Journal round up: bones, fidgeting and flat-head syndrome

3 minute read

TMR has sifted through leading medical journals over the past two weeks. Here are four articles that caught our attention


TMR has sifted through leading medical journals over the past two weeks. Here are four of the articles that caught our attention

Paleo diet and diabetes

The paleo diet could be risky for people with type 2 diabetes, and media reports of the benefits of the diet should be treated with caution, a University of Melbourne researcher warns.

Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulos, who is President of the Australian Diabetes Society, said there had been no trials lasting beyond 12 weeks on type 2 diabetes patients using the diet and both studies had fewer than 20 participants.

“Neither study lasted long enough for us to draw solid conclusions about the impact (of the diet) on weight or glycaemic control,” he said.

Better evidence supported the Mediterranean diet for those with the condition.

MJA; online 8 Aug

SIDS advice ignored

Parents are ignoring guidelines on SIDS and potentially endangering their children because of concerns over positional plagiocephaly, a study warns.

Positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, affects around 20% of infants. The numbers are rising, partly due to the introduction of SIDS guidelines in 1992 which recommend placing babies on their back to sleep, the authors said.

Their conclusions were drawn from a study of 121 people, including parents, grandparents and clinicians. They found many carers were using home approaches such as rolled-up towels and pillows marketed for this purpose. Parents are advised to give their children tummy time while supervised and awake, and to alternate their baby’s head position while sleeping to avoid the syndrome.

Child: Care, Health and Dev; 5 Aug  

Osteoporosis undertreated

Many Australians are missing out on osteoporosis treatment, despite an increase in therapeutic options.

Fewer than 20% of patients with a minimal trauma fracture are treated or investigated for osteoporosis, according to a review.

The authors urge doctors to assess absolute fracture risk, which can be completed using the Garvan Fracture Risk Calculator or the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool developed by the WHO.

Treatment for osteoporosis is recommended for people aged over 60 years with T scores of 2.5 at the lumbar spine, femoral neck or total hip, and patients with a history of a minimal trauma fracture.

MJA; 15 Aug

Fidgeting can be good

A study showing the positive effects of periodic movement has provided fidgeters with the perfect excuse. US researchers have demonstrated that fidgeting while sitting can increase blood flow to the lower limbs and potentially prevent arterial disease.

In the study, 11 young people were asked to tap one foot periodically (one minute on, four minutes off) while sitting for three hours. Measurements before and after revealed blood flow in the popliteal artery increased in the jiggling leg but decreased in the leg at rest.

Small leg movements could help prevent endothelial dysfunction caused by prolonged sitting, the authors concluded.

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 10 Aug

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