Routine use of beta blockers in MI patients without heart failure is questioned

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Patients who have had a myocardial infarction (MI) but do not have heart failure or left ventricular systolic dysfunction do not seem to benefit from beta blockers, a large UK study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found

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Anaemia is associated with hearing loss in adults

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) has been found to be associated with hearing loss in adults by a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

Using the electronic medical records of 305 339 adults aged between 21 and 90 years, researchers at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine examined the association between IDA and sensorineural hearing loss (when there is damage to the cochlea or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain) and conductive hearing loss (hearing loss because of problems with the bones of the middle ear). IDA was determined by low haemoglobin and ferritin levels for age and sex.

Solanezumab and the amyloid hypothesis for Alzheimer’s disease

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Solanezumab’s failure is a wake-up call to look elsewhere for an answer to dementia

Is the amyloid cascade hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease too big to fail? It proposes that brain deposition of β amyloid protein is the critical early event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and has been the centrepiece of dementia research for decades. The hypothesis suggests that removing β amyloid will reverse or prevent the clinical expression of dementia. However, in all phase III clinical trials to date, treatments targeting β amyloid have failed to improve cognitive outcomes despite reducing brain β amyloid.

Many children receive no discharge plan after admission for severe asthma

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Children admitted to hospital with severe asthma attacks generally receive “very effective and efficient” treatment and care, but more attention must be given to asthma education and review at discharge to help prevent future attacks and readmission, says a national audit by the British Thoracic Society.

The society’s National Paediatric Asthma Audit, published on 29 November, reviewed data on more than 5500 children over the age of 1 admitted with severe asthma attacks to 153 UK hospitals in November 2015 and found that most aspects of discharge from hospital were less than optimal.

Swimming, aerobics, and racquet sports are linked to lowest risk of cardiovascular death

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Swimming, racquet sports, and aerobics seem to be the best forms of exercise for reducing the risk of death from heart disease and stroke, research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has found.

The researchers said that the small number of events impaired the statistical power in some analyses. There were relatively few deaths from all causes among runners and football players, which may explain the wide confidence intervals. However, they concluded, “These findings demonstrate that participation in specific sports may have significant benefits for public health.”