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7 January 2003 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 internal medicine physicians and medical students. The following highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an embargoed fax of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656 or 215-351-2656.

Excess Weight and Obesity Cuts Years Off Life; Smoking Makes It Worse

An analysis of data on 3,357 people in the Framingham Heart Study found that non-smoking adults who were overweight at age 40 lost about three years of life compared to their normal-weight counterparts (Article, p. 24). Non-smoking adults who were obese (BMI 30 kg/m2 or more) lost six to seven years. Smoking lowered life span even more. Overweight adults who smoked lost seven years. Obese adults who smoked died 13 to 14 years earlier than their obese, but non-smoking counterparts. (This article is the subject of a video news release; call for times and coordinates.)

Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy Reduced Risk for Diabetes in Large Study

Using data from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS), researchers found that women who took the study combination of estrogen and progestin had a 35 percent lower risk for diabetes than those taking the placebo pill (Article, p. 1). Those who took the hormones maintained their fasting glucose levels and only 6.2 percent developed diabetes, while, in the group assigned to placebo, fasting glucose levels increased significantly and 9.5 percent developed diabetes. All women in HERS had heart disease. But authors say, "(H)ormone therapy is not a viable approach to diabetes prevention for women with heart disease." An editorial writer says that the findings indicate a need for more data on the effects of HRT on glycemia, particularly among non-whites, who are disproportionately affected by the "epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (that) is sweeping the United States" (Editorial, p. 69).

One Gene Variation in the Renin-Angiotensin System May Play a Role in Developing Abdominal Fat

(Article, p. 17.)

Oral Contraception Found Safe for Women Older Than 35

(Review, p. 54.)

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