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March 2014 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for March 2014. 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.

Long-Acting Clotting Agent Approved for Form of Hemophilia

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The drug Alprolix has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first long-acting hemophilia B clotting agent, the FDA said in a news release.

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Topamax Approval for Migraines Expanded to Younger Users

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug Topamax (topiramate) to prevent migraine headaches has been expanded to include adolescents 12 years to 17 years, the agency said Friday.

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Health Behavior Change Cuts CVD Risk After T2DM Diagnosis

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For adults newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, adoption of healthy behavior changes is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, according to a study published online March 21 in Diabetes Care.

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New Guidelines Issued for Management of Atrial Fibrillation

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations have been developed for the optimum management of atrial fibrillation. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines have been published online March 28 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, and Heart Rhythm.

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Azithromycin, Levofloxacin Up Cardiac Risk in Study of Veterans

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of azithromycin or levofloxacin is associated with increased risks of death and cardiac arrhythmia compared with amoxicillin use, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Risk-Stratified Care Improves Outcomes in Low Back Pain

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of risk-stratified care in a primary care setting for patients with low back pain improved outcomes without increasing health care costs, according to research published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Post-Discharge Deaths Drop in Young Acute MI Patients

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the most recent decade, compared with earlier decades, post-discharge death rates have dropped for young adults hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to research published in the April 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Allopurinol Modestly Cuts Death Risk With Hyperuricemia, Gout

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Allopurinol initiation is associated with a modestly reduced risk of death in patients with hyperuricemia and gout, according to a study published online March 24 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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'White Coat Effect' Is Smaller for Nurses Than Doctors

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors' readings of blood pressure are often higher than measurements made by nurses at the same visit, according to research published in the April issue of the British Journal of General Practice.

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CDC: Invasive Cancer Diagnoses Down Slightly in 2010

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer incidence declined from 2009 to 2010, according to a report published in the March 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Recommends Approval of At-Home Colon Cancer Test

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of U.S. Food and Drug Administration experts on Thursday unanimously recommended approval of a new at-home stool test that screens for colorectal cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy.

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Urinary Incontinence Ups Risk of Depression in Older Women

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older women with urinary incontinence may be at increased risk for depression and work disability, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Better Outcomes With Consistent BP Control Post-Stroke

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with stroke, consistency of blood pressure (BP) control during two years of follow-up affects outcomes, according to a study published online March 27 in Stroke.

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Coronary CT Angiography IDs Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Noninvasive coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a reliable alternative to coronary angiography for detection of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV), according to a meta-analysis published online March 26 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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One in 12,000 Hospital Deliveries Result in Cardiac Arrest

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac arrest occurs in approximately one of every 12,000 hospitalizations for delivery, according to a study published in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

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NCHS Estimates Health Insurance Coverage for 2013

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the first nine months of 2013, 6.7 percent of children and 20.5 percent of adults were uninsured, according to a study published online March 27 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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NIH Launches Online Resource for End-of-Life Issues

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People grappling with terminal illness now have a new online source of advice and help, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Brain Stimulation Improves QoL in Fibromyalgia Patients

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may improve quality of life (QoL) in patients with fibromyalgia, according to research published online March 26 in Neurology.

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Adjunct Social Media Improves Contraceptive Knowledge

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of social media in addition to standard contraceptive education is associated with improved patient contraceptive knowledge, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Galanin System Genes Linked to Risk of Depression in Stress

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Variants of the stress-inducible neuropeptide and cotransmitter in serotonin and norepinephrine neurons, galanin, and its receptors confers increased risk of depression and anxiety among highly stressed individuals, according to a study published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Physicians Lack Consensus on Use of Genetic Testing

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians vary in attitudes about predictive multiplex somatic genetic testing and their plans to incorporate its use into practice, according to research published online March 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Interferon Beta Tied to Spike in Thrombotic Microangiopathy

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There has been an unusually high number of cases of thrombotic microangiopathy associated with severe or malignant hypertension in patients with multiple sclerosis who were receiving therapy with recombinant interferon beta, according to a letter to the editor published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Incidence of Hospital-Acquired Anemia During MI Varies

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients hospitalized with myocardial infarction, the incidence of hospital-acquired anemia (HAA) varies considerably across hospitals, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Neck Circumference Not Tied to Subclinical Atherosclerosis

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Neck circumference (NC) is not associated with either coronary or carotid subclinical atherosclerosis, according to a study published online March 19 in Clinical Cardiology.

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Interactive Phone Messages May Promote Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Underserved Latina patients view interactive voice response (IVR) messages as an acceptable strategy to promote cancer screening, according to a study published online March 13 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Nitroglycerin Shortage Has Medical Community Worried

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An ongoing shortage of the drug nitroglycerin is causing problems and concerns for doctors and hospitals in the United States. The drug is often the first therapy used by emergency room doctors when treating a heart attack patient.

