March 2015 Briefing - Geriatrics

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for March 2015. 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.

Mobile Health App Use Continuing to Increase

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of mobile health apps is continuing to increase and doctors are embracing this trend, with more than one-third of physicians recommending their use in the past year, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Small, Steady Decline in Cancer Rates in U.S. Over Past Decade

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- America is making slow but steady progress against cancer, with a continuing decline in cancer deaths, according to a new report published online March 30 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The report was coauthored by experts from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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2015 Match Sees High Proportion of Unmatched Seniors

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 6.1 percent of U.S. allopathic medical school seniors in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) were not placed into first-year residency positions, with a higher percentage of unmatched seniors than in 2014, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Multiple, Inappropriate Meds Taken by Older Cancer Patients

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A pharmacist-led comprehensive medication assessment shows that a high number of older oncology patients use multiple and/or inappropriate medications. The findings were published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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MIND Diet Could Help Lower Dementia Risk

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who follow the "MIND" diet could lower risk for Alzheimer's, according to research published online in Alzheimer's & Dementia.

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Discontinuing Statins for Terminally Ill May Improve QOL

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Discontinuing the use of cholesterol-lowering statins in terminally ill patients may improve their quality of life, according to a new study published online March 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Older Patients Can Benefit From Older Donor Kidneys

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients who need a kidney transplant are better off receiving an available organ from an older deceased donor rather than waiting for one from a younger donor, according to a new study published online March 26 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Early Palliative Care Improves Survival in Advanced Cancer

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Early initiation of palliative care (PC) interventions improves survival and caregiver burden in advanced cancer, according to two studies published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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CDC: Hypertension-Related Deaths on the Rise in U.S.

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The overall death rate from hypertension in the United States has increased 23 percent since 2000, even as the death rate from all other causes has dropped 21 percent, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Physicians Should Be Aware of Signs of Burnout

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Burnout can be prevented if physicians are aware of the warning signs, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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Models May Predict Two-Year Mortality Risk for CKD Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Risk prediction models with 16 characteristics may predict mortality risk in older adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The findings were published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Short Hospital Stays Don't Impair STEMI Outcomes in Seniors

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For older patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), outcomes are similar for discharge after 48 hours versus four to five days, according to a study published in the March 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Doctors May Not Be Informing of Alzheimer's Diagnosis

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors are not telling a majority of their patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's that they have the degenerative brain disease, a new report by the Alzheimer's Association indicates.

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Exercise Improves Men's Sexual Function Regardless of Race

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Men who exercise the most have higher sexual function scores, regardless of race, according to research published online March 20 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Exercise Training Cuts Rate of Injurious Falls in Older Women

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For older women, exercise is associated with reductions in the rate of injurious falls and injured fallers, according to a study published online March 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Balance Compromised in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) have greater maximum and range of separations of their center of mass from their center of pressure, according to a study published online March 12 in Diabetes Care.

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Electronic Solutions Underway for Rx Prior Authorizations

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts are underway to offer technological solutions to the burdens associated with prior authorizations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Public Outcomes Reporting Tied to Lower PCI Rates for Acute MI

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Public reporting of outcomes may be tied to lower rates of percutaneous revascularization and higher in-hospital mortality among acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients in reporting states, compared to nonreporting states, according to a study published in the March 24 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New Assessment Tool Helps Predict Risk of Cognitive Decline

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new assessment tool may be able to predict risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in older adults, according to a study published online March 18 in Neurology.

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Antipsychotics May Up Risk of Premature Death in Dementia

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Antipsychotic drugs used to treat the delusions, hallucinations, agitation, and aggression that occur in many people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia may increase the risk of premature death more than previously thought, a new study suggests. The study was published online March 18 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Workplace Suicides Up Sharply Since 2007

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2007 there has been a sharp increase in workplace suicides, with certain occupations at higher risk, according to a study published online March 16 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Study Examines Age, Sex, APOE ε4 Effects in Adults

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Male sex is associated with worse memory and adjusted hippocampal volume (HVa) across the adult life span, according to a study published online March 16 in JAMA Neurology.

