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May 2011 Briefing - Internal Medicine

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

Cell Phones May Be Tied to Higher Risk of Glioma

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Cell phones may be associated with an increased risk of brain cancer, a panel of experts reporting to the World Health Organization (WHO) announced May 31.

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BMD and FRAX Score Tied to Fracture Risk in Diabetes

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), bone mineral density (BMD) T score and age or World Health Organization Fracture Risk Algorithm (FRAX) score are associated with increased fracture risk, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Effect Estimates May Be Inflated in Biomarker Studies

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Biomarker effects are often overestimated in highly cited studies compared to the effects reported in subsequent meta-analyses of the same associations, according to a review published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Solesta Gel Approved for Fecal Incontinence

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Solesta gel has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat fecal incontinence in adults after other therapies have failed.

fecal incontinence

Stress and Abuse Not Linked to Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Stress at home in adulthood and physical or sexual abuse in childhood or adolescence are not associated with the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study published in the May 31 issue of Neurology.

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Dificid Approved to Treat C. diff Diarrhea

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Dificid (fidaxomicin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile infection.

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Team Communication Vital to Avoid Health Care Errors

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative registered nurses (RNs) identify communication between the team as the most important factor responsible for near misses or close-call situations that could result in a health care error, according to a study published in the May issue of the AORN Journal.

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Education Increases Support for Family-Witnessed CPR

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Presentation of an evidence-based family-witnessed resuscitation (FWR) education program to cardiopulmonary resuscitation providers may modify their opinions and increase their support for FWR, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Racial and Ethnic Disparities Exist in U.S. Stroke Care

MONDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and ethnic minorities experience disparities in many aspects of stroke care as compared to whites, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association published online May 26 in Stroke.

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Phone Counseling Improves Outcomes in Diabetes Patients

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Telephone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) coupled with a walking program may not improve A1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and depression, but it appears to improve other important outcomes, according to research published online April 6 in Medical Care.

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Health-Related Quality of Life Lower in Arthritis Sufferers

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with arthritis report lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) than those without the condition, according to research published online April 29 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Modic Changes Common in Patients With Lower Back Pain

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- A high prevalence of Modic changes is seen among Spanish patients with chronic lower back pain (LBP) for whom magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been prescribed, according to a study published in the May issue of The Spine Journal.

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Most Intracerebral Hemorrhage Patients Develop Anemia

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Anemia develops in the majority of patients who are hospitalized for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), and transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBC) is associated with improved outcome, according to a study published in the May issue of Neurosurgery.

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Chronic Pain Treatment May Reverse Brain Abnormalities

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of chronic low back pain (CLBP) may reverse functional and structural brain abnormalities, according to a study published in the May 18 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Peripheral Nerve Injury May Cause Substantial Disability

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with peripheral upper-extremity nerve injury may have substantial disability and pain at more than six months following the injury, according to a study published in the May 18 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Changes in Sleep Duration May Impair Cognitive Function

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse changes in sleep duration -- too little or too much sleep -- in middle-aged people may have a detrimental effect on their cognitive function, according to research published in the May 1 issue of SLEEP.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids Have Novel Antithrombotic Effects

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) treatment for patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) may decrease thrombin formation and oxidative stress, and improve fibrin clot properties, according to a study published online May 26 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

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Polypills May Reduce Blood Pressure and LDL Cholesterol

THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Use of combination cardiovascular medications, or polypills, is associated with significant reductions in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, according to a study published online May 25 in PLoS One.

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Work-Related Activity Boosts Number of Active Adults

THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- More than 70 percent of U.S. adults meet the minimum threshold for physical activity when occupational physical activity is taken into consideration, according to research published in the May 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Lateral Violence Affects Health Care Work Environment

THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Lateral violence creates an unpleasant work environment affecting nurses, patients, and the health care organization, and, as such, health care centers should educate their nursing staff to identify lateral violence and adopt measures to eliminate it, according to a study published in the May issue of the AORN Journal.

