Saturday, January 29, 2011

This week's compendium

Here’s this week’s compendium – which is entirely medical. This week…

1. Lancet reported that fluoxetine (Prozac) – a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor [SSRI] – had a beneficial effect on motor disability after stroke [1]. It may work by promoting brain plasticity.

2. JAMA reported that escitalopram (Lexapro), another SSRI, reduced the frequency and severity of hot flushes in menopausal women [2]. It’s probably safer than hormone treatment.

3. the US’s Centers for Disease Control reported that 26M Americans (11.3% of all adults) now have diabetes, and nearly 80M (35% of all adults) have prediabetes [3]. In the US, prevalence of both conditions is rising – due to a true rise, plus more accurate diagnosis and a longer life span.

4. the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommended that after patients are diagnosed with advanced cancer, physicians should have realistic conversations with them regarding prognosis and treatment options [4]. Currently such discussions occur with under 40% of patients.

5. standing on one leg like a rooster became a recognised means of falls prevention for older people [5]. I think this is a terrific exercise for all people. It can be done anywhere and it doesn’t need equipment.

6. Archives of Dermatology reported that most moisturisers with added sunscreen offer inadequate protection against damaging UVA, regardless of their SPF value [6]. Oops – I use such a product.

7. the Federal Government was under increasing pressure to overhaul Australia's organ donation system, as new figures show transplant rates continue to lag drastically behind international standards [7a]. I still haven’t decided [7b].

8. Achives of Surgery reported that patients admitted to emergency departments were twice as likely to die if they were taking the blood thinning medication warfarin [8]. It’s a risk that needs to be taken into account when prescribing blood thinners.

Finally, on that joyous note, I wish you, dear Farmdoc’s Blog readers, a wonderful week.

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