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WBC, Neutrophil Counts Predict Stroke Risk in Older Asian Men

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher total white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil counts are independent predictors of stroke in older Japanese-American men, according to a study published online March 4 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Jyoti Meditation Program Effective for Chronic Neck Pain

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An eight-week jyoti meditation program is effective for patients with chronic neck pain, according to a study published in the January issue of The Journal of Pain.

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Early Imaging Doesn't Improve Back Pain Outcomes in Seniors

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Early imaging is not associated with improved outcomes at one year among older adults with a new primary care visit for back pain, according to a study published in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Diet Soda Intake Tied to Belly Fat in Older Adults

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing diet soda intake (DSI) is tied to greater abdominal obesity in older adults, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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More Than 16 Million Americans Have Gained Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama Administration reported Monday the largest drop in the number of Americans without health insurance since the Johnson administration expanded health coverage through Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago.

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Australian Health Council Says No Evidence Homeopathy Works

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The team at Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council reviewed 225 studies and concluded that homeopathy is no better than placebo, ABC News reported.

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Gender-Specific Variation in Medical Specialties

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical specialties vary by gender, with obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics dominated by female residents and specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology dominated by males, according to a report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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AAMC 2015 Report on Residents

CDC Releases Estimates of Cancer Incidence, Survival for 2011

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Estimates of cancer incidence for 2011 in the United States show that about two-thirds of those with cancer survive five or more years after diagnosis, according to a report published in the March 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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The BMJ, CDC Partner to Report on Cold-Related Deaths

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of cold-related deaths in rural areas of the western United States is much higher than in other regions of the country, according to a new report published online March 12 in The BMJ.

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HHS Wants to Help Restore Joy of Medicine

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is listening to physicians and wants to address the regulatory burdens they face, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Researchers Estimate Physician Shortage for 2035

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Based on current demographics and utilization of primary care services, more than 44,000 primary care physicians will be needed by 2035, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Patients Say Pain Control Is Key to Quality of Care in Hospitals

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Management of pain is an important component in improving the quality of care in hospitals from a patient's perspective, according to research published in the March issue of Pain Practice.

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Getting Heard May Be Key to Getting New Job

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Your voice may be the key to landing a new job, researchers report in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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Cochlear Implantation Associated With Improved Cognition

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cochlear implants not only boost hearing in seniors with severe hearing loss, they might also enhance their emotional state and thinking abilities, according to a new study published online March 12 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Single Paravertebral Blockade Seems Safe in Herpes Zoster

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute thoracic herpes zoster (HZ), a single paravertebral blockade seems safe and effective, according to a study published in the March issue of Pain Practice.

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Long-Term NSAID Use Beneficial in Knee Osteoarthritis

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with knee osteoarthritis, long-term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use is associated with improvements in symptoms and disease progression, according to a study published in the March issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Clinical Trial Data Often Not Reported in Timely Manner

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are not promptly reporting the results of clinical trials to ClinicalTrials.gov, according to an article published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Evidence Lacking for PT in Patients With Venous Leg Ulcers

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Further research is needed to understand the role of physical therapy in healing and quality of life (QOL) in patients with venous leg ulcers (VLUs), according to a systematic review published in the March issue of JAMA Dermatology.

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Patients With Multiple Conditions Need Early Outpatient Follow-Up

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The timeliness of outpatient follow-up after discharge matters most for patients with multiple chronic conditions and a greater than 20 percent baseline risk of readmission, according to research published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Physicians Should Plan Exit Strategy in Advance

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should begin planning their exit strategy three to five years in advance, according to the American Medical Association.

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Frustrated by Regulations, Doctors Increasingly Miserable

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide Physician Misery Index is 3.7 out of 5, with the vast majority of physicians reporting that the business and regulation of health care has worsened the practice of medicine, according to a report published by Geneia.

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Age, Race May Affect Tx Decision Regret in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Age, race, and other factors may influence treatment decisional regret among men with prostate cancer, according to research published online March 3 in Cancer.

