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New York, June 28, 2000 (Praxis Press) Within a few weeks of initiating antihypertensive therapy, physicians often escalate the dosage because of insufficient result, or discontinue the medication because of its perceived adverse side effects. Some studies suggest that hypertension is not an asymptomatic condition and may be responsible for some adverse effects. In a parallel-group clinical trial with randomized participants starting with a 20-mg daily dosage of the angiotensin-converting enzy

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Chest pain and mortality

June 28, 2000

NEW YORK, June 28 (Praxis Press) Although chest pain is widely considered a key symptom of myocardial infarction (MI), not all patients with MI present with chest pain. To determine the frequency with which patients with MI present without chest pain and to examine their subsequent management and outcome, Canto and colleagues performed an observational study of patients with MI (see paper). They examined a total of 434,877 patients and evaluated mortality among MI patients without chest pain and

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New York, June 28, 2000 (Praxis Press) Interstitial lung disease is a major cause of death in patients with systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). Studies have not precisely evaluated the association between alveolitis and lung fibrosis, and the subsequent deterioration of pulmonary function. A recent retrospective cohort study compared the outcomes of three patient groups with scleroderma lung disease: patients without alveolitis, and alveolitis patients with and without cyclophosphamide treatment a

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GERD treatment

June 28, 2000

New York, June 28, 2000 (Praxis Press) Clinical studies showing the superiority of proton pump inhibitors over histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) in the treatment of severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have not been extended to patients with the milder nonerosive form of the condition, which accounts for the majority of GERD cases. According to a new study, the proton pump inhibitor lansoprazole is more effective than the H2RA ranitidine or a placebo for milder (nonerosive) form

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PCI and elderly patients

June 28, 2000

New York, June 28, 2000 (Praxis Press) Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is associated with a higher rate of related complications with elderly patients than with younger patients. Few studies however have examined the critical outcomes of this procedure on the overall health and quality of life of elderly patients. In a recent observational study Seto and colleagues found that in two clinical trials, the PCI procedure brought elderly and younger patients the same degree of improvement i

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NEW YORK, June 28 (Praxis Press) Many treatment options are available for men with prostate cancer but therapeutic recommendations may vary depending on the type of specialist they consult. Fowler and colleagues attempted to define and contrast the distribution of prostate cancer management recommendations given by urologists and radiation oncologists (see paper). To perform the study they mailed a survey to a random sample of physicians in the United States, who were listed as urologists (respo

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Depression and mortality

June 27, 2000

NEW YORK, June 27 (Praxis Press) Studies on whether depressive symptoms are associated with mortality in the elderly have yielded contradictory findings. To address these discrepancies, Schulz and colleagues studied a population-based sample of 5201 men and women aged 65 years and older (see paper). They examined depressive symptoms and four categories of covariates at baseline, with the primary outcome measure being mortality after six years. Of the 5201 participants, 984 (18.9%) died within 6

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Homocysteine and CAD

June 27, 2000

NEW YORK, June 27 (Praxis Press) Circulating homocysteine levels can be used to predict survival in patients with stable coronary artery disease. The prognostic value of serum homocysteine levels, obtained in the acute phase in patients with myocardial infarction or unstable angina, however, is unknown. To test this hypothesis, Omland and colleagues measured the serum homocysteine levels of a total of 579 patients with Q-wave myocardial infarction (n=163), non- Q-wave myocardial infarction (n=21

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How many human genes?

By | June 27, 2000

Between 38 000 and 115 000, say yesterday's press conferences on the human genome.

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Of mice and men

By | June 27, 2000

Does the mouse, biology's model mammal, mean the human genome race is still on?

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