February 2016 Briefing - Geriatrics

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for February 2016. 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.

Car Crash Risk May Nearly Double in Patients With Syncope

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with a history of syncope may be almost twice as likely as others to get into a car crash, according to a study published online Feb. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Cardiovascular Disease Risk Algorithms Valid for Black Adults

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Current cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk algorithms are valid for black adults, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in JAMA Cardiology.

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Anxiety Tied to Ischemia During Exercise Testing for Women

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For women without history of coronary artery disease (CAD), those with anxiety are more likely to exhibit ischemia during exercise testing than those without anxiety, according to a study published in the February issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Decreases in Readmission Rates From 2007 to 2015

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- From 2007 to 2015 there were decreases in readmission rates for targeted and nontargeted conditions, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Active Mind May Delay Alzheimer Symptoms, but Not Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Intellectual enrichment (high education and high midlife cognitive activity) has effects on biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) in older adults, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in Neurology.

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CDC: Flu Season Continues to Be Mild; Vaccine Is Effective

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- This flu season continues to be mild, while the flu vaccine is working better than the one used last season, with an overall efficacy of 59 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Zolpidem Use Linked to Motor Vehicle Collisions in Elderly

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zolpidem users, especially women and individuals aged ≥80 years, have higher rates of motor vehicle collisions (MVCs), according to a study published online in Sleep Medicine.

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Suggestions for Optimizing Practice Feedback Effectiveness

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In an article published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 15 suggestions are presented to optimize the effectiveness of practice feedback.

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No Benefit From Aspirin Prior to Coronary Artery Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Preoperative aspirin does not lower risk of death or thrombotic complications among patients undergoing coronary artery surgery, according to research published in the Feb. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Macrolide Antibiotics Not Linked to Ventricular Arrhythmia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, macrolide antibiotics are not associated with a higher risk of ventricular arrhythmia within 30 days compared with nonmacrolide antibiotics, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Authors Urge Caution Before Adopting New Systolic BP Goals

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A small reduction as the primary composite outcome may not justify the increased adverse events and costs associated with an intervention targeting systolic blood pressure (BP) less than 120 mm Hg, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Rose From 1996 to 2013

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Benzodiazepine prescriptions and overdose deaths increased considerably from 1996 to 2013, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Lower 25-OH D Tied to Adverse Pathology in Full Prostatectomy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For men with localized prostate cancer undergoing radical prostatectomy, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) insufficiency/deficiency is associated with increased odds of adverse pathology, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Prednisolone Deemed Safe, Effective First-Line Acute Gout Rx

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute gout, prednisolone has similar analgesic effectiveness to indomethacin, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Mind-Body Intervention Can Improve Function, Pain in LBP

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A mind-body intervention can improve short-term function and current and most severe pain for elderly patients with chronic low back pain (LBP), according to a study published online Feb. 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Intralesional Cryosurgery Feasible for BCC in Elderly

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Intralesional cryosurgery is feasible for treating basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the lower extremities in elderly patients, according to a study published in the March issue of the International Journal of Dermatology.

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Early Administration of β-Blockers Ups Survival in ACS

MONDAY, Feb. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), early administration of β-blockers is associated with increased short-term survival and improved left ventricular function, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Topical Rx Restores Testosterone Levels to Normal in Men

MONDAY, Feb. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Application of once-daily topical testosterone effectively restores normal testosterone levels in men, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Calcium Channel Blockers Lower Fasting Glucose in Diabetes

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with diabetes, calcium channel blocker (CCB) use is associated with lower fasting serum glucose levels, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

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Masked HTN Common in CKD, Linked to Target Organ Damage

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), masked hypertension is common and is associated with reduced kidney function and cardiovascular target organ damage, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Feedback From High-Profile Messenger Can Cut Antibiotic Rx

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Feedback from a high-profile messenger can reduce antibiotic prescribing on a national scale, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in The Lancet.

