Latest Research

January 6, 2006

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

Erectile Dysfunction May Be Harbinger of Heart Disease

JAMA. 2005;294:2996-3002 [Dec. 21, 2005]

Investigators at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found that of 9,457 men aged 55 or older, those with erectile dysfunction were 1.25-1.45 times as likely to experience a cardiovascular event during the follow-up as men without ED.

JAMA. 2005;294:2989-2995 [Dec. 21, 2006]

Use of proton pump inhibitors is associated with a nearly threefold risk of community-acquired Clostridium difficile infection, according to researchers at McGill University in Montreal who examined data from the United Kingdom General Practice Research Database. H2-receptor antagonists increased the risk by twofold and NSAIDs led to a 1.3-fold risk.

No Link Found Between Fiber and Colorectal Cancer Risk

JAMA. 2005;294:2849-2857. [Dec.14, 2005]

Investigators from Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data from the Pooling Project of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer, which included a six- to 20-year follow-up of 725,628 men and women. While their initial assessment showed an inverse relationship between the top quintile of dietary fiber intake and colorectal cancer risk, no association remained after adjusting for other dietary risk factors including folate, red meat, milk, and alcohol consumption. The study is in direct contrast with the recent EPIC trial in Europe.

Intensive Therapy Cuts Complication Risk for Diabetics

N Engl J Med. 2005;353:2642-53 [Dec. 22, 2005]

A 17-year follow-up of 1,441 Type 1 diabetes patients enrolled in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) Study, done between 1983 and 1993, showed that intensive treatment lowered cardiovascular disease events by 42%.

Oral Contraceptives OK for Some Patients with Lupus

N Engl J Med. 2005;353:2539-2549 and N Eng J Med. 2005;353:2550-2558 [Dec.15, 2005]

Although the use of oral contraceptives is contraindicated in women with systemic lupus erythematosus, two studies suggest the pill might be considered for patients with inactive or moderately active, stable disease. In Mexico City, researchers found that global disease activity, flare incidence and latency, and incidence of adverse events were similar whether the patient was on either progestin-only or combined oral contraceptives, or used an IUD. Researchers at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City, and investigators in the Oral Contraceptives-SELENA trial show similar findings in the second study where 183 women with SLE were assigned to oral triphasic ethinyl estradiol plus norethindrone.

Radiotherapy After Breast Surgery Improves Outcomes

Lancet. 2005;366:2087-2106 [Dec.17, 2005]

Breast cancer patients who undergo radiotherapy after lumpectomy and mastectomy have significantly improved survival, both at five years and 15 years, according to a study of data on 42,000 women done by investigators at the University of Oxford, UK.

Yoga Reduces Symptoms of Chronic Low Back Pain

Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:849-856 [Dec. 20, 2005]

A 12-week yoga program appears to be more effective than a conventional therapeutic exercise program or a self care book at reducing chronic lower back pain, according to researchers in Seattle.

Drinking Tea Associated with Lower Ovarian Cancer Risk

Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:2683-2686. [Dec.12/26, 2005]