Health Highlights: March 26, 2014

1 in 25 Inpatients Has Health Care-Associated Infection Daily

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There were an estimated 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011, according to research published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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White House Extends Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who've started applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act but can't complete the process by the March 31 enrollment deadline will be given an extension.

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Physically Active Youth May Retain Bone Health

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Bone size and strength developed with physical activity in males during youth is maintained to some extent in old age, regardless of activity level, according to research published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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WHO: Air Pollution Claimed Seven Million Lives in 2012

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution killed about seven million people worldwide in 2012, and more than half of those deaths were caused by indoor smoke from cook stoves, a World Health Organization report says. The U.N. health agency said that heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the leading causes of air pollution-related deaths, CNN reported.

Health Highlights: March 25, 2014

Glycated Hemoglobin Values Add Little to CVD Risk Prediction

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Addition of information on hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) to conventional cardiovascular risk factors provides little benefit in terms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction, according to a study published in the March 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Permanent Leadless Cardiac Pacing Device Safe, Effective

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A completely self-contained, single-chamber leadless cardiac pacemaker seems to be safe and feasible, according to a small study published online March 24 in Circulation.

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Americans Seem Unprepared for Health Insurance Exchanges

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals in the United States seem not to be sufficiently informed about the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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AMA Introduces Medical Education Initiative

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association's (AMA) Accelerating Change in Education initiative is being introduced in 11 medical schools in an effort to shift the focus of education toward real-world practice and competency assessment, according to an AMA report.

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More Global Disability for Low Back Pain Than Other Ailments

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Low back pain (LBP), including that arising from ergonomic exposures at work, is associated with considerable global disability and burden, according to two studies published online March 24 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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E-Cigarette Use Does Not Up Quitting, Reduce Smoking

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes) does not increase the rate of smoking cessation or reduce cigarette consumption after one year, according to a study published online March 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Nuclear Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Use Down, 2006-2011

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) use declined from 2006 through 2011, although there was also a significant drop in myocardial infarction (MI) incidence over that time, according to a research letter published in the March 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Most Bloodstream Infections Are Community-Onset

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most bloodstream infections (BSIs) are community-onset and health care-associated, and Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen, according to a study published online March 18 in PLOS ONE.

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Surgical Site Infection Rate Down With Lower Target Glucose

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing hepato-biliary-pancreatic surgery, having a lower blood glucose target (4.4 to 6.1 mmol/L) is associated with reduced incidence of surgical site infection (SSI), according to a study published online March 12 in Diabetes Care.

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Elevated Morbidity Lasts for Childhood Cancer Survivors

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- By age 50 years, more than half of childhood cancer survivors have experienced a severe, disabling, life-threatening, or fatal health condition, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Nicotine 'E-Liquids' Pose Serious Health Threat

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A potent, liquid form of nicotine poses a serious and potentially deadly threat, but is sold legally in stores across the United States and online. The so-called "e-liquids" -- the key ingredients in e-cigarettes -- are extracted from tobacco and enhanced with flavorings, colorings, and various chemicals, The New York Times reported.

Health Highlights: March 24, 2014

USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Cognitive Impairment Screening

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found that evidence is currently insufficient to weigh the benefits and harms of universal screening for cognitive impairment in older adults. These findings are presented in a final recommendation statement published online March 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Valproic Acid Use May Reduce Incidence of Head, Neck Cancer

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of valproic acid (VPA) is associated with a reduced risk of smoking-related cancers of the head and neck, according to a study published online March 24 in Cancer.

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Mortality Up for PCI After Cardiac Arrest

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) after cardiac arrest are more likely to have more complex lesions, cardiogenic shock, and higher mortality, according to research published in the April 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Patient Request Impacts Doc Prescribing Behavior

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients requesting specific medications are more likely to be prescribed those medications, according to research published in the April issue of Medical Care.

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Review: Recently Diagnosed Diabetes Linked to Pancreatic CA

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a strong association between pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM), according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the March issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

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Husbands' Health, Attitude Play Larger Role in Marital Conflict

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In older married couples, the husband's health and attitude seem to affect perceptions of marital conflict, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.

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Practices Can Take Steps to Improve Care Transitions

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a rigorous process can improve transitions of care, according to an article published March 10 in Medical Economics.

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Older Drivers More Susceptible to the Effects of Alcohol

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults' driving performance may be more susceptible to the effects of alcohol, according to a study published in the February issue of Psychopharmacology.

