Ecstasy-induced heart failure
THREE cases of significantly delayed acute coronary syndrome and ST-elevation myocardial infarction after ecstasy use have been reported in Emergency Medicine Australasia. The authors said although acute coronary syndrome was recognised after cocaine and methamphetamine use, an association with ecstasy use had rarely been reported. They wrote that onset of symptoms was delayed in all three cases. They noted that ecstasy was perceived as a “safe” drug, but there was increasing literature on its toxicity, including cardiovascular effects.

Vascular replacements offer hope
SWEDISH researchers have announced in The Lancet the first successful transplantation of a biologically tissue-engineered vein in a 10-year-old girl with portal vein obstruction. The team took a 9-cm segment of iliac vein from a deceased human donor and injected it with stem cells from the girl’s own bone marrow. The researchers said this could offer a new way for patients lacking healthy veins to undergo dialysis or heart bypass surgery without the problems of synthetic grafts or lifelong immunosuppressive drugs.

BMJ neutral on assisted dying
THE BMJ has backed a call by doctors for professional medical bodies to stop opposing assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. In an article in the BMJ, the Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD) called for the British Medical Association and royal colleges to move their position from opposition to neutrality. In an editorial, BMJ editor in chief Dr Fiona Godlee argued that legalisation was a decision for society not doctors.

Pertussis boosters urged
AUSTRALIAN child health and infectious diseases experts have called for booster vaccinations for adults planning a pregnancy, adult family members of newborns and child and health care workers, to help stem a resurgence in pertussis. In an article in Australian Prescriber the authors said that although the current national immunisation schedule recommends vaccinating infants at 2, 4 and 6 months of age, with booster doses at 4 and 15–17 years, waning immunity had been seen in older children and adults with this schedule. They noted that older children and adults do not always show classical symptoms of the disease but are often a source of infection for young infants.

Salary gap for female researchers
A STUDY published in JAMA has found that over their careers, women physician researchers in the US earn $350 000 less than men who perform similar work. The study showed the mean salary for women was $167 669 and $200 433 for men. The researchers found that a third of the difference in mean salaries — $12 194 — could not be explained by specialty, institutional characteristics, academic productivity, academic rank, work hours or other factors.

Dental plaque–cancer link
POOR oral hygiene, as reflected by the amount of dental plaque, has been associated with increased cancer mortality in a study published in the BMJ Open. The researchers reported statistically significant differences between the groups regarding the amount of dental plaque, gingival inflammation and dental calculus, indicating a significantly poorer dental status in the subjects who died when compared with the survivors. The researchers said based on the findings, the high bacterial load on tooth surfaces and in gingival pockets over a prolonged time may play a role in carcinogenesis.

Posted 18 June 2012

One thought on “News in brief

  1. Rose says:

    Perhaps Boostrix should be funded for all patients who do not have a record of immunisation. Many indigenous and other students miss vaccination at school, and may be part of a family where there are unplanned pregnancies. What is the recommendation for unvaccinated pregnant women?

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