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NICH annual symposium
from Dec. 20-22nd 2013

KARACHI: National Institute of Child Health is holding its annual symposium from December 20-22nd 2013. Last date for submission of abstract is July 31st. For further details contact e mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PAD’s 32nd conference
from Dec. 13-15th 2013

KARACHI: Pakistan Association of Dermatologists is holding its 32nd meeting at Karachi from December 13-15th 2013. New Horizons in Aesthetic Dermatology is the theme of the conference. For details contact Dr. Manzoor Memon e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Surgeon Devi Shetty to make
cardiac surgery more affordable in India

According to reports cardiac surgeon Devi Shetty, “who has started a chain of 21 medical centers around India,” is seeking to make heart surgery more affordable. By cutting costs in various ways, Shetty has reduced “the price of coronary bypass surgery to 95,000 rupees ($1,583)...and wants to get the price down to $800 within a decade.”

Obese kidney failure patients receive
survival benefit from transplantation

Most obese individuals with kidney failure can prolong their lives by receiving a kidney transplant, although this survival benefit is lower in severely obese individuals. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation. The findings will hopefully decrease differences in access to transplantation for obese patients.
Obesity is increasing in patients with kidney failure. In some studies, obese kidney failure patients who are on dialysis have a lower risk of dying prematurely than non-obese patients. In contrast, obese kidney transplant recipients have a higher risk of dying prematurely than non-obese recipients. Therefore determining the survival benefit of transplantation in obese transplant recipients is an important issue.
Using data from the United States between 1995 and 2007, John Gill, MD, MS, of the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, and his colleagues determined the risk of premature death in transplant recipients grouped by body mass index (BMI) compared with transplant candidates with the same BMI who were on the transplant waiting list. The analysis included 208,498 patients, and obesity was defined as a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher.
Among the major findings:
• Obese patients with a BMI of 30 to 39 kg/m2 derived a similar survival advantage from transplantation as non-obese patients, which equated to more than a 66 percent reduced risk of dying within one year of transplantation.
• Obese patients with a BMI of 40 or higher derived a lower survival advantage from transplantation (a 48 percent reduced risk of dying within one year), and a survival advantage was uncertain in Black patients with a BMI of 40 or higher.
• Differences in obese compared with non-obese patients were not as profound with transplantations using kidneys from live donors.
• The risk of dying early after transplantation was greater in obese compared with non-obese patients.
“This study shows that obese patients derive a survival advantage from transplantation, and obesity should not exclude patients from consideration of transplantation,” said Dr. Gill. “Also, improved early post-transplant care may help reduce the early risk of death in obese patients, and living donor transplantation may be a useful strategy to mitigate the risks of transplantation in obese transplant candidates.”

Diet Sodas linked to a
number of Health Problems

According to reports t an opinion piece (pdf) published online in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism has found that diet sodas may be linked to a number of health problems from obesity to diabetes to heart disease, just like their more sugary counterparts.
Castillo reports that the opinion piece, which reviewed recent research papers, found that just drinking one diet drink a day was enough to create a significantly heightened chance of developing one of these disorders. What’s more, other evidence showed that consuming artificial sweeteners often leads to weight gain.
Fake sugar teases your body by pretending to give it real food. But when your body doesn’t get the things it expects to get, it becomes confused on how to respond. In other words, on a physiological level, this means when diet soda drinkers consume real sugar, the body doesn’t release the hormone that regulates blood sugar and blood pressure.

Research suggests echocardiography
may be overused

According to reports “two new studies,” both published in JAMA Internal Medicine, “suggest that, despite its popularity, transthoracic echocardiography is often not beneficial.” In one of the studies, researchers found “that in most cases echocardiography does not change the treatment of patients.” The other “study suggests that using echocardiography to screen low-risk people for heart disease is not warranted.”
In an article on the first study, Health Day (7/23) reported that investigators “reviewed data on 535 patients who underwent echocardiograms at UT Southwestern Medical Center in April 2011.” The researchers “found that only one in three tests resulted in a change in the patient’s care.” Fewer than “half resulted in continuation of the patient’s current care.”
According to yet another report “in response to the growing volume and cost of TTE, the American College of Cardiology Foundation, the American Society of Echocardiography, and several other imaging groups developed appropriate use criteria for TTE in 2007 and updated the criteria in 2011.”
CardioSource (7/23) reports that the study’s “authors also suggest that participation in educational programs like “Choosing Wisely,” of which the ACC is a part, could assist in raising awareness among both clinicians and patients about “the cost and utility of testing in daily care.” In all of these cases, the authors note that collaboration among hospitals, administrators, politicians, economists, the government and patients will be key.”
Reporting on the second study, MedPage Today has written that “echocardiographic screening for structural or valvular heart disease in the general population did not improve outcomes.” Investigators found that, “through up to 15 years of follow-up, the rate of all-cause death was not significantly different between the screened and unscreened groups (26.9% versus 27.6%; HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.89-1.06).”
The study also found “no significant differences between the two groups in terms of death from heart disease, sudden death, or rates of fatal or nonfatal heart attack and stroke.”

Physicians increasingly
enter MBA programs

According to reports “Business training for doctors has been growing steadily since the late 1990s when UC Irvine became one of the first medical schools to offer a joint MD/MBA” degree, which is now offered by “more than 50 percent of medical schools.” Moreover, there are a “surprising number of senior-level physicians and health care professionals seeking” an executive MBA. Notably, for the “first time, students from the health care field make up nearly one in five students” in MIT’s Sloan School of Management Executive MBA program’s 2014 class. MBA programs have benefitted individual physicians. For example, Dr. Ivan Salgo, the “senior director of Global Cardiology at Philips Ultrasound in Andover,” used the “data analysis skills he mastered at MIT,” to develop a new method for predicting “cardiac outcomes” for which he “won an award from the American College of Cardiology this year.”

Skipping breakfast linked to higher
MI risk in elderly men

According to reports “a study of older men found those who regularly skipped breakfast had a...higher risk of a heart attack than those who” did not skip breakfast. For the study, published in Circulation, investigators surveyed approximately “27,000 men about their eating habits in 1992.” Roughly 13 percent indicated that they usually did not eat breakfast. Respondents “all were educated health professionals...and were at least 45.”
The investigators “found that men who skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of coronary heart disease than men who ate their morning meal.” According to another report “younger men were more likely to skip breakfast than older ones, as were smokers, the unmarried, alcohol drinkers, people who were less physically active and those who had full-time jobs.”
Yet “another key finding was that men who reported ‘eating late at night’ had a 55 percent higher coronary heart disease risk compared to those who didn’t, but the subgroup of participants was very small, just 313 men, or about 2 percent.”

GSK accused to bribe official,
doctors in China to boost its sales

BEIJING: GSK the multinational pharmaceutical concern has been accused by Chinese police of bribing official and doctors in China to boost its sales and raise the price of its medicines in China. According to Chinese Police GSK transferred up to three billion Yuan ($489m) to seven hundred travel agencies and consultancies over six years to facilitate the bribe. GSK is reported to have said it was deeply concerned by the developments which it called “shameful”. (RDJ17)

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