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August 2008 Briefing - Ophthalmology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for August 2008. 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.

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Gene May Provide Protection Against Macular Degeneration

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The functional toll-like receptor 3 gene (TLR3) may be protective against the development of macular degeneration, according to an article published online Aug. 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Laser Repetition Rate Could Be Increased in Corneal Ablation

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Corneal tissue ablation performed with a 193-nm excimer laser light at a repetition rate of up to 400 Hz produces comparable results to those of typical clinical refractive procedures, according to the results of an animal study published in the September issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Survey Details Eye-Care Service Use Rates in Canada, U.S.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- American adults with vision problems and private health insurance have a higher rate of eye-care service use than their Canadian counterparts, according to research published in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Half of American Adults Have Significant Refractive Errors

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Clinically significant refractive error affects half of all U.S. adults aged 20 and older, making it the nation's most common condition affecting ocular health, according to an article published in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Retinopathy Linked to Heart Disease Mortality

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Retinopathy independently predicts coronary heart disease mortality in people with and without diabetes, according to study findings published online Aug. 12 in Heart.

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Gene Mutation May Explain Eye Disease in Dachshunds

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A gene mutation may be responsible for cone-rod dystrophy in the standard wire haired dachshund, according to research published online Aug. 7 in Genome Research.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Laser Treatment May Improve Long-Term Vision in Diabetics

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with diabetic macular edema, treatment with focal/grid photocoagulation may provide a better long-term response and fewer side effects than treatment with preservative-free intravitreal triamcinolone, according to a report published online July 28 in Ophthalmology.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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