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Research round-up

Most Recent

Nesiritide and CHF

July 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 27 (Praxis Press) Intravenous infusion of nesiritide, a brain (B-type) natriuretic peptide, has beneficial hemodynamic effects in patients with decompensated congestive heart failure (CHF). Colucci and colleagues assessed the clinical use of nesiritide in CHF patients to evaluate symptomatic endpoints. Patients hospitalized because of symptomatic CHF were enrolled in either an efficacy trial or a comparative trial. In the efficacy trial, 127 patients were randomly assigned to doub

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Prepackaged diet

July 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 27 (Praxis Press) Roughly 55% of persons aged 20 years or older in the United States are obese or overweight and weight reduction remains the first-line treatment strategy. Metz and colleagues assessed the long-term effects of two types of diet: a prepackaged, nutritionally complete, prepared meal plan and a usual-care diet (UCD), based on patient choices made from an approved list of substitutions. They compared the effects of the two diets on weight loss and cardiovascular risk

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Restless legs syndrome

July 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 26 (Praxis Press) Treatment for restless legs syndrome (RLS) is available, but most instances of RLS may remain undiagnosed. To determine the prevalence and health status correlates of symptoms of RLS in the general population Phillips and colleagues interviewed 1,803 men and women, 18 years and older as part of the 1996 Kentucky Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. They found that 3% of participants aged 18 to 29 years, 10% of those aged 30 to 79 years, and 19% of those 80

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Surgery for emphysema

July 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 27 (Praxis Press) Lung-volume-reduction surgery is thought to improve lung function, walking distance, and quality of life in patients with severe emphysema, but the benefits of this surgery over standard medical treatment have not been rigorously studied. To compare this procedure with continuing medical treatment Geddes and colleagues studied patients randomized to received surgery (n=24) or continued medical treatment (n=24). Of the patients, five in the surgical group and thre

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West Nile virus

July 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 28 (Praxis Press) In late August 1999, an outbreak of encephalitis caused by West Nile virus (WNV) was detected in New York City and in neighboring counties. As a result, in May 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines and provided funds to support mosquito-control and risk-reduction campaigns and surveillance in 19 states where WNV transmission had occurred or would likely occur. A new report by the CDC states that from May 6 through July 8, 20

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Folding both ways

July 27, 2000

A single RNA sequence can fold to form two structurally unrelated but catalytically active ribozymes.

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NEW YORK, 26 July (Praxis Press) The long-term viral and clinical patterns of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are unknown. Thomas and colleagues studied the incidence and determinants of viral clearance and clinical outcome in patients who acquired HCV by injecting drugs. Viral clearance occurred in about 10% of patients during a median follow-up of 8.8 years; clearance occurred more often in non-black patients and in non-HIV-infected patients. End-stage liver disease (ESLD) occurred in about

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NEW YORK, 26 July (Praxis Press) The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) lipodystrophy syndrome is characterized by fat redistribution and insulin resistance; this syndrome is particularly common among patients receiving combined antiretroviral therapy. Hadigan and colleagues studied the safety and efficacy of metformin in patients with the HIV lipodystrophy syndrome. Low-dose metformin treatment decreased body mass index and abdominal fat, improved hyperinsulinemia, and lowered diastolic blood p

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NEW YORK, 26 July (Praxis Press) The Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program (SHEP) revealed that treatment of isolated systolic hypertension decreases the incidence of both fatal and nonfatal strokes. Perry and colleagues, in an extension of SHEP, studied the effects of antihypertensive treatment on the incidence of specific types of stroke. Treatment decreased the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke within one year and the incidence of ischemic stroke within two years. Within the ischemic str

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The internet and STDs

July 27, 2000

NEW YORK, 26 July (Praxis Press) The internet is a new forum for anonymously finding sex partners. McFarlane and colleagues studied the risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among people who sought sex partners on the internet. More than 10% of clients undergoing HIV testing at a Denver clinic reported having sex with a partner they first met on the internet. Clients who sought sex online, relative to clients who didn't, were more likely to be men, to be homosexual, and to hav

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