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Category: Family Medicine | Monthly Briefing

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February 2010 Briefing - Family Practice

Last Updated: March 01, 2010.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Family Practice for February 2010. 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.

Arm Ischemia Reduces Damage After Heart Attack

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Intermittently blocking blood flow in the arm, known as remote conditioning, during the ambulance ride to the hospital (before stenting) reduces damage to the heart after a heart attack, possibly by activating protective mechanisms in the heart, according to a study in the Feb. 27 issue of The Lancet.

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Behavioral Intervention Found to Improve Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A behavioral intervention that encourages physical activity in patients with chronic lower back pain reduces disability and pain and is cost-effective, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in The Lancet.

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Older Maternal Age Found to Up Risk of Autism in Offspring

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Women who give birth over the age of 40 are more likely than their younger counterparts to have a child with autism, but the father's age only affects the odds of autism when the mother is under 30, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in Autism Research.

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One-Third of 20-Somethings in U.S. Lack Health Insurance

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of young adults in the United States are without health insurance, and men in this age group are more likely to be uninsured than women, according to a new report issued Feb. 24 by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Panel Expands Annual Flu Vaccination Recommendation

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In an effort to remove barriers to seasonal influenza vaccination, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has voted to expand the annual influenza vaccination recommendation to include all individuals 6 months and older, taking effect during the 2010/2011 influenza season.

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Successor to Combination Pneumococcal Vaccine Approved

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Prevnar 13 vaccine, a combination shot that protects children aged 6 weeks through 5 years from a host of illnesses, including pneumonia and ear infections, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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HPV Test Shows Better Long-Term Psychosocial Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have a test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) after receiving a borderline abnormal cervical smear result have better psychosocial outcomes over the long term than women who have a repeat smear test, according to a study published Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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School-Based, Compulsory Exercise Helps Youth Stay Fit

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A school-based intervention that incorporates compulsory exercise sessions as well as physical education homework helps children become more active and fit and reduces adiposity, according to a study published Feb. 23 in BMJ.

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Similar Satisfaction Rates Seen With Contraceptive Pill, Ring

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The vaginal ring has a similar level of acceptability to young women as the oral contraceptive pill, but neither method appears to be particularly popular for long-term use in this population, according to a study in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Awareness of Heart Disease Risk Still Lacking in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some gains in public awareness, almost half of all American women are unaware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, according to research published online Feb. 10 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Critical Illness Linked to Decline in Cognitive Function in Elderly

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly adults who are hospitalized for an acute or critical illness are more likely to experience cognitive decline, and the risk of developing dementia is significantly higher after hospitalization for a non-critical illness, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physicians Working Fewer Hours for Lower Fees

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians in the United States have been working fewer hours for lower fees in the past decade, according to research published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Reviewing Safety of HIV Antiretroviral Combination

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted health care professionals and consumers that the HIV drug combination of saquinavir (Invirase) and ritonavir (Norvir) may increase the risk of potentially serious cardiac arrhythmias in a dose-dependent manner. This is an early communication from the FDA with ongoing review of the data.

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Exercise Found to Decrease Anxiety in Chronic Illness

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In physically inactive patients with chronic conditions, exercise training may significantly reduce anxiety, according to a systematic review published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Novartis Updates Exjade Prescribing Information

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Novartis Oncology has alerted health care professionals about changes in the prescribing information for deferasirox (Exjade), a treatment for chronic iron overload due to blood transfusions in patients 2 years of age and older, according to a Feb. 18 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Hospital-Acquired Infections Impose Heavy Burden

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-acquired sepsis and pneumonia impose a significant financial and clinical burden, according to a study published in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while another study found that hospitals that keep costs down do not necessarily have poorer quality of care or higher readmission rates.

