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November 2013 Briefing - Pathology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pathology for November 2013. 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.

Mercury Levels Drop One-Third in Women of Childbearing Age

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Blood mercury levels in women of childbearing age dropped 34 percent from an initial survey conducted in 1999 to 2000 to follow-up surveys conducted from 2001 to 2010, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Spatiotemporal Analysis Emphasizes Value of Vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Spatiotemporal data emphasizes the importance of vaccination programs, according to research published in the Nov. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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BRCA2 Familial Breast CA Risk High Even Without BRCA Mutation

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Women from BRCA2 families who do not carry a mutation in the BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility gene still have a nearly five-fold higher risk of developing breast cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Practices Should Start Preparing for Transition to ICD-10

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Practices should start preparing for the transition to International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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Many Pediatricians Uncomfortable With Genetic Disease Care

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Only about half of primary care pediatricians feel competent caring for children with genetic disorders, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

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Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Linked to Endometrial Cancer

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A higher intake of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a higher risk of some endometrial cancers, according to a study published online Nov. 22 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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American Medical Groups Protesting Physician Cuts

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Medical societies are taking action against the mass cancellations of physicians in Medicare Advantage plans in many states, according to an article published online Nov. 22 in Medical Economics.

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White House Extends Enrollment Deadline for Health Insurance

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Consumers who want to enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov will get a few extra days to sign up for coverage that will take effect on Jan. 1. The deadline for buying insurance through the federal health insurance exchange will be pushed from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said during a Friday news conference.

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Unemployment Linked to Accelerated Biological Aging

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Young adult men who are unemployed for long periods have shorter telomeres, a sign of accelerated biological aging, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in PLOS ONE.

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Water pH Impacts Gut Microflora in Non-Obese Diabetic Mice

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice that spontaneously develop type 1 diabetes (T1D), the pH of drinking water influences the composition of the gut microflora, correlating with an altered immune response and T1D incidence, according to an experimental study published online Nov. 5 in Diabetes.

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CDC Report: Health Disparities Persist in America

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Despite progress in some areas, health disparities remain for many Americans, health officials reported Thursday. These inequalities are related to income, education, sex, race, ethnicity, employment and sexual orientation, and they all affect Americans' health and well-being, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Central Adiposity Linked to Risk of Esophageal Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies shows that central adiposity, independent of body mass index (BMI), is associated with increased risk of esophageal inflammation, metaplasia, and adenocarcinoma, according to research published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Flavonoid Intake Inversely Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Flavonoid intake is inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a large European study published online Oct. 15 in Diabetes Care.

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Race May Affect Assessment of Vitamin D Status

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Common genetic polymorphisms may explain racial differences in manifestations of vitamin D deficiency, according to research published in the Nov. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Web-Based Course Improves Ability to Detect Skin Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For primary care providers (PCPs), a web-based course in skin cancer detection improves skills related to recognition and management of skin cancer, according to a study published in the November-December issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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Health Care Frustration Higher in U.S. Than Other Countries

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to 10 other high-income industrialized nations, adults in the United States are more likely to go without health care because of costs, experience difficulty paying medical bills, and deal with frustrating health insurance paperwork or disputes such as unpaid claims, according to a report published by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Obama Nominates Health Care Law Backer to Be Surgeon General

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- An early supporter and advocate for the Affordable Care Act has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the country's next surgeon general.

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Obama: You Can Keep Your Health Plan (for a Year)

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Bending to political pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a plan to allow Americans to keep their health insurance plans for another year, even if that coverage would have been cancelled because it fails to meet new rules under the Affordable Care Act.

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First Human Infected With New Strain of Bird Flu

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The first confirmed case of a person infected with a new H6N1 bird flu virus subtype has been reported by scientists in Taiwan, according to research published online Nov. 14 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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No Promises on Nov. 30 ACA Website Fix: U.S. Tech Chief

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The nation's chief of information technology would not confirm on Wednesday whether the hobbled HealthCare.gov insurance exchange website would be fixed by month's end.

