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Respiratory link to chlamydia

Chlamydia pneumoniae infection is frequently associated with respiratory conditions in children, US researchers report.

The study tested for chlamydia in blood and bronchial lavage fluid in 70 patients with respiratory disease and 70 controls.

Some 34 per cent of patients with

respiratory disease had detectable chlamydia in peripheral blood specimens compared with

11 per cent of controls.

Over half of children with asthma had chlamydia detectable in their lungs.

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2005;171:1083-1088

Antipsychotics safe in pregnancy

Atypical antipsychotics do not appear to affect the outcome of pregnancy.

Researchers analysed 151 women from the UK, Canada and Israel who were exposed to olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine and clozapine during pregnancy, comparing them with 151 controls.

Among users of antipsychotics, 14.5 per cent experienced a miscarriage, 2.6 per cent a stillbirth and 0.9 per cent a major malformation. None of these values was significantly higher than controls.

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

2005;66:444-449

Aspirin works in acute migraine

Aspirin is a safe and effective treatment for acute migraine, a US study finds.

Researchers randomised 401 patients to a single dose of 1,000mg aspirin or placebo.

After two hours, the headache response rate was 52 per cent with aspirin and 34 per cent with placebo. Aspirin was significantly more effective than placebo for pain relief from one to six hours after dosing.

Aspirin was well-tolerated and there was no significant difference in adverse events between groups.

Headache 2005;45:283-292

BP drops when the Pill is stopped

Women with hypertension who stop taking oral contraceptives experience clinically significant falls in blood pressure, a Brazilian study shows.

Researchers studied 44 women who stopped taking oral contraceptives after diagnosis with hypertension and 28 who decided to continue on contraception.

Over a follow-up period of around six months, systolic blood pressure dropped by 15.1mmHg in women who stopped oral contraceptives and 2.8mmHg in those who continued on them.

Diastolic blood pressure fell by 10.4mmHg and 2.7mmHg respectively.

Journal of Human Hypertension

2005;19:451-455

Sigmoidoscopy can fail women

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is significantly less effective for detecting colorectal cancer in women than in men, a US study reveals.

Researchers analysed colonoscopy findings in 1,463 women, of whom 230 had a family history of colon cancer and 72 were diagnosed with advanced disease. They counted cancers as being detectable by sigmoidoscopy where the lesion or small adenomas were present in the distal colon.

Only 35 per cent of women with advanced colon cancer would have been diagnosed by flexible sigmoidoscopy, compared with 66 per cent of matched men.

New England Journal of Medicine 2005;352:2061-2068

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