Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for August 2009. 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.
Narcotics Linked to Patient Satisfaction for Low Back Pain
MONDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic low back pain are more likely to be satisfied with their provider if they receive narcotics, and more likely to seek another provider if they lack insurance, according to a study in the September issue of The Spine Journal.
Quality of Care Unchanged Under New Payment System
FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of a fixed-price, payment-by-results system for hospitals in the United Kingdom, beginning in 2002, has reduced the length of hospital stays and increased day case (outpatient) admissions, but has had no measurable effect on quality of care, according to a study published Aug. 27 in BMJ.
Strong Thighs Affect Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms
FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Although thigh strength does not seem to affect the likelihood of developing knee osteoarthritis, it may predict the likelihood of patients detecting symptoms of the condition, according to a study published in the Sept. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Obesity's Effect on Anterior Spine Surgery Examined
THURSDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Obese patients undergoing anterior lumbar surgery may have similar complications and time to ambulation as non-obese patients, according to research published in the September issue of The Spine Journal.
Muscle Pressure and Oxygen Not Linked in Back Muscles
THURSDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Intramuscular pressure generally does not correlate with oxygen saturation in the multifidus muscle of healthy young men in various postures, according to a study in the September issue of The Spine Journal.
Annual Radiation Exposure Often High in Younger Adults
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In young and middle-aged adults, imaging procedures are a significant source of exposure to ionizing radiation and in some cases can lead to high and very high cumulative effective doses, according to a study published in the Aug. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Department Issues New HIPAA Notification Regulations
TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new regulations on Aug. 19 requiring entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to notify individuals after their health information has been breached.
New Cement Shows Promise for Use in Vertebroplasty
FRIDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new bone substitute material may offer advantages when used in vertebroplasty compared to polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), according to research from an animal study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Spine.
Herbal Remedy May Be Effective in Rheumatoid Arthritis
TUESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with active rheumatoid arthritis, treatment with peeled roots of the Chinese herbal remedy Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TwHF) may be effective and safe, according to a study published in the Aug. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Knee Graft Can Be Effective in Surgery to Relieve Neck Pain
TUESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The fusion rate of anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion with allograft patella to relieve cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy is 86 percent, similar to other allografts, according to a study in the August issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.
Depression Shows Several Effects in Rheumatoid Arthritis
FRIDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, depression severity was associated with inflammation, and depression in the spouse predicted a worse disease course in patients, according to two studies published in the Aug. 15 Arthritis Care & Research.
Neck-Shoulder-Arm Pain Trends in Stockholm Studied
FRIDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of self-reported nonspecific neck-shoulder-arm pain and concurrent low back pain or psychological distress has increased in Stockholm County, Sweden, over the past 16 years, but may finally be starting a decline, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of Spine.
Alarm Symptoms Often Do Not Result in Timely Diagnosis
FRIDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients who present with certain alarm symptoms, including hematuria and rectal bleeding, do not receive a diagnosis in a reasonable amount of time, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in BMJ.
FDA Aims to Ease Access to Investigational Drugs
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published two new rules to help seriously ill patients gain access to investigational drugs and biologics, according to an Aug. 12 release issued by the agency.
Denosumab Linked to Lower Fracture Risk in Two Groups
TUESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Denosumab is linked to a reduction in fractures in women with osteoporosis and in men undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy for non-metastatic prostate cancer, according to two studies published online Aug. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
HHS Releases Reports on Health Insurance Reform
FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a series of state-by-state reports that outline its conclusions on the effects health insurance reform would have on health care for Americans, according to an Aug. 7 release issued by the agency.
Infliximab Effective in Arthritis Resistant to Methotrexate
FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In early rheumatoid arthritis patients who have failed methotrexate treatment, the addition of infliximab is more effective than conventional arthritis drugs, according to a study in the Aug. 8 issue of The Lancet.
Stroke Can Increase Risk of Hip or Femur Fracture
FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stroke are twice as likely to experience a hip or femur fracture, a risk that is greatest in patients who are under 71 years of age, female, and who recently had a stroke, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in Stroke.
Efficacy of Vertebroplasty for Osteoporotic Fractures Tested
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with painful, osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures, vertebroplasty appears to be no more beneficial than placebo, according to two studies published in the Aug. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Apixaban, Enoxaparin Show Similar Efficacy in Trial
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Apixaban, an inhibitor of factor Xa, was not shown to be non-inferior to enoxaparin for efficacy of thromboprophylaxis following knee replacement, according to research published in the Aug. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
FDA Requiring Stronger Warnings for TNF Blockers
TUESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now requiring that the prescribing information for tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers contain stronger warnings, including an updated boxed warning, according to an Aug. 4 release issued by the agency.
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