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March 2011 Briefing - Otolaryngology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Otolaryngology for March 2011. 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.

Online Health Records Less Used by Minorities, Poor

WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Online personal health records (PHRs) are less frequently used by racial or ethnic minorities and patients with low annual income, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Almost Two-Thirds of Older Adults Have Hearing Loss

MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly two-thirds of older Americans experience hearing loss, and it is most strongly associated with age, gender, and race, according to a study published online Feb. 27 in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A.

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Post-Stroke Brain Stimulation Helps With Swallowing

FRIDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- The application of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tCDS) to the unaffected cortex in conjunction with swallowing maneuvers is associated with improved recovery of swallowing after stroke, according to a study published online March 24 in Stroke.

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Maternal Anemia Associated With Childhood Wheezing

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal anemia during pregnancy is linked with wheezing and asthma in early childhood, according to a study published in the February issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Reduced Hours for Trainees Has Had Little Effect in U.S.

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing work hours for doctors in training to less than 80 per week has had little impact on patient outcomes or postgraduate training in the United States, according to a literature review published online March 22 in BMJ.

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Chronic Otitis Media Associated With Changes in Taste

WEDNESDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Children with chronic otitis media with effusion (COME) have different taste thresholds, which may be associated with their increased body mass index (BMI), according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Hearing Loss Diagnosed Earlier With Mandatory Screening

TUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children born after the introduction of mandatory universal newborn hearing screenings (UNHS) have hearing loss diagnosed and cochlear implants at a younger age, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Majority of Parents Approve of Smoke Exposure Testing

MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of parents, both smokers and nonsmokers, want their children tested for tobacco-smoke exposure as part of their children's health care settings, according to a study published online March 21 in Pediatrics.

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Professional Values of U.S. and U.K. Doctors Examined

THURSDAY, March 17 (HealthDay News) -- A core of professional values exists among doctors in the United States and the United Kingdom, though significant differences exist in how these values are expressed and prioritized, according to a study published online March 7 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Short Nurse Staffing Linked to Higher Patient Mortality

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patient mortality appears to be higher when nurse staffing falls eight or more hours below target level and during nursing shifts when patient turnover is high, according to research published in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Adding Omalizumab Improves Asthma Control in Youth

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of omalizumab to a regimen of guidelines-based therapy among youth with persistent asthma appears to improve asthma control and reduce the need for other medications to control the condition, according to a study published in the March 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fever Not Tied to Influenza Virus Shedding Duration

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Health care personnel (HCP) infected with influenza (H1N1) 2009 virus who return to work 24 hours after defervescence may still be shedding virus, according to a study published online March 16 in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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U.S. Death Rate Reaches All-Time Low

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- The age-adjusted death rate for the United States has fallen for 10 straight years and has reached an all-time low of 741 per 100,000, or 2,436,682 deaths, in 2009, down 2.3 percent from 2008, according to a new report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Heavy Smoking Prevalence Decline Greatest in California

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1965 and 2007, the prevalence of high-intensity smoking declined in California and in the remaining states, according to a study published in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Has Higher Rates of Chronic Disease Than England

MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Americans experience higher rates of chronic disease and markers of disease than their English counterparts at all ages, according to a study published online March 9 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Ethnic Differences Seen in Academic Measures for U.K. Docs

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- United Kingdom-trained physicians and medical students with ethnic minority backgrounds tend to underperform academically compared to their white peers, according to a meta-analysis published online March 8 in BMJ.

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Pharmacological Meta-Analyses Rarely Report Disclosures

TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Meta-analyses of pharmacological treatments rarely include information addressing primary study funding and conflicts of interest (COIs) of the authors for the included randomized control trials (RCTs), according to a study published in the March 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Zalutumumab Beneficial in Head-and-Neck Cancer

MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Zalutumumab, a human IgG1 monoclonal antibody targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor, appears to significantly prolong progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck after failure of platinum-based chemotherapy, according to a study published online March 7 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Inhaled Epinephrine Gives Temporary Relief From Croup

MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled epinephrine improves moderate to severe croup symptoms in children from 30 minutes to two hours after treatment, according to a literature review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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FDA: Topiramate (Topamax) Tied to Risk of Oral Clefts

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care providers and consumers that new data indicate that women who take topiramate (Topamax) during pregnancy increase the risk for cleft lip and cleft palate in their offspring.

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FDA Cracking Down on Unapproved Prescription Drugs

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration intends to remove select unapproved prescription cough, cold, and allergy medications from the U.S. market, the agency has announced.

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Oral Steroid Therapy Improves Chronic Rhinosinusitis Symptoms

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and nasal polyposis with oral steroids followed by topical steroids is more effective than topical steroids alone, according to a study in the March 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing