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MagazineDecember 2000 (Vol. 11 Issue 9)Shorts

* Much of what we know of menopausal symptoms has been based on surveys of white women

* Much of what we know of menopausal symptoms has been based on surveys of white women. But, say researchers, symptoms differ greatly between racial and ethnic groups. According to preliminary reports from the US Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), Japanese and Chinese women have the fewest symptoms while African American women are more likely to report vasomotor symptoms and vaginal dryness. Non His panic white women were more likely to have trouble sleeping (Am J Epidemiol, 2000; 152: 463-73).

* People who are frequently exposed to pesticides, such as farmers and gardeners, have a higher risk of developing mild cognitive dysfunction (MCD). MCD is not the same as dementia, though the two share common symptoms such as memory loss and confusion. It is thought that pesticide exposure causes subtle changes in brain function that may account for the prevalence of symptoms (Lancet, 2000; 356: 912-3).

* According to the US Consumer Product safety Commission, emergency room visits due to scooter related mishaps are up by 700 per cent in just four months. In all, 9500 injuries have been reported so far this year, with over 4000 of these in August alone. The majority of these were in children under 15, and fractures accounted for 30 per cent of the reported injuries (BMJ, 2000; 321: 655).

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