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Lupus Factors Tied to Weak Response to Influenza Vaccine

THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), particularly those with a history of hematological disorder or taking prednisone, may have a low antibody response to influenza vaccination, according to a study published online May 19 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Surgical Delay Associated With Worse Prostatectomy Outcome

THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Delaying radical prostatectomy by six months or more in men who meet the D'Amico low-risk criteria for prostate cancer is correlated with worse outcomes, according to a study published in the June issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Locomotor Training for Stroke Rehab Offers No Advantage

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant difference between locomotor training and home exercise for rehabilitation after a stroke, according to a study published in the May 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Bacterial Meningitis Rates Have Decreased in the United States

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of bacterial meningitis in the United States has decreased since 1998, but there has been no change in the fatality rate, according to a study published in the May 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Psychiatrists Believe in Clinical Value of Placebos

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Psychiatrists are more likely than nonpsychiatrists to prescribe subtherapeutic doses of medication and believe in the clinical value of placebos, according to a study published in the April issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

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Contact With Drug Industry Linked to Positive Attitudes

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The extent of contact that medical students have with the pharmaceutical industry is associated with positive attitudes about marketing, according to a review published online May 24 in PLoS Medicine.

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More Scans for Back Pain by Doctors Who Bill for MRI

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with low back pain in the care of primary care physicians or orthopedists who own or lease magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment are more likely to receive an MRI, according to a study published online April 21 in Health Services Research.

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Patient Navigation May Boost Colorectal Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patient navigators may help increase rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among ethnically diverse patients, particularly non-English speaking and black patients, according to a study published in the May 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Excessive Calcium Intake Does Not Lower Fracture Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing calcium intake above a satisfactory level is not associated with a further reduction of osteoporotic fracture rates in women, according to a study published online May 24 in BMJ.

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Psoriasis Linked to Difficult-to-Manage Hypertension

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Hypertensive patients with psoriasis are more likely to have difficult-to-control hypertension compared to hypertensive patients without psoriasis, according to a study published online March 29 in PLoS One.

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Brisk Walking May Lower Prostate CA Progression Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Brisk walking may help slow disease progression in men diagnosed with clinically localized prostate cancer, according to a study published online May 24 in Cancer Research.

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Cultural Participation Linked to Better Health Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- There is gender-dependent association between cultural activities (both receptive and creative) and good health, satisfaction with life, and low anxiety and depression scores, according to a study published online May 23 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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Fish Cooking Method Affects Heart Failure Risk in Women

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Increased consumption of baked or broiled fish and decreased intake of fried fish may reduce incident heart failure risk in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online May 24 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Top Five Clinical Activities Identified for Improving Care

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of physicians from the National Physicians Alliance (NPA) have identified common clinical activities, which could improve quality of care and use of clinical resources, according to a study published online May 23 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Patient Outcomes Tied to Primary Care Workforce

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) --A higher level of primary care physician workforce is associated with favorable patient outcomes, according to a study published in the May 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation Tied to Increased Mortality

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women with new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) may have an increased risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and noncardiovascular mortality, according to a study published May 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Heart-Friendly Fatty Acids Linked to Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of the ω-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid may increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer; whereas, high levels of trans-fatty acids (TFAs) may reduce the risk, according to a study published online April 24 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Vascular Disease May Increase Stroke or Death Risk in A-Fib

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Vascular disease, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) or prior myocardial infarction (MI), is an independent risk factor for stroke or death in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published online April 19 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Infection Control Breach in 15 Percent of Nursing Homes

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Fifteen percent of U.S. nursing homes receive deficiency citations each year for infection control, and this may be associated with low staffing levels, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Diabetic Retinopathy

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Significant erectile dysfunction (ED) is associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, independent of age, diabetes duration, macrovascular comorbidities, and cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published in the May issue of Urology.