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Health Care Enrollments Fall Far Short of White House Estimates

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama administration late Wednesday released a report revealing a disappointing number of health plan enrollments through the new federal and state insurance exchanges. Just over 106,000 Americans enrolled in health plans through the new marketplaces from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a news conference.

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Enterococci, GBS Appear to Rarely Cause Acute Cystitis

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Although organisms such as enterococci or group B streptococci are often detected along with Escherichia coli in cultures of voided midstream urine, they usually are not found in cultures of catheter urine, according to research published in the Nov. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Prion Disease Identified Involving Mutation in PRNP

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A novel prion disease with a truncation mutation in the gene encoding prion protein (PRNP) has been identified, according to a study published in the Nov. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Many Would Give Health Plans Private Info to Save Money: Poll

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans say they'd submit to insurance company medical tests and lifestyle monitoring in exchange for lower-cost premiums, a new Harris/HealthDay poll finds.

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Less Brown Adipose Tissue in Asians May Underlie Metabolic Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- South Asians have lower total brown adipose tissue (BAT) volume than white Caucasians, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Scientific Issues Relating to Inorganic Arsenic Explored

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The critical scientific issues in evaluating cancer and non-cancer effects of oral exposure to inorganic arsenic have been identified, according to a report published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Academy of Sciences.

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Population Aging Crisis May Have Been Overestimated

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an alternative measure for assessing the number of dependent older people suggests that the population aging crisis may have been overestimated, according to an analysis published online Nov. 12 in BMJ.

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Initial Health-Plan Enrollment Falls Below Expectations

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 50,000 people have enrolled in health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website, according to published reports. The tally represents enrollment in the troubled federal health insurance exchange from its launch date on Oct. 1 through last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. HealthCare.gov serves as the insurance exchange for people in 36 states.

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Many Americans Want Docs to Help Explain Genetic Tests

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to genetic testing, Americans support more research, laws to protect against discrimination, and involving medical professionals in offering guidance, according to research published online Nov. 7 in Genetics in Medicine.

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Surgeons Identify New Ligament in the Knee

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons have dissected and described a new structure in the human knee joint, the anterolateral ligament (ALL), which connects the femur with the anterolateral tibia, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Anatomy.

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Analysis Describes Economic Anatomy of U.S. Health Care

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the increases in resources devoted to health care in the United States, multiple health care metrics show that the United States is trailing peer nations, according to a special communication published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on critical issues in U.S. health care.

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Depression Linked to Accelerated Cellular Aging

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have shorter telomeres, indicating accelerated cellular aging, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Molecular Psychiatry.

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HPV Test Ordering Varies Widely in Family Medicine

MONDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable practice variation in the ordering of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing among family medicine practitioners performing a Papanicolaou smear, according to a study published in the November-December issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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Obama 'Sorry' Some People Losing Health Coverage

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama said he's "sorry" some Americans are losing their insurance coverage as a result of his signature health-reform law, but his administration is pressing ahead with the law's implementation. It's estimated that 5 percent of Americans have individual health insurance policies, and many of these people are receiving cancellation notices as insurers switch to plans that comply with new health-reform requirements.

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FDA to Ban Trans Fats in Foods

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

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Telemedicine Represents Enhanced Care Model

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine may represent an effective care model but there are associated concerns, specifically relating to reimbursement and legal issues, according to an article published Oct. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Amount of Care Similar for Rural, Urban Medicare Users

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although there may be a limited supply of physicians in some rural areas, little difference is found in the amount of health care received by Medicare beneficiaries for rural versus urban areas within the same region, according to research published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

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Aspiring Doctors Are Optimistic About the Future of Medicine

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Aspiring doctors are optimistic about the future of medicine, according to a report published by the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

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Assisted Conception Doesn't Up Overall Cancer Risk in Children

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Assisted conception is not associated with an overall increase in cancer risk among children, according to a study published in the Nov. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sebelius on Exchange Website: 'Delay Is Not an Option'

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration will not consider delaying implementation of health reform. Nor will it take down HealthCare.gov -- the troubled health insurance marketplace website -- while it's being fixed. "For millions of Americans, delay is not an option," Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing on the new health insurance marketplace. "People's lives depend on this," she said.

