News in brief

Football could fight obesity
Researchers in Denmark followed a football team of untrained men, a group of joggers and a passive control group, all aged 20-40, over three months. The footballers and joggers were active for one hour, two to three times per week. After 12 weeks, the footballers had lost 3.5kg of fat, compared with 2kg for the joggers, and gained >2kg of muscle mass; the joggers showed no change. Both groups showed significant improvements in BP, insulin sensitivity and balance. The researchers believe the footballers' greater improvements were due to shifts between walking, running and sprinting.

Risk factors in young patients with acute MI
The risk factor profile and extent of coronary artery lesions among young patients with a first acute MI were found to be significantly different between the sexes, according to the results of a study in Italy. Researchers collected clinical data for 1,646 young patients with a first acute MI over a period of three years. Smoking, hypercholesterolaemia and obesity were more prevalent in men, while inactivity was more prevalent in women. Coronary stenosis was more common in men. Women had more single-vessel disease and no coronary lesions, while multivessel disease was more frequent in men, who were more likely to have lesions of the left circumflex or right coronary artery.
Sozzi FB, Danzi GB, Foco L et al. Coron Artery Dis 2007;18:429-31.

Periodontal disease amd MI
Researchers in Goa have found a possible link between periodontal disease and acute MI, although further research is needed to confirm whether periodontal disease is indeed a risk factor for acute MI. They studied 500 patients, 250 with acute MI and 250 with CHD, and recorded data on their serum lipid levels and dental parameters. All parameters were found to be significantly different between the two groups and several parameters were significantly associated with the patients with acute MI.
Kaisare S, Rao J, Dubashi N. Br Dent J 2007;203:E5.

Screening for atrial fibrillation in older patients
More new cases of AF are detected in patients over 65 who are screened routinely rather than opportunistically. A study was carried out in 50 primary care centres, which carried out either systematic screening, where patients were invited for ECG, or opportunistic screening, where patients had their pulse taken and ECG was offered if the pulse was irregular. The detection rate of new cases of AF was 1.63 per cent a year in the intervention practices and 1.04 per cent in the control practices. This may have an impact on the current system, where screening tends to be opportunistic.
Fitzmaurice DA, Hobbs FDR, Jowett S et al. BMJ 2007;335:383.

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