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GP on mission to protect Muslim pilgrims from meningitis

Stopping NSAIDs raises MI risk

Stopping NSAID therapy increases patients' risk of acute myocardial infarction for a month after discontinuation, according to data from UK primary care.

Swiss researchers analysed 8,688 patients on the UK general practice research database who suffered an MI between 1995 and 2001, matching them to 33,923 controls. In the 29 days after stopping NSAIDs, the risk of acute MI was 52 per cent higher than in non-users, after adjusting for a range of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.

Archives of Internal Medicine 2004;164:2472-2476

Vitamin C cuts CHD incidence

Taking vitamin C supplements can significantly reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease, according to a new study. US and Finnish researchers pooled data from nine prospective studies examining intake of vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids in nearly 300,000 subjects. Over 10 years of follow-up, 4,647 people suffered major coronary heart disease events.

People who took 700mg/day vitamin C were 25 per cent less likely to develop coronary events than those not on supplements. Vitamin E did not reduce the incidence of events; carotenoids produced a small reduction.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004;80:1508-1520

High folate use linked to cancers

Women taking high doses of folate throughout pregnancy could be at increased risk of dying from cancer later in life, according to a preliminary study from the US. Between 1966 and 1967, 3,187 women were recruited for a double-blind trial of supplementation and randomised to receive placebo, 0.2mg folate or 5mg folate. Researchers followed up the women until 2002 and found 210 had died, 112 from cancer.

Cancer mortality was 70 per cent higher in women on 5mg folate than those on placebo. Breast cancer mortality was doubled in the 5mg group, although this difference was not statistically significant.

BMJ 2004;329:1375-1376

Work deadlines raise risk of MI

Acute work pressure substantially increases risk of myocardial infarction in the short-term, a new study reveals.

Swedish researchers questioned 1,381 patients who had had a non-fatal MI about stressful events in the workplace, including deadlines, conflict with colleagues and increased responsibilities. People faced with 'a high pressure deadline at work' were six times more likely than normal to suffer a stroke in the next 24 hours.

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2005;59:23-30

Occupational therapy helpful in stroke

Occupational therapy increases outdoor mobility in stroke sufferers, a University of Nottingham study finds.

Researchers recruited 168 stroke sufferers, 86 of whom received seven sessions with an occupational therapist while the remaining 82 were designated controls and given leaflets of local transport services for the disabled. Four and 10 months into the trial patients received questionnaires asking them about their mobility.

The median number of journeys outdoors in the intervention group was 37 after four months and 42 after 10. The number of journeys remained at 14 in controls.

BMJ 2004;329:1372-1374

Single FEV1 predicts asthma severity

A single measure of FEV1 can predict how frequent and severe future asthma attacks are likely to be.

US and Dutch researchers recruited patients from two cohort studies and investigated the association between FEV1 percentages and subsequent asthma attacks.

After adjusting for current tobacco use and gender, the study found that FEV1 percentage was an independent predictor of asthma attacks over the next three years.

Chest 2004;126:1875-1882

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