Print Issue: February 09, 2007

Moderate drinking extends life

Repeated studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Now a new look at the accumulated evidence shows that it does even more, cutting the risk of death from all causes in both men and women. Epidemiologists in Italy pooled data from 17 U.S. studies and 17 studies in other…

Male infertility linked to diet

A low intake of dietary antioxidants correlates with poor sperm motility, research shows. The finding led the investigators to conclude that eating more fruits and vegetables might improve male fertility. “I was somewhat surprised by the strength of the correlation,” said lead investigator Vivian Lewis, MD, professor of obstetrics/gynecology at the University of Rochester in…

Kidney patients at risk for heart disease

Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at a sharply heightened risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a team of researchers from NIH and several Boston-area institutions. The team examined 3,258 grown children and spouses of children of the original participants in the famous Framingham Heart Study, which started in 1948. CKD was defined…

Dieting without exercise causes bone loss

If your patients are trying to lose weight, recommend both diet and exercise, not just diet, say researchers. In a study by a team of nutritionists, physicians, and others at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, 30 postmenopausal women and 18 men, all overweight and 50-60 years of age, were randomized to…

Can osteoporosis therapy end after 5 years?

How long should patients take a bisphosphonate? For most women, the answer seems to be five years. In a 10-center trial, investigators followed 1,100 older women with osteoporosis who had already taken alendronate (Fosamax) for five years. The patients, aged 55-81, were randomized to one of three groups for five more years: placebo, 5 mg…

Drug slows progression of diabetes

In a rare head-to-head study, rosiglitazone (Avandia) proved better than either metformin (Glucophage) or glyburide (Micronase) in controlling glucose levels in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. In an international trial, researchers enrolled 4,127 patients (aged 30-75 years) with fasting glucose levels of 126-180 mg/dL who had received no previous drug therapy for their…

Skin-fold eruptions

Case #1 The patient was a 70-year-old obese woman with diabetes. Admitted to the hospital for chest pain, she was found to have long-standing erythematous erosions in her abdominal pannus, under her breast, and in her groin. These areas were not macerated or scaly. She complained of discomfort but no itching or burning. A KOH…

Spreading scaly patches on the trunk and limbs

A 58-year-old man complained of an asymptomatic scaly, erythematous rash that had been present for five years. The presumptive diagnosis was eczema or psoriasis. Prior biopsies had been nondiagnostic and topical corticosteroids had been only sporadically beneficial. Early lesions had involved only his buttocks; now more than 70% of his total skin surface was involved.…

Blisters on the hands of a man with darkened urine

This 45-year-old man with a history of hepatitis C and cirrhosis presented with tense blisters that had been present on the backs of his hands for the past year. Blistering was worse in summer and after sun exposure. Increased hair growth on his face as well as diffuse facial hyperpigmentation and skin thickening were also…

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