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March 2011 Briefing - Geriatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for March 2011. 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.

Skeletal Immaturity Does Not Affect Broken Bones' Healing

THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- People who break both the radius and ulna before reaching skeletal maturity heal just as well as those who are skeletally mature, and subjective measures of illness may be more predictive of degree of disability than objective measures of impairment, according to research published in the March 16 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Tetanus Cases Rare but Some Populations More Vulnerable

THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Tetanus cases and fatalities in the United States have decreased by more than 95 percent and more than 99 percent, respectively, since the disease became reportable in 1947, but sporadic cases do still occur, and some populations are more at risk for contracting the potentially life-threatening disease, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Early Rehabilitation Post-Knee Arthroplasty Beneficial

THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Starting rehabilitation within 24 hours of total knee arthroplasty for osteoarthritis reduces the average hospital stay and the requisite number of sessions to achieve autonomy and normal gait and balance, according to a study published online March 7 in Clinical Rehabilitation.

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Osteoarthritis Patients Show Increased Pain Sensitivity

THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) are more sensitive to experimental pain at multiple body sites compared to healthy controls, according to a study published in the March issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Suicide in Musculoskeletal Patients at Older Age

THURSDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide victims who have back pain or other musculoskeletal diseases (MSD) are older than those without MSD, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Spine.

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Exercise Plus Dieting Superior in Older Obese Individuals

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Dieting plus exercise may be better than either alone for improvement in physical function in older adults who are obese, according to research published in the March 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Negligence Litigation Against Nursing Homes Assessed

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- High-quality nursing homes are sued for negligence only marginally less than low-performing nursing homes, according to an article published in the March 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA: Store Pradaxa Only in Original Containers

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- The anticoagulant dabigatran etexilate mesylate (Pradaxa), a direct thrombin inhibitor, should be dispensed and stored only in its original bottle or blister package because exposure to moisture may cause product breakdown and loss of potency, according to an alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Two-Thirds of U.S. Residents Get Sufficient Vitamin D

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- About two-thirds of the U.S. population takes in sufficient amounts of vitamin D, but 8 percent may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Safflower Oil Improves Glycemia, Inflammation, Lipids

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with safflower (SAF) oil improves glycemia, inflammation, and blood lipids compared to treatment with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in postmenopausal obese women, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in Clinical Nutrition.

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Online Health Records Less Used by Minorities, Poor

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Online personal health records (PHRs) are less frequently used by racial or ethnic minorities and patients with low annual income, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Discharge to Skilled Nursing Facilities Linked to Death

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with heart failure discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) have an increased risk for rehospitalization and death, according to a study published online March 29 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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High Number of 'Medalists' Free From Diabetes Complications

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- The relatively high proportion of patients with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more without complications indicates the presence of protective factors, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

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PSA Screening Predicted by Age, Life Expectancy

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Age and life expectancy are strong predictors of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, which appears to be administered excessively to older men with limited life expectancy, according to research published online March 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Conflicts of Interest Abound in Cardiology Guidelines

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Conflicts of interest (COIs) are prevalent in cardiology clinical practice guidelines, but there is still a substantial number of experienced expert guideline writers and reviewers without COIs, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Ambulatory BP Helps Identify Resistant Hypertension

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a useful prognosis tool to differentiate between true and white coat resistant hypertension, according to a study published online March 28 in Hypertension.

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Elevated Risk Factors Linked to Atrial Fibrillation

TUESDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- More than half the burden of atrial fibrillation (AF) results from having one or more elevated cardiovascular risk factors and is theoretically preventable, according to a study published online March 28 in Circulation.

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Guidelines Provided for Deep Vein Thrombosis Management

MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Blood thinners should not be the only therapy considered for patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), according to a scientific statement published online March 21 in Circulation.

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Almost Two-Thirds of Older Adults Have Hearing Loss

MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly two-thirds of older Americans experience hearing loss, and it is most strongly associated with age, gender, and race, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.

