Interesting Articles: A Weekly Review of the "Big Five" Medical Journals

This is a collection of articles I have found interesting in the weekly editions of the "big five" medical journals: NEJM, JAMA, Annals, Lancet and BMJ (a few more journals are included occasionally). The review is a weekly feature of Clinical Cases and Images - Blog. Please see the end of the post for a suggested time-efficient way to stay up-to-date with the medical literature.

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The Relationship of Coffee Consumption with Mortality: No Relationship.
Annals of Int Med, 17 June 2008 | Volume 148 Issue 12 | Pages 904-914

Coffee consumption has been linked to various beneficial and detrimental health effects, but data on its relation with mortality are sparse. The study included 41 736 men and 86 214 women who had 18 years of follow-up for men and 24 years of follow-up for women. Regular coffee consumption was not associated with an increased mortality rate in either men or women.

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Rivaroxaban versus Enoxaparin for Thromboprophylaxis after Hip Arthroplasty: Better and Just as Safe.
NEJM, 06/2008.

This phase 3 trial compared the efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban, an oral direct inhibitor of factor Xa, with those of enoxaparin for extended thromboprophylaxis in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty.

A once-daily, 10-mg oral dose of rivaroxaban was significantly more effective for extended thromboprophylaxis than a once-daily, 40-mg subcutaneous dose of enoxaparin in patients undergoing elective total hip arthroplasty. The two drugs had similar safety profiles

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Rivaroxaban versus Enoxaparin for Thromboprophylaxis after Total Knee Arthroplasty: Similar Findings to the Study Above.
NEJM, 06/2008.

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Angiotensin II Blockade and Aortic-Root Dilation in Marfan's Syndrome: Effective.
NEJM, 06/2008.

Progressive enlargement of the aortic root, leading to dissection, is the main cause of premature death in patients with Marfan's syndrome. Enlargement is caused by excessive signaling by transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) that can be mitigated by treatment with TGF-β antagonists, including angiotensin II–receptor blockers (ARBs). In a small cohort study of 18 patients, the use of ARB therapy in patients with Marfan's syndrome significantly slowed the rate of progressive aortic-root dilation.

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Are international medical conferences an outdated luxury the planet can’t afford?
Yes or No
BMJ 2008;336:1466 (28 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.a358

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Analysis of NHS at 60: How the NHS measures up.
BMJ 2008;336:1469-1471 (28 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.a385

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Related:
5 Tips to Stay Up-to-Date with Medical Literature
Make Your Own "Medical Journal" with iGoogle Personalized Page
Share iGoogle Tabs with Medical Journals, Podcasts and Gadgets
Text-to-Speech Programs and Continuous Medical Education
Image source: OpenClipArt, public domain.

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