic to Labor Party leader Mark Latham compared to the acute pancreatitis that flattened him in Sydney last week. Centered in the stomach and seeming to bore through to the spine, the pain of the ailment is "among the most severe . . . it can be overwhelming," says Ross Smith, associate professor of surgery at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital. Lying down worsens the agony; only doubling over offers any relief until painkillers take effect.

Striking roughly 1 in...

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