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Poorer Health Outcomes for Elderly in Public Housing

MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Elders residing in public housing have poor self-rated health status as well as increased prevalence of fatigue and comorbid conditions compared to those who live in the community, according to a study published in the Winter issue of Ethnicity & Disease.

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High Blood Pressure Tied to Rapid Gait Slowing in Elderly

MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- High blood pressure in well-functioning older adults accelerates gait slowing over an extended period, even when hypertension is well controlled or develops later in life, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Mild Psychological Distress Associated With Disability

FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Even mild psychological distress can result in long-term disability, according to a population-based study published online March 21 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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Depression Tied to Worse Arthritic Knee Pain in Elderly

FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who have minimal to moderate radiographic evidence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) have an increased likelihood of having more severe symptoms if they have coexisting depression, according to a study published in the March 16 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Heart Attack Risk Doubles After Transient Ischemic Attack

FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- The average annual incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) after transient ischemic attack (TIA) is approximately double that of the general population, according to a study published online 24 March in Stroke.

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U.S. Shingles Vaccine Approval Expanded

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Zostavax shingles vaccine is now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people aged 50 and older.

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Knee Replacement Improves Level of Physical Activity

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- People who undergo total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for osteoarthritis experience substantial improvements in the level of physical activity within the first year after surgery, but their activity level is not correlated with clinical outcome, according to a study published in the March issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Safety Programs Boost Staff Perception of Safety Culture

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Obstetrics patient safety programs can improve staff perceptions of safety and the safety culture, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Reduced Hours for Trainees Has Had Little Effect in U.S.

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing work hours for doctors in training to less than 80 per week has had little impact on patient outcomes or postgraduate training in the United States, according to a literature review published online March 22 in BMJ.

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Mercury Exposure and CVD Not Associated

WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to mercury does not appear to increase the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, or total cardiovascular disease, according to research published in the March 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rheumatic Disease Patients Require Two Flu Vaccine Doses

WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases require two doses of flu vaccine to achieve the same antibody response as one dose elicits in controls, which may be due in part to the influence of specific disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), according to a study published online March 7 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Fibrate Use Rises in U.S. but Remains Stable in Canada

TUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Fibrate use has increased steadily in the United States but remains stable in Canada, according to a study published in the March 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hydrocortisone Lowers Risk of Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

TUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous hydrocortisone decreases the risk of developing hospital-acquired pneumonia in intubated trauma patients, according to a study published in the March 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Family-Mediated Therapy Improves Outcome of Stroke

MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- In addition to routine physical therapy, family-mediated exercise (FAME) therapy significantly improves patient recovery after an acute stroke, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Stroke.

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Combination Therapy Given to Elderly Without Indications

MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Combination therapy of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers is often prescribed without established indications, and is associated with an elevated risk of adverse renal outcomes compared to monotherapy, according to a study published online March 21 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Taiwanese With Diabetes at Higher Risk of Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of prostate cancer among men in Taiwan is increasing, and men with diabetes are at an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to research published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Four-Year Follow-Up Confirms Benefit of Hip Arthroplasty

FRIDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Total hip arthroplasty gives better hip function and improved quality of life compared to bipolar hemiarthroplasty in elderly, lucid patients with displaced fracture of the femoral neck, according to a study published in the March 2 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Bulking Agent Injections Effective in Fecal Incontinence

FRIDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A transanal submucosal injection of dextranomer in stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA Dx) is an effective treatment for fecal incontinence, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Heart Failure Belt Identified in Southeastern United States

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- A "heart failure belt" with higher heart failure mortality compared to the rest of the country has been identified in the southeastern United States, which follows a similar geographic pattern to the recognized "stroke belt," according to a study published in the March 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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5α-Reductase Inhibitors Tied to Adverse Male Sexual Health

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- 5α-reductase inhibitors (5α-RIs), used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and hair loss in men, may cause persistent erectile dysfunction, depression, and loss of libido, even after discontinuing the medication, according to a review published in the March issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Professional Values of U.S. and U.K. Doctors Examined

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- A core of professional values exists among doctors in the United States and the United Kingdom, though significant differences exist in how these values are expressed and prioritized, according to a study published online March 7 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Diabetes Patients Fare Better With Empathetic Doctors

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetes whose physicians are more empathetic are more likely to have improved clinical outcomes, according to a study published in the March issue of Academic Medicine.