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Patient-Physician Gender Concordance Aids Obese Males

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-physician gender concordance has a positive correlation with exercise and diet/nutrition counseling in obese male patients, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Herniated Lumbar Disc Tied to Poor Vocational Prognosis

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of an unfavorable vocational prognosis after hospital contact for herniated lumbar disc (HLD) is substantial and is associated with various risk factors, according to a study published in the May 20 issue of Spine.

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Inhaled Anticholinergics Tied to Acute Urinary Retention

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using both short- and long-acting inhaled anticholinergic (IAC) drugs have an increased risk of developing acute urinary retention (AUR), according to a study published in the May 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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African-Americans With MS May Have Lower Vitamin D Levels

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- African-Americans with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have lower serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, but disease severity is not associated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, according to a study published in the May 24 issue of Neurology.

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Use of CCTA Screening Tied to Increased Invasive Testing

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Low-risk adults who undergo coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) screening use more medications and undergo invasive coronary procedures, according to a study published online May 23 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Access to Medical Records Not Linked to Increased Anxiety

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Providing cancer patients with full access to their medical records may increase their satisfaction without increasing anxiety, according to a study published online May 23 in Cancer.

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Severe Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Pneumonia Deaths

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia, severe vitamin D deficiency, but not antimicrobial peptide levels, is associated with increased 30-day mortality, according to a study published in the May issue of Respirology.

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Type II Odontoid Fractures May Up Elderly Mortality Risk

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Type II odontoid fractures in the elderly are associated with a high mortality rate irrespective of the intervention, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of Spine.

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PCR Test Unreliable in Post-Antibiotic Lyme Arthritis

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with persistent Lyme arthritis (LA) which has been treated with antibiotics, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) DNA in the synovial fluid (SF) is not a reliable indicator of active infection, according to a study published online May 17 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Tai Chi May Prevent Falls and Improve Mental Health

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Tai chi may help fall prevention and improve psychological health but has been shown not to be effective in the symptomatic treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online May 16 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Excessive Business Travel Tied to Poor Health, Obesity

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- People who travel extensively for business are more likely to be obese and to rate their health as poor or fair than peers whose business travel demands are lighter, according to research published in the April issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Ultrasonography Results Show Lower NAFLD Prevalence

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Use of liver ultrasonography indicates that the prevalence of hepatic steatosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in patients with type 2 diabetes may be lower than previously reported, according to a study published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

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Nurses Working Overtime May Increase Post-Discharge Costs

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Post-discharge readmission and emergency department (ED) utilization costs may be reduced by increasing registered nurses' (RNs') non-overtime hours and decreasing their overtime hours, according to a study published online April 21 in Health Services Research.

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CDC: Swimmer's Ear Results in Over Two Million Visits Yearly

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Acute otitis externa (AOE), also known as swimmer's ear, is associated with a large number of doctor visits and substantial medical costs annually, according a report in the May 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Epidural Stimulation Helps Paralyzed Man Stand

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- A young man paralyzed from the chest down after an auto accident is able to stand for several minutes after undergoing epidural spinal cord stimulation, according to research published online May 20 in The Lancet.

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Selenium Has Modest Benefits for Plasma Lipid Levels

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Selenium supplementation appears to modestly benefit plasma lipid levels among individuals with relatively low selenium status, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many Medical Students Lack Confidence in Medical Law

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of medical students lack confidence in their knowledge and skills across many areas of medical law, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Limiting Gadolinium Use May Avert Renal Systemic Fibrosis

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Following the adoption of restrictive guidelines for gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) administration, no new nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) cases have been identified in contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) examinations, even in patients with a low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), according to a study published online May 17 in Radiology.

