php mysql help, is it already in db?

I need to see if an item is already in the database, I can do this:

--------------------------
$query = "SELECT * FROM oys_reg_users WHERE reg_email = '".$email."'";
$result = mysql_query($query);
$num_results = mysql_num_rows($result);
if ($num_results == 0) {
--------------------------

but it seems like there would be a more efficient way.... do I use count rows, or something else?  I just need to know if it already exists or not,

Thanks,  Chris
St_Aug_Beach_BumAsked:
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ErburethCommented:
If you only want to verify whether the result exists, you could use
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM table WHERE oys_reg_users WHERE reg_email = '".$email."'";

which is a little bit faster, as it returns only the result count, instead of whole set of results.
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rizwanidreesCommented:
You should use COUNT(*) to make it little bit faster, however it is also fine
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St_Aug_Beach_BumAuthor Commented:
Thank you both!  Appreciate the help :)
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Cornelia YoderArtistCommented:
If the reason you need to know whether it exists or not is so you can decide whether to INSERT or UPDATE, consider MySQL's REPLACE.
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