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Short Nurse Staffing Linked to Higher Patient Mortality

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patient mortality appears to be higher when nurse staffing falls eight or more hours below target level and during nursing shifts when patient turnover is high, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fever Not Tied to Influenza Virus Shedding Duration

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Health care personnel (HCP) infected with influenza (H1N1) 2009 virus who return to work 24 hours after defervescence may still be shedding virus, according to a study published online March 16 in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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U.S. Death Rate Reaches All-Time Low

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- The age-adjusted death rate for the United States has fallen for 10 straight years and has reached an all-time low of 741 per 100,000, or 2,436,682 deaths, in 2009, down 2.3 percent from 2008, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Early-Onset Diabetes Tied to Raised Cardiac Disease Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Early- and late-onset diabetes are associated with an increased risk of major coronary heart disease (CHD) events and mortality, with early-onset diabetes equivalent in risk to a prior myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Alzheimer's Disease Preceded by Cognitive Decline

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease is preceded by five or six years of rapid cognitive decline in multiple functions, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Heavy Smoking Prevalence Decline Greatest in California

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1965 and 2007, the prevalence of high-intensity smoking declined in California and in the remaining states, according to a study published in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Regional Variation in Chronic Disease Case Fatality Rates

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- There is an inverse relationship between the regional frequency of diagnoses for chronic conditions and the case-fatality rate among fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study published in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Preventive Services Underused by Older Adults in U.S.

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- The aging population is growing steadily, but many older adults do not receive the preventive services they need, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Weight Loss Counseling Rate Rises for Adults With Arthritis

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, significant national progress has been made toward achieving the Healthy People 2010 (HP2010) target for weight counseling in adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Alzheimer's Care Primarily Provided by Unpaid Caregivers

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias receive unpaid care worth more than $200 billion from nearly 15 million caregivers in the United States, according to "2011 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures," a report published March 15 by the Alzheimer's Association.

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Post-Stroke Depression Severity Increases Dependency

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- People who suffer from depression after a stroke are more likely to be dependent if they have more comorbidities, had a more severe stroke, or had increased baseline depression severity, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of Neurology.

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Vitamin D Insufficiency Does Not Increase in Parkinson's

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency does not increase during the progression of early Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Lower Macular Degeneration Risk for Women Who Eat Fish

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Regular consumption of ω-3 fatty acids and fish is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of incident age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published online March 14 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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U.S. Has Higher Rates of Chronic Disease Than England

MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Americans experience higher rates of chronic disease and markers of disease than their English counterparts at all ages, according to a study published online March 9 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Risk of Infection, Malignancy With Anti-TNF Therapy Unclear

FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with early rheumatoid arthritis taking anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy without prior use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD)/methotrexate do not have an increased risk of serious infections or malignancies, according to a meta-analysis published online Feb. 25 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Heart Rate Turbulence Risk Factor for Cardiac Mortality

FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Abnormal heart rate turbulence (HRT) is independently associated with increased cardiac mortality risk for low-, intermediate-, and high-risk individuals, while C-reactive protein (CRP) is associated with an increased cardiac mortality risk only in those who are low risk, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.

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Washing Before Self-Monitoring Yields Best Glucose Results

FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Washing hands with soap and water and then using the first drop of blood is best for self-monitoring blood glucose, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Coffee Consumption Linked to Lower Stroke Risk in Women

FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women who consume one or more cups of coffee daily have a lower risk of stroke than those who consume less than one cup of coffee a day, according to a study published online March 10 in Stroke.

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Impact of Adiposity Measures on Heart Disease Risk Alike

FRIDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio all have a similar strength of association with cardiovascular disease, but do not significantly improve risk prediction when information on blood pressure, diabetes, and lipid levels is available, according to a study published online March 11 in The Lancet.

