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Research, BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.39367.495995.AE (published 6 November 2007)
 

What is already known on this topic

  • Increased body mass index is known to increase the risk of adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, and postmenopausal breast cancer in women
  • Body mass index has also been associated with the risk of other, rarer, cancers, but the findings are not yet conclusive

What this study adds

  • High body mass index in women may increase the risk of multiple myeloma, leukaemia, pancreatic cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and ovarian cancer
  • Menopausal status seems to affect the relation between body mass index and risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and colorectal cancer
  • Among postmenopausal women in the UK, 5% of all cancers (about 6000 annually) are attributable to women being overweight or obese
  • Around half of all cases of endometrial cancer and adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus in postmenopausal UK women are attributable to women being overweight or obese
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BMJ 21 December 2007;

Organised marathons are not associated with an increased risk of sudden death, despite the media attention they attract. In fact, marathons lower the risk of fatal motor vehicle crashes that might otherwise have taken place if the roads had not been closed

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There is little evidence that fall prevention programmes used throughout the NHS are effective in cutting the number of fallers or fall related injuries.

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A new test for diagnosing Chlamydia trachomatis is quicker and more cost effective than current tests, and has the potential to reduce complications and transmission to sexual partners. 

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A database analysis reported by James N Armitage and colleagues shows that mortality in men admitted to hospital with acute urinary retention is high and increases strongly with age and comorbidity – as many as one in four men admitted to hospital with acute urinary retention will die within a year.

Katia M C Verhamme and Miriam C J M Sturkenboom, in an accompanying editorial, say that since the increased mortality seen in men admitted to the hospital for acute urinary retention is probably the result of comorbid conditions and frailty, multidisciplinary care is warranted in these men.

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BMJ  2007;335:639 (29 September).  

The US has a dismal record on health, despite outspending by a considerable margin every other developed nation in the world.

 Americans and their elected politicians are generally complacent about this sorry state of affairs, writes one leading doctor. Healthcare professionals are probably the best people to unite and shake them out of their complacency.

To do nothing is to accept the US position at the bottom of the league tables on health, when in so many other areas only first place will do.

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BMJ  2007;335:639 (29 September) NEWS:

Serum concentration of triglycerides is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Because triglycerides are so closely linked to obesity (p 425). Losing weight and taking more exercise is one of the best ways to keep triglycerides under control. In this study, lower concentrations were also associated with eating a decent breakfast.

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