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October 2009 Briefing - Otolaryngology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Otolaryngology for October 2009. 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.

Swine Flu Radiographic and CT Imaging Patterns Studied

FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ground-glass opacities (GGOs) in one or both lungs with consolidation are the most common computed radiographic (CR) and computed tomography (CT) images of patients with swine-origin influenza A (S-OIV), according to a study to be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Additional Recommendations for Imaging on the Rise

THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations for additional imaging in radiology reports at one institution increased steeply in recent years, and from 1980 to 2006, radiologic and nuclear medicine procedures increased roughly 10-fold and 2.5 fold, respectively, according to two studies the November issue of Radiology.

Abstract - Sistrom
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Abstract - Mettler
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Medical School Enrollment Continues to Expand

MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 18,400 students enrolled in medical school in the United States in 2009, a 2 percent increase over the previous year, but even more expansion is needed to meet future demand, according to an Oct. 20 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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Far Fewer H1N1 Vaccine Doses Than Expected Are Available

MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because of production delays, far fewer than the goal of 40 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine will be available in the United States by the end of October, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for the investigational antiviral drug peramivir intravenous in certain patients with suspected or confirmed H1N1 infection.

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Broad Asthma Screening May Offer Minimal Health Gains

FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The potential health benefits from asthma screenings in children seem to be smaller than previously expected, according to research published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.

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Dutch Trial Does Not Appear to Sway View on Tonsil Surgery

FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A 2004 trial finding equal benefits from adenotonsillectomy and watchful waiting in children moderately affected by throat infections or adenotonsillar enlargement had little effect on Dutch doctors' beliefs regarding the surgery, and tonsillectomy can treat vocal nasalance, according to two studies in the October Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Abstract - Rovers
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Abstract - Subramaniam
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Pediatric Post-Tonsillectomy Antibiotic Courses Compared

FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric tonsillectomy patients who received three days of postoperative antibiotics needed no more pain medication and resumed normal activity as soon as patients who received a seven-day course, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Risks Associated With Thyroid Surgery in the Elderly Explored

FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with more youthful patients, thyroid surgery presents few additional risks when performed in elderly patients, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Two Treatments Can Improve Postviral Olfactory Loss

FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of glucocorticoid treatment and Gingko biloba and glucocorticoid treatment alone are both effective in treating postviral olfactory loss, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Some Hospital Staff Predicted to Be Infection Superspreaders

THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital staff such as therapists and radiologists who are in contact with all patients have the potential to be superspreaders of infection if they fail to wash their hands regularly, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Most H1N1 Hospitalizations Are in Young Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of hospitalizations for H1N1 influenza are occurring in people younger than 25 years of age, and very few are occurring in the elderly, according to information presented at the Oct. 20 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Sources Find Different Numbers of Active Physicians

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Estimates from U.S. Census Bureau surveys find fewer older physicians remaining active compared with the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile data, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC Says New Child Deaths Raise H1N1 Beyond Epidemic

MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- As of Oct.16, 11 more children in the United States had died of H1N1 influenza in the past week, elevating the disease above epidemic proportions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced at an Oct. 16 news conference.

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FDA Launches Drug Disposal Advice Web Page

FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new Web page for consumers to educate them on the safe disposal of certain medicines that can be dangerous or even fatal if they end up in the wrong hands.

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Cell-Based Therapies May Be Beneficial in Alport Syndrome

FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cell-based therapies may offer hope to patients with Alport syndrome, according to an animal study published online Oct. 15 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Excess Weight's Role in Sleep-Disordered Breathing Studied

THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Excess body weight may serve as a potentially important predictor of oxygen desaturation severity during sleep disturbances caused by apneas or hypopneas, according to a study in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Abstract
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Study Links Text Messages and E-mails to Smoking Cessation

THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- While short-term text message mobile phone interventions have been effective, further research needs to be completed to determine whether messages sent over mobile phones can help individuals with smoking cessation over the long term, according to research published online Oct. 7 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Study Evaluates Hospital Quality and Mortality Rates

TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital mortality rates in the United States have improved, although major differences in quality still exist between the best and worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 13 by HealthGrades.

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Health Care Disparities Among States Found to Be Widening

FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing health care costs and growing disparities in coverage among U.S. states point to the urgent need for national health care reform, according to an Oct. 8 state-by-state report card from the Commonwealth Fund Commission, a private foundation supporting research on the health care system.

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Effect of H1N1 on Southern Hemisphere ICUs Assessed

THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- During the winter of 2009 in Australia and New Zealand, the H1N1 flu virus had a significant effect on hospital intensive care units, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cancer Patients at Risk of Jaw Necrosis After Treatment

THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients treated with bisphosphonates have a higher risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) if they have had dental extractions or dentures, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Abstract
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Seasonal Flu Vaccine Protects Somewhat Against A/H1N1

THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- There are early signs that the 2008/2009 trivalent inactivated seasonal flu vaccination offers some protection against influenza A/H1N1, particularly in its most severe forms, but this should not be taken to mean that vaccination against swine flu is superfluous, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in BMJ.

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Roundtable Discussion Tackles Health Care Reform

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The health care payment system, the role of consumers in responsible health care spending, and the use of comparative-effectiveness research were topics covered in a roundtable discussion with several health economics experts published in the Oct. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Roundtable
Perspective - Cutler

Medical Students Want More Practice of Medicine Training

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students in the United States perceive that they are not getting enough training in the practice of medicine, particularly in medical economics, according to a study in the September issue of Academic Medicine.

Abstract
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Effectiveness and Cost Help to Make Coverage Decisions

TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Countries using evidence-based cost-effectiveness and effectiveness to help make drug coverage decisions show how these factors can successfully support decision making and can also be adapted to the specific conditions of other countries, according to a study in the Oct. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Untreated Sleep Disorder Can Impair Driving Ability

TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients are more prone to the effects of alcohol consumption and sleep restriction on driving performance than healthy individuals, according to a study in the Oct. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Prevalence of Alcohol as Self-Medication for Pain Assessed

MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The use of alcohol as a self-management strategy for orofacial pain and arthritis raises concerns about potential interactions between alcohol and pain medications, according to research published in the September issue of the Journal of Pain.

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Weight Loss Tied to Improved Sleep Apnea in Diabetics

FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A decrease in apnea and hypopnea events in obese diabetic adults assigned to an intensive weight loss intervention provides further evidence that weight loss leads to significant improvements in obstructive sleep apnea, according to research published in the Sept. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Surgical Masks Found to Be Non-Inferior to Respirators

THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical masks may be no less effective than N95 respirators in preventing influenza in health care workers, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC Says States Not Meeting Fruit and Veggie Objectives

THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a Sept. 29 press release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no U.S. state is currently meeting the national Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption.

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