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Am Fam Physician. 1998;57(6):1207

Guns and families—often a deadly combination. Forty-four percent of white households and 24 percent of non-white households have a firearm, according to a General Social Survey cited in American Demographics. A shotgun was kept by 64 percent of the white families and 40 percent of the non-white families. A rifle was owned by 62 percent of the whites and 26 percent of the non-whites, while a pistol was kept by 55 percent of the whites and 59 percent of the non-whites.

The benefits of structured exercise programs for patients with heart failure are real, but they rarely last more than a few months. The problem is compliance. In a study of patients with heart failure, a physician prescribed a supervised aerobic and resistance training program three times a week for three months. Patients were then told to maintain the program on their own. At 12 months, the gains seen at three months were gone. Maintaining the program on their own proved to be too difficult for the patients, reports Family Practice News.

Who's more likely to dream about sex, men or women? Neither, according to a survey conducted by the dream and nightmare laboratory at Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Montreal. Physician's Weekly reports that of 87 female undergraduates, 72.4 percent had sexual dreams versus 73.3 percent of the 45 male undergraduates surveyed.

When lupus strikes men, its impact is twice as hard as it is in women. In a study of 545 female and 41 male lupus patients, hemolytic anemia developed in 46 percent of men, compared with 26 percent of women. The frequency of lupus anticoagulant was twice as high in men, who also had more hypocomplementemia, with thrombosis rates of 34 percent versus 18 percent in women. Seizures occurred in 20 percent of men and only 8 percent of women, and men were more likely to have glaucoma, hypertension and renal insufficiency, reports Physician's Weekly.

What would you do if you were seated next to a misbehaving child during an airplane flight? A survey of 287 online users showed that 58 percent of people would try to ignore the child, while 14 percent would try to reason with the child. Ten percent said they would beg the parent to quiet the child, while 9 percent would glare at the parents. Six percent would ask the flight attendant for assistance, and 4 percent would search for a quieter seat, according to results of a survey conducted by Cyber Dialogue, cited in American Demographics.

Female physicians are twice as likely as women in the general population to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), says Family Practice News. Nearly half of the 1,500 post-menopausal physicians surveyed by the Women Physicians' Health Study reported using HRT; only about 10 percent of postmenopausal women in the general population use HRT. Obstetricians and gynecologists are twice as likely as physicians in other specialties to use hormones. The study also found that physicians tend to avoid HRT if they have a personal or family history of breast cancer.

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Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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