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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Management of failure to thrive 'needs reassessing'

RSV bronchiolitis raises asthma risk

Infants who are hospitalised with RSV bronchiolitis are at increased risk of

subsequent wheeze and asthma, a new

study finds.

UK researchers analysed outcome data from 150 children who had been hospitalised with RSV bronchiolitis as infants and 9,826 controls.

Some 22.6 per cent of hospitalised children reported wheezing at 69-81 months compared with 9.6 per cent of controls. The prevalence of diagnosed asthma was 38.4 per cent at 91 months in cases but just 20.7 per cent in controls.

RSV bronchiolitis was not associated with subsequent risk of atopy.

Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2005;16:386-92

Probiotics improve atopic dermatitis

Probiotics can improve the extent and severity of atopic dermatitis, an Australian study shows.

Researchers randomised 53 children aged six to 18 months to a twice-daily eight-week course of Lactobacillus fermentum or an equivalent schedule of placebo.

They assessed the treatment after 16 weeks using the severity scoring of atopic dermatitis index.

At the final, 16-week assessment, 92 per cent of children treated with probiotics but only 63 per cent of those on placebo had improved from baseline.

Archives of Disease in Childhood 2005;90:892-7

High-risk screening fails in ovarian Ca

Annual screening for ovarian cancer in women at increased familial risk is ineffective at detecting tumours early enough to improve prognosis, UK researchers report.

Their cohort study examined the effect of annual screening with transvaginal ultrasound and serum CA-125 testing in 557 women at high risk and 553 at moderate risk of ovarian cancer.

Of 13 tumours that developed in the cohort, screening detected 10, three at stage I, two at stage II, four at stage III and one at stage IV.

Screening had a positive predictive value of

17 per cent and a sensitivity of less than 50

per cent.

Journal of Clinical Oncology

2005;23:5588-96

Regular aspirin cuts colectoral Ca risk

Regular, long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, US researchers conclude.

The prospective study analysed data on 82,911 women from the Nurse's Health Study to examine the effect of aspirin on colorectal cancer incidence. Over 20 years of follow-up, 962 people developed the disease.

Regular use of at least two standard 325mg aspirin tablets per week reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 23 per cent.

But a significant risk reduction was only

found in those with at least 10 years of aspirin use.

JAMA 2005;294:914-23

Antipsychotics raise hip fracture risk

Antipsychotics increase the risk of hip or femur fractures, a new study reveals.

Dutch researchers analysed data on 44,500 patients from the UK general practice research database to explore the effect of antipsychotic use.

Current and prior use of antipsychotics increased the risk of hip or femur fractures by

30 per cent after adjusting for potential confounders.

The effect did not vary with dose or drug type, but did increase with long-term use.

Bone 2005 August 17 early online publication

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