This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Wrong codes threaten points

ACE inhibitors curb microalbuminuria

Treatment with an ACE inhibitor reduces the risk of progression to microalbuminuria in diabetic patients with hypertension, but a calcium-channel blocker does not, according to US research.

The controlled trial involved 1,204 patients with type 2 diabetes, hypertension and normal urinary albumin excretion, who were treated with trandolapril, verapamil, both drugs or placebo.

The risk of developing persistent microalbuminuria was 6 per cent for trandolapril alone, 5.7 per cent for combination, 11.9 per cent for verapamil and 10 per cent for placebo.

New England Journal of Medicine 2004;351:1941-51

Elderly referred for knee less than hip

Elderly patients with painful knees are less likely to be referred to a specialist and to receive a joint replacement than those with hip problems, a new study finds.

UK researchers analysed records from 311,000 patients from the MediPlus general practice database, identifying 1,410 patients with hip pain and 3,152 with knee pain.

Just 31.5 per cent of patients with knee problems were referred and only 1.8 per cent received a replacement joint, compared with 38.2 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively for patients with hip problems.

Family Practice 2004; November early online publication

Methotrexate risk highest in older men

Men with psoriasis who are over 40 years old are at heightened risk of side-effects following treatment with methotrexate, according to a new study.

Dutch researchers screened 43 psoriasis patients for signs of steatosis hepatitis and excluded those with severe disease from the study. All others were treated with 15mg/week methotrexate. The relative risk of suffering increases in transaminases was 1.7 for women over 40 and 2.7 for men over 40, compared with a risk of 1 for younger patients. The risk was unrelated to alcohol consumption.

Archives of Dermatology 2004;140:1289-90

Older father raises schizophrenia risk

Children with older fathers are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia, new research suggests. The population-based cohort study examined 754,000 subjects born in Sweden between 1973 and 1980 and recorded a series of potential risk factors, including paternal age.

Researchers found that for each 10-year rise in paternal age, the risk rose by 47 per cent. The increase in risk was restricted to those families where there was no previous history.

BMJ 2004;329:1070-3

Allergy link to haematological cancers

Allergies may increase the risk of haematological malignancies. Swedish researchers followed up 16,539 twins who had answered questionnaires on their general health sent out by the Swedish Twin Registry in 1967.

People with hives were at more than double the normal risk of leukaemia, while those who had suffered from childhood eczema were more than twice as likely as normal to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in later life.

BMC Public Health 2004;4:51

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say