IVF linked to vascular problems
HEALTHY children conceived by assisted reproduction technology (ART) display generalised vascular dysfunction that appears to be related to the ART procedure itself according to a study published in Circulation. A related editorial by Professor David Celermajer, of the University of Sydney, said the researchers found adverse changes in both the systemic and pulmonary circulations, including structural and functional alterations, some of which have been prospectively linked to higher risk of increased cardiovascular events in later life. He stressed that the research was preliminary and involved a small sample of children. Professor Celermajer wrote a report on the research, published in the Brisbane Times.

Renal transplant lists reviewed
ONLY 1% of dialysis patients in the Northern Territory are listed for renal transplant according to an analysis of Australian organ donation registry data published in the Internal Medicine Journal. The authors said the number of patients wait-listed varies significantly across the country. The research also found that the percentage of dialysis patients listed for transplantation has fallen over time across Australia. The authors concluded that the renal transplant waiting list underrepresents real demand. The research was reported by the ABC PM program.

COPD deaths down
FEWER Australians are dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and deaths have dropped more significantly among men than women, according to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. In 1970, the male death rate from COPD was eight times the female rate compared with twice the female rate in 2009. The data were reported by ninemsn.

New breast cancer subgroups
THERE are more types of breast cancer than previously thought according to a study published in Nature, which examined the paired DNA–RNA profiles of 2000 breast tumours to reveal novel subgroups with distinct clinical outcomes. These included a high-risk, oestrogen-receptor-positive subgroup and a favourable prognosis subgroup. Researchers told BBC News breast cancer should be thought of as “not one disease, but 10 different diseases”.

Diabetes drug reduces Parkinson’s risk
THE risk of Parkinson’s disease occurring with type 2 diabetes can be reduced by the use of metformin-inclusive sulfonylurea therapy, according to research published in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. According to the study, type 2 diabetes increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease 2.2-fold, and sulfonylureas further increase this risk by 57%, but this can be avoided by combination with metformin. The research was reported by ninemsn.

Lid lifted on salt in fast food
FAST foods in Australia contain less salt on average than equivalent products in the US and Canada but more than in Britain and France, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that looked at products served by six transnational fast-food chains. The authors said the marked differences in salt content between countries suggested that technical reasons, often cited by fast-food companies, were not a primary explanation. The research was reported by The Conversation.

Posted 23 April 2012

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