January 2015 Briefing - Geriatrics

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

VTE Risk Up in Older Women Post-Autologous Reconstruction

FRIDAY, Jan. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- While the overall risk of complications from breast reconstruction after mastectomy does not appear to differ significantly between age groups, the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is higher for older women undergoing autologous reconstruction. The findings were published in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Cancer Diagnosis Impacts Patient Adherence to Diabetes Rx

FRIDAY, Jan. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- People with diabetes are less likely to take their diabetes medications if they've been diagnosed with cancer, researchers report. The findings were published online Jan. 28 in Diabetologia.

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Liberals, Independents Found to Have Greater Longevity

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to people with conservative and moderate political ideologies, liberals were found less likely to die over the course of a 30-year review. But party lines did not determine life span, with Independents faring better than Republicans and Democrats, according to the research published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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CDC: ~8 Percent of U.S. Adults Nonadherent Due to Rx Costs

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in 10 American adults don't take their medications as prescribed because they can't afford to, according to a January data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

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Teledermoscopy Feasible, Effective for Monitoring Nevi

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Teledermoscopy is feasible and effective for short-term monitoring of clinically atypical nevi, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Anxiety Moderates Amyloid-β Association With Cognition

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, elevated amyloid-β (Aβ) levels correlate with cognitive decline, and elevated anxiety moderates these associations, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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FDA to Strengthen Approval Process for AEDs

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Automated external defibrillators installed and ready for use in many public spaces can save lives when needed, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that since 2005, it has also received 72,000 reports of the devices failing.

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Benefits Package Important for Attracting, Retaining Staff

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An appropriately-targeted benefits package is crucial for attracting and retaining employees, according to an article published Jan. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Leptin May Mediate Knee-Related Osteoarthritis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The inflammatory adipokine leptin may have a mediating effect on the relationship between body weight and knee osteoarthritis (OA) in older adults, according to research published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Daily Blueberry Consumption May Reduce Blood Pressure

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension, daily blueberry consumption may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Postmenopausal Weight Loss or Gain Ups Risk of Fracture

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of fractures increases with both weight gain and loss in older women, according to a new study published Jan. 27 in The BMJ.

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Current Smoking Reduces Survival in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Current smoking reduces odds of survival in prostate cancer, according to a new study published online Jan. 27 in BJU International.

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Many Seniors Not Reporting Falls to Physician

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Millions of Americans aged 65 and older fall every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, fewer than half tell their doctor, according to a news release issued by the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

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Chlorhexidine Bathing Doesn't Cut Health Care-Linked Infections

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For critically ill patients, chlorhexidine bathing does not reduce health-care-associated infections, according to a study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Impact of Intensive Lifestyle Change on CV Burden Studied

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Intensive lifestyle modifications, the cornerstones of atherosclerotic disease management, are associated with a decrease in coronary and carotid atherosclerotic burden, according to a review published in the Jan. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Difficulty Falling Asleep Linked to Higher Risk of Hypertension

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic insomniacs who regularly take longer than 14 minutes to fall asleep appear to be at a significantly increased risk for hypertension, according to research published online Jan. 26 in Hypertension.

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Cumulative Use of Anticholinergic Medication Tied to Dementia

TUESDAY, Jan. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher cumulative use of anticholinergics may increase the risk of dementia, according to a new study published online Jan. 26 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Premature Death Risk Up for Stroke Survivors Living Alone

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke survivors -- especially men -- who live alone are at increased risk for premature death, a new study suggests.

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Age Doesn't Affect Outcome of Revision Cochlear Implantation

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Age at revision cochlear implantation does not impact post-revision speech perception performance, according to research published online Jan. 22 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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5 Percent of Seniors Discharged From ER Admitted Within Days

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 5 percent of older Medicare beneficiaries seen in the emergency department have a hospital inpatient admission within seven days after discharge, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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ASCO Reports Biggest Clinical Cancer Advances for 2015

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The biggest clinical cancer advances for 2015 have been identified in an annual report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, published online Jan. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Smaller Goals to Start Could Boost Activity in Sedentary

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Current targets call for 150 minutes of weekly exercise -- or 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week -- to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Although these standards don't need to be abandoned, they shouldn't be the primary message about exercise for inactive people, experts argue in two separate analyses published Jan. 21 in The BMJ.

