Research round-up

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HIV-drug abacavir linked to fatal hypersensitivity reactions.

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NEW YORK, August 4 (Praxis Press) Childhood abuse may play a role in the development of mood and anxiety disorders but whether the abuse results in a persistent sensitization or hyperactivity of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) systems is unclear. To investigate this relationship, Heim and colleagues, performed a prospective controlled study of 49 healthy women recruited into four study groups: no current major depression and no history of childhood abuse (controls); current major depres

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NEW YORK, August 3 (Praxis Press) Inhaled corticosteroids are effective in treating asthma but it is unclear whether their use can prevent death from asthma. Suissa and colleagues performed a population-based study of deaths from asthma in Saskatchewan, Canada, between 1975 and 1991, and found that regular use of inhaled corticosteroids might be associated with a decreased risk of death from asthma. Out of 30,569 subjects, 66 patients who died of asthma and who had complete records inhaled a mea

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Dyspeptic patients

August 8, 2000

NEW YORK, August 7 (Praxis Press) Dyspepsia encompasses a range of pathologies, and the most cost-effective approach for assessing and managing this symptom is debated. Lassen and colleagues compared the safety and efficacy of a Helicobacter pylori test-and-eradicate strategy with a prompt endoscopy strategy in 500 patients presenting with dyspepsia. One year after treatment, there were no differences between the two groups in the frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms, quality of life, number o

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NEW YORK, August 3 (Praxis Press) Endoscopic treatments, such as epinephrine injections and thermocoagulation, are widely used to treat bleeding peptic ulcers, but bleeding recurs in 15 to 20% of these patients. To test whether omeprazole would reduce the recurrence of peptic ulcer bleeding, Lau and colleagues randomized 240 patients whose bleeding had been controlled endoscopically to receive either an intravenous infusion of high-dose omeprazole or a placebo for three days after treatment. The

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Pravastatin and stroke

August 8, 2000

Pravastatin may lower stroke risk in patients with coronary artery disease.

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Smoking cessation

August 8, 2000

NEW YORK, August 7 (Praxis Press) By 1950, about 80% of men and 40% of women in the United Kingdom smoked, but decades would pass before the health effects of long-term smoking and smoking cessation could be quantified. Peto and colleagues studied national trends in smoking prevalence and lung cancer rates. The epidemiologic study included hospitalized patients with and without lung cancer in 1950 and 1990; it also included 1,465 case-control pairs from the 1950 study and 982 cases and 3,185 con

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NEW YORK, August 3 (Praxis Press) The antipsychotic drug, Mellaril (thioridazine) has been shown to prolong patients' QTc interval, which can lead to a type of ventricular tachycardia known as torsades de pointes and potentially sudden death. At the request of the US Food and Drug administration (FDA), the manufacturer of the drug, Novartis, has now added a black box warning on the drug's label in order to alert physicians to its tendency of prolonging a patient's heartbeat interval. Now Mellari

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Thrombolytic therapy

August 8, 2000

NEW YORK, August 7 (Praxis Press) Thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction is equally effective when delivered as a bolus injection and as a 60 to 90-minute infusion; however, the relative safety of these two delivery methods is unknown. Using meta-analysis, Mehta and colleagues studied the risk of intracranial hemorrhage in patients receiving thrombolytic therapy as a bolus or as an infusion. The analysis included seven randomized trials with a total of 103,972 patients. The risk of

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Recommend a tuberculin skin test to patients returning from regions where tuberculosis is endemic.

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