Latest Research

May 5, 2006

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

Depression After Heart Attack Common in Younger WomenArch Intern Med. 2006;166:876-883 (April 24, 2006)
Following a myocardial infarction, female patients aged 60 or younger have higher rates of depression than young men, older men, or older women, say investigators at Emory University. The younger women were 3.1 times more likely to be depressed than men over 60, and almost twice as likely to be depressed as older women and younger men.

Low Compliance Hinders Calcium Therapy in ElderlyArch Intern Med. 2006;166:869-875 (April 24, 2006)
Calcium supplements–600 mg of calcium carbonate twice daily–are not very effective for preventing bone fractures in elderly women, largely due to poor compliance, according to investigators from the University of Western Australia.

Green Tea and Coffee Cut Type II Diabetes RiskAnn Intern Med. 2006;144:554-562 (April, 2006)
In a five-year follow-up study, Japanese researchers discovered that adults who drank six or more cups of green tea or three or more cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop Type II diabetes than those who drank less than a cup of those beverages a week. Drinking black or oolong teas, however, appeared to have no impact on diabetes risk.

ACS Outcomes Associated with Treatment GuidelinesJAMA. 2006;295:1912-1920 (April 26, 2006)
Patients with acute coronary syndrome are less likely to die if they receive care at a hospital with higher adherence to American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association treatment guidelines, say researchers at Duke University Medical Center who collected information from 350 hospitals and 64,775 patients to assess adherence and outcomes. After adjusting for risk, they found that every 10 percent increase in composite adherence was associated with a 10 percent decrease in the likelihood of in-hospital death.

Implantable Defibrillators Fail More Often Than PacemakersJAMA. 2006;295:1901-1906 and 1907-1911 (April 26, 2006)
Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) have a significantly higher malfunction rate than pacemakers, and replacement of the defective devices can cause serious complications, including infections and death, according to studies done at Harvard Medical School and the University of Western Ontario. Battery malfunctions and electrical issues accounted for half of the device failures in the Harvard study.

Corticosteroid May Harm Respiratory Distress PatientsN Engl J Med. 2006;354:1671-1684 (April 20, 2006)
Methylprednisolone is no better than placebo at improving mortality rates in patients with persistent acute respiratory distress syndrome and it may increase the risk of death if started more than two weeks after the onset of ARDS, say researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Ondansetron Curbs Vomiting in Pediatric GastroenteritisN Engl J Med. 2006;354:1698-1705 (April 20, 2006)
A single dose of oral ondansetron reduces vomiting and increases oral rehydration in children with gastroenteritis and dehydration, say researchers at the University of Toronto. Only 14 percent of the ondansetron group vomited compared to 35 percent of the placebo group. They also vomited less often, had greater oral intake, and were less likely to be treated by intravenous rehydration. The study was supported in part by GlaxoSmithKline.

Blood Tests More Accurate Than Skin Test in TB DiagnosisThe Lancet. 2006;367:13281334 (April 22, 2006)
Two blood tests, T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold, produced fewer false positives among those who had received a BCG vaccination than the standard tuberculin skin test, according to Italian investigators. Rates of indeterminate and positive results, however, differed between the blood tests.

Prepared jointly by the editors of Medical Economics and HealthDay's Physicians' Briefing ( http://www.physiciansbriefing.com).