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Circumcision prevents UTIs

Circumcision prevents urinary tract infections but only boys at high risk of infection are likely to benefit, a systematic review of the evidence has shown.

Australian researchers looked at all randomised controlled trials and observational studies and found the average risk of UTI was about 1 per cent and the number of circumcisions needed to prevent one infection was 111. But in boys with recurrent UTI problems, the risk of infection was 10 per cent and so only 11 needed to be treated to prevent an infection.

Archives of Diseases in Childhood

2005; 90: 853-58

Alcohol link to AF progression

A history of valvular heart disease or high alcohol consumption is linked with the progression of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation to chronic AF, new research finds.

Spanish and Swedish researchers identified 525 patients aged 40 to 89 with a first-recorded episode of paroxysmal AF during 1996 from the UK General Practice Research Database.

Patients with valvular heart disease were 2.7 times more likely to progress to chronic AF and those with moderate to high alcohol consumption were three times more likely to develop chronic AF.

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, published online July 11, 2005

Thermal ablation in primary care

Thermal ablation can be undertaken in primary care with excellent results, a study shows.

Two GPs were trained to carry out the procedure, which is an alternative to hysterectomy. No major complications were encountered and reduction of menstrual loss or cure was reported by more than 94 per cent of the 87 women who were treated. Premenstrual syndrome and symptoms of dysmenorrhoea also improved. After two years 94 per cent of women were satisfied with the procedure.

British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2005; 112: 1117-20

RA patients with high BMI live longer

Rheumatoid arthritis patients with a high body mass index (BMI) have lower mortality than thinner patients, new research suggests.

Researchers from the University of Texas estimated the effect of BMI on survival in a cohort of 779 patients with RA, adjusting for comorbidity, RA severity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Patients with a BMI greater than 30 had the lowest mortality at 1.7 deaths per 100 person-years and mortality was at its highest rate in patients with a BMI under 20, with 15.0 deaths per 100 person-years.

Archives of Internal Medicine

2005; 165: 1624-1629

School clinics aid inhaler technique

Educating children through asthma clubs at school can markedly improve inhaler technique, according to UK researchers.

Around 56 per cent of children who took part in the weekly asthma clubs in schools in Northern Ireland had a correct inhaler technique after 16 weeks compared with only 15 per cent who had yet to start attending the clubs.

However, the randomised trial of 173 children who attended the clubs in 22 primary schools over an eight-week period only found a small, non-significant improvement in overall quality of life and spirometry.

Archives of Diseases in Childhood

2005; 90: 786-91

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