* Shock-wave treatment to break up kidney stones can lead to heart complications much later than specialists thought, doctors at the Department of Cardiology in New Delhi have reported (The Lancet, 30 July 1994). While heart problems have been associated with the treatment, the doctors observed that complications set in only several hours later.
* Intensive exercise by the elderly can help increase muscle strength, walking speed and stair climbing ability, a double-blind study has concluded (BMJ, 2 July 1994). The less energetic option of a daily high-energy drink did not come with the same benefits.
* A woman who took the cancer drug tamoxifen throughout pregnancy has given birth to a child with Goldenhar's syndrome, which affects the eyes, ears and spinal vertebrae. Doctors at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans believe it is the first case of a woman who has taken the drug throughout pregnancy (JAMA, 22 June 1994).
* The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US is being urged to approve a home test kit for HIV. The kit, called Confide, will be sold by pharmacies for $30. Users will call a free telephone number after sending a small sample of blood for analysis (The Lancet, 2 July 1994).