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Research round-up

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Statins and osteoporosis

June 26, 2000

NEW YORK, June 26 (Praxis Press) Experimental evidence has shown that the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may increase bone formation. Chan and colleagues undertook a population-based case-control study at six health-maintenance organizations in the USA to investigate the relationship between statin use and fracture risk among older women. They selected 928 women over 60 years of age who had non-pathological fracture of the hip, humerus, distal tibia, wrist, or vertebrae and compared their sta

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Stomach cancer risk

June 26, 2000

NEW YORK, June 26 (Praxis Press) Stomach cancer is thought to result from Helicobacter pylori infection, most common where socioeconomic conditions are poor. Leon and colleagues have found that mortality from stomach cancer among 65-74 year old men correlates with infant mortality in 27 countries and that the two factors are strongly related (see editorial, or paper). To perform the analysis the researchers obtained death rates from stomach cancer and other causes from a database of the World He

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Acute chest syndrome

June 23, 2000

NEW YORK, June 23 (Praxis Press) Acute chest syndrome is the leading cause of death among patients with sickle cell disease, but its cause is largely unknown. To determine the cause of acute chest syndrome and its response to therapy, Vichinsky and colleagues performed a study of 671 episodes of the acute chest syndrome in 538 patients with sickle cell disease. They found that among patients with sickle cell disease, acute chest syndrome is commonly precipitated by fat embolism and infection, es

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NEW YORK, June 22 (Praxis Press) Exercise training in patients with chronic heart failure improves work capacity, but effects on central hemodynamic function are not well established. Hambrecht and colleagues assigned 73 men younger than 70 with chronic heart failure to an exercise program or to a physically inactive control group (see paper). For the first 2 weeks of the program, participants exercised on a bicycle ergometer for 10 minutes four to six times a day under hospital supervision. For

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Anxiety treatment

June 21, 2000

NEW YORK, June 21 (Praxis Press) A common disorder known as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) lasts for a period of six months or more, but it is unknown whether the long term-use of a drug used to treat this disorder, venlafaxine XR (brand name Effexor), is safe or effective. A new study has found that venlafaxine XR is an effective for both the short- and long-term treatment of anxiety. Venlafaxine XR may be useful for the long-term treatment of GAD.

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Venlafaxine and GAD

June 21, 2000

NEW YORK, June 21 (Praxis Press) Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is associated with debilitating psychic and somatic symptoms. Previous studies have found that Venlafaxine extended-release (XR) capsules are effective in short-term treatment of patients with GAD, but without major depressive disorder (MDD). It is unclear, however, whether venlafaxine XR confers long-term benefits. Gelenberg and colleagues compared the 6-month efficacy and safety of a flexible dosage of venlafaxine XR in 251 o

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NEW YORK, June 20 (Praxis Press) A type of fat found in the blood, called triglyceride, has been linked to heart disease for years, but its exact role in heart disease is unclear compared to other risk factors, such as high cholesterol, A study has shown that in families with a disorder that raises levels of fats in the blood, people with elevated triglycerides are at increased risk of having a heart attack-even when their cholesterol levels are normal. High triglyceride levels may be an import

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NEW YORK, June 20 (Praxis Press) Criteria for deciding whether patients with hyperkalemia should be treated in a hospital or as an outpatient have not been well established. Charytan and colleagues examined the current practices regarding hospitalization of patients with hyperkalemia and evaluated the criteria for admission. To perform the study they evaluated 11 patients hospitalized for hyperkalemia and compared them to 12 patients with a similar degree of hyperkalemia who were treated as outp

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NEW YORK, June 20 (Praxis Press) Lyme disease typically presents with a skin lesion called erythema migrans (EM), which may be confused with cellulitis. The first-generation cephalosporin, cephalexin monohydrate, is effective for treating bacterial cellulitis but has not been recommended or studied for treating Lyme disease. In order to describe the outcome of patients with EM when treated with cephalexin, Nowakowski and colleagues evaluated 393 patients with Lyme disease, 11 of whom were treate

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MMSE test and Alzheimer

June 20, 2000

NEW YORK, June 20 (Praxis Press) The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a widely used diagnostic tool for dementia, but its use as a predictive indicator of Alzheimer disease (AD) has not been established. Tierney and colleagues performed a study to determine the accuracy of the MMSE in predicting emergent AD patients. They also evaluated the accuracy and usefulness of an abbreviated version of the MMSE. Researchers examined 183 participants with symptoms suggestive of memory impairment and

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