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Fried Food Consumption Interacts With Gene-Adiposity Link

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of fried foods may influence the genetic association with adiposity, according to a study published March 19 in BMJ.

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Large Waist Size Ups Risk of Premature Mortality

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among white adults, larger waist is associated with increased mortality at all levels of body mass index (BMI), according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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USPSTF Recommendations Have Led to Decrease in PSA Screening

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen screening has decreased since publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations against screening, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.

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ω-3 Fatty Acids, Xanthophylls Don't Cut CVD Risk

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary supplementation with ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or macular xanthophylls do not seem to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in older adults with age-related macular degeneration, according to a study published online March 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Rates of Colorectal Cancer Continue to Drop in Older Adults

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Incidence rates for colorectal cancer declined by approximately 3 percent per year from 2001 to 2010 in the United States, with the largest drops occurring in adults aged 65 and older, according to research published in the March/April issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Statin Costs Impact Value of Coronary Artery Calcium Test

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients at intermediate risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), coronary artery calcium (CAC) measurement and targeted statin treatment is cost-effective if statin assumptions are less favorable (costly or impact quality of life), according to research published online March 11 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Stress-Linked Protein May Play Major Role in Alzheimer's

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Dysfunction in the brain's stress response system may be an important factor in the memory and thinking problems experienced by people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, according to a report published online March 19 in Nature.

Health Highlights: March 20, 2014
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Phenylephrine + Acetaminophen Ups Plasma Phenylephrine

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of phenylephrine and acetaminophen results in a pharmacokinetic interaction triggering increased plasma phenylephrine levels, according to a letter to the editor published in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Age-Adjusted D-Dimer Levels Aid Pulmonary Embolism Dx

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Age-adjusted levels of D-dimer safely exclude pulmonary embolism (PE) in older patients, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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BRCAPRO Model Underestimates BRCA1/2 Mutation Risk

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the BRCAPRO model for assessment of the likelihood of having a germline BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation, based on age, ethnicity, and family history, may underestimate the risk of mutations, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Electrolarynx Allows Speech in Orally Intubated Patients

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An electrolarynx can be used successfully in orally intubated patients receiving mechanical ventilation, according to a letter to the editor published in the March 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CDC: Tuberculosis in the United States Hits Record Low

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of tuberculosis in the United States are falling, with cases at a historic low, health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday, noting that improved screening of immigrants has helped reduce incidence.

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FDA: Implanted Hearing Device Approved

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The first implantable device for adults with a severe or profound form of a condition called "sensorineural hearing loss" has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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New Guidelines Expand Statin Eligibility by 13 Million

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC-AHA) new cholesterol guidelines would increase the number of Americans eligible for statin therapy by nearly 13 million, according to research published online March 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guidelines Developed for Pulmonary HTN in Sickle Cell Dz

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based guidelines have been developed for adult patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and pulmonary hypertension. The guidelines have been published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Alzheimer's Strikes Women Harder Than Men: Report

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A 65-year-old American woman has a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life, while a man the same age has about a one in 11 chance, according to a report published in the March issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

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Resolved Childhood Glomerular Disease Linked to HTN Risk

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Resolved childhood glomerular disease is associated with increased subsequent risk of hypertension, according to a research letter published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Marker in Spinal Fluid Predicts Course in Parkinson's Disease

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of α-synuclein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) might predict cognitive decline in patients with Parkinson's disease, according to research published online March 13 in the The American Journal of Pathology.

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Midlife Diabetes May Contribute to Later Cognitive Decline

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Midlife onset of diabetes and hypertension each may contribute to cognitive impairment later in life, according to research published online March 19 in Neurology.

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Living Liver Donor Consent Form Needs Standardization

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Standardization of living liver donor evaluation consent forms is needed, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Liver Transplantation.

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Multitarget DNA Test Sensitive for ID'ing Colorectal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients at average risk of colorectal cancer, a multitarget DNA assay has greater sensitivity, but worse specificity than a fecal immunochemical test (FIT), according to a study published online March 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Pre-Existing Psych Diagnoses Higher in Critically Ill Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Existing psychiatric diagnoses are more common in critically ill patients compared to other hospitalized patients and the general population, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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COPD Tied to Development of Cognitive Impairment

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), particularly nonamnestic MCI (NA-MCI), according to a study published online March 17 in JAMA Neurology.

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Simvastatin Might Help Slow Multiple Sclerosis Progression

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High-dose simvastatin appears to slow brain shrinkage in patients with multiple sclerosis, according to a small, early study from England, published online March 19 in The Lancet.

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Review: Tamiflu Saved Lives During Swine Flu Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The antiviral drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir) reduced the risk of death by 25 percent among adults hospitalized during the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, according to a review published online March 19 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. In addition, antiviral treatment within 48 hours of developing flu symptoms halved the risk of death compared with starting treatment later or receiving no treatment.

