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November 2013 Briefing - Internal Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Internal Medicine for November 2013. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

BRCA2 Familial Breast CA Risk High Even Without BRCA Mutation

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Women from BRCA2 families who do not carry a mutation in the BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility gene still have a nearly five-fold higher risk of developing breast cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Spatiotemporal Analysis Emphasizes Value of Vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Spatiotemporal data emphasizes the importance of vaccination programs, according to research published in the Nov. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AAD Issues Top Five Choosing Wisely Recommendations

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The top five dermatology-related issues that physicians and patients should question have been released by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, and have been published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Induced Hypothermia May Be Harmful in Severe Meningitis

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The use of induced hypothermia may be harmful to adults with severe meningitis, according to a study published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Normal Weight Obesity Ups Cardiac Deaths in Older Adults

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- In older adults, normal weight obesity (NWO) is associated with cardiac abnormalities and increased risk for cardiovascular mortality, according to research published in the Nov. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Insurance Exchanges May Benefit Small Medical Practices

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Small medical practices may not need to offer their employees health insurance, although there may be advantages to doing so, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Salt-Containing Rx Formulations Increase Cardiovascular Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- People taking sodium-containing formulations of drugs are at higher risk of cardiovascular events, particularly stroke and hypertension, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in BMJ.

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Practices Should Start Preparing for Transition to ICD-10

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Practices should start preparing for the transition to International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Oral Fluoroquinolone Use Not Linked to Retinal Detachment

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Oral fluoroquinolone use is not associated with the risk of retinal detachment, according to a Danish cohort study published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Vitamin Supplements Delay Progression of Early-Stage HIV

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Micronutrient supplementation reduces the risk of immune decline and morbidity in adults with early-stage HIV disease who have not yet initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART), according to research published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Chest Pain Characteristics Don't Help Diagnose AMI in Women

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Small differences are observed in the sex-specific diagnostic performance of chest pain characteristics (CPCs) for diagnosing acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to a study published online Nov. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves Olysio As Hepatitis C Treatment

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Olysio (simeprevir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C infection in adults.

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No Link Between Menopausal Hormones and Cognition

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal hormone levels are not generally associated with cognition or mood, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Sustained Physical Activity Key Ingredient in Healthy Aging

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Regular physical activity increases the likelihood of remaining healthy with age, even if started later in life, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Optimal Testosterone Levels Tied to Survival in Older Men

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Higher and lower levels of testosterone (T) and its metabolites may raise mortality risk in older men, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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USPSTF: Lack of Evidence for Primary Care Oral CA Screening

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found that there is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the benefits and harms of primary care provider screening of asymptomatic adults for oral cancer, according to a final recommendation statement published online Nov. 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves H5N1 Avian Influenza Vaccine

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first adjuvanted vaccine for the prevention of H5N1 influenza in adults at greater-than-average risk of exposure.

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FDA to Lift Restrictions on Diabetes Drug Avandia

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it is lifting the tough safety restrictions it imposed on the diabetes drug Avandia two years ago because of reported links to heart problems.

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Symptoms Cluster After Esophageal Cancer Surgery

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For surgically treated patients with esophageal cancer, symptoms appear to cluster together, and these clusters are strongly associated with mortality, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in Cancer.

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American Medical Groups Protesting Physician Cuts

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Medical societies are taking action against the mass cancellations of physicians in Medicare Advantage plans in many states, according to an article published online Nov. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Endometrial Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A higher intake of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a higher risk of some endometrial cancers, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Family Doc Finds Mid-Level Providers Increase Revenue

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Hiring mid-levels -- physicians assistants and nurse practitioners -- can improve productivity, resulting in increased physician take-home pay, according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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White House Extends Enrollment Deadline for Health Insurance

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Consumers who want to enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov will get a few extra days to sign up for coverage that will take effect on Jan. 1. The deadline for buying insurance through the federal health insurance exchange will be pushed from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said during a Friday news conference.

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Recession-Linked Losses Impact Alcohol Outcomes

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Recession-induced economic losses are associated with alcohol outcomes, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Continuity of Care Impacts Patient-Doc Communication

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For Veterans Administration (VA) outpatients, low continuity of primary care correlates with reduced quality of patient-provider communication, according to a study published online Sept. 26 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Rates of CPR Training Vary Geographically in the U.S.

