Monday, 25 November 2013

China medical research in the journals

No increase in obesity among rural children

There are no signs of an obesity epidemic among rural Chinese children, a study from has shown
Researchers from the Capital Institute of Paediatrics, Beijing, monitored overweight and obesity rates in more than 280,000 children from eight counties in Jiangsu and Zhejiang between 1998 and 2005. They found that the prevalence of overweight was barely changed from 3.7% in 1998 to 3.9% in 2005 and there was no increase in the 0.5% prevalence of obesity.  An increase in overweight/obesity was more likely in boys than girls, especially among those aged over three years. The study also found that the prevalence of stunting decreased dramatically.
Full study: Public Health

IVF conception for 1% of Chinese babies

About one in a hundred Chinese babies is born to women undergoing IVF or other assisted reproductive technology, Beijing researchers have shown. Dr Yang Xiaokui and co-researchers from the Department of Human Reproductive Medicine, Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital analysed rates of ART among 112,403 deliveries from 14 provinces and 39 hospitals. They found the proportion of infants born as a result of ART in China was about 1.013% in 2011, compared to 4% in developed countries. Their study also found an increased maternal complications such as multiple gestation, higher cesarean section rate, low birth weight infants, higher infant mortality in women who conceived with the help of ART, compared with spontaneously pregnant women.
Full study: Fertility and Sterility

Urgent action needed on liver fluke infections in Heilongjiang

Liver fluke infestations are a common and increasing problem in China’s north east province of Heilonjiang, a study from Harbin Medical University has shown.
The infections, which are caused by eating undercooked fish,  were  seen commonly throughout Heilongjiang Province and mainly along the Songhua River, according to Dr Han Su and colleagues from the university. In a review of 4951 outpatients with suspected liver fluke infections the overall prevalence of clonorchiasis was 26%.  Rates of infection increased from 22.5% in 2009 to 34% in 2012. Farm labourers accounted for two thirds of cases and consumption of freshwater fish was the strongest risk factor. Cases of re-infection were common.
The present study revealed that clonorchiasis remains widespread and prevalent in Heilongjiang Province. An integrated control programme is urgently needed to reduce the public health impact of clonorchiasis in this endemic area.”
Full study: PLOS One

Benzodiazepine use linked to benign brain tumours

Benzodiazepines may increase the risk of benign brain tumours, according to Taiwanese researchers. In a review of  62,186 patients who had been prescribed benzodiazepines, they found that rates of benign brain tumours were more than three times higher in patients using benzodiazepines. The risk of benign brain tumours was dose dependent and increased over time with increasing exposure to benzodiazepines. There was no increase seen in risk of malignant brain tumours, but this may have been due to the low number of such tumours in the study group.

SMS reminders improve allergy medication compliance

For patients with allergic rhinitis, a daily SMS reminder is an effective way to improve adherence with intranasal corticosteroid treatment medication and treatment outcomes, according to researchers from the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital.
In a study of 50 patients with allergic rhinitis they showed that adherence to medication was 60% in the SMS group and 28% in the control group. Clinic attendance and allergy symptoms scores were also better for patients who received SMS reminders.

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