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Am Fam Physician. 2002 Dec 15;66(12):2199.
▪ Fashion could be harmful to your health. Some modern style trends may be causing health problems, according to American Medical News. Potentially unhealthy styles include thong underwear, which has been associated with reports of vaginal and urinary tract infections; body piercing and tattoos, which pose a threat for hepatitis C transmission; and large shoulder bags, which have been linked to shoulder and back problems. Of course, fashion health problems are nothing new. From corsets to tight '70s pants, style has often been associated with pain and suffering.
▪ Most adults have a positive outlook on their child's physical education classes, according to a survey conducted by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. They believe that physical education makes children more alert, helps them focus, increases their energy, teaches them teamwork, reduces stress, and keeps them healthy. Approximately 75 percent of the adults surveyed believed that physical activity and physical education also support academic learning.
▪ How's this for a stimulating piece of news: having a third cup of coffee in the morning may reduce a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. A study of 108 persons cited in the Daily Telegraph and published in the European Journal of Neurology found that elderly persons with Alzheimer's consumed less caffeine from the age of 25 than persons without the disease who drank three to four cups of coffee a day. But don't expect caffeine to be acclaimed as a wonder drug anytime soon. More research is needed to determine how caffeine may have created this beneficial effect.
▪ Medical students at Yale University are developing their powers of observation in an unexpected place: an art museum. Beginning this year, first-year medical students at the university will be required to spend two hours critically evaluating works of art as part of their medical training, according to Family Practice News. A physician at the school developed the program after he discovered that students in the class who examined paintings had more accurate observations when they looked at photographs of patients than students who participated in other classes.
▪ Instead of visiting the doctor's office to have a wart removed, you may want to visit the hardware store. A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine showed that duct tape (yes, duct tape) is more effective in wart removal than cryotherapy. Patients were randomly assigned to either receive an application of liquid nitrogen to the wart for 10 seconds every two to three weeks or to cover their wart with duct tape for six days and repeat treatment if necessary for a maximum of two months. Of the 51 patients who completed the study, 22 (85 percent) of the patients treated with duct tape had complete resolution of their warts, while only 15 (60 percent) of the patients who received cryotherapy saw their warts completely eliminated.
▪ All in a name … A family with the same name as a new drug for erectile dysfunction is fighting with a major pharmaceutical company to have the name of the drug changed before its expected arrival on the market sometime next year, reports BMJ. The family says it fears ridicule if the drug (tadalafil) is released under their name, Cialis. If the family fails to sway the company and the product becomes as popular as a similar drug (yes, that one), they may have something to worry about.
Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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