US Pharm. 2007;32(6):100.

One Drink a Day May Reduce Dementia Risk
In older people with mild cognitive impairment, having up to an average of one alcoholic drink each day may delay progression to dementia, according to new research published in Neurology. The 3.5-year study included participants between ages 65 and 84.

The results of this study, the first to look at the effects of alcohol consumption on the rate of progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia, confirmed that drinking was not associated with the development of mild cognitive impairment. Once mild impairment occurred, however, subjects who had up to one drink of alcohol per day had an 85% reduced risk of dementia compared with those who abstained from drinking. The benefit was seen with wine in particular.

Many with Hypertension Shun DASH Diet
The percentage of Americans with high blood pressure following the recommendations of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has declined since 1999, according to a new study presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension. The overall "DASH-accordance" was about 8% lower in the 1999-2004 group versus the 1988-1994 group. "The fact that so few people with hypertension--just 22% in the group studied--are following some simple dietary measures indicates a breakdown somewhere in the American health care system," said lead researcher Philip Mellen, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The DASH diet focuses on nine nutrient types: total fat, saturated fat, protein, cholesterol, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Patients in accordance with the DASH diet were those who met half the nutrient targets. Younger patients and African- Americans were less likely to follow the diet, while those with diabetes or an advanced level of education were more likely to follow it. Increased preparation time and expense, as well as the lack of reimbursement associated with dietary counseling, are possible factors leading to decreased patient adherence and awareness.

Gestational Effects of Apples and Fish
Eating apples throughout pregnancy may protect against wheezing and asthma in 5-year-old children, while fish consumption may lower the risk of eczema, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society's International Conference. Among the 1,212 children studied, those whose mothers ate fish once or more per week were 43% less likely to develop eczema at age 5 than children of mothers who never ate fish. Those whose mothers ate more than four apples a week during pregnancy were 46% less likely to have had asthma symptoms and 53% less likely to have had diagnosed asthma compared to children of mothers who ate one or no apples a week. Further studies are required before exact recommendations can be made.

--Kanika Sahdev, PharmD

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