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sysadmin September 24th, 2001 21:16

2000.03.14 Pearls
Medical Pearls
SMOKING LEGISLATION EFFECTIVE. Antismoking laws in California have effectively lowered the smoking rate and total consumption of cigarettes. One of the primary laws responsible was an increased excise tax on cigarettes. Amer J Public Health 2000;90:372.

MAGNETS NOT HELPFUL IN TREATING LOW BACK PAIN. Bipolar magnets were found to be no more effective than a placebo treatment in relieving low back pain in this VA study of 20 patients. JAMA 2000;283:1322.

BETA BLOCKER REDUCES MORTALITY AND HOSTPITALIZATIONS IN CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE. In this study involving nearly 4000 patients at over 313 US sites and 13 European countries, sustained release metoprolol was found to reduce all-cause mortality and hospitalizations by 19%. JAMA 2000;283:1295-1302,1335-1337.

BETA BLOCKER WELL TOLERATED AND INCREASES LVEF. This study of 60 patients with congestive heart failure found that long-acting metoprolol was well tolerated and increased the LVEF from 27.5% to 36.3%. Goldstein S et al. Amer Heart J 1999;138(6 Pt 1):1158.

SEDATING ANTIHISTAMINES IMPAIR DRIVING AS MUCH AS ALCOHOL. This study of 40 licensed drivers aged 22 to 44 years old found that diphenhydramine (Benedryl) impaired driving ability as much or more than enouch alcohol to raise the blood alcohol level up to 0.1%. Ann Intern Med 2000;132:354.

TODDLERS BEING PRESCRIBED MORE PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS. The use of Ritalin among toddlers, aged 2 to 4 years old, increased dramatically during the time period from 1991 to 1995. In 1995 approximately 11 out of every 1000 toddlers were prescribed Ritalin. JAMA 2000;283:1025.

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