||Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04
Indians among worst affected by TB in Britain
Tuberculosis (TB) showed an alarming rise in Britain last year with ethnic South Asians, especially Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi, accounting for most cases.
Nov 4, 2006, 19:31
Future of sexual and reproductive health at tipping point according to global study
The first-ever global study of sexual and reproductive health - to be published in the medical journal The Lancet starting this week - shows a picture of declining financial support, increased political interference and an overall reluctance to tackle threats to sexual and reproductive health.
Nov 1, 2006, 16:10
Profiles of serial killers have limitations
Dennis Rader, the notorious BTK murderer who eluded capture for more than 30 years until his arrest in 2005, did not fit precisely into the FBI's method for profiling serial killers on the basis of crime scenes. And Aileen Wuornos, the Florida prostitute executed in 2002 for slaying seven men over a two-year period in the early 1990s, didn't fit at all because the database of convicted serial killers used by the FBI in developing their profiling method did not include women.
Oct 29, 2006, 21:28
Concerns over abortion law in the US state of South Dakota
In this week’s BMJ, a senior doctor raises serious concerns over abortion law in the US state of South Dakota. Earlier this year, South Dakota passed a bill which bans virtually all abortions in the state except for circumstances in which the procedure is necessary to “prevent the death of the mother.” Under this new legislation, doctors face prosecution for the termination of any pregnancy in which maternal death is not clearly averted by its performance.
Oct 29, 2006, 21:26
European Alcohol Strategy Threatened by Industry Tactics
A European strategy to tackle the health impact of alcohol may be the victim of a carefully planned attack by representatives of the alcohol industry, using tactics associated with tobacco manufacturers, warns public health expert, Professor Martin McKee, in this week’s BMJ.
Oct 29, 2006, 21:24
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Opens the National Center for X-ray Tomography (NCXT)
The National Center for X-ray Tomography (NCXT) has officially been dedicated at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Located at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), this new center features a first-of-its-kind x-ray microscope that will enable scientists to perform “CAT scans” on biological cells, just one of many unprecedented capabilities for cell and molecular biology studies.
Oct 13, 2006, 22:54
States That Easily Grant Immunization Exemptions Have Higher Incidence Of Whooping Cough
States that have personal belief exemptions for school immunization requirements, and exemptions that are easily obtained, have higher rates of new cases of pertussis (whooping cough) than states in which obtaining immunization exemptions is more difficult, according to a study in the October 11 issue of JAMA.
Oct 11, 2006, 05:14
Study calls for 39 percent more family physicians in USA
With an aging population and an increasing prevalence of chronic disease, now more than ever the United States is in dire need of family physicians. A study released this week on the U.S. physician workforce calls for a significant increase in the number of family physicians to meet the escalating health care needs of the American people. The study was conducted by consultants from the University of Utah School of Medicine and the Utah Medical Education Council.
Oct 1, 2006, 23:04
Mental health units should not be exempt from smoking ban
Exempting mental health units from the ban on smoking in public places would worsen health inequalities for people with mental health problems, warn doctors in this week's BMJ. Smoking is the largest single cause of preventable illness and premature death in the United Kingdom, with 106,000 people dying of smoking related diseases in 2002, and more than 10,000 dying each year as a result of passive smoking. The Health Act 2006 will make all enclosed public and work places in England and Wales smoke-free environments, but may exclude some mental health settings.
Aug 25, 2006, 19:43
Community model effective in allotting anti-AIDS medication
When there are millions of patients clamoring for anti-AIDS drugs and precious little to go around, who decides which patients go to the front of the line? The answer, says Stanford AIDS researcher Dennis Israelski, MD, is relatively simple: the affected community.
Aug 17, 2006, 15:57
FDA safety alerts for automated external defibrillators occur frequently
The FDA frequently issues safety advisories for automated external defibrillators (portable electronic device used to restore regular heart beat in patients with cardiac arrest) and accessories, although the number of actual device malfunctions appears to be relatively small, according to a study in the August 9 issue of JAMA.
