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Letter From the Editor: Dr. Cindy Haines - May Edition

THURSDAY, May 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- After a long, hard winter for many of us here in the United States, we may be facing a particularly difficult spring allergy season. HealthDay and Mayo Clinic co-hosted an #AllergyChat this month. This Twitter chat reached about four million people and generated about 10 million impressions. More than 140 participants sent about 800 tweets during the hour (with an average of six tweets per person). HealthDay, Cleveland Clinic, and Mayo Clinic were the top influencers.

Some other allergy news from recent Physician's Briefing headlines:

Winter's Polar Vortex Ushers in Spring's 'Pollen Vortex'

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Allergy experts say that the long, cold winter kept trees dormant for longer than usual, which means tree pollen season will overlap with grass pollen and mold seasons this year.

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Both experts interviewed for the article by HealthDay reporters pointed out that new oral allergy therapies for grass and ragweed pollens have been recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, offering an alternative to allergy shots:

FDA Approves Ragwitek for Adult Ragweed Allergy

FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ragwitek has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat allergy to short ragweed among adults aged 18 to 65.

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FDA Approves Sublingual Tablet for Grass Allergies

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Oralair has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first sublingual treatment for certain grass allergies.

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Beyond pharmacology, other novel forms of relief are on the horizon:

New Nasal Filter May Relieve Allergy Symptoms

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Rhinix nasal filter seems to be beneficial for adults with allergic rhinitis, according to a letter to the editor published online March 3 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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And the mind-body connection is alive and well, specific to allergies:

Perceived Stress Positively Linked to Allergy Flares

TUESDAY, April 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Those with persistent emotional stress may have more frequent allergy flares, according to a study published in the April issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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As always, what could be better than staying abreast and reminded of best practices for better medicine? Getting your CME credits for doing it! We began offering the opportunity to earn free AMA PRA Category 1 credit™ on select Physician's Briefing articles in the fall of 2013. Adding free CME credits to Physician's Briefing articles is a result of the joint sponsorship of Paradigm Medical Communications LLC and HealthDay. Paradigm Medical Communications LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education credit to physicians. After reading articles that are accredited for CME, physicians can create their own online accounts, track their learning activity, and easily print certificates.

Physician's Briefing articles with AMA PRA Category 1 credit™ are available via five daily articles in the five featured specialties of: Cardiology, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Family Medicine, Hematology & Oncology, and OBGYN & Women's Health. Here are a couple of recent CME articles within the specialties of Cardiology and Diabetes & Endocrinology:

Dietary Legume Intake May Cut LDL Cholesterol Levels

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary pulse (beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas) intake seems to be associated with reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online April 7 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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To earn CME credits for reading this article, click here

Drinking More Coffee May Cut Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing coffee consumption may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research published online April 24 in Diabetologia.

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To earn CME credits for reading this article, click here

Other news of potential interest to you, the health care pro, is the ever-evolving Affordable Care Act. Some of the latest:

Sebelius Stepping Down As HHS Secretary

FRIDAY, April 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is stepping down from her position, after overseeing the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act that remains unpopular with some Americans and virtually all Republican lawmakers.

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New Health Secretary to Confront Health Care Reform Hurdles

MONDAY, April 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the resignation of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday, the Affordable Care Act will get a fresh face. But turning around public perception of the controversial health care reform law in a politically charged mid-term election year poses an enormous challenge for the department's next leader, policy experts said.

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Lots happening in our fast-moving world of health and health care. At Physician's Briefing, we strive to make it easier to keep up on all the latest need-to-know health news as it's happening. Please let me know how we are doing and how we can improve in making your professional life easier and more efficient. You can reach me at


Dr. Cindy Haines
Connect with Dr. Haines on Twitter: @drcindyhaines

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