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Vitamin D Not Associated with Overall Cancer Mortality

Serum vitamin D levels are not associated with overall cancer mortality, although high levels may be linked to reduced mortality from colorectal cancer in particular, reports the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Using data from NHANES III, researchers examined the association between baseline levels of serum 25(OH)D and cancer mortality during a median follow-up of about 9 years. Nearly 17,000 people aged 17 or older were included.

After multivariable adjustment, vitamin D was not associated with overall cancer mortality — a finding that held true in analyses stratified by sex and ethnicity. However, when site-specific cancers were evaluated, colorectal cancer mortality decreased significantly as vitamin D level increased.

Editorialists conclude: “While vitamin D may well have multiple benefits beyond bone, health professionals and the public should not in a rush to judgment assume that vitamin D is a magic bullet and consume high amounts of vitamin D.”

JNCI article (Free abstract; full text requires subscription)

JNCI editorial (Free)

Related Journal Watch link(s):

Physician’s First Watch coverage of a study showing a link between vitamin D supplementation and reduced all-cause mortality (Free)

                   
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Washing Surfaces in Hospitals Reduces Spread of MRSA

Basic hospital cleaning should take a higher priority if infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are to be brought under control, concludes a review published online in Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The author, looking back on studies examining the epidemiology of MRSA and other staph infections, finds the organisms to be long-lived, even when not colonizing patients or their caregivers. She points to the profusion of electronic gear at the bedside, all offering hand-touch sites from which MRSA can spread. Infection-control recommendations, including those from the CDC, stress visible cleanliness as a performance criterion, even though less than half of the “visibly clean” wards were microbiologically clean.

Recommending more spending for cleaning, she concludes: “We do not yet know exactly what impact cleaning could have on control, but this ignorance should not be used as an excuse for doing nothing.”

Lancet Infectious Diseases article (Free abstract; full text requires subscription)

CDC report on managing multidrug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings (Free PDF)

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