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Systemic Sclerosis Linked to Coronary Calcification

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an independent risk factor for coronary calcification in addition to other conventional risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis, such as age and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Looking After a Spouse With Dementia May Affect Cognition

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- An older person caring for a spouse with dementia may be at higher risk of cognitive impairment or dementia than a person who is not caring for a spouse with dementia, according to a review published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Lower HIV-Related Mortality, Increased Treatment in China

THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-related mortality has decreased and concomitant treatment coverage has increased in China, but mortality is higher and treatment cover lower in injecting drug users and those infected sexually, according to a study published online May 19 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Awareness of Terminal Cancer Doesn't Impact Survival

THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients' awareness that they have terminal cancer and use of a palliative care facility are not associated with reduced survival time, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Binge Drinking Linked With Poor Declarative Memory

THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Binge drinking (BD) is correlated with poorer verbal declarative memory, irrespective of gender, according to a study published online May 16 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Nerve Blockade May Reduce Acute Pain After Hip Surgery

THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Nerve blockade may be effective for reducing acute pain after hip fracture, but evidence is lacking for most other pain management interventions, according to a review published online May 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Initial Fecal Occult Blood Test Predicts Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients screened for colorectal cancer via immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) can be stratified for cancer risk by degree of baseline fecal hemoglobin concentration, according to research published online May 17 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Melatonin Analogues May Help Treat Depression

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Melatonin analogues, including agomelatine, may help in the treatment of depression and may help restore circadian function, according to a review published online May 18 in The Lancet.

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No Evidence of Skin Infestation in Delusional Infestation

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with suspected delusional skin infestation, histologic examination of skin biopsies and examination of patient-provided samples show sparse objective evidence of skin infestation, according to a study published online May 16 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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Cardiac Rehabilitation May Lower All-Cause Mortality Rate

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality rates, according to a study published online May 16 in Circulation.

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Family Cancer Histories Are Not Highly Accurate

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- General population reports on family history for major adult cancers are not very accurate, according to a study published online May 11 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Most Patients Treated for GERD Attain Remission

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who are treated with esomeprazole therapy or laparoscopic antireflux surgery (LARS) attain remission at five years, according to a study published in the May 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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High Coffee Intake May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer is lower in men who regularly consume coffee, according to a study published online May 17 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Triamcinolone Ineffective in Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Tympanometric manifestation of eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) may not be normalized by treatment with intranasal aqueous triamcinolone acetonide (TAA-AQ), according to a study published in the May issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Most Nondermatologist Lesion Referrals Are Nonmalignant

WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Nondermatologist referrals for skin malignancies include mainly noncancerous lesions, but consulting dermatologists are better able to identify incident malignant lesions in addition to the primary lesion of concern, according to a study published in the May issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Decrease in Number of Hospital Emergency Departments

TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1990 and 2009, there was a substantial decrease in the number of hospital emergency departments (EDs) in nonrural areas, according to a study published in the May 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Anogenital Distance Shorter in Infertile Men

TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Shorter anogenital distance (AGD) appears to be associated with infertility in men, according to research published online May 11 in PLoS One.

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BMI of 35kg/m² or More Associated With Mortality

TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- In older U.S. adults, moderately severe obesity may be related to mortality, whereas lower levels of obesity are correlated with new or worsening disability within two years, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Atypical Early-Onset Alzheimer's Often Misdiagnosed

TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) who have atypical (non-memory) presentations, are frequently misdiagnosed, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of Neurology.

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Tele-ICU Tied to Lower Mortality, Shorter Hospital Stay

TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a tele-intensive care unit (ICU) intervention is correlated with reduced mortality risk, length of hospital stay, preventable complications rates, and improvements in best practice adherence, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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No Clear Evidence for Role of Selenium in Cancer Prevention

MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Selenium exposure has no clear effect on cancer incidence, and supplementation does not seem to prevent cancer, according to a review published online May 11 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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MRKAd5 Vaccine Found Ineffective Against HIV-1

MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine tested in a cohort of men and women in South Africa failed to prevent acquisition of HIV-1 or a decrease in viral load in those who acquired the virus, according to research published online May 12 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Pirfenidone May Slow Lung Decline in Patients With IPF

MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Use of pirfenidone may reduce the deterioration in lung function seen in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to a study published online May 14 in The Lancet.