Aug 9, 2006, 17:34
Young teens see pregnancy as a way to enhance relationships
Younger teen-agers who become pregnant tend to view pregnancy as a way to form or enhance connections with others, and are less likely to think they are unprepared to raise a child. By contrast, pregnant teens who are 18 or 19 years old acknowledge that they lack preparedness, but say there are advantages to having a baby earlier in life. These observations offer some insight into how to prevent teen pregnancies, researchers say in a paper published in the current issue of Pediatrics.
Aug 7, 2006, 13:45
Increased understanding of what helps or hinders disclosure could help patients
Disclosing medical errors made by physicians is extremely important yet often extremely difficult. Two University of Iowa studies examine why this is the case and how increased understanding might help patients, doctors and health care systems overall.
Aug 4, 2006, 19:28
NHS may be buying surgical equipment unethically
The NHS may be buying medical equipment unethically and exploiting developing countries, it has been claimed in an article published on bmj.com today. Unlike the campaigns for fair trade of goods like bananas and coffee, there have been no such campaigns for medical commodities, says Dr Mahmood Bhutta, a specialist registrar in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
Jul 30, 2006, 02:56
Is it time to give NHS more independence?
In April this year, BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee called for an independent NHS run by a board of governors responsible for managing health care within a set budget and a broad political framework. In this week’s BMJ, four opinion leaders give their views on whether it is time to give the NHS greater independence from government.
Jul 30, 2006, 02:49
University of Leeds receives Gates Foundation grant for material approach to malaria prevention
Every year there are more than 350 million new cases of malaria, but a revolutionary mosquito net being developed by Leeds textile experts with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation could offer better and more sustainable protection from the disease. Design lecturer Dr Stephen Russell and medical entomologist Dr Bruce Alexander from Xeroshield at the Roslin Biocentre will develop a precisely engineered material that uses its structure to kill the mosquito. By relying on its structure, the net will avoid the problems of chemically treated nets, which are the main method of controlling malaria.
Jul 24, 2006, 19:25
Indian scientists develop Elisa tests for avian influenza
Indian scientists have developed Elisa tests for diagnosis of three livestock diseases, including the deadly avian influenza, which they say can make a revolution in the area of disease diagnosis. Researchers led by Dr Harekrishna Pradhan at High Security Animal Disease Laboratory at Bhopal last week announced that they have developed an avian influenza vaccine for the first time in India which can prevent H5N1 virus infection in birds and capable of preventing its further spread.
Jul 22, 2006, 19:12
Tuberculosis control and impact of socially excluded groups
Tuberculosis cannot be controlled unless the disease is tackled effectively among socially excluded groups, warn experts in this week’s BMJ. Tuberculosis can infect anyone, but predominantly affects the poor, write Alistair Story and colleagues. In London, where over 40% of all cases in the UK in 2004 were reported, rates of tuberculosis have more than doubled since 1987 and are now the highest among homeless people, problem drug users, people living with HIV, prisoners and new entrants, particularly those from countries experiencing chronic civil conflict.
Jul 10, 2006, 07:21
Pertussis Endemic Among UK School Children
Nearly 40% of school age children in the United Kingdom who visit their family doctor with a persistent cough have evidence of whooping cough infection, even though they have been fully immunised, finds a study published on bmj.com. These startling results suggest that whooping cough is endemic among young children in the UK, with important implications for clinical practice and immunisation policy, say the authors. Previous research in several countries has shown that Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough) infection is an endemic disease among adolescents and adults. Data also shows that neither infection nor immunisation results in lifelong immunity. Yet general practitioners in the UK seldom diagnose or even consider pertussis in older children. It is perceived as a disease of very young children who have not been immunised and who have classic features such as whoop.
Jul 10, 2006, 06:37
Building a safer NHS: How safe are the patients?
Every day the NHS treats over one million people successfully. Healthcare does however rely on a range of complex interactions of people, skills, technologies and drugs. Sometimes surgical treatments go wrong, medication errors occur and patients can fall or have other accidents.
