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US cancer group recommends MRI screening for women with high risk of breast cancer: The American Cancer Society says that women with a combination of BRCA mutations, a lifetime risk of breast cancer of >20%, and exposure to chest radiography between the ages of 10 and 30, as well as some women with unusual genetic syndromes, should undergo mammography and annual magnetic resonance imaging (CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2007;57:75-89).
Women more likely than men to have surgery for obesity: Access in England to surgery for obesity varies widely and does not seem to reflect regional differences in morbid obesity, says a study in Obesity Surgery (doi: 10.1007/s11695-007-9070-x). The study, which was based on nine years of data, showed that five times as many women as men underwent surgery, that their average age was 40 years (SD 9), and that most were from local authority districts that ranked within the lowest two fifths on deprivation.
US compensation payments to oocyte donors are published: The average compensation paid to US oocyte donors is $4200 (£2110; €3100), a survey of clinics that are members of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology in Fertility and Sterility has found (doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.12.037). The amount varied from $5018 in the east and northeast of the US to $2900 in the northwest.
Drug resistance brings change in gonorrhoea treatment guidelines: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the injectable cephalosporin ceftriaxone should be used to treat gonorrhoea, because of increasing resistance to the fluoroquinolone family of antibiotics.
UK scientists find a gene for obesity: Scientists at Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth, and Oxford University have found that people with two copies of a gene that disposes them to put on weight had a 70% higher risk of obesity than those with no copies of the gene and that they weighed 3kg more, reports Science (doi: 10.1126/science.1141634). About one in six white Europeans carry two copies of the variant.
England's suicide rate at an all time low: The percentage of the general population who committed suicide in 2003-5 was the lowest on record, at 8.2 per 100000 people, says a study by the National Institute for Mental Health in England. The suicide rate among young men also fell, to 17.6 per 100000, and the number of suicides among mental health inpatients fell from 217 in 1997 to 154 in 2004. (See www.nimhe.csip.org.uk.)