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Geriatric Events in Cancer Surgery Common in Elderly

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Geriatric events are common among elderly patients who undergo major surgery for cancer, according to research published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Testosterone Therapy Offers Modest Benefits for Older Men

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Testosterone treatment may offer moderate benefit in improving sexual function in older men, but further research is needed to establish possible risks, according to research published in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Many Med Schools Appear Unwelcoming Regarding Disability

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical schools need to post, update, or clarify technical standards (TSs), required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that detail what a school will do to accommodate a student with a disability, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Academic Medicine.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be tied to the development of dementia in the elderly, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in JAMA Neurology.

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Net Returns Projected to Top Investment in Vaccines

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Projected immunizations are estimated to yield returns that are greater than costs in low- and middle-income countries during 2011 to 2020, according to a study published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Opioids Tied to Higher Risk of Infections in Rheumatoid Arthritis

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The use of opioid analgesics may increase the risk of serious infection in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Few Want to Receive Skin Cancer Biopsy Results Face-to-Face

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with suspected malignant melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma, most patients are happy to receive biopsy results by letter or telephone, according to a research letter published online Feb. 8 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Lean Six Sigma Practices Speed Medical Report Dispatches

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Lean Six Sigma practices can improve the dispatch time of medical reports sent from a hospital to a primary care provider, according to research published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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Beet Juice Aids BP, Aerobic Endurance With Heart Failure

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Beetroot juice (BRJ) improves submaximal aerobic endurance and blood pressure in elderly patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF), according to a small study published online Feb. 10 in JACC: Heart Failure.

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Use of Digoxin Down Among Patients With Heart Failure

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Only one-in-five patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) receive digoxin at discharge, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in JACC: Heart Failure.

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Vignette Highlights Management of Recurrent UTI in Older Men

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In a case vignette published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, recommendations are presented for management of recurrent acute febrile urinary tract infections in older men.

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CDC: Number of Uninsured Persons in U.S. Down Since 2013

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of uninsured persons is decreasing in the United States, according to a report published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Physicians Concerned By Increasing Cost of Generics

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pennsylvania physicians have called for state- and national-level medical associations to take an active role in addressing the issue of increasing generic drug prices, according to an article published by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

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Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide for Psychiatric Disorders Examined

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients receiving euthanasia or assisted suicide (EAS) for psychiatric disorders are mainly women and most have chronic, severe conditions, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Cardiovascular Fitness, Exercise BP Linked to Brain Volume

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Poor cardiovascular (CV) fitness and greater exercise blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) responses in middle age correlate with smaller brain volume later in life, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in Neurology.

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Medical Homes Contributing to Decreasing Cost of Care

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care seems to be contributing to decreases in costs and improvement in patient care, according to a report from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Incidence of Dementia Down in Framingham Heart Study

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of dementia decreased over three decades among participants in the Framingham Heart Study, according to research published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Recurrent Erythema Seen With H. cinaedi Bacteremia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrent superficial cellulitis-like erythema is associated with Helicobacter cinaedi (H. cinaedi) bacteremia, according to a case report published online Jan. 30 in The Journal of Dermatology.

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Admission to VA or Non-VA Hospitals Impacts Outcome

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For older men, mortality and readmission for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, and pneumonia vary with admission to Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Behavioral Interventions Can Cut Inappropriate Antibiotic Use

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Use of certain behavioral interventions can reduce the rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing during ambulatory visits for acute respiratory tract infections, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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CBT May Work As Well As Meds in Major Depressive Disorder

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with major depressive disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressants have similar efficacy, according to a clinical guideline published online Feb. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Variation in Hospice Visits in Last Two Days of Life

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in hospice visits by professional staff in the last two days of life, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Variable Impact of USPSTF Guidance Against PSA Screen

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The effect of the 2012 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for all men had a differential effect on urologists and primary care providers (PCPs), according to a research letter published online Feb. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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AMA Highlights Issues Relating to Medical Liability Reform

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Medical liability reforms are likely to be advanced and challenged in 2016, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Three-Fold Increased Suicide Risk After Concussion

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicide is increased after concussion, particularly after concussions on weekends, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Patients More Satisfied With Care From Hospitalists

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More patients report satisfaction with overall care in a nonteaching hospitalist service than in a general medicine teaching service, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Influenza Infection Tied to Increased Risk of A-Fib

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza infection is associated with increased odds of atrial fibrillation (AF), which can be reduced through vaccination, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Heart Rhythm.

