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6 July 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.

False-Positive Mammograms Don't Deter Women from Getting Future Mammograms

A false-positive mammogram did not deter women from having mammograms at the next recommended interval, a new study finds (Article, p. 1). Of the 5,059 women in the study, the 813 with false-positive mammograms were as likely to get subsequent screening mammograms as the 4,246 with normal mammograms. An editorial calls this reassuring news but says that health professionals should develop effective strategies to prevent the anxiety that a positive mammogram or any other cancer-screening test can generate (Editorial, p. 60).

Park the Car, Leave the Bus and Walk the Last 20 Minutes to Work

Regular Exercise, Such as Walking to Work, Reduces Risk for High Blood Pressure

Data from an ongoing study of Japanese men found that walking to work and other types of physical activity decreased the risk for hypertension (Article, p. 21). It is known that mild to moderate physical activity reduces existing hypertension. In this study, the duration of the walk to work was associated with a decreased risk of developing hypertension in the first place, with those who walked for 21 minutes or more having a lower relative risk than men whose walk lasted 10 minutes or less. Further, even men who participated in regular physical exercise only once per week had a decreased risk for hypertension compared with those with no regular exercise. The authors say that even people who drive to work or use public transportation may benefit from leaving their transportation more than a 20-minute walk from the office.

Herpes Symptoms Reoccur But Frequency of Reoccurrence Decreases Over Time

A detailed, quantitative observational study of people with genital herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection found that the infection continues to be a chronic illness, but, in a majority of patients, the frequency of reoccurrence decreases over time (Article, p. 14).

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