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Better-informed donít abuse antibiotics

Children of doctors and pharmacists are significantly less likely to be given antibiotics for common colds and viral respiratory infections, compared with children in the general population, Taiwanese researchers report in Pediatrics. According to them, antibiotic resistance might be reduced if parents were better informed about the uselessness of these agents in viral infections. Much of the indiscriminate drug prescriptions have been attributed to being a response to parental demands. The researchers also found that children of parents in low-income groups, or with little education, were also more likely to receive antibiotics than those with higher incomes. To rectify the situation, the researchers advocate educational, regulatory and other efforts for prescribing appropriate antibiotics.

Obesity link to prostate cancer

Men who gain weight rapidly from age 25 to 40 are twice as likely to have a recurrence of prostate cancer after surgery as those who do not, a new study in Clinical Cancer Research reports. Being overweight at the time of the surgery also increases the risk of recurrence. The men at greatest risk had gained an average of one-and-a-half kilos a year between 25 and 40, the researchers found. Weight gain remained a significant risk factor, even when factors like family history, physical activity and smoking were taken into account. The study also suggests that obesity is linked to lower testosterone and higher insulin levels, which can affect the outcome of cancer treatments.

Inhaled insulin more effective

Treatment with inhaled insulin or exenatide, an injectable drug, can improve blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes who donít have a good enough response with pills, according to the findings of two studies reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The first study assessed the effect of inhaled insulin on sugar control in 309 patients when substituted for or added to standard oral medications and found that the therapy achieved low blood sugar quite effectively. The second study found the therapy had little side-effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and weight gain, when compared to the therapy involving exenatide.

Liars have abnormal brains

Pathological liars may have structural abnormalities in their brains, researchers at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, suggest. According to their study, people who habitually lied and cheated had less gray matter in the brain. Because gray matter consists of only brain cells, the study says that the liars have an innate capacity to fabricate with fewer moral restraints.

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