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This Week in JAMA
September 12, 2001

This Week in JAMA

JAMA. 2001;286(10):1141. doi:10.1001/jama.286.10.1141
Use of Antibiotics to Treat Sore Throat in Adults

The frequency of antibiotic use for the treatment of sore throat greatly exceeds the prevalence of pharyngitis caused by group A β-hemolytic streptococci, the only common cause of sore throat that warrants antibiotic treatment. In this analysis of data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care survey, Linder and Stafford found that antibiotics were prescribed by community primary care physicians in 73% of the estimated 6.7 million annual visits for sore throat in the United States between 1989 and 1999. Overall use of antibiotics for sore throat decreased from 1989 to 1999, but treatment with broader-spectrum antibiotics increased.

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Aspirin Use and All-Cause Mortality

Cardiovascular benefits of aspirin therapy have been demonstrated in a variety of patient populations, particularly after acute myocardial infarction. In this observational cohort study of clinically stable patients referred for stress echocardiography, Gum and colleaguesArticle report that aspirin use was independently associated with reduced long-term all-cause mortality during a median follow-up of 3.1 years. In an editorial, Radford and FoodyArticle discuss how observational studies may add to the results of randomized controlled trials in the assessment of therapeutic interventions.

Obesity, Diabetes Epidemics Continue in United States

In previous reports, Mokdad and colleagues documented the increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes mellitus among adults in the United States during the 1990s. Analysis of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2000 indicates that the prevalence of obesity and diabetes has continued to increase nationwide. More than 56% of US adults are overweight, 19.8% are obese, and 7.3% have diabetes.

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Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have been acquired primarily in nosocomial settings, but recent reports suggest that MRSA infections may also be community acquired. Groom and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to investigate the occurrence of community-acquired MRSA infections in a rural midwestern American Indian community in 1997. More than half of the S aureus isolates were MRSA, and most of the MRSA isolates were classified as community acquired.

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Dynamics of Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia, the decrease in muscle mass that occurs with aging, has been attributed to a reduction in the rate of basal muscle protein synthesis. In this study of basal muscle protein turnover in healthy young and older men, however, Volpi and colleaguesArticle found that muscle protein synthesis was slightly higher in older men, and basal net protein catabolism was not statistically different. In an editorial, Roubenoff and CastanedaArticle suggest that sarcopenia may be explained by the failure of aging muscle to respond to anabolic stimuli rather than by a reduction in basal muscle protein synthesis rate.

A Piece of My Mind

"Mom and Tot classes and play groups are just two places where men receive subtle messages regarding their expected role in child rearing. The physician's office is another." From "Men's Work."

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Contempo Updates

Monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Medical News & Perspectives

President Bush's announcement that federally financed research may be conducted on only 64 stem cell lines has scientists wondering about the quality of the stem cell lines, their availability, and how useful they may prove to be.

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Quality of Care and the National Quality Forum

Kizer describes the National Quality Forum, an organization established in 1999 to develop consensus about standardized health care performance measures, reporting mechanisms, and a national strategy for health care quality improvement.

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Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes

Systematic review of studies on the effect of exercise on glycemic control and weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Sponsors, Authors, and Accountability

A joint statement from editors of general medical journals on the relationship between investigators and sponsors in the conduct and reporting of biomedical research.

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JAMA Patient Page

For your patients: Information about antibiotic resistance.

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