Public Release: 

Annals of Internal Medicine, tip sheet, April 18, 2000

American College of Physicians

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), an organization of more than 115,000 physicians trained in internal medicine. The following highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an embargoed fax of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656 or 215-351-2656. Full content of the issue will be available on the Internet at on April 18, 2000. NOTE: Annals will open its new Web site, , at the end of April. Copy will still be embargoed until 5 p.m. the day before publication, but we're arranging for our reporters to access embargoed articles prior to publication. Watch for details in our next tip sheet.

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Diabetics May Benefit from Regular Exercise Program
For Men with Diabetes, Low Physical Fitness Is Associated with Mortality

A prospective cohort study of 1263 men with type 2 diabetes found that both low heart-lung fitness and physical inactivity are independent predictors of death (Article, p. 605). An editorial points out the risks of physical inactivity for people with type 2 diabetes and recommends a comprehensive program of exercise as an integral part of diabetes care (Editorial, p. 669).

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Blood Thinners and Intravenous Steroids Can Be a Dangerous Combination

A prospective cohort study of 15 patients found that intravenous high-dose methylprednisolone greatly increases the potency of oral anticoagulants (Brief Communication, p. 631). The two treatments are often administered together for conditions such as cancer, transplantation, multiple sclerosis and rheumatic diseases. Authors say that when the drugs are used together, physicians must monitor clotting factors daily to avoid possible life-threatening bleeding.

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Gene Therapy for Lung Diseases: Hype or Hope?

A researcher reviews general concepts in gene therapy, summarizes the results of published clinical trials using gene therapy in treating lung diseases, and notes that "gene transfer has been safely achieved in patients with lung diseases" (Update, p. 649). The major problem now is gene delivery -- finding suitable mechanisms or vectors to carry the gene to its intended site.


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