The Internet Medical Journal This Week in Medicine 16-Jan-1998Ethics hit the forefront of medicine with the announcement of Richard Seed, PhD, a physicist fromChicago, that he planned to clone human beings ( http://www.bmj.com/archive/7126/7126n1.htm). Therecent skiing deaths of Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy renewed calls for the mandatory use of skihelmets ( http://www.bmj.com/archive/7126/7126n12.htm). For inquiring minds (and bodies), a recentsurvey found that Americans have sex on average once a week( http://www.yahoo.com/headlines/980114/health/stories/sex_1.html).Now for the pearls of the week...Polyunsaturated fats seem to increase the risk of breast cancer, whereas monounsaturated fatsactually decrease the risk. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive and canola oils. Arch Intern Med1998 158:0041.Breast feeding should be delayed for at least one hour after vigorous exercise; immediately afterexercise the antibodies in breast milk fall to low levels, but return to normal within an hour. MedSci Sports Exercise 1997 029:1596.Dextromethorphan was found to cause birth defects in an animal study; it is recommended thatpregnant women not take this popular over-the-counter cough medicine. Ped Research 1998 043:0001.The use of quilts as bedding material for infants under age 1 yr old was associated with anincrease in the rate of Sudden Infant Death (SIDS). BMJ 1998 316:0125.In a study of 5,601 patients scheduled for elective surgery, of whom all received a second opinion,it was determined that 9% of the patients did not need the surgery. Implication- a second opinionmay help you avoid unnecessary surgery. J Am Coll Surgeons 1997 185:0451.Physicians supporting the use of calcium channel blockers were more likely to have financialrelationships with the pharmaceutical companies making calcium channel blockers than thosephysicians who supported a neutral or negative view. NEJM 1998 338:0101.The regular (at least weekly) use of acetaminophen was associated with a decreased risk forovarian cancer in this study of 1086 women over a 5 year period. Lancet 1998 351:0104.Medical information on the internet is often faulty. In this study, 41 sites were found discussingthe management of fever in children, and of those, only 4 sites closely adhered to standardpublished guidelines. BMJ 1997 314:1875.Supplementation with 27 grams of rhubarb fiber a day lowered total cholesterol by 8% and LDLcholesterol by 9% in this study of 10 men. J Am Coll Nutr 1997 016:0600.The Chinese herbal treatment for menopausal symptoms, Dong Quai, is no better than placebo.It reduced symptoms by 25 - 30 %, comparable to placebo. In contrast, treatment with estrogenis from 60 - 100 % effective. Fertility & Sterility 1997 068:0981.Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant that kills human cancer cells in-vitro. The ingredient isepigallocatechin-3-gallate. J Nat Cancer Inst 1997 089:1881.
Drinking alcohol outside of mealtimes increased the risk of liver cirrhosis by 5 times; thosedrinking multiple types of alcohol (corrected for total intake of EtOH) had 23 times the risk forcirrhosis. Gut 1997 041:0845.Children who own and wear cigarette promotional items such as T-shirts, hats, or jackets were 4times more likely to smoke than those who dont own such items. Youngsters with friends and/orfamily who smoked were 30 times more likely to smoke themselves. Arch Ped Adol Med 1997 151:1189.Amiodarone, taken for one week before heart surgery, can decrease the post operative rate ofatrial fibrillation. NEJM 1997 337:1785.The symptoms of fever, joint pain, and night sweats help identify people with recent HIVinfections. JAMA 1997 278:2085.Postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy protected against age related memory loss in thisstudy of 288 women. Neurology 1997 049:1491.The use of an electric blanket early in pregnancy increased the risk of miscarriage in this study of2967 women. Epidemiol 1998 009:0036.Among male smokers, those who drank chlorinated water versus those who dranknonchlorinated water, for 40 or more years, where more likely to develop bladder and rectalcancers. Epidemiol 1998 009:0021, 0029.Physician behaviors likely to result in fewer lawsuits: longer visits, asking pts opinions, checkingunderstanding, using connectors ("go on, tell me more"), humor, and orientation (e.g. "hereswhat we will do today...). JAMA 1997 277:0553.People taking long half-life benzodiazepines had an approximately 45% increased risk of havinga motor vehicle accident; those taking short half-life benzodiazepines did not have an elevatedrisk. JAMA 1997 278:0027.A low-fat, high carbohydrate diet was more effective than a fixed energy maintenance diet inkeeping the weight off after dieting; energy intake from fat was 20% to 25% and fromcarbohydrates at least 55% . BMJ 1997 314:0029.Vitamin E at 2,000 IU per day given to people with Alzheimers disease delayed progression of thedisease. NEJM 1997 336:1216.Inhaled ipratropium bromide (ATROVENT) has been shown to help resolve persistent postviralinfection coughs. Resp Med 1992 086:0425.Heparin therapy along with aspirin is more effective in the treatment of unstable angina if it isdiscontinued prior to 48 hours as compared with a similar group of patients treated for longerthan 48 hours. The etiology for this finding is unclear. Am J Cardiol 1997 079:0259.In this study of 3,187 women aged 25 to 44, the risk of a delayed conception (waiting 9 1/2 monthsor longer) was increased among heavy ( over 500 mg/d) consumers of caffeine. Am J Epidemiol 1997145:0324.When asked about the risks of antiobesity drugs, This assistant professor at Harvard stated that"If appropriately obese persons (those with a body mass index greater than 27) are treated, therisk-benefit ratio favors drug therapy." Consultant 1997 037:1168.Only 1 of 4 lens types is recommended for kids who wear glasses--those made from polycarbonateplastic. JAMA 1997 .