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Childhood Eczema, Rhinitis Predict Adult Asthma

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Children who have eczema and rhinitis may be more susceptible to atopic asthma in adulthood, according to research published online April 4 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Interest in Nephrology Careers Waning in the United States

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer and fewer U.S. medical students pursue a career in nephrology each year, despite the growing rates of Americans who have kidney disease or are on dialysis, according to a review published in the May issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Low Ratio of Index to Ring Finger Length Tied to ALS

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- A low ratio of index to ring finger length (2D:4D ratio), which is a surrogate marker for prenatal testosterone levels in both men and women, is found in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

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Therapeutic Climbing Beneficial for Chronic Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with a standard exercise regime, therapeutic climbing offers patients with chronic low back pain superior benefits in terms of perceived health and physical functioning, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of Spine.

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Arthritic Bone Erosions Can Be Detected by Ultrasound

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Most arthritic bone erosions seen on ultrasound (US) imaging are cortical breaks, which are detected on micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scans, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Firearm Homicide Rates Higher in Metropolitan Areas

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) usually have higher rates of firearm-related homicides than the national average, and the rate in youths exceeds the all-ages rate in most MSAs and cities, according to a report in the May 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Poor Sleep Quality Linked to Worse Glucose Control

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Early-middle-aged adults with type 2 diabetes show an association between poor sleep quality and higher levels of fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and estimated insulin resistance, according to a study published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

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Pulsed Electrical Stimuli No Help for Knee Osteoarthritis

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Use of pulsed electrical stimulation (PES) provides no benefit over placebo for symptomatic management of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Early Trochanteric Pain Relief With Corticosteroids

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS), pain relief can be achieved earlier by corticosteroid injections than usual care, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Poor Cardiovascular Outcomes for U.S. Women

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, women have worse cardiovascular treatment and outcomes than men, according to the Women's Health in American Hospitals report released on May 3 by HealthGrades.

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Blacks Screened More Often Than Whites for Opioid Misuse

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients on opioid analgesics for chronic noncancer pain are significantly more likely to receive recommended opioid risk reduction strategies than white patients, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Coffee May Lower Breast Cancer Risk in Older Women

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- A high daily intake of coffee is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online May 11 in Breast Cancer Research.

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Case-Based Training for GPs Lowers Heart Disease Risks

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Use of case-based training for general practitioners to implement evidence-based guidelines with intensified lipid-lowering recommendations is associated with a decrease in the 10-year mortality rates in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase Fracture Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), but not histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), is associated with an increased risk of fracture, according to a meta-analysis published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Medical Education Participants Recognize Funding Bias

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although most medical professionals believe that commercial funding of continuing medical education (CME) introduces bias, most are not willing to pay higher fees to offset or eliminate such funding sources, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Heart Failure Linked to Higher Osteoporotic Fracture Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Heart failure is associated with an increased risk for vertebral compression fracture (VCF), and more than half of those with VCF have multiple fractures, according to a study published online May 10 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Limited Evidence Exists for Alzheimer's Risk Factors

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- The existing evidence is insufficient to draw firm conclusions about the association of any modifiable factor with the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study published online May 9 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Optimal Medical Therapy Often Not Applied Before PCI

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Less than half the patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) receive optimal medical therapy (OMT) before PCI; whereas, approximately two-thirds receive it following PCI, with similar practice patterns seen before and after publication of the Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation (COURAGE) trial, according to a study published in the May 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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NSAIDs May Increase Cardio Risk in MI Patients

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with prior myocardial infarction (MI), even short-term treatment with most nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be associated with an increased risk of recurrent MI and death, according to a study published online May 9 in Circulation.

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Cognitive Impairment Common in Oldest Old Women

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial number of oldest old women, an increasing demographic, have some degree of cognitive impairment, according to research published in the May issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Colonoscopy Repeated Too Soon in Many Older Adults

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Screening colonoscopy may be overused in average-risk older adults, and those with better life expectancies are less likely to experience a net burden from colorectal cancer screening and follow-up than those whose life expectancies are low, according to two articles published online May 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract - Goodwin
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CT Pulmonary Angiography Tied to Embolism Overdiagnosis

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with pulmonary embolism (PE), computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA) is associated with overdiagnosis reflected by increasing incidence, limited change in mortality, and reduced case fatality, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Gay Men May Have Increased Cancer Prevalence

MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Sexual orientation may affect cancer prevalence and self-health perception, with poor self-reported health perception more likely in lesbian and bisexual female cancer survivors, and increased cancer prevalence in gay men, according to a study published online May 9 in Cancer.

