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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

More co-ops reject Government model for sidelining GPs

Implanon effective and popular

The long-term contraceptive Implanon is effective and popular among women seeking a lasting 'forgettable' contraception, according to a new study.

Researchers in London analysed data gathered from

132 women fitted with Implanon between February 2000 and January 2003 in order to study the continuation rate with the implant.

There were no pregnancies during the study period and 90 per cent of women continued with Implanon for 12 months, 80 per cent for 24 months and 75 per cent for 35 months.

European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care 2004;9:39-46

Walking halves risk of dementia

Walking and other forms of low-intensity activity can reduce the risk of dementia by nearly two-fold, a new study suggests.

US researchers studied the impact of walking on the development of dementia in 2,257 physically capable men aged 71 to 93 over an eight-year period.

Men who walked less than 0.25 miles a day were 80 per cent more likely to develop dementia than the most active men, who walked more than two miles a day. The

dementia risk was 71 per cent higher in men who walked between 0.25 and one mile each day.

JAMA 2004;292:1447-1453

Smoking/drinking triggers psoriasis gene

Smoking and drinking alcohol can significantly increase the risk of psoriasis in genetically susceptible patients, according to a new study.

A Chinese team assessed the smoking and drinking habits and frequency of the HLA-DQA1*0201 susceptibility allele in 189 patients with psoriasis and 333 healthy controls.

Male patients in the psoriasis group were significantly more likely to smoke and drink than the control group, with an odds ratio greater than 6.91 for patients with psoriasis who smoked, drank and had the HLA-DQA1*0201 allele.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2004;36:597-602

TB species may cause Crohn's disease

A subspecies of paratuberculosis called Mycobacterium avium may be a cause of Crohn's disease, a new study concludes.

By testing for paratuberculosis by polymerase chain reaction, US researchers were able to measure the

presence of the bacterium in 28 individuals with Crohn's disease, nine with ulcerative colitis and 15 with no inflammatory bowel disease.

Paratuberculosis DNA was identified in 46 per cent of patients with Crohn's disease, 45 per cent of those with ulcerative colitis and 20 per cent of those who did not have inflammatory bowel disease.

Lancet 2004;364:1039-44

Epilepsy lowers life expectancy

Patients with epilepsy have a significantly reduced life expectancy with the excess risk of dying particularly high within two years of first diagnosis, according to new


Researchers in London studied 564 patients with definite epilepsy for 15 years, using a parametric survival model based on the Weibull distribution to estimate life expectancy as a function of age and time from diagnosis.

The reduction in life expectancy was highest at diagnosis, with the average reduction being two years for people diagnosed with idiopathic/cryptogenic epilepsy, and up to

10 years for people with symptomatic epilepsy.

Brain 2004;0:2671-0

Adenoid/tonsil surgery of limited benefit

Adenotonsillectomy has no major clinical benefits compared with watchful waiting when children have mild symptoms

of throat infections or adenotonsillar hypertrophy, a

new study reports.

A team from the Netherlands randomised 300 patients aged two to eight to receive either an adenotonsillectomy or watchful waiting.

The number of fevers, throat infections and upper respiratory tract infections fell by just 6.6 per cent, 27.3 per per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively in the adenotonsillectomy group.

BMJ 2004;329:651

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