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February 2010 Briefing - Otolaryngology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Otolaryngology 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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Bevacizumab Reduces Nose Bleeds in Inherited Condition

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor bevacizumab administered by intranasal injection, or even by topical nasal spray, can effectively treat epistaxis from hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), according to reports published in The Laryngoscope.

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Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.

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Hormone Level of Little Help in Predicting Parathyroid Surgery

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Baseline intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels don't appear useful for deciding whether to perform parathyroidectomy in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Tobacco Use Linked to HPV+ Oropharynx Cancer Recurrence

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) who achieve a complete response to chemoradiation therapy, current smokers are at higher risk of disease recurrence and tend to have worse disease-specific survival, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids Show Benefits in Youth

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In children with severe sensorineural hearing loss in one ear, use of the Baha bone-anchored hearing aid leads to improvements in hearing in noise and improved patient satisfaction, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Study Finds Low Heritability for Tinnitus in General

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors appear to be of relatively low importance in tinnitus, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cigar and pipe smoking have been linked with higher urine cotinine levels and airflow obstruction, even in those who have never smoked cigarettes, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Mechanism Identified

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An oncogene tumor-suppressor cascade may drive metastatic prostate cancer, according to research published online Feb. 14 in Nature Medicine.

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Severe Sleep Apnea Linked to Fewer Nightmares

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report fewer nightmares, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Rapid H1N1 Flu Test Found to Be of Limited Value in Children

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pediatric H1N1 influenza A virus infection, the rapid influenza diagnostic test has poor sensitivity but excellent specificity, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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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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Study Suggests Treatment Target for Enlarged Tonsils

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH) may play a role in tonsil enlargement in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and may serve as a target for treating this enlargement, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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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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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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Air Quality Found to Affect the Prevalence of Ear Infections

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- During the past decade, improved air quality has corresponded with a decreased prevalence of frequent ear infections in children, according to a report in the February issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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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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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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Physician's Briefing