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Strategies Assist Doctors in Saying 'No' to Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- When primary care physicians need to deny patient requests for tests and treatments, strategies that incorporate the patient perspective may be most effective, according to a study in the Feb. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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FDA Reviewing Avandia Cardiovascular Safety

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed health care professionals that the organization is currently reviewing cardiovascular safety data associated with rosiglitazone (Avandia), a type 2 diabetes drug, from the Rosiglitazone Evaluated for Cardiovascular Outcomes and Regulation of Glycemia in Diabetes (RECORD) study as well as from other recently published safety analyses.

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Quinine Derivatives for Muscle Cramp Treatment Examined

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although quinine derivatives appear effective for muscle cramps, these agents should be avoided for routine treatment of muscle cramps due to the possibility of serious side effects, according to an article published in the Feb. 23 issue of Neurology.

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New Strategies Needed to Treat Hypertension

TUESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- New strategies are needed to combat hypertension, which affects nearly one-third of U.S. adults and accounts for about one in six adult deaths each year, according to the new report, A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension, released Feb. 22 by the Institute of Medicine.

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No Reduction of Premature Birth Risk From Treating Gum Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Treating periodontal disease during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of premature birth and may even increase the risk in some cases, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Toxic Chemicals Released During Cooking Can Be Harmful

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pan-frying foods such as beefsteak produces more hazardous fumes when done over a gas stove burner than on an electric cooker, which may contribute to or cause adverse health effects, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Menveo Vaccine Approved for Bacterial Meningitis

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The Novartis vaccine Menveo has been approved to prevent bacterial meningitis and other health problems caused by meningococcal disease, the drug maker said in a news release.

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United Effort Needed to Reduce Choking Risk in Young Children

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Regulatory agencies, pediatricians, parents and caregivers, toy manufacturers, and food companies should take concrete steps to reduce the risk of choking in young children, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Minority Pediatricians Treating More Minority Children

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians who are members of a minority see substantially more minority patients and more patients who are on public insurance or are uninsured than their non-minority peers, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Pediatric Obesity Affects Survival After In-Hospital CPR

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children who undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the hospital are at greater risk of dying before hospital discharge than normal weight or underweight children, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Bevacizumab Reduces Nose Bleeds in Inherited Condition

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor bevacizumab administered by intranasal injection, or even by topical nasal spray, can effectively treat epistaxis from hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), according to reports published in The Laryngoscope.

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Maternal Antidepressants May Delay Infant Milestones

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to antidepressants in late pregnancy may affect children's developmental milestones, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Pediatrics.

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Medical Checklists Needed to Improve Care and Outcomes

MONDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The checklists so common in aviation and many professions are underused in medicine and, if more widely adopted, would provide powerful tools to standardize care and improve patient outcomes, according to an article published Dec. 31 in Critical Care.

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Hormone Level of Little Help in Predicting Parathyroid Surgery

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Baseline intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels don't appear useful for deciding whether to perform parathyroidectomy in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Contraceptive Shows No Effect on Cardiac Risk in PCOS

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Oral contraceptives containing the progestin drospirenone have no effect on markers of cardiovascular risk in lean and overweight women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gene Variant Associated With Premenstrual Syndrome

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Female mice with a common variant of a gene affected by estrogen levels are more anxious and have impaired memory, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings could explain behavioral changes occurring during the menstrual cycle associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome.

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Halting Anticoagulants Lowers Post-Ablation Stroke Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who undergo atrial fibrillation ablation are less likely to have a stroke if they stop taking oral anticoagulants after a few months, according to a study in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Intensive Statin Therapy Cuts Recurrent Cardiac Events

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients who have had a cardiovascular event, intensive statin therapy reduces the risk of recurrent events better than less-intensive therapy, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Flat Head Syndrome Linked to Delayed Neurodevelopment

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with deformational plagiocephaly (DP) -- flat head syndrome -- may be at risk for delayed development of cognition, language, and motor functions, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Minimally Invasive Techniques Beneficial for Uterine Fibroids

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Two minimally invasive surgical techniques offer good outcomes and better recovery than laparotomy for the treatment of uterine fibroids, according to a study in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Tobacco Use Linked to HPV+ Oropharynx Cancer Recurrence

