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Research round-up

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White-coat normotension

June 20, 2000

NEW YORK, June 20 (Praxis Press) Differences between ambulatory (ABP) and office blood pressure (OBP) measurements have brought attention to the problem of misdiagnoses. Although studies have focused on white-coat hypertension (elevated OBP with normal ABP means), few studies have examined "white-coat normotension" (WCN; normal OBP with elevated ABP means). To quantitate the difference in blood pressure readings in WCN and to characterize the prevalence of WCN, Selenta and colleagues monitored 3

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NEW YORK, June 20 (Praxis Press) Women are underdiagnosed and undertreated for heart disease and stroke and their risk factors. To assess knowledge and perceptions of risks of heart disease and stroke among women in the United States, Mosca and colleagues conducted telephone surveys of US households, including an oversample of African American and Hispanic women. Out of 1000 participants, 25 years and older, only 8% of the respondents identified heart disease and stroke as their greatest health

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NEW YORK, June 19 (Praxis Press) Drugs such as aspirin, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are thought to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but whether these drugs decrease the risk of other types of cancers is unknown. A new study showed that people taking NSAIDs were at reduced risk of esophageal, gastric, colon, and rectal cancers (see paper). But no effect was apparent on the risk of bladder, breast, and lung cancer and the risk of prostatic and pancreatic cancer was inc

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DCIS and Mammography

June 19, 2000

NEW YORK, June 19 (Praxis Press) Most women accept that a false positive result can occur with screening mammography. Few, however, have heard of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a potentially non-progressive cancer also detected by screening mammography. Schwartz and colleagues surveyed 479 women, aged 18-97 years, without a history of breast cancer (see paper). They found that women are aware of the possibility of false positive results and view them as an acceptab

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NSAIDs and GI cancer

June 19, 2000

NEW YORK, June 19 (Praxis Press) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer, but their effects on other cancers are unclear. Langman and colleagues studied cases collected in the United Kingdom's general practice research database to study the effect of anti-inflammatory drugs on the risk of developing common cancers (see paper). The study group consisted of patients taking NSAIDs who were diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers (es

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Smoking cessation

June 19, 2000

NEW YORK, June 19 (Praxis Press) Compared to standard programs, self-help programs tailored to the needs of specific smokers show promise in helping smokers to quit. Shiffman and colleagues evaluated the efficacy of the Committed Quitters Program (CQP), a set of computer-tailored materials offered to purchasers of nicotine polacrilex gum, and compared its effectiveness to a brief untailored user's guide and audiotape in helping smokers quit smoking. The 3627 study participants were recruited fro

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Cataracts and genetics

June 16, 2000

NEW YORK, June 16 (Praxis Press) Cataracts are a common age-related condition, but whether they can be inherited from other family members is unknown. A new study shows that genetics do play a role in cataract formation, especially in the degree of cataract severity. Environmental factors also play a role, but to a lesser extent. Genetic factors are important in cataract formation, even though they are a normal part of the ageing process.

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Exercise and stroke

June 15, 2000

NEW YORK, June 15 (Praxis Press) Increased physical activity is associated with reduction in risk of coronary heart disease. The role of physical activity in the prevention of stroke, however, is less well established. To examine the association between physical activity and risk of total stroke and stroke subtypes in women, investigators examined 72,488 women aged 40 to 65 years without cardiovascular disease or cancer at the beginning of the study in 1986. The women completed detailed physical

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NEW YORK, June 15 (Praxis Press) The risk of sudden death is a possible consequence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy but has not been quantified for most patients with this disease. Spirito and colleagues examined the relationship between the magnitude of left ventricular hypertrophy and mortality in 480 consecutive patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (see abstract). They found that the risk of sudden death increased progressively and in direct relation to wall thickness. Young patients with

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Polypectomy surveillance

June 15, 2000

NEW YORK, June 15 (Praxis Press) Whether colonoscopy is more effective than barium enema for the detection of adenomas in polypectomy patients is unclear. Winawer and colleagues examined 580 polypectomy patients and performed 862 paired colonoscopies and barium-enema examinations (see abstract). One or more adenomas were detected in 28 percent of the colonoscopies. Out of those 28 percent, barium enemas were only positive for 39 percent of them. In addition, the rate of detection for barium enem

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