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18 January 2000 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. The following highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656 or 215-351-2656.

ACP-ASIM: Minimize the Health Consequences of Political Embargoes? Madeleine Albright Editorial: U.S. Is Working To Improve Embargoes' Effectiveness

(Position Paper, p. 158; Abroad, p. 151; Editorial, p. 155. See news release.)

New Oral Anti-diabetic Drug May Be Linked to Liver Damage

Two case reports found that rosiglitazone, a new oral anti-diabetic drug, appeared to be associated with liver damage (Brief Communications, pp. 118 and 121). An earlier drug in this class has been associated with liver failure, but to date rosiglitazone has not been associated with serious liver injury. Both reports recommend monitoring liver enzyme levels frequently when rosiglitazone is used.

Hepatitis C Was Not Linked to Liver Disease in a Large, Unusual Retrospective Study

From 1948 to 1954, blood samples taken from 8,568 military recruits to detect bacterial infections were frozen after testing (Article, p. 105). Researchers examined the samples for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and matched them with demographic and medical data collected over a 45-year follow-up period. The study found that those infected with HCV developed few liver-related illnesses. "This suggests that healthy HCV-positive persons may be at less risk for progressive liver disease than is currently thought," the authors say.

New Asthma Drug for Breathing Problems Associated with Exercise Performs Well

Oral montelukast protected asthma patients from exercise-induced breathing problems for eight weeks when compared with salmeterol aerosol, which showed significant loss of protection at weeks four and eight (Article, p. 97).

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