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- There are wide geographic disparities in rates of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in the United States, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Rape, Sexual Assault Likely Underestimated by Crime Survey

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Rape and sexual assault are likely underestimated on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and a new survey should be developed for more accurate estimation of incidence, according to a report published by the National Academy of Sciences.

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FDA Warns of Cardiac Risk With Stress Test Agents

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The use of cardiac nuclear stress test agents comes with a rare but serious risk of heart attack and death, according to a warning sent by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to health care professionals.

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Unemployment Linked to Accelerated Biological Aging

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Young adult men who are unemployed for long periods have shorter telomeres, a sign of accelerated biological aging, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in PLOS ONE.

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Metabolic Factors Mediate Much of BMI-Tied Excess Cardio Risk

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose mediate much of the excess risk of coronary heart disease and stroke associated with high body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online Nov. 22 in The Lancet.

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Daily Text Messages Improve Diabetes Outcomes

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with poorly controlled diabetes have improvements in hemoglobin A1c and medication adherence and fewer trips to the emergency room after receiving daily text messages, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Headache Society Issues Top Five Choosing Wisely Tips

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The top five headache-related issues that physicians and patients should question have been released by the American Headache Society (AHS) as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, and published online Oct. 29 in Headache.

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Prognostic Value of Lipoprotein (a) With Low Cholesterol Unclear

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Lipoprotein (a) (Lp[a]) has utility in assessing cardiovascular risk in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD); however, the prognostic value of Lp(a) in patients with low cholesterol levels remains unclear, according to a study published online Oct. 23 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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CDC Report: Health Disparities Persist in America

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Despite progress in some areas, health disparities remain for many Americans, health officials reported Thursday. These inequalities are related to income, education, sex, race, ethnicity, employment and sexual orientation, and they all affect Americans' health and well-being, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Personalized Pharmacist-Led Care Ups Med Adherence in ACS

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients admitted with acute coronary syndrome, a personalized attention and coordinated care intervention involving a pharmacist is associated with improved medication adherence after discharge, according to a study published Nov. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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PTSD Linked to Overweight, Obesity in Women

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Women with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to become overweight or obese, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Recessions Linked to Worse Cognitive Function Later

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Living through recessions is associated with worse cognitive function later in life, with the critical age range differing for men and women, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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Team-Based Approach Best Suited to Controlling High BP

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- To optimize the treatment of high blood pressure, the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocate a team-based approach that incorporates the use of electronic health records, according to a scientific advisory published online Nov. 15 in Hypertension.

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Central Adiposity Linked to Risk of Esophageal Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies shows that central adiposity, independent of body mass index (BMI), is associated with increased risk of esophageal inflammation, metaplasia, and adenocarcinoma, according to research published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Race May Affect Assessment of Vitamin D Status

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Common genetic polymorphisms may explain racial differences in manifestations of vitamin D deficiency, according to research published in the Nov. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Nut Consumption May Impact Mortality Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Those who consume nuts have a lower risk of total and cause-specific mortality, according to research published in the Nov. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gray Matter Abnormalities Persist After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- At four months following mild traumatic brain injury, symptoms are significantly reduced but gray matter abnormalities persist, according to research published online Nov. 20 in Neurology.

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Younger Age Is Significant QoL Predictor Post-Breast Biopsy

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For women undergoing percutaneous breast biopsy procedures, younger age is a significant predictor of decreased short-term quality of life, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in Radiology.

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More Than Half of Hospitalized Patients Given Opioids

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of hospitalized, nonsurgical patients are exposed to opioids, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Calcium, Vitamin D Up BMD for Patients on Antiepileptic Drugs

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For male veterans with epilepsy taking antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), calcium and vitamin D supplementation improve bone mineral density (BMD), with added benefits seen with addition of risedronate, according to a study published in the November issue of Epilepsia.

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USPSTF Identifies High Priority Evidence Gaps for Older Adults

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has produced their third annual report for Congress identifying high-priority evidence gaps specifically relating to the care of older adults.