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Knee Instability Increases Risk of Falls in Older Adults

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Symptoms of knee instability, such as knee buckling, are associated with increased risk of falls in older adults, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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PCPs Have Important Role to Play in Senior Visual Health

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians (PCPs) can play an important role in preserving visual health and maximizing quality of life (QOL) for elderly patients with visual loss, according to a review published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Doctors Offer Suggestions for Electronic Health Records

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians recently met in Seattle to discuss the difficulties and benefits associated with electronic health records (EHRs) in a third town hall meeting on the subject, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Seven Tips Provided for Optimizing Practice Revenue

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Business operations data represent a relatively untapped resource for optimizing practice revenue, and can indicate areas of strength and opportunities for improvement, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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High Rate of Clopidogrel Non-Adherence After DES Placement

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing drug-eluting stent placement, there is a high rate of clopidogrel nonadherence, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Video Games Offer Educational Methods for Med Students

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Video games can play a role in medical education, offering new methods for teaching medical students, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Patient-Centered System Recommended for Medical Billing

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Simplification, consolidation, and real time point-of-care information could address the inefficiencies in the medical billing system, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Better Follow-Up Needed After Positive Fecal Blood Tests

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Characteristics of individuals and health care systems may contribute to the differences in follow-up after a positive fecal blood test, according to research published online Feb. 3 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Minimal Benzodiazepine Exposure May Up Dementia Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with minimal exposure to benzodiazepine have a slightly increased risk of dementia, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in The BMJ.

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ACIP Approves 2016 Adult Immunization Schedule

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved the recommended adult immunization schedule for 2016. The recommendations are published as a clinical guideline in the Feb. 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Tips Presented for Encouraging Treatment Adherence

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Tips for increasing patient adherence to treatment plans include patient engagement and addressing barriers to adherence, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Mercury From Seafood Not Tied to Brain Neuropathology

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Seafood consumption is associated with increased brain levels of mercury, but these levels are not associated with brain neuropathology, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pelvic Exams Common Among Healthy Older Women

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Obstetrician-gynecologists report commonly performing external and speculum examinations in asymptomatic older women, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Researchers Say JNC8 Recs May Put Some Patients at Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For people 60 and older, the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC8) in 2014 recommended raising the blood pressure level at which doctors prescribe treatment from 140 to 150 systolic blood pressure. But individuals with systolic blood pressure of 140 to 149 have a 70 percent increased risk of stroke compared to people with lower blood pressure, according to research published online Feb. 1 in Hypertension.

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Few Adults Discuss Subjective Memory Complaints With Doctors

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Few adults aged 45 years or older with subjective memory complaints (SMCs) report discussing these with a health care professional, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Increasing Weight Loss From Mid- to Late-Life May Identify MCI Risk

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing weight loss from midlife to late life may be a marker for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to a study published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Neurology.

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Mobile Texts May Up Adherence to Meds for Chronic Illness

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Mobile telephone text messaging may be a promising new way to improve adherence to medications for chronic diseases, according to research published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Patients and Families Highlight Value of Nurse Practitioners

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients and their families believe that teams in acute and primary care are more effective when they include nurse practitioners, according to research published online Jan. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

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Comorbidity Affects Fitness-to-Drive Recs in Parkinson's Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Comorbidities in Parkinson's disease patients impact physicians' fitness-to-drive recommendations, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Many Physicians Show Tendency to Undertreat With Statins

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Some clinical departments tend to undertreat when prescribing statins, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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