Despite some studies that suggest oral contraceptives are less effective in obese women, new research from Columbia shows that the pill works equally well in obese and normal-weight women. The study appeared in the August 2010 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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New medicines have worked miracles for some patients with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and other autoimmune diseases, but the drugs also weaken the immune system’s ability to fight short-term infections.

Most hip fractures due to osteoporosis follow the same pattern: a fall and the bone around the hip joint shatters into pieces. Two to three years ago, orthopedic surgeons began seeing an increase in unusual breaks that snapped the thighbone in two, often with no warning.


Reducing salt in the American diet by as little as one-half teaspoon (or three grams) per day could prevent nearly 100,000 heart attacks and 92,000 deaths each year, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia and UCSF. Such benefits are on par with the benefits from reductions in smoking and could save the United States about $24 billion in health-care costs.


A Columbia study showed that the heart’s ability to pump effectively is diminished among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, even in people with no or mild symptoms. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the research is the first to show a strong link between heart function and mild COPD.


Preserving organs on ice before transplantation, an approach known as cold storage, has been the standard practice in liver transplantation for 20 years. New evidence shows that a technique called hypothermic machine perfusion may offer an improvement, according to the first study comparing the impact of the two techniques on transplant outcomes.