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Prophylactic Antimicrobials Overused in Urologic Surgery

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Utilization patterns indicate that antimicrobial prophylaxis is overused for urological surgeries in the community practice setting, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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More Variation in Costs Than Outcomes of PCI in VA System

FRIDAY, Jan. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system, the variation in one-year risk-adjusted mortality is smaller than variation in risk-standardized costs, according to a study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Four Factors Impact QoL From Perspective of Dementia Sufferers

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Four factors have been identified that affect quality of life from the perspective of people with dementia. The findings were published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Reviews Summarize Efficacy of Depression Tx in Primary Care

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have summarized and clarified what is known about depression treatment in primary care. The reports have been published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Physicians Rank the Best EHR Systems of 2014

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have ranked electronic health record (EHR) systems based on five key performance areas, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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Metabolic Syndrome May Raise Death Risk Postangiography

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For postangiography patients, metabolic syndrome is associated with increased mortality, especially in patients with stable angina, according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Higher Medicaid Reimbursement Ups Appointment Availability

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Increased Medicaid reimbursement to primary care providers is associated with improved appointment availability, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Prolonged Sitting Is Health Hazard, Despite Exercise

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise doesn't erase the higher risk of serious illness or premature death that comes from sitting too much each day, a new review reveals. The research is published in the Jan. 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Cardiovascular Risks of Pneumonia May Linger for Years

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Older patients hospitalized with pneumonia appear to have an increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from coronary heart disease for years afterward, according to a new study published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Incidence of PE Hospitalizations Rises From 2001 to 2010

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of hospitalizations for pulmonary embolism (PE) increased from 2001 to 2010, and a pattern of seasonal variation can be seen in PE hospitalizations, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Acupuncture Viable for Pain Relief After Joint Replacement

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture is a feasible adjunct therapy for short-term postsurgical pain management in total joint replacement, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in Pain Medicine.

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Collaboration Between Med Students Cuts Diagnostic Errors

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For fourth-year medical students, working collaboratively is associated with a reduction in diagnostic errors, according to a research letter published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Docs Should Negotiate Health Care Payer Contracts

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The terms in health care payer contracts are not immutable, and contracts should be negotiated, according to an article published Jan. 9 in Medical Economics.

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A Dash More Salt Than 1,500 mg Seems to Lower Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A study of adults aged 71 to 80 indicates that daily consumption of 2,300 mg of salt didn't increase deaths, cardiovascular disease, stroke, or heart failure over 10 years. The report was published online Jan. 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Physicians Hit Barriers in Making Cancer Referrals

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many physicians report encountering barriers when referring cancer patients to specialty care, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer.

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Few Patients Fill High-Intensity Statin Rx After CHD Discharge

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Only about a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries fill a high-intensity statin prescription after discharge from hospitalization for a coronary heart disease (CHD) event, according to a study published in the Jan. 27 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Many Americans Taking Meds Not to Be Mixed With Alcohol

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial number of Americans who drink also take medications that should not be mixed with alcohol, new government research suggests. The findings were published online Jan. 16 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

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Cold Effects on Skin in Raynaud's Impacted by Age, BMI

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), cold-induced decrease in skin temperature is related to age and body mass index (BMI), according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Most Docs Work 40 to 60 Hours Per Week

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians work long hours, with most working 40 to 60 hours per week and a considerable proportion working 61 to 80 or more hours per week, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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CRP/ESR Disagreement Common in Infection, Inflammation

FRIDAY, Jan. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with suspected infection or inflammation, C-reactive protein (CRP)/erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) disagreement is common, according to a study published online Dec. 31 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

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CDC: This Year's Flu Vaccination Offers 23 Percent Protection

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- This season's influenza vaccine reduces the risk of needing medical care because of the flu by only 23 percent, according to research published in the Jan. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Impact of Medical Scribes on EHR Advancement Discussed

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing use of medical scribes should not be a replacement for improving electronic health records (EHRs), according to a viewpoint piece published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Epidemic of Rx Opioid Abuse May Be Waning in U.S.

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. epidemic of prescription opioid medication abuse may be starting to reverse course, according to new research. The findings, published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that recent laws and prescribing guidelines aimed at preventing abuse are working to some degree.

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Sedentary Lifestyle Worse for Health Than Obesity

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Being sedentary may be twice as deadly as being obese, a new study suggests. However, even a little exercise -- a brisk 20-minute walk each day, for example -- is enough to reduce the risk of an early death by as much as 30 percent, the British researchers added. The report was published online Jan. 14 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Working Long Hours? Beware Risky Alcohol Consumption

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Working long hours may raise the risk for alcohol abuse, according to a new study of more than 300,000 people from 14 countries. The report was published online Jan. 13 in The BMJ.

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Obesity Up in Past Decade, but Diabetes Incidence Stable

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Trends show that diabetes incidence has stayed higher in recent decades than it was in the 1970s, although in the past decade, diabetes incidence remained steady despite the ongoing trend of rising adiposity, according to research published online Dec. 31 in Diabetes Care.

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Benefit of Carotid Stenting in Elderly Called Into Question

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Mortality risk in older Medicare patients who undergo carotid artery stenting is high, according to a report published online Jan. 12 in JAMA Neurology.

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Guidelines Presented for Clinical Documentation in 21st Century

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines have been developed for clinical documentation and interrelated issues. The position paper has been published online Jan. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Over 10 Percent of Patients Taking Aspirin Inappropriately

TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers found that of 68,808 U.S. adults prescribed aspirin long-term, 11.6 percent probably should not have been because their odds of suffering a heart attack or stroke were not high enough to outweigh the risks of daily aspirin use. The findings were published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Research Suggests Diabetes Overtreatment in Seniors

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Many older people with diabetes may be exposed to potential harm because doctors are trying to keep overly tight control of their blood glucose levels, according to research published online Jan. 12 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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CDC Urging Flu Vaccination, Prompt Use of Antivirals

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Thousands of people are being hospitalized and 26 children have died from influenza so far, Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a Friday press briefing.