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Residual Depressive Symptoms in Responders to Citalopram

MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who respond to citalopram but do not remit report a range of residual domains and depressive symptoms, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

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Diabetes Symptoms Improve With Aerobic Exercise

MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise alone or combined with resistance training significantly improves cardiovascular (CV) risk factors including hemoglobin A1c, systolic blood pressure (SBP), triglycerides, and waist circumference in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published online April 27 in Diabetes Care.

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NSAIDs, Aspirin May Increase Risk of Diverticulitis

MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Men who regularly use aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have an increased risk of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

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Arsenic in Drinking Water Tied to Heart Disease Mortality

MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to arsenic in drinking water appears to be adversely associated with mortality from cardiovascular disease in Bangladesh, particularly among cigarette smokers, according to a study published online May 5 in BMJ.

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Adding Omalizumab May Improve Uncontrolled Asthma

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Omalizumab appears to provide additional clinical benefits in patients with severe allergic asthma that is inadequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs), according to a study published in the May 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Higher Metabolic Rates May Predict Early Mortality

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Higher metabolic rates, measured by 24-hour energy expenditure (24EE) or resting metabolic rate (RMR), may predict early natural mortality in Pima Indians, according to a study published online March 30 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Calcium Supplementation Inadequate in Elderly

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary calcium intake is lower in the elderly and, despite increased frequency of supplemental calcium use, this cohort does not meet the recommended adequate intake (AI) of calcium, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Ultrasound Viable Option to Radiography in Acute Dyspnea

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- For most pulmonary diseases causing dyspnea, ultrasonography and radiography demonstrate high concordance, but ultrasound is more accurate at identifying free pleural effusion, according to a study published in the May issue of Chest.

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Health Literacy Limited Among Patients on Hemodialysis

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial proportion of patients treated with chronic hemodialysis have limited health literacy, especially African-Americans, those with lower educational levels, and veterans, according to a study published online May 5 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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HRS: Survival High in Cardiac Arrest at Exercise Facilities

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) that occurs at an exercise facility, whether traditional (such as a gym) or nontraditional (such as a dance studio or bowling alley), is associated with a high rate of survival, according to research presented at the Heart Rhythm Society's Annual Scientific Sessions, held from May 4 to 7 in San Francisco.

Abstract No. AB17-1
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Icons May Help Adults Identify Acetaminophen Medicines

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Use of simple, explicit messages and icons identifiable by consumers may promote safe use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as acetaminophen, according to a study published online May 3 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Community Intervention Can Improve HIV Testing Rates

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- The use of community-based voluntary counseling and testing (CBVCT) appears to improve initial and repeat HIV testing rates in remote communities as compared with standard, clinic-based VCT (SVCT), according to a study published online May 4 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Aneurysmal Rupture Triggers Include Drinking Coffee

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Eight triggers that increase the risk of aneurysmal rupture have been identified, including drinking coffee and vigorous physical exercise, according to a study published online May 5 in Stroke.

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Being Social in Old Age May Prevent Cognitive Decline

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who are more socially active may experience less cognitive decline in old age, according to a study published online April 8 in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

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Racial Disparities Persist in Colorectal Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Racial or ethnic differences in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening persist, especially in blacks and Hispanics, despite expanded Medicare coverage for CRC screening tests, according to a study published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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High Cost of Care for Patients With Atrial Fibrillation

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Medical costs are higher for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) compared with controls, due to increased inpatient and outpatient costs, according to a study published online May 3 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Condition-Specific Comorbidity Index May Improve Accuracy