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Haemophilus Influenzae Infection Up in Pregnancy

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae) disease is increased during pregnancy, and infection correlates with poor pregnancy outcomes, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Continuity of Care Improves Outcomes in Chronic Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), continuity of care is associated with differences in costs, emergency department use, and complications, according to a study published online March 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Offices With Open Floor Plans Tied to More Sick Days

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Offices with open floor plans and no individual workstations may take a toll on employee health, according to a study published in the February issue of Ergonomics.

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Gender Differences Identified in Access to Care in ACS

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Gender differences exist in access to care among younger adults with acute coronary syndrome, according to a study published online March 17 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Mortality Rates Higher in Cancer Patients With Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The comorbid condition of diabetes may contribute to increased mortality in patients with cancer, according to research published online March 13 in Diabetologia.

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Lower HPV Uptake for Women Attending Sexual Health Services

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For young women attending sexual health services in England, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake and completion rates are lower than national data, with an overall completion rate of 47 percent, according to a study published online March 17 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Neuroimaging Ordered for >12 Percent of Headaches

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Neuroimaging is frequently ordered for patients with headache, according to a research letter published online March 17 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Same Meningitis Strain Behind Drexel, Princeton Outbreaks: CDC

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The strain of bacterial meningitis that killed a Drexel University student earlier this month is the same strain behind a Princeton University outbreak last year, federal health officials said Tuesday. This suggests that the outbreak strain might still be present in the Princeton community and that the situation requires close monitoring, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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TB Control Program in China Linked to Drop in Prevalence

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of a tuberculosis control program in China was associated with a reduction in prevalence and increased treatment, according to a study published online March 18 in The Lancet.

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Elevated Levels of Brain Injury Biomarkers in Concussion

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ice hockey players with sports-related concussion have elevations in the axonal injury biomarker total tau and the astroglial injury biomarker S-100 calcium-binding protein B, according to a study published online March 13 in JAMA Neurology.

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Definition of Pneumonia Impacts Hospital Mortality Rates

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Risk-standardized hospital mortality rates are higher with a broader versus a narrower definition of pneumonia, according to a study published in the March 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hepatic Decompensation Higher With HIV, HCV Co-Infection

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have higher rates of hepatic decompensation than those with HCV monoinfection, according to a study published in the March 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Penicillin 'Allergy' Complicates Inpatient Care

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a history of penicillin "allergy," even though that may be inaccurate, spend more time in the hospital and have a greater risk of acquiring antibiotic-associated infections, according to research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Treatment, Control of HTN Lacking in U.S. Hispanics/Latinos

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. Hispanics/Latinos, treatment and control of hypertension is inadequate, especially among those without health insurance, according to a study published online March 12 in the American Journal of Hypertension.

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Personality Measures in Young Patients Predict Later Health

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Personality measurements can be useful tools in predicting which young adult patients will have poor health in middle age, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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No Evidence Fatty Acid Guidelines Cut Coronary Risk

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence does not support the current fatty acid consumption guidelines, according to a review published in the March 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Geriatric Care Principles Can Be Applied to Care Transitions

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Approaches from geriatric care can be developed to provide a framework for care transition activities, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Rx Expenditures Expected to Rise in 2014

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drug costs are projected to rise 3 to 5 percent across all care settings in 2014, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

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Insurers Must Offer Same-Sex Couples Spousal Benefits

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health plans that offer benefits for heterosexual couples must do the same for same-sex married couples, the Obama administration says.

Other Health Highlights: March 17, 2014

Most Influenza Infections Seem to Be Asymptomatic

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals infected with influenza, most cases are asymptomatic, and a minority of those with confirmed disease have medically attended illness, according to a study published online March 17 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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AAFP Letter to CMS Stresses Value of Primary Care Visits

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has reminded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about the importance of primary care, stressing the value of a three-visit requirement before meeting any deductible within health insurance marketplaces.

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Weaker Brain Network Connectivity in Abstinent Smokers

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Abstinent smokers show weaker brain inter-network connectivity between the salience, executive control, and default modes, according to a study published online March 12 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Animal Protein May Slow Functional Decline in Older Men

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among older men, higher intake of protein, particularly animal protein, is associated with lower risk of decline in higher-level functional capacity, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Ischemic Stroke Outcomes Worse for Mexican-Americans

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Mexican-Americans (MAs) experience worse stroke outcomes than non-Hispanic whites, according to a study published online March 13 in Stroke.

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Improving EHR Interoperability Is a National Priority: HHS

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) systems is a national priority of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, according to an article published March 4 in Medical Economics.

