Dec. 2005 Briefing - Nursing

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Nursing for December 2005. 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.

OTC High-Dose NANSAID Use Has Fivefold Risk for GI Bleed

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NANSAIDs) that are purchased over-the-counter (OTC) can be taken safely without the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding if the proper dosage recommendations are followed, according to a report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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H. pylori Screening May Cut Long-Term Dyspepsia Costs

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Screening and treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection may be a long-term, cost-effective method for reducing health care burden from infection-associated dyspepsia, according to a report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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TB Transmission Reported at N.Y. Hospital Maternity Ward

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A foreign-born maternity nurse working in the newborn nursery of a New York City hospital has been identified as the source of Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission to four newborns on the ward, according to a report in the Dec. 23 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA to Allow Health Claims for Barley-Containing Foods

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that whole-grain barley and barley-containing products can include claims of cardiovascular benefits on the product labeling.

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Angioplasty Best For Thrombolytic Refractory MI

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency percutaneous coronary intervention (rescue PCI) improves event-free survival in patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) who are refractory to thrombolytic therapy, according to a study in the Dec. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Nursing Home More Likely If Patient Has Unmet Needs

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Dementia patients who have unmet needs as assessed by their caregiver are more likely to die or be placed in a nursing home, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The finding suggests that unmet needs are a better predictor of health outcome than functional or cognitive impairment, the authors say.

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More STD Patients' Partners Treated in Nurse-Run Program

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A nurse-run program to increase notification of sexual partners of patients with chlamydia can be as successful and cost-effective as referring patients to a specialized clinic, and can also be conducted in a primary-care setting, according to a report published Dec. 15 by the British Medical Journal.

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Particle Size Alters Impact Of Inhaled Asthma Medication

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- While smaller inhaled albuterol particles penetrate deeper into the lungs of asthma patients, larger particles are better at targeting the proximal airway and are more effective bronchodilators, according to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Antioxidants Cut Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A diet high in beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, iron and zinc can significantly reduce the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), researchers report in the Dec. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Dietary intake appears to be more important than supplements in terms of risk prevention, the authors say.

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Coma Outcomes on Soap Operas Too Good to Be True

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Coma patients in soap operas experience significantly rosier outcomes than their real-life counterparts, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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New U.K. Guidelines for Heart Disease, Stroke Prevention

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- British researchers issued new criteria for the prevention of heart disease and stroke that are likely to increase the number of people targeted for screening and treatment. The guidelines are published in a supplement to the December issue of Heart.

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Nurse Intervention Doesn't Curb Asthma Symptoms

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A nurse-led psychoeducational program designed to help patients with asthma cope with and manage their disease does not offer significant advantages in the long run, according to a study published in the December issue of Thorax.

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Sorry, Celebrants: Hangover Cures Don't Work

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that there is no conventional or complementary intervention that will prevent or treat a hangover, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Short Drinks May Have More Kick Than Tall Ones

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because of human perceptual bias, alcoholic beverages mixed in short, wide tumblers may be more potent than those mixed in taller and more slender highball glasses, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Mold Genomes Shed Light on Soy Sauce, Sake and Sickness

FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- International teams of researchers announced the sequence of three Aspergillus genomes this week in the Dec. 22 issue of Nature, including Aspergillus oryzae, which is used in soy sauce and sake production; Aspergillus nidulans, the model laboratory mold; and Aspergillus fumigatus, the bane of physicians everywhere for causing allergies, asthma attacks, and death in immunocompromised patients. The sequence should help provide tools for the diagnosis and treatment of such infections.

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Initial Pattern of Brain Activity Recreated at Memory Recall

THURSDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- People who are asked to recall a specific memory recreate the same pattern of brain activity as when the memory initially occurred, according to a report in the Dec. 23 issue of Science. Indeed, researchers found they were able to predict what object a person was thinking about roughly five seconds before they talked about it.

