Exercise protects against psoriasis
VIGOROUS physical activity is independently associated with reduced risk of developing psoriasis, according to research published in Archives of Dermatology. The analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study II on 86 655 women found that, among those who reported never having had psoriasis at baseline, the most physically active women had a lower risk of developing psoriasis than the least active women (relative risk = 0.72). Walking was not associated with reduced psoriasis risk. The researchers said the mechanism for the association deserved further study. “It is biologically plausible that vigorous activity could modulate a state of chronic inflammation and/or immune activation that predisposes women to develop psoriasis”, they said.

Does CPAP reduce hypertension?
AMONG people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) who do not have daytime sleepiness, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy does not significantly reduce the incidence of hypertension or cardiovascular events, according to research published in JAMA. However, the researchers, who followed patients with OSA for a median of 2.7 years, said a post-hoc analysis of their results suggested CPAP treatment might reduce the incidence of hypertension or cardiovascular events in patients with CPAP adherence of 4 or more hours a night. Another JAMA study found that, after a median of 12.2 years follow-up, patients with OSA were at increased risk of developing hypertension — but that adherence to CPAP therapy ameliorated this risk.

Calcium linked to heart attacks
CALCIUM supplements, with or without vitamin D, “modestly” increase the risk of cardiovascular events, particularly myocardial infarction, according to research published in the BMJ. In meta-analyses of three placebo-controlled trials, the researchers found that calcium and vitamin D supplementation increased the risk of myocardial infarction (relative risk 1.21), stroke (1.20) and the composite of myocardial infarction or stroke (1.16). They said a reassessment of the role of calcium supplements in osteoporosis management was warranted.

Diabetes deaths drop
DEATH rates among adults with diabetes, from all causes and cardiovascular disease, declined between 1997 and 2006 in the US, thanks to advances in treatment and risk factor control, according to research published in Diabetes Care. The researchers found that death rates declined substantially among both men and women with diabetes, reducing the absolute difference in death rates between adults with and without diabetes.

New approach to tinnitus
TINNITUS treatment that combines cognitive behaviour therapy with sound-based tinnitus-retraining therapy has been found to be significantly more effective at reducing symptoms than currently available treatments. The findings, published in The Lancet, show that the approach has benefits in both mild and severe tinnitus. The researchers said the findings could lead to a consensus about best practice in the treatment of tinnitus.

PSTD and brain changes
RESEARCHERS studying the brain structures involved in the predisposition to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the March 2011 Japanese earthquake have found that grey matter volume in the brain may play a role in developing PTSD. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, was based on findings from MRIs of 42 healthy adolescents who had been scanned for other projects before the earthquake and agreed to rescanning in the months after. Those who had a lower-volume right ventral anterior cingulate cortex before the earthquake, or whose left orbitofrontal cortex decreased in volume after the earthquake, were more likely to have symptoms of PTSD.

Surgical residents fatigued
SURGICAL residents in the US get only 5.3 hours of daily sleep, according to a small prospective study published in Archives of Surgery. Researchers continuously monitored 27 surgical residents in an orthopaedic residency program for 2 weeks. They found that residents were fatigued during 48% of their time awake, and impaired during 27%. They also predicted that residents’ fatigue levels increased the risk of medical error by 22% compared with well rested historical control subjects.

Posted 28 May 2012

One thought on “News in brief

  1. Alex Wood says:

    Re “Exercise & Psoriasis prevention”
    The statements in the first 7 lines seem at variance with the statement in the last four lines, or am I just plain obtuse please?

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