Acupuncture helps in COPD
A NEW study “clearly demonstrates” that acupuncture is a useful adjunct therapy to reduce dyspnoea on exertion in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study, published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine, included 68 Japanese patients receiving standard medication who participated in a randomised, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial. After 12 weeks, the patients who received real acupuncture showed improved exercise tolerance and had significantly better Borg scale scores after a 6-minute walk test compared with those who received placebo needling.

Judging sexual orientation
CONFIGURAL face processing significantly contributes to how people make accurate snap judgements of other people’s sexual orientation, according to research published in PLoS ONE. The researchers sought to discover the processes involved in forming these rapid judgements by showing participants photographs of faces both the right way up and upside down. They said the results indicated that facial configuration (the relationships of individual features), rather than individual facial features alone, significantly contributed to perception of sexual orientation.

End of the CJD outbreak
THE era of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) is almost over, according to international research published by the Centers for Disease Control journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The researchers said that, almost 40 years after the first case, only occasional cases with exceptionally long incubation periods were now appearing. Most infections arose from contaminated growth hormone (226 cases) and dura mater drafts derived from human cadavers with undiagnosed CJD (228 cases).

Indemnity claims rise
JUST 3% of closed medical indemnity claims in the public and private sector were finalised through a court decision, compared with 51% finalised through a negotiated settlement, according to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report from the Medical Indemnity National Collection for 2009–10. Claim size was generally less than $10 000 when the injury was mild .The report said that between 2007–08 and 2009–10 the overall number of claims increased from 8555 to 9415 and the number of new claims increased from 2255 to 2900. There were more new claims in the public (1620) than the private (1280) sector, but there were more claims closed in the private sector than the public sector.

Air pollution link to CVD
CLEAN-UP operations in preparation for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing provided researchers with the opportunity to study the effects of air pollution on the pathophysiological pathways of cardiovascular diseases. Research published in JAMA showed that changes in air pollution levels during the Beijing Olympics were associated with acute changes in biomarkers of inflammation and thrombosis and measures of cardiovascular physiology in healthy young people.

Posted 21 May 2012

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