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Gender of Provider May Impact Pain Management Practices

MONDAY, Jan. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Male and female general practitioners (GPs) prescribe analgesics to older patients in a similar manner but differ in their prescribing habits for antineuropathic pain drugs and symptomatic slow-acting drugs for osteoarthritis, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Pain Medicine.

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FDA Approves Novel Anticoagulant Savaysa

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Savaysa (edoxaban) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism, and prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

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AMA Reports on How Docs Use Their Free Time

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association recently surveyed physicians to find what activities they pursue when not in the exam room.

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CDC: Occupationally Acquired HIV Now Rare

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Documented occupational acquisition of HIV has now become rare in the United States, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Glucose Level in ER Could Aid Heart Failure Prognosis

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The measurement of blood glucose levels in patients arriving at emergency departments with acute heart failure could provide useful prognostic information and help improve outcomes in these patients, according to new research published online Jan. 8 in the European Heart Journal.

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Binocular Vision Disorders Up High Morbidity Injuries in Seniors

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For older Medicare beneficiaries, having a disorder of binocular vision is associated with increased odds of musculoskeletal injury, fracture, and fall, according to a study published in the January issue of JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Satellite Lesions Prognostic for High-Risk Zoster

FRIDAY, Jan. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with herpes zoster, satellite lesions are prognostic of high-risk disease, according to a study published online Dec. 30 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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Strategies to Improve Skin Lesion Diagnosis Vary in Effectiveness

THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Various approaches are used to improve an individual's ability to diagnose skin lesions, with varying effectiveness, according to a review published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Blood Markers May Reveal Active Spinal Degenerative Disease

THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Serum biomarkers may be a measure for assessment of active degenerative spinal disease in older adults, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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USRDS: Kidney Disease on the Rise, but Patients Faring Better

THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a rising incidence of kidney disease, rates of kidney failure and related deaths are declining in the United States, according to a new report.

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In Glaucoma, High Blood Pressure May Hinder Rather Than Help

THURSDAY, Jan. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic hypertension may increase the risk of glaucoma, according to a study conducted in rats and published in the December issue of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

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Stroke Risk Up Post-Cancer Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer increases the risk of stroke independently of other stroke risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Experts Discuss Pros and Cons of Maintenance of Certification

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The pros and cons of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) are discussed in two articles published in the Jan. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Infections in ICU Up Five-Year Mortality for Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people who develop infections while in an intensive care unit (ICU) are at increased risk of dying within five years after their hospital stay, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Sulfonylurea Rx Ups Testosterone Levels in Men With T2DM

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes, sulfonylurea treatment is associated with improvements in total testosterone levels and testosterone secretion index values, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

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Article Highlights Top Technology Challenges for 2015

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The introduction of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) audits, meaningful use 2, and the burdens of technology are the top four technological challenges for physicians in 2015, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Diet Advice for CA Prevention: More Veggies, Less Alcohol

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a plant-based diet and limiting alcohol intake may help lower the risk for obesity-related cancers, according to research published online Jan. 6 in Cancer Causes & Control.

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CDC: Outpatient Visits for Flu-Like Symptoms Up

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The current flu season, already off to a rough start, continues to get worse, with 43 states now reporting widespread flu activity and 21 child deaths so far, U.S. health officials said Monday.

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Injections for Knee Arthritis Most Effective for Pain Relief

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Using data from 137 studies, researchers have concluded that all of the widely used arthritis treatments provide more relief from knee pain over three months than do placebo pills. The findings are published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Diet Rich in Whole Grains May Reduce Overall, CVD Mortality

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Each 1-ounce serving of whole grains can reduce a person's overall risk of mortality by 5 percent, and risk of mortality due to cardiovascular disease by 9 percent, according to findings published online Jan. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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'July Effect' Has No Impact on Quality of Care in Stroke

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers investigating the so-called "July effect" found that when recent medical school graduates begin their residency programs every summer in teaching hospitals, this transition doesn't reduce the quality of care for patients presenting with ischemic stroke.

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ACS Reports 22 Percent Drop in Cancer Mortality Over 20 Years

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Progress in the war against cancer has triggered a 22 percent drop in U.S. deaths over the past two decades, translating to about 1.5 million lives saved, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society.

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Survival Advantage of ADT+RT in Prostate CA Extends to Older Men

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Androgen-deprivation therapy with radiotherapy (ADT plus RT) is associated with a survival advantage over ADT alone for older men with locally advanced or screen-detected high-risk prostate cancer, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Article Highlights Top Management Challenges for 2015

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Considerable challenges are projected to impact practice management in 2015, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Review: SSRI Use Ups Risk of Upper GI Bleeding

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use is associated with increased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB), according to a meta-analysis published in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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