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Research round-up

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Endocarditis prophylaxis

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) The current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infectious endocarditis (IE), recommend echocardiography to determine IE risk in patients with suspected valvular lesions. Based on AHA clinical and echocardiography criteria, a retrospective survey classified patients who underwent outpatient transthoracic echocardiography into three risk categories (high, moderate, negligible) and evaluated to check if physician recomme

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Lowering CAD risk

July 10, 2000

NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) Lifestyle-related risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) include smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise and poor diet. Investigators from the Nurses Health Study, which involved 84 129 women, looked at the impact of these risk factors considered together. Each risk factor independently and significantly predicted risk, but many were correlated. Only 3% of the women studied had none of the risk factors, and their relative risk of coronary events was 0.

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MI treatment

July 10, 2000

Gender differences in treatment for myocardial infarction don't change outcome.

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NEW YORK, July 6 (Praxis Press) Oral contraceptive (OC) use has been inconsistently associated with several adverse cardiovascular events. To assess whether OC use is associated with ischemic stroke, a recent study analyzed results of 16 observational studies identified in a review of the published literature from January 1960 through November 1999. Summary risk estimates indicated that current use of OCs, including newer low-estrogen preparations, was associated with a significantly increased r

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New York, July 5, 2000 (Praxis Press) Aspirin's antithrombotic effects have made it part of the first-line therapy in the primary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD), and self-medication is widespread. The potential risk of serious bleeding, however, requires selective prescription. In a recent randomized-controlled trial, Meade et al determined that low-dose aspirin therapy of 75 mg daily did not significantly affect the risk of CAD in patients with higher blood pressure (over 145 mm H

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Cholesterol after CABG

July 6, 2000

New York, July 5, 2000 (Praxis Press) Studies show that a reduction in risk factors following coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) improves patients' prognosis. Such patient management was suboptimal in Britain before the publication of landmark trials demonstrating the benefit of cholesterol reduction. In a 10-year audit of secondary prevention in CABG patients, Irving et al show that despite significantly improved management of well-established risk factors, including cholesterol concentratio

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Daylight robbery

July 6, 2000

Gustafson et al report in the 29 June Nature that a marine ciliate, Mesodinium rubrum, steals organelles from ingested algae (Nature 2000, 405:1049-1052). Although M. rubrum does not appear to ingest other food, or to maintain permanent symbionts, the ingested organelles help the ciliate to keep photosynthesizing and to maintain a high level of cell division.

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Drawing blood

July 6, 2000

New York, July 5, 2000 (Praxis Press) Blood glucose testing, one of the most commonly performed procedures in clinical practice, traditionally uses lancet sampling drawn from a finger, a procedure experienced as painful by patients. Previous studies suggest the side of the thumb as a less painful site. In an open, prospective randomized trial published by the British Journal of Medicine (see paper), sampling from the earlobe, an equally accessible and vascular site, resulted in a less painful

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The definition of a virus as a DNA or RNA virus, based on its genetic material, is now on shaky ground thanks to the findings of Bresnahan and Shenk in the 30 June Science. Using a gene array, they find that particles of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a large DNA virus, contain four different mRNAs (Science 2000, 288:2373-2376). The mRNAs are derived from one immediate-early gene, two early genes and one late gene, but translation from at least one of the packaged mRNAs peaks before there is dete

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Long-term response to chronic hepatitis C treatment suggests complete recovery.

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