January 2013 Briefing - Geriatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for January 2013. 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.

Updated Guidelines Issued for Care of Acute Ischemic Stroke

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute ischemic stroke, the keys to limiting associated morbidity and mortality include the recognition of stroke, early diagnosis and treatment, and hospital care, according to updated guidelines published online Jan. 31 in Stroke.

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Overuse of Surveillance Colonoscopy After Resection

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one-third of patients with normal results on their first and second colonoscopies after undergoing curative resection for colorectal cancer undergo subsequent surveillance colonoscopies within two years, which is earlier than recommended by current guidelines, according to research published in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Conflict-of-Interest Policy Affects Prescribing Behavior

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Psychiatrists exposed to conflict-of-interest (COI) policies while completing their residency program are less likely to prescribe brand-name antidepressants after completion of their residency, according to research published in the February issue of Medical Care.

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Adiposity, Hyperglycemia Tied to Cognitive Performance

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Among healthy middle-aged adults, adiposity and hyperglycemia correlate with poor cognitive performance, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Diabetes Care.

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CDC: Non-Flu Adult Vaccination Rates Largely Unchanged

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- In 2011, non-influenza vaccination coverage among adults was similar to that of 2010, except for modest increases in human papillomavirus (HPV) among women and in tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) overall and among household contacts of children, according to a report published in the Jan. 29 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Peds Rotavirus Vaccine Offers Indirect Protection for Adults

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric rotavirus vaccinations also decrease the prevalence of the disease in unvaccinated adults, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Low Diuretic Use in Home Care for Blacks With Hypertension

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A majority of black patients enrolled in an urban home health organization who have uncontrolled hypertension are not receiving diuretic antihypertensive medication, despite guideline recommendations regarding the important role diuretics play in hypertension control, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Hypertension.

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Yoga Shown to Reduce Clinical Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga significantly reduces clinical symptoms and improves quality-of-life measures in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Common Obesity Beliefs Often Unsupported by Science

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Many commonly held beliefs about obesity and weight loss are not supported by scientific evidence, according to a study published in the Jan. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Study Confirms Prolongation of QT Interval With Citalopram

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, including citalopram, escitalopram, and amitriptyline, are associated with prolonged corrected QT (QTc) interval, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in BMJ.

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Early Palliative Care in Lung CA Focuses on Coping, Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Early palliative care (PC) clinic visits, integrated with standard oncologic care for patients with metastatic lung cancer, emphasize symptom management, coping, and psychosocial aspects of illness, according to research published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Majority of Patients Will Consider ICD Deactivation

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) would want ICD deactivation in at least one scenario describing deteriorating health outcomes common in patients approaching the end of life, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Mortality Risk Up for Patients Admitted on Public Holidays

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Patients admitted to the hospital as emergencies on public holidays have significantly higher seven-day and 30-day mortality than patients admitted on non-holidays, according to a study published online Jan. 23 in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

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In STEMI, Diabetes Linked to Worse Long-Term Outcomes

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing primary angioplasty for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), diabetes is associated with worse long-term outcomes, including mortality, reinfarction, stent thrombosis, and target vessel revascularization (TVR), according to research published online Dec. 28 in Diabetes Care.

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Physicians Commonly Report Unsafe Hospital Workloads

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians say they often face unsafe hospital workloads, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Brain Scans Show Doctors Empathize With Patients

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who empathize with a patient in pain and feel relief when the patient receives effective treatment show activity in brain regions associated with pain relief and reward, according to a study published online Jan. 29 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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Appropriate Use Criteria Established for Amyloid PET

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Experts have agreed upon appropriate use criteria for positron emission tomography (PET) of brain amyloid β, according to a report published online Jan. 28 in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

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States Vary in Implementation of Smoking Reduction Policies

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of smoking and the implementation of combined interventions to reduce smoking vary between states, according to a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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AMA Reviews Challenges of Signing Death Certificates

