Research Briefs 121007

Baby infections linked to asthma
Throat infections in newborns triple the risk of asthma, say Danish researchers. For the study, aspirates from the hypopharyngeal area of 321 one-month-old babies were collected; 21 per cent of the infants were colonised with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae or Moraxella catarrhalis. Follow-up at five years of age, showed that 33 per cent of those with colonisations had asthma compared with 10 per cent of those without colonisation (N Eng J Med 2007; 357: 1,487-95).

Fast TIA therapy slashes stroke risk
Quick assessment and treatment of TIAs cuts the risk of a stroke by 80 per cent, say UK researchers. The 90-day risk of stroke was just 2.1 per cent in those patients treated within a day, compared with 10.3 per cent in those who had to wait longer (Lancet Online 2007).

Fatty acids 'worsen COPD'
Eating high levels of n-6 fatty acids worsens lung function, claims a UK researcher. The findings come from an analysis of fatty acid consumption and lung function - measured as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) - in over 13,000 Dutch adults. This showed that high intakes of some n-6 fatty acids resulted in a reduction in FEV1 of 54.5ml (Thorax Online 2007).

Baby boomers
Men with deep voices father more children than their higher-pitched counterparts, research has shown. A study of a tribe in Tanzania showed that men with low-pitched voices had more reproductive success and more children than those who were high pitched (Roy Soc Biol Sci Online 2007).

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