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1 June 1999 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), an organization of more than 115,000 physicians trained in internal medicine.

Low-Dose Hormone Replacement Therapy Increases Bone Density in Elderly Women

Continuous low-dose hormone replacement therapy (HRT), together with adequate calcium and vitamin D, increased bone mass as effectively as higher-dose HRT therapy in elderly women, a new study shows (Article, p. 897). These are the most positive results for low-dose HRT reported to date. Low-dose HRT may have fewer toxic side effects than higher-dose therapy.

Two More Reasons to Get Active and Lose Weight

Physical Activity Biggest Influence on Weight; May Overcome Genetic Factors

A study of some 1000 healthy, female twins found that physical activity -- not smoking status, socioeconomic factors, hormone replacement therapy status or diet -- was the greatest environmental determinant of total-body weight and mid-section fat (Article, p. 873). In the subgroup of identical twins, even women with a genetic predisposition to obesity who exercised had lower body-mass-weight values, indicating that exercise can benefit people with a strong family history of obesity.

Overweight and an Esophageal Cancer Linked

A large, population-based study of people with adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, a cancer that is increasing dramatically in several Western countries, found a strong association between the cancer and body weight, measured as body mass index (BMI) (Article, p. 883). A weak correlation was found between BMI and cancer of the gastric cardia. No correlation was found between BMI and another cancer of the esophagus, squamous-cell carcinoma.

Expert Evaluates Five New Markers for Predicting Heart Disease and Finds Only One That Meets Criteria for Clinical Usefulness at This Time (Perspective, p. 933)

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