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Does diet influence rheumatoid arthritis?

One BP reading predicts long-term risk

A single measurement of systolic blood pressure in middle-aged men is predictive of cardiovascular mortality during the subsequent 30 years, according to a new study.

Italian researchers analysed data from 6,507 men aged 40 to 59, including blood pressure recordings at baseline and after five and 10 years, as well as cause of death.

Over three successive 10-year periods, the risk of cardiovascular death increased by 65 per cent, 33 per cent and 22 per cent respectively for every 20mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure.

Journal of Hypertension 2004;22:1683-1690

H. pylori therapy cuts cancer risk

Eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection may prevent premalignant gastric lesions developing into stomach cancer, a new study finds.

Chinese researchers studied the impact of H. pylori eradication on progression of intestinal metaplasia in

435 H. pylori-infected patients, randomly assigning each patient to receive either a one-week eradication treatment or placebo.

After five years, gastric intestinal metaplasia had progressed in 53 per cent of patients, but eradication reduced risk, while persistant infection more than doubled it (odds ratio 2.13).

Gut 2004;53:1244-1249

?-blockers may reduce fracture risk

Patients taking ?-blockers appear to be at reduced risk of bone fractures, a new study suggests.

Swiss researchers examined data from the UK general practice research database of 151,420 men and women aged 30 to 79, 30,601 of whom had a new fracture diagnosis.

Patients who took ?-blockers were 23 per cent less likely to suffer a fracture than those who did not, while patients on both ?-blockers and thiazide diuretics were 29 per cent less likely to have a fracture.

JAMA 2004;292:1326-1332

Selegiline cuts Parkinson's disability

Treating patients who show signs of early Parkinson's disease with selegiline can reduce disability and the incidence of motor fluctuations, a study shows.

Researchers in Aberdeen and Birmingham conducted a meta-analysis of 17 randomised trials involving 3,525 patients with early Parkinson's disease.

Selegiline was 2.7 times more successful than

placebo at reducing disabilities and cut motor fluctuations by 25 per cent.

BMJ 2004;329:593-6

Stress raises risk of heart attack

Psychosocial stress appears to increase the risk of acute myocardial infarction, according to a new study.

An international team conducted a case-control study of 11,119 patients with a first myocardial infarction and 13,648 age-matched controls.

Of those still working, twice as many patients as controls had suffered permanent stress at work in the previous year (odds ratio 2.14). Suffering intermittent work stress increased risk of heart attack by 38 per cent and stress at home by 52 per cent.

Lancet 2004;364:953-62

Meat and drink trigger colitis relapse

Patients in remission from ulcerative colitis and who consume large amounts of alcohol and meat are at increased risk of a relapse, new research suggests.

The prospective cohort study analysed dietary habits by food frequency questionnaire in 183 remissive patients, 52 per cent of whom went on to suffer a relapse.

High meat consumption increased risk of relapse by 3.2 times and alcohol consumption by 2.71 times, the study found.

Gut 2004;53:1479-1484

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