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Chronic Hyperglycemia Tied to Worse Surgical Outcomes

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic hyperglycemia (A1C >8 percent) is associated with poor surgical outcomes, as measured by an increased hospital length of stay (LOS), according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Gestational Diabetes Ups Risk of Early Atherosclerosis

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among women who have not developed diabetes or metabolic syndrome, a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may be a marker for early atherosclerosis, according to research published online March 12 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Benefits of Faster Thrombolysis Time Quantified

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Faster thrombolysis treatment is associated with improved stroke outcome, with each minute of onset-to-treatment time saved correlating with an additional 1.8 days of healthy life, according to a study published online March 13 in Stroke.

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Gel May Offer Postexposure Protection Against HIV Infection

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of a vaginal integrase inhibitor-containing gel may be able to protect against vaginal HIV infection in a macaque model, according to an experimental study published in the March 12 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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CDC: Most Alcohol-Linked Deaths Occur Among Working-Age Adults

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' excessive alcohol use contributes to thousands of deaths each year, and the majority who die are working-age adults, according to a report published in the March 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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High Serum 25(OH)D Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Mortality

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Higher concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) are associated with lower mortality from breast cancer, according to a meta-analysis published in the March issue of Anticancer Research.

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CDC: Woman to Woman HIV Transmission Rare, but Possible

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A case report of a woman who was infected with HIV during sex with another woman shows that such transmission of the virus is possible, health officials say. The report is published in the March 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Panel Recommends HPV Test As Replacement for Pap

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously on Wednesday that a new human papillomavirus (HPV) test could be used before or instead of the Pap smear as a first step in cervical cancer screening.

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Body Mass Index Linked to Methylation at HIF3A Locus

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For adults of European origin, increased body mass index (BMI) is associated with methylation at three sites in intron 1 of HIF3A, according to a study published online March 13 in The Lancet.

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Multiple 60-Minute Massage Sessions Effective for Neck Pain

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple 60-minute massage sessions are effective for neck dysfunction and pain among patients with chronic neck pain, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Prehypertension Linked With Increased Risk of Stroke

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prehypertension is associated with increased risk of stroke, according to research published online March 12 in Neurology.

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Oldest Old at High Risk for Insulin-Related Hypoglycemia

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among insulin-treated patients, those 80 years of age and older have the highest rate of emergency department visits and subsequent hospitalizations for insulin-related hypoglycemia and errors (IHEs), according to research published online March 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Many U.S. Oncologists Not Satisfied With Work-Life Balance

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About one-third of U.S. oncologists report being satisfied with work-life balance (WLB), which is lower than for other medical specialties, according to a study published online March 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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IOM Recommends Definitions for 'Gulf War' Multisymptom Illness

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two definitions for chronic multisymptom illness should be used to identify cases of Gulf War illness among Gulf War veterans, according to a report published by the Institute of Medicine.

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Glucosamine Fails to Prevent Knee Cartilage Deterioration

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Oral glucosamine supplementation is not associated with a decrease in knee cartilage deterioration among individuals with chronic knee pain, according to a study published online March 10 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Probable Link for Excess Body Fat, Ovarian Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Body fatness, marked by body mass index, is probably associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, according to a report published March 11 by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

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Health Education Not Routinely Provided to Patients

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic disease, health providers do not routinely provide health education, according to a study published March 6 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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AMA: CMS Wants Physician Input on Practice Transformation

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are being given the opportunity to describe what resources they need in order to transition to value-based models of care, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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FDA Experts Debate Timing of Pap Test

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is considering whether to delay the Pap test and use an human papillomavirus (HPV) test as a first step in cervical cancer screening. Specifically, the agency's Medical Devices Advisory Committee Microbiology Panel is being asked to evaluate the cobas HPV test made by Roche Molecular Systems.

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Prehospital Stroke Alerts Speed Door-to-CT Times

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency medical services (EMS) prenotification regarding the arrival of patients who have had a stroke allows patients to bypass the emergency department and undergo computed tomography (CT) in a timely manner, according to a study published in the March issue of Neurosurgery.

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Resistant Strain of Head Lice Prevalent in North America

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread use of pyrethrins- or pyrethroid-based products appears to have resulted in selection pressure for a highly-resistant strain of human head lice in North America, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology.

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About One-Quarter of Patients With MCI Progress to Dementia

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About 22 percent of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) progress to dementia within three years, and depression symptoms modify the prognosis, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Info, Motivation, Behavioral Skill Affect Med Adherence

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients' adherence-related information, motivation, and behavioral skills (IMB) are important targets for interventions promoting adherence to diabetes medications, according to a study published online March 5 in Diabetes Care.