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Non-Infectious Problems Lower Dialysis Catheter Survival

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- The failure of peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheters is associated with catheter-related non-infectious problems, and other risk factors need not hinder the selection of patients for PD catheter initiation, according to a study published in the October-December 2010 issue of The Journal of Vascular Access.

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Number of Cancer Survivors in U.S. Reaches 11.7 Million

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- The number of cancer survivors in the United States had increased to nearly 12 million by 2007, according to a report in the March 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pulsed Electrical Stimulation As Effective As Placebo

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee who suffer from mild to moderate symptoms, 26 weeks of pulsed electrical stimulation (PES) therapy is no more effective than placebo, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Socioeconomic Factors Predict Risk of Amputation

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) are more likely to be treated in a low-volume hospital and to undergo amputation rather than limb salvage procedures if they are of a minority race, a lower socioeconomic status, or on Medicaid, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

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Diabeo Smartphone Improves HbA1c Level in Type 1 Diabetes

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- The Diabeo smartphone system improves HbA1c levels in patients with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Depression Care in Hospital May Improve Cardiac Outcomes

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with depression and cardiac illness, managing depression during hospitalization improves mental health outcomes and may also improve medical outcomes after intervention, according to a study published online March 8 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Insulin Degludec Effective Alternative to Insulin Glargine

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin degludec appears to provide comparable glycemic control to insulin glargine, without increased adverse events, and may reduce dosing frequency from once per day to three times weekly, according to a study published online March 10 in The Lancet.

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Irbesartan Does Not Prevent Cardiovascular Events in A-Fib

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- The angiotensin-receptor blocker irbesartan fails to lower the rate of cardiovascular events in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to research published in the March 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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HealthGrades Finds Rates of Patient Safety Events Vary

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients treated at hospitals rated with a HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award have, on average, a 46 percent lower risk of experiencing a patient safety incident compared to those treated at the lowest-ranked hospitals, according to the eighth annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study published online March 9.

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Ethnic Differences Seen in Academic Measures for U.K. Docs

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- United Kingdom-trained physicians and medical students with ethnic minority backgrounds tend to underperform academically compared to their white peers, according to a meta-analysis published online March 8 in BMJ.

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Distal Radial Fractures Indicative of Osteoporosis

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Osteoporosis prevalence is high in both male and female patients with distal radial fractures, compared to controls, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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International Similarities Reported in Bipolar Disorders

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Severity, impact, and comorbidity patterns of bipolar spectrum disorders (BPS) are similar internationally, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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High HDL Cholesterol Tied to Decreased Colon Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Higher concentrations of serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer, according to a study published online March 7 in Gut.

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Pharmacological Meta-Analyses Rarely Report Disclosures

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Meta-analyses of pharmacological treatments rarely include information addressing primary study funding and conflicts of interest (COIs) of the authors for the included randomized control trials (RCTs), according to a study published in the March 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Post-Hospitalization Mortality High in Trauma Patients

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- The three-year cumulative mortality rate for trauma patients after being discharged from Washington state hospitals is relatively high, particularly in those discharged to skilled nursing facilities, according to research published in the March 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diabetes Belt Identified in Southern United States

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- A geographically congruent "diabetes belt" with high prevalence of diabetes exists in the United States, according to a study published online March 8 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Mediterranean Diet Tied to Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and has beneficial effects on its individual components, according to a meta-analysis published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Link Found Between Cognitive Function, Neighborhood

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Growing old in a psychosocially hazardous neighborhood may have a diminishing effect on cognitive functioning in people with the ε4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, according to research published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Atrial Fibrillation Tied to Higher Incidence of Dementia

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased incidence of dementia, and this association is strongest in patients with stroke, according to a meta-analysis published in the March 8 issue of Neurology.

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Cancer Patients Willing to Undergo Pre-Trial Testing

MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced malignancies appear to be quite willing to undergo pharmacodynamic (PD) and pharmacokinetic (PK) tests in order to be enrolled in clinical trials, according to research published online Jan. 18 in Cancer.

