Chlamydia cases climb
CHLAMYDIA diagnoses have tripled in the past 10 years according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics figures on sexually transmissible infections. In women aged 15 years and over, 502 per 100 000 were diagnosed with the infection in 2011, compared to 152 per 100 000 in 2001. For men, 366 per 100 000 were diagnosed in 2011 compared to 106 in 2001. Chlamydia was the most frequently reported notifiable condition in Australia, with 79 833 new notifications, the report said.

Brain’s role in chronic pain
CONNECTIONS between two regions of the brain could predict which patients go on to suffer from chronic pain, according to an article published in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers studied 39 patients with an initial episode of back pain over a year and found greater functional connectivity in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex predicted pain persistence, implying that corticostriatal circuitry is causally involved in the transition from acute to chronic pain. They also found that when pain persisted, brain grey matter density decreased.

Once-daily HIV pill safe
A NEW once-daily pill for HIV has been found to be a safe and effective alternative for initial HIV treatment, according to two international randomised trials published in The Lancet. If approved, the pill would be the first once-daily single-tablet regimen containing an HIV integrase inhibitor, according to the authors. The pill is also faster acting, does not have the neuropsychiatric side effects associated with other combinations, and could improve compliance with treatment, according to the researchers. However, a higher number of kidney complications were reported in patients taking the pill compared with other HIV treatments.

Electronic records reduce legal claims
THE rate of malpractice claims when electronic health records (EHRs) were used was about one-sixth the rate when EHRs were not used, according to a research letter published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The US authors said their findings suggested a reduction in errors was likely to be at least partly responsible. The reduction in claims lent support to the push for widespread implementation of health information technology, they said.

“Reassuring” thrombolysis findings
THE use of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) on patients with warfarin-treated ischaemic stroke does not increase their risk of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage compared with non-warfarin patients, according to a large US study published in JAMA. The observational study found that up to 50% of warfarin-treated patients who might have been eligible for reperfusion therapy did not receive intravenous tPA. An accompanying editorial said the findings were “surprising yet reassuring” and contributed “important information regarding stroke care”.

Posted 2 July 2012

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