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Male fertility

Study chooses Boxer shorts over Briefs

Drinking, smoking and using recreational drugs probably will not reduce a man's fertility, a new study suggests - but wearing briefs instead of boxers might. British researchers studied 2,249 men who visited fertility clinics after a year of trying unsuccessfully to impregnate a partner. The scientists categorized 939 of the men as having abnormally low sperm count or motility. Among modifiable behaviors, manual work and wearing jockey shorts were associated with abnormal semen. But high body mass index, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and use of recreational drugs had no relationship to semen quality, the researchers reported. "If a man wants to do something (to improve fertility), changing from jockey shorts to boxer shorts may help," said the lead author, Andrew C. Povey, an epidemiologist at the University of Manchester. The study appeared online in the journal Human Reproduction.

Omega-3 fizzles in diabetes trial

A large trial has found that supplements of omega-3 fatty acid do nothing to prevent cardiovascular problems or death in people with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes greatly increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular ailments. Researchers randomized 12,536 people with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes to receive either a placebo or a daily dose of at least 900 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acid. After more than six years, they found that the groups showed no difference in rates of heart attack or stroke, or in number of deaths from cardiovascular disease or arrhythmia. Rates of hospitalization for heart failure or other cardiovascular problems were nearly identical. The study was published online last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Statins study finds link with fatigue

Many observational reports have suggested that statin drugs cause fatigue in some people, and now a randomized trial has found further evidence. The experiment, published online in Archives of Internal Medicine, included 1,016 healthy men and women over age 20 with levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, from 115 to 190 milligrams per deciliter of blood (around 100 is optimal). A third of them took 20 milligrams of simvastatin, a third 40 milligrams of pravastatin, and a third took a placebo daily for six months. The researchers found that LDL levels declined significantly in those on statins, but they were more likely to report that their overall energy level and their energy on exertion had declined. The effect was more apparent in women than in men. "Patients need to be aware of this, in case they notice fatigue when on statins, so that they can have a discussion with their physicians," said lead author, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

New York Times


"I can't tell you the number of 40-pound 1-year-olds I see every day."

Dr. Melissa Garretson, a Texas pediatrician, speaking in support of an American Medical Association endorsement of obesity education in public schools