News Forum: In brief

At-a-glance briefs from the latest journals

Screening for chlamydia
People should be tested for chlamydia when they acquire a new sexual partner, in addition to annual screening, UK researchers recommend. Their RCT involved 2,529 sexually active women aged 16-27 years, who provided vaginal swabs. Samples were tested immediately (and any infection treated) or analysed after a year. Baseline prevalence of chlamydia was 5.4 and 5.9 per cent for immediate and deferred testing groups, respectively; 1.3 and 1.9 per cent, respectively, developed PID. Women treated for chlamydia had an 80 per cent lower risk of PID, but most cases of PID occurred in those who tested negative on initial testing.
Oakeshott P, Kerry S, Aghaizu A et al. BMJ 2010; 340: c1642

Antidepressant can block tamoxifen
Paroxetine can impair the action of tamoxifen in breast cancer, according to a population-based cohort study. Researchers examined data on 2,430 women aged 66 years or older with breast cancer, who received tamoxifen between 1993 and 2005. About 30 per cent also received an antidepressant during therapy, usually paroxetine. Absolute increases of 25, 50 and 75 per cent in the proportion of time on tamoxifen with overlapping use of paroxetine were associated with 24, 54 and 91 per cent increases in the risk of death from breast cancer, respectively.
Kelly CM, Juurlink DN, Gomes T et al. BMJ 2010; 340: c693

Screening and breast cancer mortality
Researchers in Denmark have investigated changes in breast cancer deaths in regions offering screening compared with non-screening regions. The analysis covered 10 years after screening could have an effect and 10 years before it was introduced. For women who could benefit from screening (55-74 years), mortality declined by 1 per cent per year in screened areas and 2 per cent per year in non-screened areas. In those too young for screening (35-54 years), breast cancer mortality declined by 5 per cent per year in screened areas compared with 6 per cent per year in non-screened areas. For those aged 75-84 years, there was little change in mortality over time in screened and non-screened areas.
Jorgensen KJ, Zahl PH, Gotzsche PC. BMJ 2010; 340: c1241

Pregnancy and spatial  recognition
Pregnancy seems to affect a woman's spatial recognition memory. Researchers in the UK assessed how well 23 pregnant and 24 non-pregnant women could remember patterns and locations, plan spatial moves and learn rules. Overall, pregnant women performed significantly worse on the spatial memory test in the second and third trimesters, and at three months after birth. There was also a significant reduction in antenatal spatial recognition memory score between the first and subsequent testing occasions.
Farrar D, Tuffnell D, Neill J et al. Endocrine Abstracts 2010

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