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) who achieve a complete response to chemoradiation therapy, current smokers are at higher risk of disease recurrence and tend to have worse disease-specific survival, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Active Straight Leg Raising Reliable to Assess Back Pain

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Among women with back pain, the subjective assessment of difficulty when taking the active straight leg raising (ASLR) test generally correlates well with the objectively measured force of the leg raises, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Many Adults in Utah Report Using Opioids Incorrectly

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In 2008, one-fifth of adults in Utah had been prescribed an opioid pain medication in the past year, with some respondents reporting use of these medications despite no prescription for them, according to an article in the Feb. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Clinical Decision Rule Predicts High-Risk Syncope Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical decision rule for use in patients with syncope has high sensitivity and negative predictive value, and, in combination with B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) measurement, may help identify those at high risk of serious outcomes and death, according to a study in the Feb. 23 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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New System Aims to Improve Blood Transfusion Safety

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started a national surveillance system to monitor adverse events in patients who receive blood transfusions, the agency has announced.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked to Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who receive estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy (HRT), especially for long periods of time, may have an increased risk of lung cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Program Found to Increase Flu Vaccination Rates

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Through methods such as multiple vaccination sites and online monitoring of vaccination status, a campaign to increase flu vaccination rates among employees and health care workers at Johns Hopkins has proven effective, according to a study in the February issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

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Drug Combo Shows Benefits in Chronic Kidney Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In hypertensive patients with high cardiovascular risk, benazepril and amlodipine are better at reducing progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than benazepril with hydrochlorothiazide, according to research published online Feb. 18 in The Lancet.

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LABAs Can Harm Asthma Patients When Used Alone

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that long-acting beta agonists (LABAs) should never be used alone to treat asthma in children or adults.

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Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids Show Benefits in Youth

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In children with severe sensorineural hearing loss in one ear, use of the Baha bone-anchored hearing aid leads to improvements in hearing in noise and improved patient satisfaction, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Happy People Less Likely to Develop Heart Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- People who are happy and have a positive attitude are less likely to develop heart disease, according to a study published online Feb. 17 in the European Heart Journal.

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Breast Cancer Decline Linked to Hormone Therapy Decline

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The rise and fall in U.S. breast cancer rates from 1992 to 2005 mainly reflects affluent white (non-Hispanic) women initially adopting then abandoning hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of its breast cancer risk, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Discussing Video Cases in Groups Aids in Diagnoses

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Viewing and discussing patient video cases with more experienced clinicians may help improve the diagnostic accuracy of newer clinicians, and these learning tools could be useful in training, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Revisional Bariatric Surgery Appears Safe, Effective

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Revisional bariatric surgery performed at experienced centers appears safe and effective despite a higher risk of perioperative complications compared to the primary procedures, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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FDA Issues Maalox Total Relief Warning

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to mistake Maalox Total Relief, a gastrointestinal and anti-diarrhea medication, for Maalox antacids (Maalox Advanced Regular Strength and Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength), as this could result in serious side effects.

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Newborn Training Has Mixed Effect in Developing Countries

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In developing countries, training birth attendants in the World Health Organization Essential Newborn Care course does not reduce neonatal mortality but does reduce rates of stillbirth, and further training in neonatal resuscitation does not have a significant effect on outcomes, according to a study in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Annual Report Shows Increase in U.S. Life Expectancy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Advances in medical technology are transforming health care and improving life expectancy and quality of life, but equal access to technology continues to be a problem, according to Health, United States, 2009, the 33rd annual report on the nation's health status released Feb. 17 by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

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Statins Linked to Slightly Increased Diabetes Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although statin therapy is associated with a slightly increased risk of diabetes, the risk is outweighed by a significantly decreased risk of coronary events, according to a review article published online Feb. 17 in The Lancet.