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Signing death certificates is not always straightforward and has long-term ramifications on mortality data and funding, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Less CVD Hospitalization When SBP, LDL-C Controlled in T2DM

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 2 diabetes with controlled systolic blood pressure (SBP) or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) have significantly lower rates of hospitalization for cardiovascular disease (CVD), especially when both risk factors are controlled, according to research published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Substantial Increase in Spinal Interventional Techniques Seen

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Between 2000 and 2008, there was a nearly 108 percent increase in the number of Medicare recipients receiving spinal interventional techniques, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

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Modified DASH Intervention Feasible for African-Americans

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For African-Americans in an under-resourced community, use of a modified Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-intervention is feasible, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Prehospital Antiplatelets Improve Graft Intervention Outcomes

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Prehospital use of antiplatelet therapy, either aspirin/clopidogrel or dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT), is associated with a lower incidence of major adverse cardiac events after saphenous vein graft (SVG) intervention, according to research published in the Jan. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Weight Counseling Declining Among Primary Care Doctors

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- From 1995-1996 to 2007-2008, the rate of weight counseling provided by primary care physicians (PCPs) decreased significantly, even for those patients with obesity and weight-related comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, according to research published in the February issue of Medical Care.

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FDA Panel Votes for Tougher Restrictions on Hydrocodone

FRIDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel met Thursday and Friday to discuss the fate of certain painkillers that contain the opioid known as hydrocodone, concluding in a vote in favor of moving hydrocodone combination products into the more restrictive Schedule II category of controlled substances.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Improves Function Long After Stroke

FRIDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) significantly improves neurological function and quality of life in people who had a stroke up to three years earlier, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in PLOS One.

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Increases in Mean Platelet Volume After PCI Tied to Death

FRIDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), mortality is associated with increases in mean platelet volume (MPV) over time following the procedure, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Marked Geographic Variation in Mental Health Medication Use

FRIDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable local and regional variation within the United States in the use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in Health & Place.

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ACPE Survey Finds Skepticism Relating to Online Doc Ratings

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are skeptical of online ratings, and believe that few patients use them, according to a survey published by the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE).

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Physician Education Ups Communication for New Meds

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A physician-targeted education session improves physician communication about newly-prescribed medications, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Back Pain Intensity Most Influential in Fusion Decision

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients seeing a spine surgeon are most influenced by low back pain intensity when considering whether to proceed with spinal fusion surgery, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

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Smoking Cuts Life Expectancy by More Than 10 Years

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers typically die at least a decade earlier than nonsmokers, but this can be at least partially reversed by quitting smoking, according to a study published in the Jan. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Lung Cancer Death Risk in Female Smokers Has Risen

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although female smokers had a lower risk of dying of lung cancer than male smokers through the 1980s, male and female smokers now have similar risks of dying from lung cancer and other causes, according to a study published in the Jan. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Large Teaching Hospitals Face More Readmission Penalties

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Large hospitals, teaching hospitals, and safety-net hospitals (SNHs) are more likely than other hospitals to be penalized under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), according to a research letter published in the Jan. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Care Transition Initiative Decreases Rehospitalizations

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Communities instituting quality improvement initiatives for care transitions see significant declines in the rate of 30-day rehospitalizations and hospitalizations, according to a study published in the Jan. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Aspirin Ups Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Regular aspirin use is associated with an increased risk of developing neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), with evidence of a dose-response effect, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Poor Sensitivity for Clinician Suspicion of Alcohol Problem

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians' clinical suspicion of an alcohol problem has high specificity, but poor sensitivity, according to research published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Hearing Loss Linked to Cognitive Impairment in Elderly

MONDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, hearing loss is independently associated with incident cognitive impairment; and about 11 percent of those aged 80 or older have dual sensory impairment (DSI), according to two studies published online Jan. 21 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Most With C. difficile Receive Unnecessary Antimicrobials

MONDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of patients with current or recent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) receive unnecessary antimicrobials, with 26 percent receiving only unnecessary antimicrobials, according to research published in the February issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Efforts Failed to Up Primary Care, Rural Resident Training

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The 2005 redistribution of graduate medical education (GME) funds did little to train more residents in primary care and in rural areas, according to a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

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Case Study IDs B. miyamotoi As Cause of Meningoencephalitis

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The spirochete, Borrelia miyamotoi, may be an underrecognized cause of meningoencephalitis, according to a case study published in the Jan. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Family Docs Are Early Adopters of Electronic Health Records

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Family practice physicians are adopting electronic health record (EHR) systems at a fast pace, with 68 percent using an EHR system by 2011, and 80 percent expected to be users by 2013, according to research published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Enhanced Pay for Family Docs Due Jan. 1 Will Be Retroactive

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Family physicians who see Medicaid patients and are entitled to enhanced payment will get their pay, although it is likely to be delayed.

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For Under-75s, Living Alone Tied to Higher Mortality Risk

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- For adults younger than 75 years of age, living alone is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Income Affects Oncology Clinical Trial Participation

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Oncology patients with lower income, even older patients with access to Medicare, are significantly less likely to participate in clinical trials, according to research published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Even Brief Interruptions Dramatically Increase Errors

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Even momentary interruptions of two to four seconds can significantly affect a person's ability to accurately complete a task requiring considerable thought, according to research published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

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Older Individuals Have Atypical Stone Presentation

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Older individuals are more likely to have atypical presentation with urolithiasis, according to a study published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Education, Wealth Levels Impact Mortality in Diabetes Patients

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Socioeconomic status, as measured by education and financial wealth, is a strong independent predictor of mortality risk among adult diabetes patients, according to a study published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

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Medicare Advantage Quality Ratings Impact Enrollment

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare Advantage first-time enrollees and enrollees switching plans, there is an association between the quality rating and enrollment, according to a study published in the Jan. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mismatched Expectations on Average Duration of Cough

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients tend to underestimate the average duration of acute cough illness (ACI), according to research published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Medicare Pay Cut for Doctors Not in E-Prescribing Program

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare-participating physicians who failed to meet the requirements for Medicare's Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program in 2012 are being informed of their penalty for 2013, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Certain Online Behaviors of Docs Warrant Investigation

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- There is high consensus among state medical boards regarding the likelihood of probable investigations for certain online behaviors, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Top Five Issues for Docs and Patients Identified for 2013

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The top five issues that will impact physicians and patients in 2013 have been identified, according to a report published Dec. 10 by The Physicians Foundation.

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New Hematuria Risk Index IDs Patients at Low Cancer Risk

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A Hematuria Risk Index could identify cancer risk among patients with asymptomatic microscopic hematuria, according to a study published online Jan. 11 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Radiation Therapy Use Low in End-Stage Cancer

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although the overall use of radiation treatment among elderly end-stage cancer patients is low during their final month of life, many receive more than 10 days of treatment, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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CDC: Flu Activity Remains High in the United States

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Flu activity remains elevated, according to FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report prepared by the Influenza Division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; however, the annual flu vaccine is moderately effective at preventing the disease, according to a report published in the Jan. 11 early-release issue of CDC's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Initial Guidelines Issued for Lung Cancer Screening

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Initial guidelines indicate that low-dose computed-tomography lung cancer screening should be discussed with high-risk patients, with review of the potential harms, benefits, and limitations associated with screening, according to a report published online Jan. 11 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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National U.S. Health Care Spending Relatively Stable

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The growth in national U.S. health care spending was relatively stable in 2011, but growth in personal health care spending accelerated, according to a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

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Post-Op Mortality Up for Elderly With Pre-Heart Op Anxiety

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Few elderly patients about to undergo cardiac surgery experience high levels of anxiety, but for those who do, there is a five-fold higher risk of postoperative major morbidity or mortality, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Rate of Non-Medical Use of Rx Pain Meds 4.6 Percent

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of non-medical use of prescription pain relievers in the past year among individuals aged 12 years and older is estimated at 4.6 percent nationally, with considerable variation between states, according to a study published online Jan. 8 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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High Unawareness of Distal Sensorimotor Polyneuropathy

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A high percentage of older adults with diabetes and prediabetes are unaware of having clinical distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSPN), according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Diabetes Care.

