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Tobacco industry's smoke screen blown

By | August 2, 2000

An elaborate dirty tricks campaign orchestrated by the tobacco industry to sabotage WHO anti-tobacco efforts is revealed in a WHO report released today.

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Acute mountain sickness

August 1, 2000

NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Several medications have been used to alleviate or prevent acute mountain sickness (AMS), but their relative efficacies are unknown. Dumont and colleagues reviewed 33 randomized placebo-controlled trials of drugs used to prevent AMS. The mean incidence of AMS above 4,000 meters was 67% in subjects taking a placebo; the rate of ascent correlated with incidence, whereas altitude and mode of ascent did not. Dexamethasone (8-16 mg) and acetazolamide (750 mg) prevente

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NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Blood screening, immunization, and infection control policies have made hospital outbreaks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection rare; in contrast, community outbreaks of HBV remain problematic. Using molecular epidemiology, Webster and colleagues traced the origin and spread of HBV infection acquired by a woman who attended a London clinic for autohemotherapy. Sixteen percent of the 352 clinic patients 4 staff members tested had serologic evidence of HBV infectio

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NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Cardiovascular outcomes have not been compared in hypertensive patients treated with calcium channel blockers and in patients treated with older drugs. Hansson and colleagues compared morbidity and mortality in 5,410 hypertensive patients randomized to diltiazem treatment and in 5,471 hypertensive patients randomized to treatment with diuretics, beta-blockers, or both. Both regimens effectively lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure, although diuretics an

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Etanercept and psoriasis

August 1, 2000

NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have increased concentrations of tumor necrosis factor in their skin lesions and joints. Mease and colleagues studied psoriasis disease activity in 30 patients randomized to receive etanercept, an inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor, and in 30 patients randomized to receive placebo. After 12 weeks of treatment, the median improvements in psoriasis area and severity index scores were 46.2% for etanercept-treated patie

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Oestrogen receptor gene

August 1, 2000

NEW YORK, July 31 (Praxis Press) Accumulating evidence suggests that oestrogen protects against cardiovascular disease, and oestrogen receptors have been localized to several cell types implicated in the pathogenesis of this disease. Kunnas and colleagues studied a dinucleotide repeat of the alpha oestrogen receptor gene in 119 Finnish men who died suddenly. Men with more repeats within the regulatory region of the gene on both alleles had a significantly greater number of severely narrowed coro

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A baffling protein

By | July 31, 2000

BAF, a cellular protein that prevents virus autointegration, may normally function in chromosome condensation.

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Breast cancer linked to chromatin remodeling

By | July 31, 2000

BRCA1 is a tumor-suppressor gene linked to familial breast and ovarian cancers. In the July 21 Cell, Bochar et al. find that the predominant BRCA1-containing complex in human cells is the SWI/SNF-related chromatin remodeling complex (Cell 2000, 102:257-265). This may explain the multitude of properties that have been ascribed to BRCA1, including effects on transcription, DNA repair, and cell-cycle checkpoints. Mutations in SNF5, another subunit of the SWI/SNF complex, have been shown to result i

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NEW YORK, July 26 (Praxis Press) Depression and anxiety are associated with diminished health status and increased health care utilization, but whether patients with these disorders are less likely than other patients to comply with medical treatment recommendations is unclear. DiMatteo and colleagues performed an analysis of studies catalogued on MEDLINE and PsychLit from January 1, 1968, through March 31, 1998 and included studies if they measured patient compliance and depression or anxiety.

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Diabetes and exercise

July 31, 2000

NEW YORK, July 26 (Praxis Press) Regular physical activity is independently associated with a reduction in the risk of major coronary heart disease (CHD) events and type 2 diabetes. However, few prospective studies have investigated the role of insulin as a mediating factor in the relationship between physical activity and CHD or type 2 diabetes. To examine this relationship, Wannamethee and colleagues performed a prospective study of 5,159 men aged 40 to 59 years with no history of CHD, type 2

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