Being female ups stroke risk
WOMEN with atrial fibrillation have a moderately increased risk of stroke compared with men, according to a Swedish retrospective cohort study published in the BMJ. The researchers found a 47% higher incidence of ischaemic stroke in women than in men (which reduced to 18% after multivariate analysis) and recommended female sex be considered when making decisions about anticoagulation treatment. However, they said women younger than 65 years and without other risk factors had a low risk for stroke, and did not need anticoagulant treatment.

Shared care for eye disease
WAITING times for patients with chronic eye diseases have been reduced in a trial of shared care between optometrists and hospital-based ophthalmologists published in the MJA. According to the researchers, optometrists not only met ophthalmologists’ expectations but exceeded them, appropriately detecting and referring patients with additional, previously undetected conditions. They said there was general acceptance of shared care arrangements by optometrists, ophthalmologists and patients, although there were some issues relating to interprofessional trust.

Glucose predicts pneumonia mortality
ACUTE hyperglycaemia may identify patients in need of intensified care to reduce the risk of death from community-acquired pneumonia, according to European researchers. In a study published in the BMJ, the researchers found that an increased serum glucose level at admission to hospital in participants with community-acquired pneumonia and no pre-existing diabetes was a predictor of death at 28 and 90 days. The researchers said they also found that patients with diabetes were at increased risk of death within 90 days regardless of their serum glucose levels on admission.

Cancer waiting lists online
WAITING times for cancer surgery are now available on the MyHospitals website. The website, managed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, shows the median waiting times (in days) for bladder, bowel, breast, gynaecological, kidney, lung and prostate cancer at each public hospital.

Men’s germs
RESEARCHERS studying the diversity of microbes in offices have found significant differences in “bacterial abundance” between offices inhabited by men or women, in a study published in PloS ONE. The researchers found that surfaces in offices inhabited by men were consistently more contaminated than those of offices inhabited by women and that chairs and phones were the most contaminated surfaces.

Posted 4 June 2012

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