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July 2008 Briefing - Otolaryngology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Otolaryngology for July 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.

Use of Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Endocarditis Discouraged

TUESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic prophylaxis should no longer routinely be given to prevent infective endocarditis in patients undergoing dental and other medical procedures, according to updated guidelines published online July 28 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The guidelines were jointly developed by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

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Hearing Loss More Prevalent Than Previously Reported

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of hearing loss is greater than previously reported, and hearing loss prevention needs to be implemented early, according to an article published in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Sleep Apnea Cardiovascular Link Needs More Research

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the link between sleep-disordered breathing and cardiovascular disease, more research is needed to explain how these two conditions interact so that sleep medicine specialists and cardiologists can develop a consensus concerning best practice, according to an American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation scientific statement published online July 28 in Circulation.

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'Tier 4' Drugs Raise Questions About Affordability

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The emergence of a fourth tier of copayment for expensive drugs calls into question how Americans are going to handle the rising costs of health care, according to a perspective article in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Consequences of Genetic Non-Discrimination Act Examined

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), recently signed into U.S. law, creates a troublesome distinction between those at genetic risk for a disease and those with other characteristics that predispose them to a condition, according to a perspective article published in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Memory and Central Auditory Function Related

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- A stepwise decline in central auditory function was noted when comparing patients with mild memory impairment and no dementia to Alzheimer's patients with memory loss, according to an article published in the July issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Physicians to Get Bonus for Electronic Prescribing

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors using an electronic prescriptions system will be eligible for a bonus from Medicare from 2009 onwards for four years, according to U.S. health officials.

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Bacterial Infection Linked to Reduced Childhood Asthma

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood infection with Helicobacter pylori reduces the likelihood of developing asthma and related illnesses, according to an article published online July 3 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. A related review in the May issue of Gut discusses the current evidence and possible mechanisms linking H. pylori infection, asthma and allergy.

Abstract - Journal of Infectious Diseases
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Exception Reporting Improves Pay-for-Performance Benefits

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Pay-for-performance programs benefit from use of exclusion reporting, whereby certain patients are excluded from quality calculations, and the practice of excluding patients to disguise missed targets, known as gaming, is rare, according to study findings published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medical Education Must Adapt to Changing Times

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools must adapt their admission requirements and curricula to changes in scientific theory, and are also facing a challenge to the traditional definition of who is suited to the study of medicine, according to two articles published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Dienstag
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Abstract - Jauhar
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AMA Actions Fostered U.S. Medical Racial Divide

TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- From the post-Civil War years to the civil rights era a century later, the American Medical Association (AMA) made decisions that helped support a division between white and black Americans in the field of medicine in the United States, according to an article in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Health Cash Incentives for Poor People Debated

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Should disadvantaged people be paid to take care of their health? That's the question of a "Head to Head" debate published online July 8 in BMJ.

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Abstract - Popay
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Editorial

Smokeless Tobacco May Be Safer Than Cigarettes

THURSDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Smokeless tobacco users probably have a lower risk of several common cancers than smokers, but a higher risk than people who use no tobacco products, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of The Lancet Oncology.

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Smoke-Free Policies Linked to Many Health Benefits

WEDNESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Smoke-free policies -- such as legislation to protect individuals from secondhand smoke -- can lead to health improvements including reduction of respiratory symptoms, and may help reduce adult and youth tobacco use, according to a report published in the July issue of The Lancet Oncology.

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Physician's Briefing