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February 2009 Briefing - Dermatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Dermatology for February 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Tacrolimus, Corticosteroid Regimen May Improve Dermatitis

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A sequential regimen of tacrolimus ointment and tapered use of topical corticosteroids in children may provide control of atopic dermatitis while limiting exposure to corticosteroids, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Osteopontin May Be Heart Risk Factor in Psoriasis Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating osteopontin -- a glycophosphoprotein secreted by epithelial and many other cell types -- may be a cardiovascular risk factor in individuals with psoriasis, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Insurance Essential for Good Health, Well-Being

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Having health insurance is vital for health and well-being, and when rates of uninsurance are high, even insured people are more likely to struggle to obtain necessary care, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine released online Feb. 24.

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US Health Spending May Have Hit $2.4 Trillion in 2008

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Health spending in the United States was estimated to be $2.4 trillion last year, and is expected to account for an unprecedented share of the economy this year, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Health Affairs.

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Black Women Face Higher Risk of Early Mycosis Fungoides

MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Women are more likely than men to present with mycosis fungoides -- the most common type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma -- before the age of 40, as are black and Hispanic patients, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Rare Brain Infection Confirmed in Patients on Efalizumab

FRIDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Three cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) have been confirmed in patients taking the psoriasis drug efalizumab (Raptiva), according to a public health advisory issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 19.

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Proposed Changes to Health Care Would Reduce Costs

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Simultaneous gains in universal health coverage, improved health outcomes and slowed spending growth would have a major impact on the development of public policy, according to a perspective published in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Transparency, Globalization Growing in Clinical Research

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- All clinical trial data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database should be publicly available, and global clinical research should be conducted in relevant populations for potential applications of the intervention, according to two articles published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Wood
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Abstract - Glickman
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Ocular Damage Common in Severe Skin Reactions

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- It is common for patients with the rare skin reactions toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) or Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) to also experience involvement of the eyes, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Predeployment Skin Checks Can Reduce Skin Disease Evacuations

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The number of aeromedical evacuations conducted by the military for patients with ill-defined skin diseases could be reduced if combatants with chronic skin diseases were identified prior to deployment, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Possible Risk of Herpes Zoster with Anti-TNF-α Therapy

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Monoclonal antibodies directed against tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), a class of drugs that treat a variety of systemic inflammatory diseases, are associated with an increased risk of herpes zoster, according to research published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Editorial

Ads Featuring 'Drug Facts Box' Help Educate Consumers

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing the brief summary in direct-to-consumer ads with a "drug facts box" may result in improved consumer knowledge and judgment about medication benefits and side effects, according to study findings released online Feb. 17 in advance of publication in the Apr. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Social Norms Influence Lifeguards' Safe Sun Habits

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Workplace safe sun policies and participation in skin cancer prevention programs both help improve the sun protection habits of lifeguards and aquatic instructors, but social norms exert the greatest influence, researchers report in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Interleukin-Based Psoriatic Arthritis Drug Shows Promise

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Ustekinumab, a human interleukin 12/23 monoclonal antibody drug, reduces symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and the severity of skin lesions, according to research published online Feb. 12 in The Lancet.

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Editorial

Care Coordination Programs Don't Benefit Medicare Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses, most care coordination programs have little impact on reducing hospitalizations and costs or improving quality of care, according to a report published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Renal Failure, Contrast Agent Linked to Systemic Fibrosis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Awareness of risk factors involved in the suspected link between nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) and gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) may help clinicians reduce the risk of this condition in patients, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Eye Region Gives Hints for Age, Level of Fatigue

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals use the eye region to make age and fatigue judgments about another person, suggesting that eyes are disproportionately important for providing facial cues, according to research published in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Footballers at Risk for Drug-Resistant Staph Infections

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Poor hygiene, skin injuries and living in close proximity to teammates contributed to an outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in 2007 among members of a high school football team, according to a report published in the Jan. 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Physician's Briefing
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