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10-Year Lag in Survival Benefit After Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Breast and colorectal cancer screening have, on average, a 10-year time lag to survival benefit, according to a meta-analysis published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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SPIRIT 2013 Clinical Trial Protocol Guidelines Issued

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of experts, including trial investigators, trial coordinators, and representatives from ethics and regulatory agencies, has developed the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT) 2013 guidelines for the minimum content of a clinical trial, according to a statement published online Jan. 8 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hospital Stays Shorter for Prostatectomy, Cystectomy

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- There were reductions in hospital stays for patients undergoing prostatectomy and cystectomy in 2004 to 2005, compared to those undergoing the procedures in 1992 to 1993, according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Americans Sicker, Die Younger Than Other Developed Nations

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Americans have worse health than their peers in high-income countries, according to a report published Jan. 9 by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

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Multiple Stressors Contribute to Readmission Within 30 Days

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one-fifth of Medicare patients discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days, which seems to arise from a combination of factors contributing to patient vulnerability, according to research published in the Jan. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Two HTN Meds Plus NSAIDs Ups Acute Kidney Injury Risk

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Use of triple therapy comprising diuretics and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers, together with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with an increased risk of acute kidney injury, particularly in the first 30 days of treatment, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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Breast Cancer Screening Costs Medicare >$1 Billion Yearly

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer screening costs the Medicare fee-for-service program more than $1 billion annually, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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~40 Percent of Docs Acquiesce to Demand for Brand-Name Rx

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Close to 40 percent of physicians sometimes or often acquiesce to patient demands for brand-name drugs, even when generic drugs are available, according to a research letter published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Health Care Use Dropped Among All During Recession

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Health care use declined significantly among all races and ethnicities during the recession from 2007 to 2009, with the only ethnic disparity being fewer physician visits by Hispanics compared with whites, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Impaired Cognition, Depression Common in Aging NFL Players

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Retired professional football players may be more likely to have cognitive impairments or depression, which are associated with white matter abnormalities and changes in cerebral blood flow, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Neurology.

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Reduced Penile Size Linked to Prostate Cancer Treatment

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with radiotherapy alone, men with recurrent prostate cancer are more likely to have complaints about reduced penile size after treatment with radiotherapy plus androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or radical prostatectomy (RP), according to research published in the January issue of Urology.

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Shared Savings May Promote Care Coordination Entity Use

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Use of shared savings could encourage individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid to enroll in state-designed care coordination entities (CCEs), according to a perspective piece published online Jan. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Data Suggest Depression Doesn't Precede Impaired Cognition

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among older adults, depression correlates with prevalent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and progression to dementia, but not with incident MCI, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in JAMA Neurology.

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CDC: Influenza Activity Increasing Across the U.S.

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Flu season descended on the United States early and hard this winter, with significant increases in flu activity observed over the past month, according to an update issued Jan. 4 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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E-mail Prompts Improve Code Status Documentation

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced lung cancer, prompting oncologists via e-mail successfully improved both the rate and timing of outpatient code status documentation in patients' electronic health records, according to research published online Jan. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Most Unaware of Out-of-Pocket Costs for Prostate Cancer Tx

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with localized prostate cancer know little about the out-of-pocket expenses (OOPE) of the different treatments, and would not have chosen a different treatment even if they had known the actual OOPE of their treatment, according to a study published in the December issue of Urology.

