Print Issue: February 09, 2007

Dyspepsia guidelines emphasize H. pylori

The updated recommendations state that recent research supports testing for and treatment of H. pylori rather than empiric acid suppression. In its revised Guidelines for the Management of Dyspepsia, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) defines this frequently encountered entity in broad terms: chronic upper abdominal pain or discomfort (i.e., a subjective negative feeling, which…

Don’t give up on an addicted patient

You may be tempted to ignore the addiction or quickly pass the patient on to someone else. But if you follow this advice, you can provide real help. Most interactions with patients “flow” purposefully forward like rivers, from initial recognition and diagnosis of the problem to treatment and, hopefully, resolution. However, it is rare that…

When beautification of the body turns ugly

Faced with a mostly unregulated industry of tattooists and piercers, clinicians need to be on the lookout for infections and other complications. Though their popularity has skyrocketed over the past two decades, tattoos, piercings, and other forms of body modification date back thousands of years. A recent study found that 20% of college students had…

COPD Rx: antidepressants

When asthma patients are depressed, the effectiveness of their medical care greatly diminishes. The same holds true for chronic obstructive pumonary disease (COPD) patients, a new study shows. Investigators in Singapore enrolled 367 consecutive patients with COPD who were hospitalized for acute exacerbations. The prevalence of depression at admission was 44%. During the yearlong follow-up,…

Massage relieves arthritic knee

Massage reduces pain and improves function in patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, according to a new trial. Although massage is known to relieve various painful musculoskeletal conditions, this is the first prospective, randomized trial assessing the therapy for knee OA. Doctors at St. Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston, N.J., recruited 68…

Folic acid may not cut CV risk

Folic acid, widely touted as a heart-healthy supplement, neither increases nor decreases the risk of cardiovascular events or all-cause mortality in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), according to just-published data. Researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans analyzed 12 randomized controlled trials that included nearly 17,000 patients…

Two incontinence drugs are better than one

Incontinent men will do better on both tolterodine (Detrol) and tamsulosin (Flomax) than on either drug alone, urologists report. In the first study of its kind, urologists enrolled 754 men aged 40 years or older who had benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and overactive bladder. The men were randomly assigned to receive placebo, one of the…

Black cohosh flunks menopause-relief test

Black cohosh, soy, and other naturopathic products failed to relieve menopausal symptoms in a large, yearlong, double-blind trial. A research team from several medical centers in the Seattle area recruited 351 volunteer peri- or postmenopausal women (aged 45-55) and randomly assigned them to one of five groups: placebo; black cohosh (160 mg/day); estrogen (0.625 mg/day);…

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