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Autoantibodies Detectable Long Before Symptom Onset

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Autoantibodies can be detected years before symptom onset in many patients with the autoimmune disease primary Sjögren syndrome, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CDC Suggests Ways to Increase CRC Screening Rates

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Various approaches should be implemented to increase the use of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests, according to the November issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vital Signs.

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Factors in Long-Term HCV Morbidity, Mortality Analyzed

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), achieving an undetectable viral load correlates with reductions in the risk of clinical end points and death, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Personal History of Prostate Cancer Linked to Melanoma Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- History of prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with an increased risk of melanoma, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Study Raises Questions About Testosterone Rx for 'Low T'

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For men with low testosterone levels who undergo coronary angiography, testosterone therapy is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Senators Seek Answers on Health Marketplace Woes

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A top Obama administration health official said Tuesday that HealthCare.gov -- the troubled federal website used to sign up for insurance -- is improving, and insisted that private information provided during the online application process is safe and secure.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- This is the second issue of a monthly letter from me, HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. The intention of this letter (and the intention of what we do at HealthDay) is to provide tools of communication. At Physician's Briefing, this is by providing you, the busy and buried health care professional, news and information that matters to you in a way that won't slow you down. The intention is to provide news that can help you stay abreast of changing clinical guidelines, cutting-edge technologies, and novel treatment options. And now, we offer free Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for you on select clinical articles, enabling you to get (at least) two birds with one stone.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Please allow me to introduce myself: I am HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. This service is intended to provide busy physicians, nurses, and pharmacists with easily accessible, digestible health news that can keep them up-to-date and not missing a beat in their busy days providing care for those in need (and navigating the headaches and heartaches the business of medicine can too often bring). In short, this service is intended to make your professional life flow more smoothly in the way that helpful, useable, relevant, and timely information can.

Exchanges Will Be Cornerstone for Coverage Choices
Young Adults May Be Key to Making It All Work
Expect Pluses, Minuses for Those With Job-Based Coverage
If You're an Uninsured Worker, It's Your Chance to Get Covered
Medicaid Expansion Will Allow More to Get More
Many on Medicare Already Enjoying Benefits
AMA Presents: The National Journal
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Pesticide Exposure Linked to Endometriosis Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Two organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and mirex, are associated with the risk of endometriosis, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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One Dose of HPV Vaccine Induces Long-Term Antibodies

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women who receive only one dose of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have readily detectable antibody levels that remain stable for four years, according to a study published in the November issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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Placental Growth Factor Useful for Predicting Preeclampsia

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Low plasma placental growth factor (PlGF) concentration has high sensitivity and negative predictive value for preeclampsia within 14 days, according to a study published in the Nov. 5 issue of Circulation.

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Ponatinib Active in CML, Ph+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Ponatinib is active in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph-positive ALL), according to a study published online Nov. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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HPV-Based Screening Beats Cytology for Invasive Cervical CA

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- For women who undergo regular screening, human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening is more efficacious than cytology-based screening for the prevention of invasive cervical cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in The Lancet.

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CDC: Malaria Cases Reach 40-Year High in United States

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- 2011 marked the highest number of malaria cases diagnosed in the United States, according to a surveillance summary published Nov. 1 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Six People Signed Up on Day One of Federal Exchange Website

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Just six people enrolled for health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day of operation on Oct. 1, just-released Obama administration documents show.

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Physician Buy-In Key to Reducing Health Care Costs

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physician buy-in is essential for creation of any new payment system aimed at reducing health care costs, according to an article published Oct. 21 in Medical Economics.

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Abnormal Thyroid Function Predicts Mortality in Elderly

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Abnormal thyroid function test results detected in elderly patients during hospitalization are significantly related to poorer prognosis, according to research published online Oct. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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