Jul 7, 2006, 00:23
Hospital Performance Results Do Not Always Reflect Patient Outcomes
Hospital quality measures do not fully account for the variation in hospital death rates for heart attack patients, according to a study in the July 5 issue of JAMA. As part of the national effort to improve hospital quality, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) monitor and publicly report hospital performance on acute myocardial infarction (AMI – heart attack) “core” process measures approved by the Hospital Quality Alliance, according to background information in the article. Although the CMS/JCAHO process measures are considered indicators of quality of AMI care, little is known about how these measures track with each other. And the degree to which process measure performance conveys meaningful information about short-term death rates remains unclear.
Jul 5, 2006, 19:07
Experts Comment on New Blood Pressure Guidelines
It is unusual for NICE to consider reviewing its guidance ahead of its planned review date. In this case however, because significant new data became available, we took the decision to consider that data as part of a limited review of the existing NICE guideline. It is important to emphasise that the review was limited to the pharmacological aspects of managing hypertension. The original guideline also covered other aspects of managing the condition, such as lifestyle interventions, and these remain crucial to a proper holistic approach to controlling blood pressure.
Jun 29, 2006, 01:52
New Guideance will Result in Better Control of Hypertension - BPA
The UK's blood pressure charity, the Blood Pressure Association (BPA), heralded 28 June, 2006 launch of the updated NICE guideline on the clinical management of hypertension as a major advance in the treatment of the condition. For the first time, NICE and the British Hypertension Society have reached a clear consensus on the best way of treating raised blood pressure, and the BPA strongly endorses this new guideline.
Jun 29, 2006, 01:45
Reduced antibiotic prescribing is associated with increased hospital admissions
New research indicates that efforts to reduce antibiotic resistance led to a decrease in the prescribing of antibiotics by doctors yet an increase in hospitalizations for respiratory infections like pneumonia.
Jun 22, 2006, 05:22
Three million babies born using assisted reproductive technologies
More than three million babies have been born worldwide using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) since the first ART baby (Louise Brown) was born in the UK 28 years ago.
Jun 22, 2006, 05:09
IVF identity fraud puts fertility clinics at risk
Safeguards against identity fraud by IVF patients are needed in order to prevent impostors gaining access to treatment, a scientist told the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, Czech Republic, onTuesday 20 June 2006. Dr.Luca Sabatini, from the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK, said that research had shown that many clinics in the UK felt they did not have sufficient safeguards to properly check patients' identities, and that one in three of them could have already experienced attempts to gain treatment fraudulently.
Jun 20, 2006, 23:26
Burkina Faso reaches major milestone in protecting its people against tropical parasites
With the recent completion of the latest rounds of treatment targeting the entire country, Burkina Faso has become the first in the WHO African Region to achieve nationwide coverage with anthelminthic drugs against three major neglected tropical diseases: lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (intestinal parasites).
Jun 16, 2006, 23:22
US suicide rate drops as antidepressant prescriptions rise
A just published UCLA study suggests that the use of antidepressants to treat depression has saved thousands of lives, despite the concern about a possible link between suicide risk and the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).
Jun 14, 2006, 19:40
FDA Counterfeit Drug Task Force's recommendations adopted
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new steps to strengthen existing protections against the growing problem of counterfeit drugs. The measures, which were recommended in a report released today by the agency's Counterfeit Drug Task Force, emphasize certain regulatory actions and the use of new technologies for safeguarding the integrity of the U.S. drug supply.
Jun 10, 2006, 21:06
NICE issues draft guidance on Trastuzumab
NICE has published draft guidance on Herceptin, just two weeks after the drug was licensed by the regulatory authorities for use in early breast cancer. The draft guidance recommends the drug for women with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer, except where there are concerns about the woman’s cardiac function. Final guidance is expected to be issued at the beginning of July 2006, assuming there are no appeals.
Jun 10, 2006, 17:15