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February 2010 Briefing - Ophthalmology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for February 2010. 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.

Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.

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BP Drugs, Retinal Vessel Diameter in Diabetes Studied

THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus who have normal blood pressure, neither angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors nor angiotensin-receptor blockers have an effect on retinal arteriole or venule diameter, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.

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Bevacizumab May Benefit Choroidal Neovascularization

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Intravitreal bevacizumab treatment produces superior results in treating juxtafoveal choroidal neovascularization secondary to pathologic myopia compared with laser treatment and photodynamic therapy, according to a pilot study published online Feb. 8 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Glaucoma Drugs Associated With Lower Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Among glaucoma patients, the use of any class of glaucoma drug is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of dying, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.

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Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours

FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.

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Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.

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Worldwide Burden of Retinal Vein Occlusion Evaluated

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Retinal vein occlusion may affect 16.4 million adults worldwide, according to an article in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Drugs May Be Beneficial in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration, intravitreal bevacizumab or ranibizumab may help stabilize the loss of visual acuity, according to a study in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.

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Visual Impairment Linked to Increased Risk of Falls

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In Latino adults, central visual impairment and peripheral visual impairment are independently associated with an increased risk of falls and fall-related injuries, according to a study in the February issue of Ophthalmology.

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The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.

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President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS

TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.

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