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February 2009 Briefing - Nephrology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Nephrology for February 2009. 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.

Antihypertensive Treatment Benefits Dialysis Patients

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In dialysis patients, treatment with blood pressure-lowering medications may significantly reduce rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, according to the results of a study published online Feb. 26 in The Lancet.

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Insurance Essential for Good Health, Well-Being

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Having health insurance is vital for health and well-being, and when rates of uninsurance are high, even insured people are more likely to struggle to obtain necessary care, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine released online Feb. 24.

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US Health Spending May Have Hit $2.4 Trillion in 2008

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Health spending in the United States was estimated to be $2.4 trillion last year, and is expected to account for an unprecedented share of the economy this year, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Health Affairs.

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High-Dose Candesartan Can Reduce Proteinuria

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Extra-high dosages of candesartan may be beneficial in reducing persistent proteinuria, according to research published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Combo Blood Pressure-Lowering Regimen Good for Kidneys

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A blood pressure-lowering treatment strategy of perindopril-indapamide may prevent renal dysfunction in some patients with type 2 diabetes, regardless of baseline blood pressure level, according to the results of a study published online Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Pressure Test Predicts Heart Disease in Kidney Patients

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A pulse pressure test predicts coronary artery calcium and survival in patients with chronic kidney disease, according to research published in the February issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Proposed Changes to Health Care Would Reduce Costs

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Simultaneous gains in universal health coverage, improved health outcomes and slowed spending growth would have a major impact on the development of public policy, according to a perspective published in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Transparency, Globalization Growing in Clinical Research

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- All clinical trial data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database should be publicly available, and global clinical research should be conducted in relevant populations for potential applications of the intervention, according to two articles published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Incidence of ICU MRSA Infections Declining

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) central line-associated bloodstream infections has decreased over recent years in most intensive care units (ICUs), according to research published Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Ads Featuring 'Drug Facts Box' Help Educate Consumers

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing the brief summary in direct-to-consumer ads with a "drug facts box" may result in improved consumer knowledge and judgment about medication benefits and side effects, according to study findings released online Feb. 17 in advance of publication in the Apr. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Avosentan Helps Cut Albumin Excretion in Some Diabetics

MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diabetic nephropathy and macroalbuminuria, treatment with avosentan in combination with standard therapy significantly decreases the urinary albumin excretion rate, according to a study published ahead of print Jan. 14 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Psychiatric Problems Common in Teen Transplant Recipients

FRIDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent renal transplant recipients are more likely to have learning disabilities, social competence problems and psychiatric problems than healthy adolescents, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 7 in advance of publication in Pediatric Transplantation.

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Care Coordination Programs Don't Benefit Medicare Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses, most care coordination programs have little impact on reducing hospitalizations and costs or improving quality of care, according to a report published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Baby Formula with Melamine Linked to Urinary Tract Stones

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to infant formula contaminated with melamine was associated with kidney stones in children in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, though conventional signs and symptoms of nephrolithiasis were lacking, according to a study and two letters published online Feb. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Letter from Taiwan
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Renal Failure, Contrast Agent Linked to Systemic Fibrosis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Awareness of risk factors involved in the suspected link between nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) and gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) may help clinicians reduce the risk of this condition in patients, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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High Altitudes Linked to Fewer Deaths in Dialysis Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis patients at higher altitudes have lower death rates, even lower than the general population, researchers report in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physician's Briefing
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