Hormone therapy ups BP
MENOPAUSAL hormone therapy has been linked to significantly higher odds of high blood pressure in an Australian study of 43 405 postmenopausal women published in PLoS One. The researchers found the odds of high blood pressure increased with increased duration of use. They recommended that people considering MHT should be alerted to the risk of high blood pressure.

Daily iron not necessary
INTERMITTENT iron+folic acid regimens for pregnant women produce similar maternal and infant outcomes at birth as daily supplementation but with fewer side effects, according to a Cochrane systematic review. The authors found no clear evidence of differences for most outcomes including infant birthweight, premature birth, perinatal death, and anaemia, haemoglobin concentration and iron deficiency in women at the end of pregnancy. However, women receiving intermittent rather than daily iron supplements were less likely to report side effects (such as constipation and nausea). The authors said even though better quality trials were needed, intermittent iron may be a feasible alternative to daily supplementation for pregnant women who are not anaemic and have adequate antenatal care.

Quitting adds extra weight
SMOKERS who quit without treatment or drugs put on an average of 4‒5 kg after 12 months of abstinence, according to a meta-analysis published in the BMJ. The researchers found most of the weight gain occurred within the first 3 months of quitting. There was also a large variation in weight change, with about 16% of quitters losing weight and 13% gaining more than 10 kg. An accompanying commentary said it may be “unwise to incorporate this message into clinical or public health practice” because the data were extracted from clinical trials, not from population-based studies.

Refrigeration breakthrough
RESEARCHERS have developed a silk-based stabiliser that can keep some vaccines and antibiotics stable in temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius. The stabiliser, developed by the US National Institutes of Health, immobilises bioactive molecules using silk protein matrices. The researchers said their discovery could eliminate the need for refrigeration of vaccines and antibiotics, reducing costs and increasing their accessibility for people in resource-poor countries.

Eyes and lies myth busted
RESEARCHERS have found that neuro-linguistic programming claims that certain eye-movements are reliable indicators of lying in not true. In a study published in PLoS One the researchers tested whether a person looking up to their right suggests a lie while looking up to their left indicates truth telling and found that no significant differences emerged between the two groups in three separate types of tests.

Posted 16 July 2012

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