Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for October 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.
Medical School Enrollment Continues to Expand
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 18,400 students enrolled in medical school in the United States in 2009, a 2 percent increase over the previous year, but even more expansion is needed to meet future demand, according to an Oct. 20 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Gene Therapy Shows Promise in Inherited Sight Disorder
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Gene therapy for a rare inherited sight disorder in which severely impaired vision in childhood usually results in blindness in adulthood can substantially improve vision, particularly in children, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in The Lancet.
Some Hospital Staff Predicted to Be Infection Superspreaders
THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital staff such as therapists and radiologists who are in contact with all patients have the potential to be superspreaders of infection if they fail to wash their hands regularly, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Sources Find Different Numbers of Active Physicians
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Estimates from U.S. Census Bureau surveys find fewer older physicians remaining active compared with the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile data, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
FDA Launches Drug Disposal Advice Web Page
FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new Web page for consumers to educate them on the safe disposal of certain medicines that can be dangerous or even fatal if they end up in the wrong hands.
Normal-Tension Glaucoma Treatment Options Explored
THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Untreated intraocular pressure and zone β variables of peripapillary atrophy may serve as risk factors for normal-tension glaucoma (NTG) in young individuals with moderate to severe vision loss, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.
More Very Preterm Births Is Raising Retinopathy Incidence
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing number of extremely preterm babies who are surviving is increasing the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.
Study Evaluates Hospital Quality and Mortality Rates
TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital mortality rates in the United States have improved, although major differences in quality still exist between the best and worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 13 by HealthGrades.
Early AMD May Increase Heart Disease Risk in Older Adults
TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may be at higher risk of coronary heart disease, according to the Cardiovascular Health Study published in the October issue of Ophthalmology.
Visual Impairment May Affect Mortality Risk in Elders
MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Visual impairment that cannot be corrected increases the odds of mortality in older adults, especially among those younger than 75, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.
Health Care Disparities Among States Found to Be Widening
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing health care costs and growing disparities in coverage among U.S. states point to the urgent need for national health care reform, according to an Oct. 8 state-by-state report card from the Commonwealth Fund Commission, a private foundation supporting research on the health care system.
Organ Donor Family Consent Request Protocols Compared
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Organ donation using collaborative requesting instead of routine requesting by a patient's clinician may not provide increases in consent rates, according to an unblinded, multi-center, randomized controlled trial performed in the United Kingdom published Oct. 8 in BMJ.
Roundtable Discussion Tackles Health Care Reform
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The health care payment system, the role of consumers in responsible health care spending, and the use of comparative-effectiveness research were topics covered in a roundtable discussion with several health economics experts published in the Oct. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Medical Students Want More Practice of Medicine Training
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students in the United States perceive that they are not getting enough training in the practice of medicine, particularly in medical economics, according to a study in the September issue of Academic Medicine.
Midlife Vision Linked to Early Childhood Factors
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal, childhood biological and social determinants may contribute to midlife visual function, according to a study in the October issue of Ophthalmology.
Effectiveness and Cost Help to Make Coverage Decisions
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Countries using evidence-based cost-effectiveness and effectiveness to help make drug coverage decisions show how these factors can successfully support decision making and can also be adapted to the specific conditions of other countries, according to a study in the Oct. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Visual Loss Lower in Recently Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetics
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in more recent years have less prevalence of visual impairment than those diagnosed earlier, according to a study in the October issue of Ophthalmology.
Low-Contrast Visibility May Be Issue for Parkinson's Drivers
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Drivers with Parkinson's disease may be more prone to poor vehicle control and crashes while driving in low-contrast visibility conditions due to issues with perception, cognition and motor dysfunction, according to a study in the Oct. 6 issue of Neurology.
Surgical Masks Found to Be Non-Inferior to Respirators
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical masks may be no less effective than N95 respirators in preventing influenza in health care workers, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Retinal Detachment More Common Among Affluent
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Retinal detachment is a condition that afflicts the affluent more than lower socioeconomic groups, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
CDC Says States Not Meeting Fruit and Veggie Objectives
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a Sept. 29 press release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no U.S. state is currently meeting the national Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption.
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