Latest Research

July 7, 2006

A summary of the "must-read" articles from the journals in that pile on your desk.

One in Seven with Stent Prematurely Stop Medication

Circulation. 2006;113:2803-2809 (June 20, 2006)

Almost one of every seven MI patients prematurely discontinues thienopyridine therapy after receiving a drug-eluting stent, increasing their risk of death ninefold, according to researchers at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO. Patients who prematurely discontinued medication were less likely to have been given instructions about their medications at discharge or a cardiac rehab referral.

JAMA. 2006;295:2859-2866 (June 28, 2006)

Elderly men with a nighttime blood pressure that stays the same or increases compared with the daytime pressure have more than twice the risk of developing heart failure, according to Swedish researchers.

Vitamin K Supplements Can Cut Bone Loss, Fractures

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1256-1261 (June 26, 2006)

A meta-analysis by British investigators of 13 trials that included data on bone loss found that all but one showed an advantage from oral vitamin K supplementation in reducing bone loss. Seven trials that reported fracture data-all of them Japanese and all using menaquinone-showed a reduction in vertebral, hip and all nonvertebral fractures.

Coffee May Cut Diabetes Risk in Postmenopausal Women

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1311-1316 (June 26, 2006)

In postmenopausal women, drinking coffee-especially decaf-is inversely associated with the risk of developing Type II diabetes, say investigators at the University of Minnesota. Women enrolled in the Iowa Women's Health Study who drank six or more cups of coffee a day had a 22 percent lower incidence of diabetes than those who drank no coffee.

Abatacept Helps Methotrexate-Resistant RA

Ann Intern Med. 2006;144:865-876 (June 20, 2006)

A once-monthly infusion of abatacept (Orencia) can reduce disease activity and retard radiographic progression in patients who have active rheumatoid arthritis despite treatment with methotrexate, according to researchers at the Center for Rheumatology in Albany, NY. Joint damage among patients in the abatacept group progressed at half the rate of those in the placebo arm.

Long-Acting-Agonists Raise Risk of Fatal Asthma Attacks

Ann Intern Med. 2006;144:904-912 (June 6, 2006)

A meta-analysis by San Jose, CA, investigators showed that long-acting-agonists raised the odds of hospitalization 2.6 times and raised the risk of life-threatening asthma exacerbations 1.8 times, compared with placebo. There was a statistically significant increase in hospitalizations for salmeterol and formoterol. Among children the odds were raised fourfold, and among adults the odds were doubled. The concomitant use of inhaled corticosteroids did not provide adequate protection from the adverse effects of-agonists. "This information could be used to reassess whether these agents should be withdrawn from the market," the authors write.

Short Antibiotic Course Effectively Treats Pneumonia

BMJ. 2006;332:1355-1358 (June 10, 2006)

Three days of IV antibiotic treatment with amoxicillin are as effective as seven to 10 days of IV and oral antibiotics for patients with community-acquired pneumonia, say researchers in Amsterdam.

Unnecessary Lab Tests Reduced Using Simple Measures

Lancet. 2006;367:1990-1996 (June 17, 2006)