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Otitis media
About the author: 

OTITIS MEDIATry osteopathy before grommetsOsteopathy offers a long-term solution to acute otitis media (AOM), a childhood ear infection usually treated with antibiotics

OTITIS MEDIA
Try osteopathy before grommets
Osteopathy offers a long-term solution to acute otitis media (AOM), a childhood ear infection usually treated with antibiotics.

Children who'd had three or four episodes of AOM in a year were given routine care with or without osteopathy. Those receiving osteopathy had fewer attacks than those receiving only the standard treatment (Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 2003; 157: 861-6).

ALCOHOL
Increases risk of breast cancer
A study of 2000 women aged 65-79 found that those who drank two or more alcoholic drinks daily significantly increased their risk of breast cancer compared with non-drinkers. 'Alcohol is known to increase oestrogen levels in the blood, and therefore it could stimulate hormonally sensitive tumours,' the researchers said (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2003; 12: 1061-6).

EPILEPSY
The drugs don't work
Nearly half the patients taking epilepsy drugs continue to have seizures. Monitoring the seizure rate among 1652 patients, all taking up to seven different drugs, suggests that many could have their seizures controlled by other forms of medical care (Seizure Online: www.harcourt-international.com/ journals/seiz/).

HOORAY! THE DRUGS WORK
But then again, they don't
Beta-blockers and calcium antagonists equally reduced blood pressure in over 70 per cent of the patients monitored. However, a separate study found that the multidrug strategy adopted to treat hypertension is likely to trigger diabetes, which can lead to . . . heart problems (JAMA, 2003; 290: 2805-16).

OSTEOARTHRITIS
Good news for sufferers
In a review of 15 studies involving 1775 patients, glucosamine and chondroitin had a 'pronounced effect' on symptoms of osteoarthritis, including mobility and inflammation, and seemed to work well on 20 per cent of those who took them (Arch Intern Med, 2003; 163: 1514-2).


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