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- A condition-specific comorbidity index may be significantly better than the commonly used Deyo Comorbidity Index for adjusting mortality, morbidities, and hospital disposition measures, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

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Bisphosphonates Tied to Small Risk of Atypical Fractures

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with atypical fractures, there is a high prevalence of current bisphosphonate use, but the absolute risk of these fractures is small, according to a study published in the May 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Leukotriene-Receptor Antagonists Effective in Asthma

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Use of a leukotriene-receptor antagonist (LTRA) may be as effective as an inhaled glucocorticoid as first-line controller therapy, and as effective as a long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) as an add-on therapy, for the treatment of asthma patients, according to the findings of two pragmatic trials published in the May 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Individualized Guidelines May Improve Quality of Care

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Individualized guidelines that calculate the risk reduction expected from treatment, and which rank individuals in order of decreasing expected benefit, may be useful for increasing the quality and reducing the cost of care, according to a study published in the May 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Autism Prevalence in England Similar in Adults and Children

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adults in England is about 10 per 1,000, which is similar to that seen in children, and prevalence does not appear to be associated with age, according to research published in the May issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Half of New Drugs in the U.S. Have Comparative Efficacy Data

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately half of all new molecular entities (NMEs) recently approved in the United States contain comparative efficacy data in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval packages, according to a study published May 4 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Low Urinary Sodium Excretion Linked to Higher Mortality

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Lower sodium excretion is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to a study published in the May 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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β-Agonist Treatment of COPD May Reduce Mortality

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) initially treated by long-acting inhaled β-agonists may have lower mortality than those initially treated by long-acting anticholinergics, according to a study published in the May 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Race, Ethnicity May Influence ICU End-of-Life Care

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and ethnic differences that are independent of socioeconomic status may be present in end-of-life care in intensive care units (ICU), according to a study published in the May issue of Chest.

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Lot of Warfarin Tablets Recalled

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb is voluntarily recalling a lot of warfarin sodium (Coumadin) 5 mg tablets after a tablet from one bottle was discovered to have a higher potency than it should, according to a safety alert posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Structured Exercise Beats Advice Only for Lowering HbA1c

TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Structured exercise training is associated with a reduction in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in patients with type 2 diabetes, while physical activity advice is associated with lower HbA1c only when combined with dietary advice, according to a meta-analysis published in the May 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC: Asthma Prevalence on the Rise in United States

TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of asthma among both adults and children has increased in the last decade, and asthma costs have increased in recent years as well, according to a report in the May 3 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Central Obesity Tied to Cardiac Patient Mortality

TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Central obesity is associated with increased mortality in individuals with coronary artery disease (CAD), even in those with a normal body mass index (BMI), according to a review published in the May 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Midlife Obesity Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia

TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Being overweight or obese in midlife may increase the risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and vascular dementia (VaD), according to a study published in the May 3 issue of Neurology.

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Baseline Psychiatric Status Tied to Postdeployment PTSD

TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Psychiatric status at baseline and deployment-related physical injuries are correlated with screening positive for postdeployment posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to a study published in the May issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Tradjenta Approved for Type 2 Diabetes

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Tradjenta (linagliptin) tablets, combined with diet and exercise, have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, the agency said Monday.

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

Young Americans Do Not Consider Stroke Health Threat

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most young Americans believe their current health behaviors will not affect their future risks of stroke and cardiovascular diseases, according to results of a survey released on May 2 by the American Stroke Association.

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Men Abused by Female Partners Suffer Psychologically

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Men who experience abuse at the hands of their female partners may suffer significant psychological distress, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal thoughts, according to two studies published in the April issue of Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

Abstract - Randle
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Mild Histological Injury After Allogenic Renal Transplant

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Histological changes in the first five years after allogenic renal transplantation are generally mild, and are less severe than previously reported, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Acupuncture Found to Relieve Hot Flashes in Men

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture appears to be quite effective at relieving the hot flashes that are a common side effect of androgen ablation therapy (AAT) in men with prostate cancer, according to research published in the April 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics.

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Physician's Briefing
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