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03 July 2007 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians. These highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an embargoed copy of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656, or 215-351-2656.

Dietary Counseling Results in Weight Loss of Approximately 6 Percent of Body Weight After One Year -- On Average, Dieters Return to Baseline Weight after Approximately 5 years

(Review, p. 41. This article is the subject of a video news release. Call for coordinates. A separate news release will be issued.)

Annals of Internal Medicine is 80! -- Still Young and Still Reaching Out

This month, Annals enters it 80th year of publication. Today, Annals is one of the most widely cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, accepting only seven percent of the original research studies submitted (Editorial, p. 65).

High Dose of Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Reduces Risk for Major Cardiovascular Events in Older as Well as Younger Patients

In a study of 3,809 people with coronary artery disease (CAD), those who took 80 milligrams of the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin had statistically reduced risk for major cardiovascular events compared to those who took 10 mg. of the drug (Article, p. 1). During the 4.9 years of follow up, 10.3 percent of the patients who took the high dose had major fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular events compared to 12.6 percent of those who received the 10 mg. of the drug, a reduction rate of 2.3 percent, the same reduction as seen in younger patients.

Beta-blockers Reduce Plaque in Artery Walls

Beta-blockers, drugs used to control heart rhythm, also appear to prevent recurrent heart events, but the reasons are unclear. Researchers used data from four randomized trials containing findings of intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) on 1,515 patients with coronary artery disease (Article, p. 10). They found that in those patients who took beta-blockers, the degree of fatty degeneration or thickening of the large artery walls decreased compared to the accumulation in arteries of those who did not take beta-blockers. Fatty deposits or plaque are an important indicator of risk for heart disease. IVUS is a technique that can directly quantify volume of plaque in an artery.

Cystatin C Level Predicts Death Risk from 3 Causes as Well as Usual Tests

In a group of 825 people with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), the levels of cystatin C in the blood was associated with death from all causes and death from cardiovascular disease and kidney failure as closely as the risk ratio of most standard tests of kidney function (Article, p. 19).

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