Tories to give GPs power
Short-acting ?2-agonists are associated with a modestly increased risk of death in asthma patients, a UK study reveals.
Researchers compared 532 patients under 65 who died from asthma and 532 controls with a hospital admission.
After examining prescriptions in the preceding one to five years, they found that mortality was positively associated with inhaled short-acting ?2-agonists (mainly salbutamol), but not with long-acting ?2-agonists.
Evidence of a direct adverse effect for short-acting drugs was 'inconclusive but remains a matter of concern', researchers said.
Child depression hereditary
Having both a parent and a grandparent who suffer from depression greatly increases a child's risk of developing a psychiatric illness, US research suggests.
The 20-year study considered the effect of parents' and grandparents' depression on prevalence of psychiatric disorders in 161 participating grandchildren.
Of those with a depressed parent and grandparent, 60 per cent developed a psychiatric disorder by the age of 12.
The risk was five times greater if both a parent and grandparent were depressed than when only a grandparent was affected.
Archives of General Psychiatry
Homocysteine link with stroke
High blood levels of homocysteine appear to increase the risk of stroke.
UK researchers conducted a meta-analysis of studies examining levels of homocysteine in patients with the T allele of the MTHFR gene. They also examined the effect of the allele on stroke risk.
Among 15,635 people without cardiovascular disease, those homozygous for TT had 1.93µmol/L more homocysteine in their blood than those who had the alternative CC
The genotype was also associated with a 26 per cent increased risk of stroke.
The Lancet 2004;365:224-231
Strict lipid targets beneficial
Stringent targets for LDL cholesterol confer additional vascular benefits, a study finds.
US researchers measured peripheral vascular endothelial function in 110 patients with coronary heart disease and LDL concentrations of 100mg/dl or less.
Participants whose LDL cholesterol was
less than 80mg/dl had significantly better endothelial function than those in the
80mg/dl to 100mg/dl range, with flow-mediated dilations of 8.4 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively
Am J Cardiol 2005;95:93-9
Red meat increases colorectal Ca
High consumption of red or processed meat over a long period of time can increase the risk of colorectal cancer, a US study suggests.
Researchers interviewed nearly 150,000 adults aged 50 to 74 about their dietary habits, first in 1982 and then again in 1992/3.
People who consumed the greatest amounts of red or processed meat over a prolonged period were 50 per cent more likely to develop distal colon cancer than those who ate the lowest amounts, even after all confounding variables were taken into account.