Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Medical Journal Update
Ultrasounds for aortic aneurysms:
Abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures occur suddenly and are almost always fatal. They are about 4 times more common in smokers, than in people who have never smoked. The researchers studied 67,770 men ages 65-74 and found that performing an ultrasound to screen for an enlarged aorta significantly reduced death. Aorta's enlarge slowly until they rupture but do not cause any symptoms. The aneurysm can be surgically removed if found in time. This study showed men over age 65, especially if they have ever smoked, should have screening abdominal ultrasounds. (Women who smoke may also benefit but the study didn't look at the gals.)
(Annals Internal Medicine, 2007)
Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can use PPIs intermittently:
GERD is a chronic condition that needs long-term therapy. Most doctors prescribe proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication for daily ongoing treatment. Researchers compared people who used PPIs daily with patients who took the medication only when their symptoms were acting up. They found PPIs were more effective than placebo and "on- demand" PPIs were more effective than daily maintenance if there were no ulcers. Since PPIs are expensive, this shows that patients who suffer from GERD can take the pills when they feel they need it and don't need to take it every day.
(Aliment Pharmacol Ther.,2007)
Aspirin reduced the incidence of colorectal cancer:
Colorectal cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in developed countries. This study followed healthy men and patients with mild strokes for 23 years. They found aspirin reduced the incidence of colorectal cancer. the effect was seen only after 10 years of follow-up. Because aspirin can cause stomach ulcers ask your doctor if you should take it. (I almost always recommend it to both women and men for cardiovascular protection. Now we have another reason for this cheap, old-fashioned "wonder-drug")
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