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Persistent EHR Nonadoption Could Mean Lower Payment

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent nonadopters of electronic health records (EHRs) tend to be older, and are employed in smaller practices, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Stress + Depression = Deadly Combo in Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary heart disease, depression, and stress can be a deadly combination, according to a new study published online March 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Surgery Seldom Needed for Fracture of Proximal Humerus

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- When an older patient breaks the upper arm, surgery is often no better than simply immobilizing the limb, according to a new study. The study was published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Outcomes Vary With Transcatheter Valve Surgery

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Of more than 12,000 patients who underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement, nearly one-quarter died within a year, while roughly 4 percent had a stroke, new research reveals. However, almost half who survived past one year weren't re-hospitalized in that time, while less than one-quarter were readmitted once. The research findings were reported in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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AAMC: Significant Shortfall of Physicians Projected for 2025

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The expected shortfall of physicians is projected to reach about 46,000 to 90,000 by 2025, according to a study conducted by IHS Inc. for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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Abnormalities on MRI Predict Knee Replacement

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Structural joint damage measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can predict knee replacement in the following year, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Educational Intervention Can Cut Inappropriate PPI Prescriptions

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A monthly educational intervention paired with a web-based quality improvement tool is feasible for increasing the proportion of inappropriate proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescriptions discontinued at hospital discharge, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Changes Being Made to Med School Applicant Assessment

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In accordance with the changes in graduate medical education to better prepare doctors for a changing health care system, changes are being made to medical school applicant evaluation, according to an article published Feb. 19 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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National Hospital Rating Systems Rarely in Agreement

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- National hospital rating systems are rarely in agreement, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Confidence Gap Between Male and Female Med Students

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Female medical students perform at the same or higher level as men, but they lack confidence compared with men, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Launches First App to Identify Drug Shortages

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile phone application (app) has been released to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages, or discontinuations of drug products, according to a press release published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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One-Third of U.S. More Than Hour Away From Stroke Center

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- One-third of Americans can't be transported by ambulance to a stroke center within one hour, according to research published online March 4 in Neurology.

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Study Examines Palliative Care in Cardiac Intensive Care Units

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Increased palliative care education and training among clinicians who are involved in cardiac critical care could benefit care, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Rush University Adds Patient Scores to Doctor Profiles

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rush University Medical Center's website has started adding the results of patient surveys to individual physician profiles, according to a report published by the medical center.

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Aerobic Fitness Can Predict Post-Op Complications in AAA Repair

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, measures of cardiopulmonary fitness can predict postoperative complications, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Anaesthesia.

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Anemia Linked to Adverse Outcomes in Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with atrial fibrillation receiving anticoagulant treatment, the presence of anemia is associated with increased risk of thromboembolic events, bleeding complications, and mortality, according to research published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Many PCPs Not Using Rx Drug Monitoring Programs Routinely

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most primary care physicians are aware of state prescription drug monitoring programs, and more than half report using one, according to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Use of Anticholinergic Meds May Up Pneumonia Risk for Elderly

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of anticholinergic medications may increase risk of pneumonia in the elderly, a new study suggests. The findings were published online March 2 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Research Measures Perceptions of Physician Compassion

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients prefer physicians who convey a more optimistic message, and perceive in them a higher level of compassion, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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Acetaminophen Risks May Be Underestimated

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acetaminophen may not be as safe as previously thought, with larger doses and long-term use linked to increased risk of health problems, a new report contends. The findings were published online March 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Higher Coffee Consumption Tied to Less Coronary Calcium

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of developing coronary atherosclerosis, which in turn might reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke, a new study suggests. The report was published online March 2 in Heart.

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ACP Issues Recommendations for Management of Pressure Ulcers

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed for the prevention and management of pressure ulcers, and published as two American College of Physicians (ACP) clinical practice guidelines in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Treadmill-Based Fitness Score Can Predict 10-Year Survival

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A fitness risk score based on exercise stress testing is highly predictive of 10-year survival in adults free from established heart disease, according to a study published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Nuts, Including Peanut Butter, May Improve Longevity

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Eating nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter, may increase longevity, new research suggests. The study is published online March 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine and was funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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Hospital Design Has Little Effect on Patient Satisfaction

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital design has little effect on patient satisfaction, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Cannabis Linked to Increased Risk of Cerebrovascular Events

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis seems to be linked to cerebrovascular events, according to research published online Feb. 19 in Stroke.

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