Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology 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.
Spinal Stenosis Cases Can Be Managed Nonoperatively
FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with spinal stenosis, those without concomitant degenerative spondylolisthesis or scoliosis can be managed nonoperatively regardless of the number of levels; and, if surgery is performed, the number of levels treated does not predict outcome. However, among patients with concomitant degenerative spondylolisthesis, those with only single level stenosis tend to improve more than those with multilevel stenosis, especially after surgery, according to a research published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gout Associated With Higher Heart Attack Risk in Women
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Gout is associated with an increased risk of heart attack in women, as previously observed in men, although the risk is higher in women, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Systemic Treatment Deemed Effective for Giant-Cell Tumor
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Denosumab, an antibody that targets cells involved in bone destruction, is the first systemic treatment shown to be effective in treating giant-cell tumor, a rare osteolytic tumor that can metastasize to the lung, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in The Lancet Oncology.
Laparoscopic Practice Takes Physical Toll on Surgeons
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Many surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgery suffer pain, numbness, stiffness, fatigue and other physical symptoms, often as a result of high case load, according to a study published online Dec. 24 ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Dietary Supplement Suspected of Causing Selenium Poisoning
THURSDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A liquid dietary supplement that contained 200 times the labeled concentration of selenium caused a widespread outbreak of selenium poisoning affecting 201 people in 10 states, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
AHRQ: U.S. Adults Seeing Big Barriers to Specialty Care
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In 2007, about one in 13 of U.S. adults reported that access to specialist care was a "big problem," according to a December report issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
FDA Initiative Aims to Cut Medical Radiation Exposure
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new initiative that aims to reduce exposure to radiation from computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy, the three procedures that are the main sources of medically-related radiation exposure.
Drug Found to Inhibit, Reverse Osteoporosis in Rodents
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- An investigational drug that blocks the synthesis of serotonin in the gut prevents and reverses osteoporosis in a rodent model of the disease by promoting bone formation, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in Nature Medicine.
H1N1 Vaccination Still Highly Recommended
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Despite H1N1 virus levels stabilizing, transmission remains an issue and vaccination continues to be an effective option for prevention of this potentially serious condition, according to a Feb. 5 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Many American Adults Do Not Get Recommended Vaccines
MONDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although most parents ensure their children are vaccinated, adults often do not receive recommended vaccinations themselves, according to a new report, Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives.
Coalition Launches Campaign to Limit Residents' Hours
FRIDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- To prevent medical errors caused by doctor fatigue, a coalition of public interest and patient safety groups is urging the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to limit the amount of time residents must work without sleep to 16 hours and to increase resident supervision.
Health Care Spending Makes Record Leap in GDP Share
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A growth in health spending in 2009, coupled with a sagging economy, created the largest one-year jump in health care's share of the nation's gross domestic product since 1960, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in Health Affairs.
Views of Physicians, Patients Differ on Spinal Surgery
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons, family physicians, and their patients have different perceptions of what constitutes good grounds for spinal surgery, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.
Diversity Growth Incremental in the Medical Professions
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One hundred years after the Flexner Report recommended closing five of the seven African-American medical schools then extant, African-Americans and other minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the medical professions, according to an article in the February issue of Academic Medicine.
Surgery Not Necessarily Better for Lumbar Disc Herniation
THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Both surgical and non-surgical treatments for lumbar disc herniation are effective, and the relative long-term benefits of surgery may differ depending on whether or not the patient has workers' compensation, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.
The Lancet Retracts Study Linking MMR Vaccine, Autism
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- On Feb. 2, The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 study that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism and gastrointestinal problems.
Xiaflex Approved for Rare Hand Condition
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (Xiaflex) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first drug to treat a disabling hand condition called Dupuytren's contracture.
Study Assesses Computer Use in Individuals With RA
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Many people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can type on a computer as quickly as someone without the condition, but their use of a mouse may be slower, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
President Proposes $911 Billion Budget for HHS
TUESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As part of his 2011 budget proposal, President Barack Obama has proposed $911 billion for the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Department, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.
Antioxidants Found to Alter Muscle Oxygen Use in Rats
MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Antioxidants alter the pattern of oxygen delivery and consumption in resting and contracting muscle in aged rats, according to recent studies at Kansas State University, including research originally published in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Algorithm Developed to Segment the Meniscus in MRIs
MONDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Semi-automated segmentation of magnetic resonance images can accurately assess the lateral meniscus in patients with and without knee osteoarthritis, according to a study published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.
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