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Behavior Problems in Medical School Forecast Trouble

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Disciplinary action against practicing physicians is strongly linked to problem behavior in medical school, according to a study published in the Dec. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Oseltamivir Resistance Seen in Two Avian Flu Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Two of eight Vietnamese patients treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) died of avian flu earlier this year after the influenza A (H5N1) virus developed high-level resistance to the drug, according to a report published in the Dec. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Low Estrogen in Brain Linked to Alzheimer Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Lack of estrogen in the brain is associated with Alzheimer disease, which could explain why women are more likely to develop the disease than men, according to a study of postmortem human brain tissue and transgenic mice published online Dec. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Hospital 'Handoffs' Common Source of Medical Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Poor communication during hospital "handoffs," when patient care transitions from one physician or team of physicians to the next, may be responsible for many of the estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths that occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, according to a study published in the December issue of Academic Medicine.

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Pneumonia Guidelines Cut Hospital Admissions

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- An intense effort to have emergency department staff follow the recommended guidelines for treatment of pneumonia increases the number of low-risk patients who are treated as outpatients rather than being admitted to the hospital, according to a report in the Dec. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Acid-Suppresssing Drugs May Increase Risk for Clostridium

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Use of gastric-acid suppressing agents, and possibly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), is associated with an increased risk of community-acquired Clostridium difficile infection, according to a study in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Erectile Dysfunction May Be Harbinger of Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) may be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than their peers without ED, according to a study in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Researchers Predict 81 Million Dementia Cases By 2040

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The number of dementia cases will double every 20 years worldwide and will increase most rapidly in India, China and their south Asian and western Pacific neighbors, according to a study in the Dec. 17 issue of The Lancet.

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Vitamin D May Play Role in Lung Health

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- People with high serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D have improved lung function compared with those having lower concentrations, according to a report in the December issue of Chest.

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ICU Staff Can Cut Work Hours with 14-Hour Shift Schedule

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Changing the "long-call" schedule for interns, residents and fellows to a 14-hour work shift can reduce the number of work hours without compromising patient care, according to a report in the December issue of Chest.

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Depression A Risk For Families If Patient Is In Institution

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Family members and others who care for chronically critically ill (CCI) patients are more likely to suffer adverse psychological and physical effects from caregiving if the patient resides in an institution, according to a report in the December issue of Chest.

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More Hospitals Offer Palliative Care Programs

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Palliative care programs are a rapidly growing trend in U.S. hospitals, and widely regarded as an improvement in the care of advanced, chronic illness, according to a study published Dec. 12 in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

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Universal Pertussis Vaccine Urged for Adolescents

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new policy Wednesday recommending universal vaccination for pertussis at 11 to 12 years of age, and catch-up vaccinations of older adolescents.

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Pillows Can Be Heavily Contaminated with Fungi

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to the common belief that most exposure to fungi occurs outside the home, pillows can be contaminated by a heavy load of several types of fungi, particularly Aspergillus fumigatus, according to a study in the January issue of Allergy. The finding has important implications for patients with respiratory disease, such as asthma or sinusitis, the authors report.

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Muscle Mass Affects Urinary Albumin/Creatinine Ratio

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A high albumin/creatinine ratio in patients with a low muscle mass can be an indication of low urinary creatinine rather than microalbuminuria and by association, cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in Hypertension.

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FDA Announces Recall of One Lot of Methotrexate

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday the recall of one lot of injectable methotrexate because the active drug substance used to make it contained small amounts of ethylene glycol. Bedford Laboratories, a division of Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc. of Bedford, Ohio, voluntarily recalled Lot #859142.

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Cholesterol Levels Rising Among Young Adults in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that the overall prevalence of hypercholesterolemia has been falling for decades, cholesterol levels among young adults have begun to rise, according to a study published online on Dec. 12 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. In addition, the use of lipid-lowering medication has doubled in patients over age 35 in a decade, while the medications are hardly used by the 25- to 34-year-old age group.

