Research round-up

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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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Primary angioplasty

June 14, 2000

NEW YORK, June 14 (Praxis Press) Rapid reperfusion after acute myocardial infarction (MI) using thrombolytic therapy reduces mortality, but whether time to primary angioplasty is also related to mortality is unclear. Investigators examined 27,080 patients with acute MI associated with ST-segment elevation or left bundle-branch block who were treated with angioplasty (see paper). Cannon and colleagues found that the odds of in-hospital mortality increased from 41% to 62% when the time to primary

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Sunscreen and nevi

June 14, 2000

NEW YORK, June 14 (Praxis Press) Melanocytic nevi originate in childhood and are mainly caused by exposure to the sun. High nevus density is a risk factor for cutaneous malignant melanoma. Investigators examined 309 white schoolchildren over a period of three years. The children's parents received directions to apply SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed sites when the child was expected to be in the sun for 30 minutes or more. Children in the sunscreen group developed fewer nevi than contr

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TB transmission

June 14, 2000

NEW YORK, June 14 (Praxis Press) Despite improvements in tuberculosis (TB) control during the past decade, Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission continues to occur in the United States. Chin and colleagues examined 221 TB case-patients in the San Francisco Bay area and found that seventy-three resulted from one strain of M tuberculosis. Thirty-nine of the 73 case-patients developed TB because they were not identified as contacts of source case-patients; 20 case-patients developed TB because of

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Sharing transcription duties

By | June 13, 2000

The transcription factors TFIID and SAGA are multi-subunit complexes involved in RNA polymerase II transcription. In the 8 June Nature Lee et al. use oligonucleotide arrays to analyze the relative requirement for the two complexes in yeast (Nature 2000, 405:701-704). Expression of about 70% of yeast genes requires one or more of the subunits shared between TFIID and SAGA, although individual subunits were required to varying extents, and no single subunit was required to the same extent as RNA p

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