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Am Fam Physician. 2004;69(8):1852

Television viewing can be reduced in children, according to the results of a randomized controlled study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Viewing time was reduced by three hours per week in children in eight preschool and day care centers in upstate New York who received a series of lessons encouraging them and their families to spend less time watching television. Each of the sessions included components for the child, the parents, and the day care or preschool staff. Information was provided about alternatives to television and video viewing (e.g., reading, family meals), and the children developed their own lists of alternative activities.

Are antibiotic ear drops winning the fight against drug-resistant bacteria? Apparently not. As reported in The Kansas City Star, a physician from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia conducted a study of young children with ear tubes who had ear infections that did not respond to oral antibiotic treatment. Ear cultures from children who were treated primarily with oral antibiotics in 1997 to 1998 were compared with cultures from children treated with antibiotic ear drops in 2002 to 2003. A large increase in fungal and resistant staphylococcal infections was noted in children who had been treated with antibiotic ear drops.

Snips and snails, puppy dog tails—and preterm birth. That may be what little boys are made of. A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found an increased risk of preterm birth in male twin pregnancy. The retrospective population-based cohort study examined data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on 148,234 live-birth twin pairs born in the United States between 1995 and 1997. The study found that 40.2 percent of twin boys were born at less than 36 weeks of gestation, compared with 37.8 percent of twin girls and 36.8 percent of opposite-sex pairs.

Do breast signs suggest heart failure? According to a case report published in The Lancet, an 83-year-old woman was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) after being admitted with dyspnea on exertion and edema affecting the left breast. The woman had a history of hypertension but no history of breast injury or infection. Examination showed jugular venous distention and bilateral pretibial pitting edema. There was no palpable breast mass, no dimpling of the nipple, and no discharge from the nipple; furthermore, the left breast was not inflamed or tender. The right breast appeared to be normal. On auscultation, a grade 3/6 holosystolic murmur was heard at the apex, along with moist rales in the bilateral lower lung fields. Chest radiography showed cardiomegaly with pulmonary congestion. The mammogram showed no mass. After two weeks of treatment for heart failure, the woman had lost weight, the signs and symptoms of CHF had resolved, and the left breast looked normal.

The benefits of red wine without hangovers, headaches, or unwanted calories? As reported in PR Newswire, a new dietary supplement (Longevinex) is composed of preserved natural antioxidant molecules from French red wine and other plant sources. According to the press release, the molecules are preserved through a special manufacturing process and the use of a natural preservative derived from rice bran. Each capsule contains 15 mg of the antioxidant trans resveratrol, equivalent to the amount of the antioxidant that is present in three to 15 glasses of red wine. Previous red wine extracts in pill form have not preserved important antioxidants.

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