May 14, 2012

Medical Pearls

  1. Young adults are using more sunscreen, but continue to get excess sunburns. In 2010, over half of all U.S. adults aged 18-29 reported one or more sunburns in the past year. Exposure to UV rays from tanning beds and the sun is the most important preventable risk factor for skin cancer, and sunburns are evidence of too much exposure. Ongoing public health efforts in this area are needed. MMWR 10-May-2012
  2. In 2010, 32 percent of non-Hispanic white women aged 18-21 years reported indoor tanning, with an average of 28 sessions in the past year. MMWR 10-May-2012
  3. The teen birth rate of 34.3 births per 1,000 females and reflect a 44 percent decline from 1990. The increased use of these contraceptives may be a contributing factor to the decline of teen births. Teen pregnancy can best be prevented by delaying the initiation of sexual activity. MMWR 03-May-2012
  4. Elective induction of labour at term gestation can reduce perinatal mortality in developed countries without increasing the risk of operative delivery. BMJ 2012;344:e2838
  5. Women who use transdermal patches or vaginal rings for contraception have a 7.9 and 6.5 times increased risk of confirmed venous thrombosis compared with non-users of hormonal contraception of the same age,BMJ 2012;344:e2990
  6. Circuit training after a stroke is as effective as standard physiotherapy after a stroke, and may be better in terms of gait speed at follow-up. In this study, the circuit training consisted of 90 minute sessions twice a week for three months. It included eight different workstations in a gym, designed to improve performance in tasks relating to walking competency. BMJ 2012;344:e2672
  7. Risk of cardiovascular disease does not appear to be increased with the use of  varenicline (Chantix) for smoking cessation. BMJ 2012;344:e2856
  8. In men, an abdominal aortic diameter of 25 mm or greater is associated with greatly increased morbidity and mortality compared to those with an abdominal aortic diameter of 24 mm or less. The risk of hospital admission, after accounting for smoking status, was increased for cerebrovascular disease, atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, and respiratory disease. The authors conclude that men can benefit from undergoing routine abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. BMJ 2012;344:e2958
  9. Bullying appears to be correlated with non-suicidal self injury for children 12 years old. Bullied children who self-harm were more likely to have a family history of suicide or suicide attempts, and have concurrent mental health problems. BMJ 2012;344:e2683
  10. Compression ultrasonography is as effective at ruling out a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in pregnant or postpartum women as compared to non-pregnant women.  In these patients, when there is no evidence of a pulmonary embolism, a single compression ultrasound when normal suggests it is safe to follow these patients without giving anticoagulants. BMJ 2012;344:e2635 
  11. Antihypertensive therapy usually should not be initiated with diuretics, as this tends to result in the need for a greater number of medications while not achieving better blood pressure control. Journal of Hypertension: June 2012 - Volume 30 - Issue 6 - p 1225–1232
Editor: Tom Heston, MD