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More Lumbar Sx Complications at Teaching Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing lumbar spine surgery at teaching hospitals incur longer hospitalizations and have more postoperative complications compared to those treated at nonteaching hospitals, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Spine.

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Medicare Drug Plan Changes Withdrawn by White House

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program have been withdrawn by the Obama administration after strong opposition from patient groups.

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Discrepancies ID'd in Studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, Journals

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all clinical trials reported on ClinicalTrials.gov and published in high-impact journals report at least one discrepancy in cohort, intervention, or results, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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White House: More Than Four Million Have Signed Up for ACA

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than four million Americans have signed up for health coverage through state and federal insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

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FDA Approves First Device to Prevent Migraines

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first device aimed at preventing migraines. The device, called Cefaly, is also the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device specifically authorized for use prior to the onset of pain, according to the FDA.

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ASCO: Demand for Quality Cancer Care Increasing

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The demand for quality cancer care is increasing, but millions of patients lack access to care, according to a report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

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Patients Prefer Specific Info From Docs for Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with prostate cancer endorse multiple sources of information, they report greatest satisfaction with information from the treating physician about patient outcomes, according to research to be published in the May issue of The Journal of Urology.

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High-Fiber Diet Cuts Risk of Colorectal Adenoma

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant inverse relationship between total dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal adenoma (CRA), according to research published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

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Average-Risk Women Overestimate Ovarian Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Average-risk, postmenopausal women overestimate their risk of ovarian cancer, but report low cancer worry, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Marijuana Use Up, Cocaine Use Down, U.S. Report Finds

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' use of cocaine fell by half from 2006 to 2010, but marijuana use increased by more than 30 percent during that time, according to a new report. The spike in pot use may be due to an increase in the number of people who said they use the drug on a daily or near-daily basis, said the researchers, whose study covered drug trends from 2000 to 2010. Heroin use remained fairly stable during the decade, while methamphetamine use rose sharply during the first half of the decade and then fell.

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Blood Test May Have Power to Predict Alzheimer's Disease

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A blood test has been developed that can predict with 90 percent certainty whether a senior will suffer from dementia such as Alzheimer's disease within the next few years, according to a study published online March 9 in Nature Medicine. The test relies on levels of 10 lipids in the bloodstream to estimate the chances of either mild cognitive impairment or the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease.

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Hearing Impairment in Adults Linked to Depression

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Hearing impairment (HI) is associated with depression, especially for older women, according to a study published online March 6 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Ups Subsequent Primary Cancer Risk

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) have an increased risk of subsequent primary cancers, according to a study published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Nocturnal Respiratory Rate Predicts Cardiac Risk After MI

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among survivors of acute myocardial infarction (MI), nocturnal respiratory rate (NRR) is significantly associated with cardiac mortality, particularly non-sudden cardiac death, according to research published online March 5 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Comprehensive Geriatric Test Predicts Long-Term Mortality

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients hospitalized with heart failure, a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) score is associated with mortality over two years, according to a study published online March 4 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Concern Over Facebook Photos Tied to Eating Disorders

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Young women who spend more time on Facebook self-report a higher incidence of appearance-focused behaviors and greater eating pathology, according to research published online Jan. 24 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

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Consultant Offers Tips for Evaluating Staff Pay

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Setting salaries and dealing with raises for a practice's staff can be tricky, according to an article published Feb. 24 in Medical Economics.

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Keeping Salaries Secret Harms Worker Performance

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping salaries secret hurts worker performance and increases turnover of top talent, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Academy of Management Journal.

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Higher Cardiovascular Events Risk After Outbursts of Anger

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a heightened risk of cardiovascular events in the hours following an angry outburst, according to research published online March 3 in the European Heart Journal.

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FDA: Pfizer Voluntarily Recalls Certain Lots of Antidepressant

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Two lots of Pfizer's Effexor XR (venlafaxine HCl) are being recalled because they may contain capsules of another drug, Tikosyn (dofetilide), used to treat heart rhythm disorders.

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Indoor Air Pollution Tied to Asthma, Asthma-Related Symptoms

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Indoor air pollution, specifically mold and environmental tobacco smoke, is associated with asthma and asthma-related respiratory symptoms in middle-aged adults, according to a study published online Feb. 12 in Respirology.

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Chest Complaints More Costly in Obese Patients

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased cost of care and longer hospital stays for patients who present to the emergency department with chest pain and dyspnea, according to research published online March 4 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Palliative Chemo for Terminal Cancer Linked to Death in ICU

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Terminally ill patients with cancer who receive chemotherapy at the end of life are at increased risk of dying in an intensive care unit (ICU) and receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and/or mechanical ventilation, according to research published March 4 in BMJ.

