This week, the news that drinking coffee may be associated with a lower overall risk of death has been making many merry; it seems that the potential benefit comes with both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. The paper, published in The New England Journal of Medicine and summarized on MD Consult, noted that the amount of coffee required is not insignificant, though – six or more cups a day– which implies many trips to Starbucks, your preferred indie coffee house or to the office kitchen. The actual mechanism involved is still unclear, however, and readers were reminded that correlation is not causation. Also making the news, albeit in a more worrying way, is the antibiotic azithromycin. It was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death, and more caution was urged for those who prescribe the popular drug regularly. Patients who ask for antibiotics in situations that do not really warrant them may want to consider a cup of coffee instead.
The May issue of Chest features an interesting commentary on lung cancer screening, in which the authors note that while it has been demonstrated that CT scans for smokers clearly reduces mortality, it is very expensive; a lower-cost, but still-effective, approach is proposed as an alternative. An article with a critical care focus explores the use of macrolide antibiotics for patients with acute lung injury, and the results are encouraging. Also of note is a piece of original research describing a novel drug delivery system for pleural cavity chest infections – biodegradable beads that gradually release antibiotics. While the findings are at a preliminary stage, it certainly offers an interesting direction for future research. Other new research in this issue looks at sleep-disordered breathing and community-acquired alveolar pneumonia in children and an examination of COPD patients using a ‘new’ walking aid – and of course there are many other topics covered in this issue as well. Another new journal this week is the May 15 American Family Physician. A practical guide to the ‘well male’ examination is offered, together with a handout for patients, and there is also an article on the importance of preventing malaria in travelers – a handout is available for that subject as well.
There are a number of new Articles in Press in the Clinics, notably in Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics. Soon to be appearing in an issue (but available online now) are articles on insulin-like growth factor 1 physiology, the insulin-like growth factor system in bone and insulin-like growth factors in the gastrointestinal tract and liver. Also new is the June issue of Gastroenterology Clinics, which focuses on inflammatory bowel disease. One article looks at caring for the general health of IBD patients, with an emphasis on routine vaccinations – including when not to give them, depending on ongoing treatment. Another describes ways to optimize immunomodulators and anti-TNF agents for those suffering from Crohn’s disease, while yet another takes on diagnosis and management of IBD from a non-invasive perspective. Instead, the authors describe genetic approaches that are currently available, and they offer suggestions of future treatments that may not be too far down the line.
Check back next week for more of what’s new on MD Consult.blog comments powered by Disqus