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Web-Based Course Improves Ability to Detect Skin Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For primary care providers (PCPs), a web-based course in skin cancer detection improves skills related to recognition and management of skin cancer, according to a study published in the November-December issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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Short-Term Aerobic Exercise Improves Memory in Older Adults

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Even shorter term regular aerobic exercise can increase resting cerebral blood flow, and improve memory and cardiovascular health in older sedentary adults, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

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Health Care Frustration Higher in U.S. Than Other Countries

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to 10 other high-income industrialized nations, adults in the United States are more likely to go without health care because of costs, experience difficulty paying medical bills, and deal with frustrating health insurance paperwork or disputes such as unpaid claims, according to a report published by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Comorbidity Has Considerable Impact on Life Expectancy

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Life expectancy in elderly individuals of the same chronological age varies with levels of comorbidity, according to research published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Effect of Statins on Cognitive Function Unclear

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Current published evidence is lacking and further research is needed to establish an effect of statins on cognitive function, according to a review published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Risk of Hospitalized Fall Injury Up for Seniors With Diabetes

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with diabetes, especially those treated with insulin, are at increased risk of injurious falls requiring hospitalization, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in Diabetes Care.

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Asthma Tied to Increased Time to Pregnancy

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma prolongs time to pregnancy, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in the European Respiratory Journal.

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Some Doctors Challenge New Statin Guidelines

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A new online cholesterol risk calculator produced by two leading U.S. heart organizations is flawed and overstates a person's risk of heart disease, a pair of Harvard Medical School professors say. The professors contend that this flaw could lead the calculator to mistakenly suggest that millions of people should be taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, The New York Times reported Monday.

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Global Efforts Needed to Curb Antibiotic Resistance

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Global efforts are needed to curb antibiotic resistance, according to a report published online Nov. 16 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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AAFP Creates Map of Medicaid Parity Provision Implementation

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Most states have implemented the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid parity measure for certain primary care services, according to a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

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MetS No Better Than BMI for ID'ing Risk for Heart Disease

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for myocardial infarction (MI) and ischemic heart disease (IHD) regardless of metabolic syndrome status, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Time Spent Walking Tied to Lower Stroke Risk in Older Men

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For older men, time spent walking is associated with a reduced risk of stroke, in a dose-dependent manner, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in Stroke.

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Macular Degeneration Not Tied to Alzheimer's, Dementia

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) do not have an elevated risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) or dementia, according to a study published online Nov. 14 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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New Guidelines Issued for Managing Overweight, Obesity

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based recommendations for the management of overweight and obesity have been developed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology; the guidelines were published online Nov. 12 in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Requests Safety Measures for Topical Antiseptics

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requesting manufacturers of certain topical antiseptics make changes to their labeling and packaging that will enhance product safety, according to a Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

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Arthritis Patients Listen When Doc Tells Them to Exercise

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations from health care providers are linked with adherence to guidelines for physical activity in adults with arthritis, according to research published online Nov. 7 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Lower Glucose Threshold for T2DM Prevention Ups Costs

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Although lowering the threshold for a normal fasting plasma glucose would identify more adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, intervention costs would increase, according to research published online Oct. 17 in Diabetes Care.

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Obama Nominates Health Care Law Backer to Be Surgeon General

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- An early supporter and advocate for the Affordable Care Act has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the country's next surgeon general.

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ASCO Concurs With Cancer Care Ontario for CRC Follow-Up

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has endorsed Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) guidelines for colorectal cancer survivor follow-up care, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Obama: You Can Keep Your Health Plan (for a Year)

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Bending to political pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a plan to allow Americans to keep their health insurance plans for another year, even if that coverage would have been cancelled because it fails to meet new rules under the Affordable Care Act.

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Guidelines Issued for Assessing Risk of Atherosclerotic CVD

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based recommendations for assessing the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) have been developed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology; the guidelines were published online Nov. 12 in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New Guidelines Issued for Cholesterol Management

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based recommendations for the management of cholesterol for the primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) have been developed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology; the guidelines were published online Nov. 12 in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Pulse Pressure Linked to CSF Markers of Alzheimer's Disease

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated pulse pressure (PP) is linked to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-based biomarkers related to Alzheimer's disease in cognitively normal, older adults, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in Neurology.