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In STEMI, Hyperglycemia Tied to Larger Myocardial Area-at-Risk

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), hyperglycemia is associated with larger area-at-risk and infarct size, and the effect of exenatide treatment is independent of glucose levels, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Diabetes.

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Women More Sensitive Than Men to Sublingual Zolpidem

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Clearance of zolpidem (administered as a sublingual tablet; ZST) is lower in females compared to males, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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AMA Grants Curriculum Efforts to Address Health Disparities

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools are beginning to change their curriculum to address ways to eliminate health disparities, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Physicians Better Able to Recall Narratives About Rx Guidelines

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians show better recall after reading evidence-based narratives, rather than summaries, of opioid prescribing guidelines, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Academic Emergency Medicine.

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MRI IDs Vulnerable Carotid Plaque Characteristics

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) aids in cardiovascular disease prediction by identifying vulnerable carotid plaque characteristics, according to a study published online March 4 in Radiology.

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Gender Gap Exists in Domestic Duties of Working Physicians

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Gender differences exist in domestic activities among career-oriented academic physicians with children, according to a study published online March 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Relative Value Units Useful In Evaluating Practice Finances

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Relative Value Unit (RVU) is a useful tool for managing practice finances, according to an article published Feb. 25 in Medical Economics.

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New Guidelines Issued for Valvular Heart Disease in Adults

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations have been issued for the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease (VHD) in adults, according to the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines published online March 4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drop in Compensation Gap for Primary Care Docs, Specialists

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2012 to 2013, there was a 5.7 percent increase in the median total cash compensation for primary care physicians, with a smaller gap seen for medical and surgical specialists, according to the results of a recent survey from SullivanCotter.

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Web-Based Mental Health Screening Feasible, Acceptable

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients in general hospital settings, a routine web-based mental health screening is feasible and acceptable, according to a study published in General Hospital Psychiatry.

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Yoga May Improve Menopausal Quality of Life

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga may improve menopause-related quality of life (QOL) in women with vasomotor symptoms, according to research published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Potentially Pathological ECG Patterns Prevalent in Young

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 percent of young non-athletes have electrocardiogram (ECG) patterns that can be considered potentially pathological based on the 2010 European Society of Cardiology position paper, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Prostatectomy Cuts Mortality in Early Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical treatment reduces long-term mortality among men with localized prostate cancer compared with those who undergo watchful waiting, according to research published in the March 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Alcohol, Especially Wine, May Reduce CV Risk in Diabetes

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate alcohol intake, particularly wine consumption, is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to research published online Feb. 27 in Diabetes Care.

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Personalized Gene Therapy Shows Promise in HIV Patients

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Immune cells of HIV positive patients can be safely genetically engineered to resist infection, decreasing the viral loads in some patients no longer taking antiretroviral drugs and even dropping the viral load to undetectable levels in others, according to a study published in the March 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Long-Acting Injectable Drug May Protect Against HIV

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A long-acting, injectable drug can protect monkeys from repeated exposure to the simian/human immunodeficiency virus, according to an animal study published online March 4 in Science.

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Increased Use-Dependent Plasticity With Chronic Insomnia

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People with chronic insomnia (CI) have increased use-dependent plasticity (UDP) relative to age-matched good sleepers, according to a study published in the March issue of SLEEP.

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Assay Has High Specificity for Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A prototype blood-based assay shows high specificity for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), according to a study published online March 3 in JAMA Neurology.

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Cancer Preventive Services Below Healthy People Targets

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of cancer screening and provider counseling are currently below the Healthy People (HP) 2020 targets, according to a study published Feb. 27 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Article Offers Guidance on Discussing PSA With Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Discussion of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening should focus on current guidelines and emphasize shared decision making, according to an article published Feb. 11 in the Urology Times.

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Alzheimer's Disease Deaths May Be More Than Reported

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About half a million deaths in the United States may be attributable to Alzheimer's disease (AD), more than five times as many as previously reported and similar to the number of deaths from heart disease and cancer, according to a study published online March 5 in Neurology.

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Value-Based Insurance Plans Can Up Rx Adherence

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Value-based insurance design (VBID) plans with certain features aside from solely lowering cost sharing can increase medication adherence, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Most Osteopathic Med Students Matched Into Primary Care

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of osteopathic medical students and recent graduates are matched into primary care residency programs, according to a report from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

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Marijuana Not Recommended for Rheumatic Conditions

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health care professionals should currently discourage rheumatology patients from using herbal cannabis as a therapy, according to a review published online March 3 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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HPV Vaccine Protects Against Cervical Abnormalities

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is effective at protecting against cervical abnormalities in young women, according to a study published March 4 in BMJ.