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U.S. Hospitals Lag in Adopting Safety Recommendations

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some improvements in hospital patient safety systems, many hospitals have made slow progress in adopting 1998 recommendations from the Institute of Medicine National Roundtable on Health Care Quality or from subsequent reports, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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No Link Found Between Fiber and Colorectal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The combined data from 13 prospective studies aimed at measuring dietary cancer risks suggests there is no link between fiber intake and reduced incidence of colon cancer. The results are published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Untreated Stroke Kills 1.9 Million Neurons Per Minute

MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A typical untreated stroke patient loses an estimated 1.9 million neurons a minute, according to a study published in the January issue of Stroke. In all, the average stroke lasts 10 hours, and patients experiencing a typical large vessel acute ischemic stroke lose 120 million neurons, 830 billion synapses and 714 km of myelinated fibers each hour.

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Adherence to Medication Linked to Lower CHF Deaths

MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to medication more than 80% of the time is associated with better outcomes for patients under treatment for chronic heart failure (CHF), and the results are the same whether the medication is the angiotensin receptor blocker candesartan or a placebo, according to a study in the Dec. 10 issue of The Lancet.

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Physicians May Overestimate Time Spent with Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Family physicians spend 39% of their office-based time working outside the traditional examination room, but 61% of that time is related to medical care, according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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New Tool Can Quickly Assess Patients' Health Literacy

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new health literacy test lets health care professionals quickly screen patients in English or Spanish, according to a study in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Independent Practice Boosts Physician Job Satisfaction

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians working in independent practices are happier with their jobs than those working for large health care organizations, according to a report published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Vaginal Delivery Not Linked to Urinary Incontinence

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Vaginal delivery does not appear to be associated with postmenopausal urinary incontinence, researchers report in the December issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Rather, an inherited susceptibility to the condition may play a greater role, the study authors suggest.

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Uncomplicated Depression Linked to Low Suicide Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with uncomplicated depression are at low suicide risk, according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. However, a second study in the same issue suggests that training of clinicians can double the rate of detection of suicidal tendencies.

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Medical Mixups, Rude Office Staff Alter Patient Attitudes

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Preventable medical problems such as long waiting times, missed diagnoses, rude office staff and an inability to reach a physician can provoke a gamut of patient reactions, ranging from mistrust to avoidance and advocacy, according to study findings published in the November/December issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

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Childhood Headache Often Persists into Adulthood

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who experience headaches in early childhood are likely to continue having them much later in life, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Risks from Frequent Childhood Moves Linked to Home Life

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The health risks previously associated with frequent mobility in childhood may be due to the increased number of adverse experiences these children endure, according to a report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Plasma Exchange Role Uncertain in Multiple Myeloma

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Numerous plasma exchanges do not substantially change the outcome for patients with acute renal failure at the onset of multiple myeloma, according to a study published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Febuxostat More Effective Than Allopurinol for Gout

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Febuxostat is more effective than allopurinol in the treatment of gout, researchers report in the Dec. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Infliximab Effective in Treating Ulcerative Colitis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Infliximab, a monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor-alpha, is effective in treating ulcerative colitis, according to a report in the Dec. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Prescribing Antibiotics Does Not Save Pediatrician Time

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Prescribing an antibiotic does not streamline office encounters for physicians treating children with presumed viral upper respiratory infections, according to a report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Botulinum Toxin May Relieve Tennis Elbow

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Botulinum toxin injections could relieve the pain of lateral epicondylitis or "tennis elbow," according to a study published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Diabetic Foot Wounds Respond to Two New Treatments

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Negative pressure wound therapy and once-a-day intravenous antibiotic therapy with ertapenem both show promise as new approaches in the healing of diabetic foot wounds. Two studies describing these approaches were published in the Nov. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Hospital-at-Home Works for Some Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Home hospitalization is feasible, safe and effective for some acutely ill, elderly patients, according to a study published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Studies Show Few Side Effects from Smallpox Vaccines

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Serious side effects from smallpox vaccines, including neurologic reactions, appear to be mild and limited, according to two reports in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Few Adverse Side Effects Seen with Intranasal Flu Vaccine

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread use of live, attenuated intranasal flu vaccine has not caused unexpected serious risks when used as recommended in the first two flu seasons after licensure, according to a study in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Parents May Be Less Likely to Sue with Error Disclosure

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Ninety-nine percent of parents prefer that pediatricians immediately disclose any medical errors, according to the results of a questionnaire survey published in the December issue of Pediatrics. What's more, this is true regardless of a parent's age or ethnicity.