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BP Down With Barber-Based Intervention, Specialist Follow-Up

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A barber-based intervention -- whereby barbers offer blood pressure (BP) checks with haircuts and motivate black male patrons with high BP to seek provider follow-up -- is associated with a significant reduction in systolic BP when barbers refer patrons to hypertension specialists rather than primary care providers (PCP), according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Health Care Enrollments Fall Far Short of White House Estimates

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama administration late Wednesday released a report revealing a disappointing number of health plan enrollments through the new federal and state insurance exchanges. Just over 106,000 Americans enrolled in health plans through the new marketplaces from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a news conference.

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No Promises on Nov. 30 ACA Website Fix: U.S. Tech Chief

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The nation's chief of information technology would not confirm on Wednesday whether the hobbled HealthCare.gov insurance exchange website would be fixed by month's end.

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First Human Infected With New Strain of Bird Flu

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The first confirmed case of a person infected with a new H6N1 bird flu virus subtype has been reported by scientists in Taiwan, according to research published online Nov. 14 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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Campaign Ups Colon Cancer Screening in Rural Community

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A small but non-significant increase in screening rates for colon cancer was observed after a multicomponent intervention was tested in rural communities in Colorado, according to research published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Enterococci, GBS Appear to Rarely Cause Acute Cystitis

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Although organisms such as enterococci or group B streptococci are often detected along with Escherichia coli in cultures of voided midstream urine, they usually are not found in cultures of catheter urine, according to research published in the Nov. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Prion Disease Identified Involving Mutation in PRNP

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A novel prion disease with a truncation mutation in the gene encoding prion protein (PRNP) has been identified, according to a study published in the Nov. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Obesity Ups Women's Death, Disability Risk Before Age 85

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Obese older women are at higher risk of death, disease, and disability before age 85, relative to healthy-weight women, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Less Brown Adipose Tissue in Asians May Underlie Metabolic Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- South Asians have lower total brown adipose tissue (BAT) volume than white Caucasians, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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New Models Could Alleviate Primary Care Provider Shortage

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- New models of primary care delivery could reduce the anticipated primary care physician shortage, according to an article published Nov. 4 in Medical Economics.

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Many Would Give Health Plans Private Info to Save Money: Poll

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans say they'd submit to insurance company medical tests and lifestyle monitoring in exchange for lower-cost premiums, a new Harris/HealthDay poll finds.

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Guidelines Agree on Opioid Risk Mitigation Strategies

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Recent guidelines on chronic pain management agree on several opioid risk mitigation strategies, according to a review published online Nov. 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Population Aging Crisis May Have Been Overestimated

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an alternative measure for assessing the number of dependent older people suggests that the population aging crisis may have been overestimated, according to an analysis published online Nov. 12 in BMJ.

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Scientific Issues Relating to Inorganic Arsenic Explored

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The critical scientific issues in evaluating cancer and non-cancer effects of oral exposure to inorganic arsenic have been identified, according to a report published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Academy of Sciences.

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Lifestyle Management Guidance Issued for Cutting CVD Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations for lifestyle management for adults who need to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) or blood pressure have been developed, according to a report published online Nov. 12 in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Patient Beliefs About Back Pain Shaped by Clinicians

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) Health care professionals have a substantial and lasting effect on patient attitudes and beliefs about back pain, according to research published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Hospitalizations for About 70 Percent of ER Visits for A-Fib

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Nationwide, 69 percent of emergency department visits for atrial fibrillation (AF) result in hospitalization, with patient- and hospital-level factors affecting hospitalization, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Initial Health-Plan Enrollment Falls Below Expectations

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 50,000 people have enrolled in health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website, according to published reports. The tally represents enrollment in the troubled federal health insurance exchange from its launch date on Oct. 1 through last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. HealthCare.gov serves as the insurance exchange for people in 36 states.

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Surgeons Identify New Ligament in the Knee

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons have dissected and described a new structure in the human knee joint, the anterolateral ligament (ALL), which connects the femur with the anterolateral tibia, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Anatomy.