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Exercise May Lower Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In previously inactive, mostly overweight, postmenopausal women, participation in a program of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise may result in sex hormone changes that are associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Reports Rank Health of Every U.S. County

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, the nation's physicians, patients, and government officials can see how their county ranks in terms of health and longevity, according to a new set of reports released Feb. 17 at a press briefing in Washington, D.C.

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Social Support Associated With Heart Attack Recovery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients recovering from myocardial infarction who have low levels of social support (SS) are more likely to suffer from angina, be more depressed, and have poorer quality of life than patients with high levels of SS, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Quality and Outcomes.

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Updated Guideline Helps Identify Heart Risks in Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The updated 2007 American Heart Association guideline for cardiovascular disease prevention in women identifies cardiovascular risk with accuracy similar to that of current Framingham risk categories. However, women were underrepresented in randomized clinical trials that led to creation of the guideline, according to two reports published online Feb. 16 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes.

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Hormone Oxytocin Offers Possible Autism Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social interactions and performance, and enhances feelings of trust in subjects with high-functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome during simulated social interaction, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Study Finds Low Heritability for Tinnitus in General

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors appear to be of relatively low importance in tinnitus, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents Safety Plan Approved

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Under a new safety plan approved Feb. 16 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, physicians will be required to provide all patients prescribed Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) with a Medication Guide, and to receive specific training and certification for the proper use of these agents in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

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Aspirin Use Linked to Fewer Breast Cancer Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Women with breast cancer who take aspirin several days a week have a lower risk of death or recurrence, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lumbar Fusion Linked to Improved Driver Reaction Time

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The driver reaction time (DRT) in patients a week after lumbar fusion surgery is not significantly slower than their preoperative DRT, and after three months recovery their DRT may be faster than their preoperative DRT, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Genetic Risk Scores Not Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive literature-based genetic risk scores do not improve the prediction of cardiovascular risk among Caucasian women, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Chronic Conditions Becoming More Common in Children

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic health conditions have become increasingly more common in children in recent decades, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genomic Markers Linked to Heart Disease

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in chromosome 9p21 are associated with heart disease, particularly in younger people, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Photodynamic Therapy Found to Strengthen Rat Vertebrae

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) improves the spinal bone structure, stiffness and strength in rats and may offer a way to ablate metastatic tumor tissue and strengthen the spines of human cancer patients, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Racial Disparities Seen in New York Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In New York City, minority patients are significantly less likely than Caucasians to use high-volume surgeons and hospitals when undergoing procedures with an established volume-mortality association, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Risk Factors Often Present in Cases of SIDS

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is often accompanied by multiple risk factors, many of which are modifiable, which call for more inclusive and comprehensive risk-reduction education, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Modest Genetic Differences Seen in Streptococcus Strains

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Group A Streptococcus strains from successive epidemics have relatively modest genetic differences but very different global gene expression, which may provide clues about their biology, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Botox Injections Found to Reduce Migraine Frequency

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Migraineurs who received botulinum toxin type A (BTX) injections have substantially decreased frequency of migraine headaches, but the relief is highly dependent on the type of migraine, according to a study in the February issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Poor Sleep Linked to More Car Accidents in Teenagers

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Poor sleep habits are associated with a higher risk of car accidents among teenagers, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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H. Pylori Often Unrelated to Children's Gastrointestinal Pain

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, Helicobacter pylori infection is not likely associated with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP), but it may be associated with unspecified abdominal pain (UAP) and epigastric pain, according to a review published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Superficial Venous Thrombosis May Herald Greater Risks

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Given that many patients with superficial venous thrombosis (SVT) also have deep venous thrombosis (DVT) at presentation, and a considerable number develop thromboembolic complications in following months, SVT may be more of a concern than previously thought, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Outcomes Found to Be Poor in South Carolina Stroke Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In South Carolina, patients hospitalized for an initial stroke have an elevated short- and long-term risk of recurrent stroke, heart attack, vascular death, and all-cause death, according to a study in the Feb. 16 issue of Neurology.