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Preprinted Order Forms Reduce Pediatric Drug Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Incorporating a structured, preprinted medication order form into emergency department practice can reduce the number of pediatric medication errors, according to the results of a study in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Hospitalization for Pneumonia on the Rise Among Elderly

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalizations for pneumonia increased by 20% between 1988 and 2002 in patients aged 64 to 85, and an increasing prevalence of comorbid conditions such as heart disease and diabetes may be the reason why, according to a report in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. One in 20 patients over age 85 is hospitalized for pneumonia every year.

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Moderate Alcohol Intake Linked to Lower Obesity Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate consumption of alcohol may be associated with reduced risk of obesity, according to a study published online on Dec. 4 in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

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Half of American Moms Opt Out of Breast-Feeding

TUESDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Half of U.S. mothers studied during a two-year period either did not initiate breast-feeding or stopped breast-feeding within one month, according to study findings published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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FDA Issues Warning on Radiodiagnostic Agent

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that a radiodiagnostic agent, NeutroSpec (Technetium [99m Tc] fanolesomab), has been linked to two deaths due to cardiopulmonary failure and other cases of life-threatening cardiopulmonary events.

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Cannabis Increases Risk of Fatal Car Accidents

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Driving under the influence of cannabis can triple the risk of being responsible for a fatal crash, while driving under the influence of alcohol can increase the risk up to 40 times, according to a study published Dec. 2 in the British Medical Journal Online First.

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Toxic Strain of Clostridium Difficile Linked to Death

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new, more toxic strain of Clostridium difficile may be causing severe diarrhea and other symptoms in relatively young patients, and is linked to the death of a pregnant woman, according to the Dec. 2 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Physicians should be alert to Clostridium difficile-associated disease (CDAD) in patients previously thought to be at low risk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Sharp Drop in Emergency Bypass After Angioplasty

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The number of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients requiring emergency coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) dropped sharply from 1979 to 2003, but the mortality rate for emergency CABG has remained high and constant during that period, according to a study published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Pain Management Crucial Part of Treatment for Arthritis

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatologists need to appreciate the pain experienced by their patients and learn how to best evaluate and treat it, according to a review article in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Ultrafiltration Effective for Patients with Heart Failure

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Two new studies suggest that in patients with heart failure, ultrafiltration can induce fluid removal and weight loss in an effective and well-tolerated manner, as well as reduce length of hospital stay and readmission. The studies were published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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CDC Says Most Americans Still Too Sedentary

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Despite government efforts, more than half of U.S. adults remain at an insufficient level of physical activity to benefit their health, according to the Dec. 2 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. More public health efforts at all levels are needed to get Americans exercising regularly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Sports Medicine.

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Car Crashes Nearly 400 Times More Deadly Than Terrorism

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The annual death rate from car crashes is nearly 400 times greater than the death rate from international terrorism, according to a study published in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Depression Affects Drug Adherence for Comorbidities

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Two new studies suggest that depression plays an important role in whether or not patients adhere to medication regimens for other conditions. In one study, taking depression medication was associated with adherence to diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD) medication, while in the other non-adherence to medication for coronary heart disease (CHD) was associated with major depression. Both studies were published in the Nov. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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New Guidelines Issued for Sinusitis Diagnosis

THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A joint task force of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology this week issued new recommendations for the treatment and management of sinusitis.

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Physician's Briefing