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WHO Program Improves U.S. Medical Facility Hand Hygiene

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. health care facilities, participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign to improve hand hygiene practices is associated with improved hand hygiene, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Gap in Regulatory Coverage Affects 5 to 16 Percent of Trials

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Human subjects protections (HSP) policies do not provide regulatory coverage for all clinical trials, while up to about a quarter of trials are considered overlap trials, according to a research letter published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: Antibiotics Often Prescribed During Hospitalization

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Inpatients frequently receive antibiotics, and in many cases antibiotic prescribing could be improved, according to a report published in the March 4 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.

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Cognitive Behavioral Tx Helpful for Diabetes + Depression

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with type 2 diabetes and depression, cognitive behavioral therapy for adherence and depression (CBT-AD) is associated with enduring benefits for diabetes self-management and glycemic control, according to a study published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

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Modest BP Difference Between Arms Can Signal Increased Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Interarm difference in systolic blood pressure is common and may indicate increased risk for future cardiovascular events, according to research published in the March issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

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Warfarin Linked to Lower Cardiac Risk in CKD With A-Fib

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with established cardiovascular disease and atrial fibrillation, warfarin treatment correlates with a lower risk of a composite of death, myocardial infarction (MI), and ischemic stroke, with no increased risk of bleeding, regardless of chronic kidney disease (CKD) severity, according to a study published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Docs Nominate Top U.S. Internal Medicine Residency Programs

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top U.S. internal medicine residency programs have been ranked by physicians and include Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and the University of California in San Francisco, according to an article published by U.S. News & World Report.

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Opioid-Related Overdose Death Tied to High-Risk Rx Patterns

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of opioid-related overdose death is associated with certain opioid-prescribing patterns, and nonmedical opioid sources vary with the frequency of use, according to a study and research letter, respectively, published online March 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Nurses Can Perform Colonoscopies As Well As Docs

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopy quality and safety are comparable for nurse and physician endoscopy trainees, according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Polydeoxyribonucleotide Aids Healing of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The adenosine A2A receptor agonist polydeoxyribonucleotide (PDRN) facilitates healing of diabetic foot ulcers in patients with diabetes, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Study Quantifies Prevalence of Chronic HCV Infection

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is about 1 percent, with 2.7 million U.S. residents estimated as having chronic HCV infection, according to a study published in the March 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Binges Up Risk of Mortality in Older Moderate Drinkers

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among older moderate drinkers, those who sometimes engage in binge drinking have an increased total mortality risk compared with those who have a regular pattern of moderate drinking, according to research published online March 3 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Psychiatric Ills Widespread Among U.S. Soldiers: Studies

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Three new studies suggest that a sizeable percentage of American soldiers suffer from some type of mental health issue, at rates higher than those seen in the general population. The studies were published online March 3 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Smoking, Smoke Exposure Up Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women who were ever smokers during their reproductive years and those never-smoking women with the highest levels of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure have significantly increased odds for spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and tubal ectopic pregnancy, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in Tobacco Control.

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Single-Patient Trials Determine Statin Tolerability

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with statin-related myalgia, single-patient randomized trials of statin and placebo can determine whether the myalgia is actually due to the statin, according to a small study published in the March 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Longer LOS for New Heart Failure in Medicaid Patients

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medicaid patients and patients with more comorbidities have a longer length of stay (LOS) for incident heart failure, compared to other hospitalized cases, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

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Women-Specific Research Is Still Inadequate

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women are still underrepresented in medical science and research, and sex differences are often ignored, according to a report published March 3 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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Change Increases Postpartum Pertussis Vaccination

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Changing in-hospital ordering procedures increases the postpartum pertussis vaccination rate to 69 percent, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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CMS: No More Delays to ICD-10 Implementation Deadline

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no more delays to the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Feb. 27 in Medical Economics.

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DASH Diet May Lower Risk of Recurrent Kidney Stones

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might be an effective alternative to the low-oxalate diet for reducing risk of kidney stone recurrence, according to research published in the March issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

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Dental Extraction Pre-Cardiac Surgery Can Be Risky

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with planned dental extraction before cardiac surgery, the risk of a major adverse outcome is 8 percent, including a 3 percent risk of death before surgery, according to a study published in the March issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Catastrophizing Can Predict Low Back Pain, Disability

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients treated for low back pain, catastrophizing may predict the degree of pain and disability, according to a review published in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Persistent Post-Cardiac Surgery Pain Seen at 24 Months

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing cardiac surgery, persistent postoperative pain decreases over time and is 9.5 percent at 24 months after surgery, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Patient Activation Predicts Bowel Preparation Quality

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lower patient activation, but not limited health literacy, is an independent predictor of suboptimal colonoscopy bowel preparation quality, according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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