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Functional MRI Can Improve Prediction of CBT Success

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Results of functional brain imaging can greatly improve prediction of which patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) will benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), according to a study published in the January issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

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Improved Staffing Cuts Medicare Patient Readmissions

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital nurses with good work environments who are caring for fewer patients have significantly fewer elderly Medicare patients with heart failure, acute myocardial infarction (MI), and pneumonia who are readmitted to the hospital within the first 30 days, according to research published in the January issue of Medical Care.

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Patient-Doctor Communication Affects Medication Adherence

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Poor communication between patients and health care providers is linked to lower cardiometabolic medication adherence, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Nurse-Led Monitoring Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced cancer, nurse-led monitoring and optimized treatment of physical symptoms significantly improves cancer-related fatigue, according to research published online Jan. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Prevalence of Drowsy Driving About 4 Percent in U.S.

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of drowsy driving is about 4 percent across 19 states and the District of Columbia, and correlates with other sleep-related characteristics, according to a study published in the Jan. 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Eliquis Approved for People With Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The anticoagulant Eliquis (apixaban) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help prevent stroke and dangerous blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation that isn't caused by a heart valve problem.

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Smoking Impairs Saphenous Vein Conduits in CABG Surgery

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing heart bypass surgery using saphenous veins are more likely to have signs of graft failure if they are smokers, even if they quit smoking more than a year earlier, according to a study published in the January issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Survival Similar for ICDs in Trials and Clinical Practice

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Survival is similar for patients who receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) as part of a randomized clinical trial or in routine clinical practice for primary prevention, according to research published in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Association Between Health Care Cost, Quality Inconsistent

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The direction of the association between health care cost and quality is unclear, with inconsistent evidence indicating positive, negative, mixed, and indeterminate associations, according to a review published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Prior Brain Injury Linked to Re-Injury Later in Life

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness (LOC) have a 2.5- to almost four-fold higher risk of subsequent re-injury later in life, according to research published online Nov. 21 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Ban on Ambulance Diversions Doesn't Worsen ER Crowding

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A 2009 ban on ambulance diversion in Massachusetts did not worsen crowding in emergency departments or ambulance turnaround times, according to research published online Dec. 21 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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TPN-Linked Hyperglycemia Ups Death for Non-Critically Ill

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Non-critically ill hospitalized patients who develop hyperglycemia after total parenteral nutrition (TPN) are more than five times more likely to die in the hospital, according to research published online Dec. 6 in Diabetes Care.

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Fracture Risk Down With Adherence to Bisphosphonates

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with an osteoporotic fracture, adherence to bisphosphonate treatment is associated with reduced fracture risk; and for veterans with rheumatoid arthritis, non-adherence to bisphosphonate treatment is over 50 percent, according to two studies published in the December issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Review: All-Cause Mortality Down for Mildly Overweight

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity (all grades combined) and grades 2 and 3 obesity, based on standard body mass index (BMI) categories, correlate with increased risk of all-cause mortality, while overweight is associated with decreased risk compared with normal weight, according to a review published in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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House Joins Senate to Avert Medicare Cuts

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The House of Representatives settled on an 11th-hour agreement late Tuesday night that has averted the widespread tax increases and spending cuts that would have gone into effect January 1. This agreement occurred 21 hours after the U.S. Senate did its part to steer the country clear of the "fiscal cliff."

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Surgery Consultation Common After MRI of the Spine

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of patients whose primary care physicians recommend a lumbosacral or cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan go on to receive a surgical consultation, but few end up undergoing spinal surgery, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Primary Care Docs Support Added Training in Obesity Care

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians overwhelmingly support additional training and practice-based changes to improve obesity care in their practice, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in BMJ Open.

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Open-Angle Glaucoma Up 22 Percent in Last 10 Years

TUESDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of open-angle glaucoma has increased more than 20 percent in the last 10 years and currently affects more than 2.7 million Americans age 40 years and older, according to a report from Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute.

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