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Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cigar and pipe smoking have been linked with higher urine cotinine levels and airflow obstruction, even in those who have never smoked cigarettes, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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NSAIDs Not Found to Affect Skin Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not have any effect on the risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), according to a California study published online Feb. 15 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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Supplement Shown to Be Helpful in Metformin Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) taking metformin, folic acid supplementation may help enhance metformin's benefits on the vascular endothelium, and maintain homocysteine (Hcy) levels, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Accuracy of Postpartum Screening Tools Evaluated

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is common in postpartum, low-income, urban mothers attending well-child care (WCC) visits, which may be identified by pediatricians with three screening tools, but cutoff scores may need to be changed to more accurately identify depression depending on the population and the screening tool utilized, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Metastatic Prostate Cancer Mechanism Identified

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- An oncogene tumor-suppressor cascade may drive metastatic prostate cancer, according to research published online Feb. 14 in Nature Medicine.

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Keeping Vaccination Records Linked to Greater Compliance

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When parents had children's vaccination records available, children were more likely to be up-to-date on their vaccinations, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Severe Sleep Apnea Linked to Fewer Nightmares

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report fewer nightmares, according to a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Gender Differences Seen in CABG Operative Mortality

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery have significantly higher operative mortality (OM) than men having the same surgery, according to a study in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Gluten-Free Camp Helpful for Children With Celiac Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For children and adolescents with celiac disease, attending a gluten-free camp may at least temporarily improve quality of life, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Rapid H1N1 Flu Test Found to Be of Limited Value in Children

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pediatric H1N1 influenza A virus infection, the rapid influenza diagnostic test has poor sensitivity but excellent specificity, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Treating Herpes May Slow HIV in Co-Infected Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients co-infected with HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2, treating the herpes infection with acyclovir likely delays the progression of HIV, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet.

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Seminal Plasma, Not Cells May Be Key to HIV Transmission

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV infection resulting from men having sex with men (MSM), the infection is likely transmitted via HIV RNA in the plasma constituent of semen, not by the HIV DNA located in seminal cells, according to a study in the Feb. 10 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Lifestyle Changes Found to Improve Endothelial Function

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lifestyle changes such as a low-fat diet and regular exercise improve endothelial function and inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in the Feb. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Physical Activity Surveillance Methods Need Improvement

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Relying on self-reported data to study disparities in physical activity can produce misleading information about population-wide trends, and surveillance should be revised to use more objective methods of data collection, according to research published online Feb. 10 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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2009 H1N1-Related Deaths and Hospitalizations Examined

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided updated estimates of the 2009 H1N1 cases, related hospitalizations and deaths, with approximately 57 million cases occurring between April 2009 and January 2010.

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Immunization Information Systems More Widely Used

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Immunization information systems (IIS) that consolidate vaccination data from different health care providers and can be used to remind and recall patients are becoming more widely used by vaccination grantees, according to an article published in the Feb. 12 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Decaffeinated Coffee May Impair Glucose Metabolism

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although earlier research has linked decaffeinated coffee to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the beverage has been found to impair glucose metabolism in healthy young men, but less so than caffeinated beverages, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Study Suggests Treatment Target for Enlarged Tonsils

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH) may play a role in tonsil enlargement in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and may serve as a target for treating this enlargement, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Fenofibrate Linked to Lower Creatinine Clearance

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of fenofibrate in type 2 diabetes is linked to lowered measures of renal function but has no effect on albumin excretion rate, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Shoulder Injuries Compared in High School Baseball, Softball

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although high school baseball and softball players tend to have similar rates of shoulder injuries, there are factors at play that may help improve preventive efforts, according to research published online Feb. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Eating Walnuts May Improve Diabetic Endothelial Function

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A diet rich in walnuts helps type 2 diabetes patients improve endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, and may in turn reduce their overall cardiac risk, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Stenosis Can Still Exist in Absence of Coronary Calcium

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In contradiction of professional guidelines, the absence of

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