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Social Activity in Older Adults May Prevent Disability

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- The more socially active older people are, the less likely they are to become disabled, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.

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Majority Identify Need for an Ambulance in an Emergency

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of people are able to identify emergency situations that require an ambulance to be called, but there is a high level of inappropriate response in nonemergency situations, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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CDC: More Than One-Third of Americans Lack Sleep

THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of Americans do not get adequate sleep on a daily basis, which affects activities of daily living -- particularly resulting in an inability to concentrate on actions, according to two reports in the March 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Ibuprofen Use Tied to Lower Risk of Parkinson's Disease

THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Use of ibuprofen may be associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD), according to a study published online March 2 in Neurology.

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Proxy Decision Makers May Have Lasting Emotional Burden

THURSDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Surrogates who make treatment decisions for incapacitated adults often suffer a negative emotional effect that may last months, or sometimes even years, according to a literature review published in the March 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Role of Diabetes in Premature Death Is Substantial

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes is substantially associated with premature mortality from cancers, infectious diseases, external causes, intentional self-harm, and degenerative disorders, according to research published in the March 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA: Proton Pump Inhibitors Tied to Hypomagnesemia

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care providers and consumers that taking prescription proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs for prolonged periods of time, particularly for longer than one year, may be associated with low serum magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia).

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Obesity Rate in Canada Not As High As in United States

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- More North Americans are obese today than were 20 years ago, and the prevalence of obesity in Canada is about 10 percentage points lower than it is in the United States, according to a data report issued March 2 by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

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Current and Former Smokers at Higher Breast Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who used to smoke or who currently smoke appear to be at a higher risk of invasive breast cancer than postmenopausal women who never smoked, according to a study published online March 1 in BMJ.

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Fish Oil May Help Cancer Patients Maintain Weight

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with fish oil (FO) may help non-small-cell lung cancer patients maintain weight and muscle mass during chemotherapy, according to research published online Feb. 28 in Cancer.

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Increased Dietary Potassium Tied to Lower Stroke Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Higher dietary potassium intake is correlated with reduced rates of stroke and may also lower the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and total cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a meta-analysis published in the March 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Women Underrepresented in Cardiovascular Device Trials

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- There is a lack of sex-specific data relating to the safety and effectiveness of high-risk cardiovascular devices prior to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, according to a review published online March 1 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Risk of Adverse Effects Lessens Drug Acceptance in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- The willingness to take medication for primary cardiovascular disease prevention in older persons is highly sensitive to its adverse effects and relatively insensitive to its benefits, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Antihypertensives Beneficial in Absence of Hypertension

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a clinical history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but without hypertension, may benefit from antihypertensive treatment to reduce CVD morbidity and mortality, according to a literature review published in the March 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Risk of Death From Heart Attacks Not Linked to Gender

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- The association between female gender and increased mortality among patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) does not persist after adjusting for age and comorbidities, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Heart Journal.

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U.S. Breast Cancer Incidence Rates Stabilized After 2003

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer incidence rates among non-Hispanic (NH) white women in the United States stabilized between 2003 and 2007 after a sharp decline between 2002 and 2003 that followed a drop in the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Doctors, NPs Equally Effective in Helping Patients Lose Weight

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Health care professionals can play a big role in helping overweight patients lose weight and maintain weight loss, starting with acknowledging their overweight status in the first place, according to two studies published in the Feb. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Maternal History of Alzheimer's Tied to Brain Atrophy

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Cognitively intact older people with a maternal family history of Alzheimer's disease (AD) show progressive brain atrophy in areas associated with the condition, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Neurology.

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Opioid Treatment Associated With Cognitive Dysfunction

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- One-third of opioid-treated patients with cancer have possible or definite cognitive dysfunction, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Many Patients Do Not Consolidate Drugs Efficiently

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients, especially those with low literacy, do not consolidate prescription regimens efficiently, according to a study published in the Feb. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Sugary Drinks Linked to Higher Blood Pressure

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Sugar-sweetened drinks are associated with higher blood pressure (BP) levels in adults, especially among those who consume more sodium, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Hypertension.

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