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Analysis Describes Economic Anatomy of U.S. Health Care

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the increases in resources devoted to health care in the United States, multiple health care metrics show that the United States is trailing peer nations, according to a special communication published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on critical issues in U.S. health care.

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USPSTF: Lack of Evidence for Vitamins for CVD, CA Prevention

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found that there is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the benefits and harms of multivitamins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer. This draft recommendation statement is based on an evidence review published online Nov. 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many Americans Want Docs to Help Explain Genetic Tests

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to genetic testing, Americans support more research, laws to protect against discrimination, and involving medical professionals in offering guidance, according to research published online Nov. 7 in Genetics in Medicine.

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Changes Suggested for Improving Care for Frail Elderly

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Changes must be implemented to provide reliable and comprehensive care for frail elderly in the United States, according to a viewpoint piece published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on critical issues in U.S. health care.

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Depression Linked to Accelerated Cellular Aging

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have shorter telomeres, indicating accelerated cellular aging, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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Weight Loss in One Partner May Complicate Relationship

MONDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- When one person in a couple loses weight, the extent to which the partner embraces the changes in lifestyle influences post-weight-loss interaction, according to research published online Oct. 24 in Health Communication.

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Post-Op Prophylactic Heparin Poses Very Low Bleed Risk

MONDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of hemorrhage seems to be very low when prophylactic low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is initiated 24 to 36 hours after degenerative spine surgery but the associated venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk is considerable, according to research published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

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FDA Approves Generic Aciphex to Treat GERD

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic versions of the gastroesophageal reflux disease drug Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people aged 12 and older, the agency said Friday.

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Obama 'Sorry' Some People Losing Health Coverage

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama said he's "sorry" some Americans are losing their insurance coverage as a result of his signature health-reform law, but his administration is pressing ahead with the law's implementation. It's estimated that 5 percent of Americans have individual health insurance policies, and many of these people are receiving cancellation notices as insurers switch to plans that comply with new health-reform requirements.

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White House Boosts Insurance Coverage for Mental Illness

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials unveiled long-awaited rules Friday that require insurance companies to cover treatment for mental illnesses and addiction the same way they cover physical illnesses. The regulations will make the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act a reality, and fulfill a generation-long effort to improve benefits and treatment for people with mental health issues or substance abuse problems.

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Primary Care Physician Signing Bonuses Becoming the Norm

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Signing bonuses for primary care physicians are becoming ubiquitous in a competitive hiring landscape, according to an article published Oct. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Most Patients Satisfied With Telephonic Health Coaching

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Most individuals who participate in telephonic health coaching are satisfied and report that health coaching helped them achieve their weight-related goal, according to a study published Oct. 31 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity May Be an Allergy

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) may be a non-immunoglobulin E-mediated food allergy, according to a review published online Nov. 5 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Socioeconomic, Marital Status Affect Death From Accidents

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Both socioeconomic status (SES) and marital status are important factors impacting mortality risk from unintentional injuries, according to research published online Sept. 29 in Social Science Research.

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Clot Risk High for Pregnant Women in Hospital

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women admitted to the hospital for reasons other than delivery or venous thromboembolism are at higher risk of a first venous thromboembolism, particularly during the third trimester and among older women, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in BMJ.

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Altered Brain Circuitry May Contribute to Pain in Fibromyalgia

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with fibromyalgia have disrupted brain responses to pain-related reward and punishment, according to research published online Nov. 7 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Telemedicine Represents Enhanced Care Model

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine may represent an effective care model but there are associated concerns, specifically relating to reimbursement and legal issues, according to an article published Oct. 25 in Medical Economics.

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CDC: More Than 1 in 5 Adults Report Having Arthritis

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in five U.S. adults report having been diagnosed with arthritis, with a substantial proportion additionally reporting arthritis-attributable activity limitations (AAAL), according to a report published in the Nov. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA to Ban Trans Fats in Foods

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

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Aspiring Doctors Are Optimistic About the Future of Medicine

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Aspiring doctors are optimistic about the future of medicine, according to a report published by the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

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Metformin Little Benefit for CHD Patients Without Diabetes

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients without diabetes with high cardiovascular risk who are taking statins, metformin has no effect on mean distal carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), according to a study published online Nov. 7 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Better Oral Health Decreases Carotid Artery IMT Progression

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Improvements in periodontal health are associated with improvements in the progression of atherosclerosis, according to a study published online Oct. 28 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Amount of Care Similar for Rural, Urban Medicare Users

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although there may be a limited supply of physicians in some rural areas, little difference is found in the amount of health care received by Medicare beneficiaries for rural versus urban areas within the same region, according to research published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

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Postdiagnostic Statin Use Cuts Mortality in Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For men with prostate cancer, postdiagnostic statin use is associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer and all-cause mortality, with stronger effects seen for those who used statins before diagnosis, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Study Looks at Anticipated ACA Reimbursement Trends in ER

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- As a result of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), outpatient emergency department encounters could reimburse considerably more for both previously uninsured patients who obtain Medicaid coverage and for those who move into private insurance products, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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For Hospitalized Adults, Light Inversely Tied to Fatigue, Mood

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For hospitalized adult patients, light exposure is inversely associated with fatigue and total mood disturbance, according to a study published online Oct. 27 in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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Argument for Coverage of Cardiac Rehab, Counseling for Stable CHF

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) exercise training and chronic heart failure self-care counseling provide significant clinical benefits to individuals with stable chronic heart failure, according to a review published Oct. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure.

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Family Meals, Associated Rituals Could Lower Child, Adult BMI

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Family meals and their related rituals are associated with both child and adult body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online Oct. 1 in Obesity.

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Sebelius on Exchange Website: 'Delay Is Not an Option'

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration will not consider delaying implementation of health reform. Nor will it take down HealthCare.gov -- the troubled health insurance marketplace website -- while it's being fixed. "For millions of Americans, delay is not an option," Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing on the new health insurance marketplace. "People's lives depend on this," she said.

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Factors in Long-Term HCV Morbidity, Mortality Analyzed

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), achieving an undetectable viral load correlates with reductions in the risk of clinical end points and death, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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CDC Suggests Ways to Increase CRC Screening Rates

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Various approaches should be implemented to increase the use of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests, according to the November issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vital Signs.

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Non-Interferon Regimen Found Effective for Hepatitis C

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- An interferon-free regimen of two or three drugs can effectively treat nearly all patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those who have failed treatment with protease inhibitors, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in The Lancet.

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Provider Reminder Tool Can Improve Screening Rates

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A care coordinator and clinical reminder tool can enhance providers' ordering of preventive health screenings, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

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In CAD, Many Don't Get Optimal Secondary Prevention Med Combo

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- About one-third of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients fail to receive their optimal combination of secondary prevention medications, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Hyperglycemia May Increase Myocardial Infarction Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Hyperglycemia is common among patients presenting with myocardial infarction and is associated with a higher risk of death, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Personal History of Prostate Cancer Linked to Melanoma Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- History of prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Senators Seek Answers on Health Marketplace Woes

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A top Obama administration health official said Tuesday that HealthCare.gov -- the troubled federal website used to sign up for insurance -- is improving, and insisted that private information provided during the online application process is safe and secure.

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Study Raises Questions About Testosterone Rx for 'Low T'

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For men with low testosterone levels who undergo coronary angiography, testosterone therapy is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Interactive Computer Program Beneficial in Depression

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Use of a tailored interactive multimedia computer program (IMCP) in primary care improves antidepressant drug recommendations, mental health referral, or both, but does not affect mental health at 12 weeks, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diet Quality in Midlife Associated With Healthy Aging

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Diet quality in midlife is associated with increased odds of healthy aging, according to a study published in the Nov. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- This is the second issue of a monthly letter from me, HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. The intention of this letter (and the intention of what we do at HealthDay) is to provide tools of communication. At Physician's Briefing, this is by providing you, the busy and buried health care professional, news and information that matters to you in a way that won't slow you down. The intention is to provide news that can help you stay abreast of changing clinical guidelines, cutting-edge technologies, and novel treatment options. And now, we offer free Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for you on select clinical articles, enabling you to get (at least) two birds with one stone.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Please allow me to introduce myself: I am HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. This service is intended to provide busy physicians, nurses, and pharmacists with easily accessible, digestible health news that can keep them up-to-date and not missing a beat in their busy days providing care for those in need (and navigating the headaches and heartaches the business of medicine can too often bring). In short, this service is intended to make your professional life flow more smoothly in the way that helpful, useable, relevant, and timely information can.

Exchanges Will Be Cornerstone for Coverage Choices
Young Adults May Be Key to Making It All Work
Expect Pluses, Minuses for Those With Job-Based Coverage
If You're an Uninsured Worker, It's Your Chance to Get Covered
Medicaid Expansion Will Allow More to Get More
Many on Medicare Already Enjoying Benefits
AMA Presents: The National Journal
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Study Compares Treatments for Vertebral Compression Fx

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare patients with new vertebral compression fractures, kyphoplasty correlates with lower risk of death, but with increased likelihood of subsequent augmentation procedures compared with vertebroplasty, according to a study published in the Oct. 2 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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One Dose of HPV Vaccine Induces Long-Term Antibodies

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women who receive only one dose of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have readily detectable antibody levels that remain stable for four years, according to a study published in the November issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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Iron Status Predicts Prognosis in Patients With T2DM, CAD

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Iron status can independently predict long-term outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published online Oct. 15 in Diabetes Care.

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Score Identifies Patients at Low Risk of Strep Throat

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A home test based on a patient's clinical variables and the local incidence of strep throat can identify which patients with a sore throat are at low risk of strep throat and do not need to see a doctor, according to a study published in the Nov. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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J&J to Pay $2B for Improperly Marketing Antipsychotic Drug

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $2 billion in fines and plead guilty to a misdemeanor for improperly marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal and two other medications, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

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A-Fib Linked to Increased Risk of Myocardial Infarction

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published online Nov. 4 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Cognitive Impairment Screening

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found that the evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of cognitive impairment screening for older adults without signs or symptoms of cognitive impairment. This draft recommendation statement is based on an evidence review published in the Nov. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Bariatric Surgery May Improve Sexual Function in Women

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo bariatric surgery to achieve weight loss have significant improvements in sexual function, according to research published online Nov. 4 in JAMA Surgery.

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Considerable Weight Loss for Severely Obese Post-Bariatric Sx

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For severely obese adults undergoing bariatric surgery, there is considerable weight loss after surgery, and self-reported weight loss seems to be a valid measure of weight loss following bariatric surgery, according to a study and research letter published online Nov. 4 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HPV-Based Screening Beats Cytology for Invasive Cervical CA

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For women who undergo regular screening, human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening is more efficacious than cytology-based screening for the prevention of invasive cervical cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in The Lancet.

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CDC: Epilepsy Tied to Greater Number of Comorbidities

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with epilepsy are more likely to report medical comorbidities than adults without epilepsy, according to a report published in the Nov. 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC: Malaria Cases Reach 40-Year High in United States

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- 2011 marked the highest number of malaria cases diagnosed in the United States, according to a surveillance summary published Nov. 1 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Six People Signed Up on Day One of Federal Exchange Website

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Just six people enrolled for health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day of operation on Oct. 1, just-released Obama administration documents show.

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Physician Buy-In Key to Reducing Health Care Costs

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physician buy-in is essential for creation of any new payment system aimed at reducing health care costs, according to an article published Oct. 21 in Medical Economics.

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Exercise Intensity, Cardio Fitness Linked in Heart Failure

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with heart failure, exercise intensity is associated with improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness, according to research published online Oct. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure.

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Abnormal Thyroid Function Predicts Mortality in Elderly

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Abnormal thyroid function test results detected in elderly patients during hospitalization are significantly related to poorer prognosis, according to research published online Oct. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Acute Kidney Injury Increased for Some Over Last Decade

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Over the last decade there has been an increase in the incidence of acute kidney injury (AKI), but a decrease in the incidence of AKI requiring dialysis, among elderly patients hospitalized with a heart attack who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Fruit, Veggie Intake Has No Impact on Insulin Resistance

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables has no impact on insulin resistance, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Diabetes Care.

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