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October 2008 Briefing - Ophthalmology

Last Updated: November 03, 2008.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Ophthalmology for October 2008. 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.

Credit Crisis to Take Long-Term Toll on Health System

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Although in the short term the United Kingdom's National Health Service may avoid any serious impact from the credit crisis, in the medium to long term it will stall funding increases at the same time as worsening social deprivation and unemployment will put more pressure on its services, according to a feature published online on Oct. 28 in the BMJ.

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US Medical Schools Expand Enrollment to Meet Demand

FRIDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In response to the increasing demand for physicians, U.S. medical schools have increased first-year enrollment to more than 18,000 students, the highest enrollment in history, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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Placebo Treatments Commonly Utilized

FRIDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians utilizing placebo treatments may not be fully transparent about their use, according to research published Oct. 23 in BMJ Online First.

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Financial Bailout Puts US Health Care Reform in Jeopardy

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The health care reform plans of the two U.S. presidential campaigns are both likely to suffer implementation setbacks due to the government's $700 billion bailout of the country's troubled financial sector, according to an article published online Oct. 22 in The Lancet Oncology.

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UK Researchers Demand Regulatory Relief

FRIDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- High-quality clinical research is essential, but a poorly coordinated, inconsistent and illogical bureaucracy placed on investigators threatens continuation of clinical research in the United Kingdom, according to a report published online Oct. 16 in BMJ.

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Intracranial Hypertension Linked to Vision Loss in Men

THURSDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Men with idiopathic intracranial hypertension were substantially more likely to develop severe vision loss than women, according to research published online Oct. 15 in Neurology.

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Thyroid Problems Linked to Increased Glaucoma Risk

THURSDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with thyroid problems may have an increased risk of developing glaucoma, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 16 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Diabetes Nearly Doubles the Risk of Visual Impairment

MONDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes is strongly associated with an increased prevalence of both correctable and non-correctable visual impairments, according to a report published in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Sun Exposure, Antioxidant Status May Predict AMD Risk

MONDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of blue light exposure and low blood levels of antioxidants may be associated with an increased risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as early AMD, according to research published in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

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Gene Variants Affect Risk of Macular Degeneration

TUESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Variations of a gene involved in the complement pathway, a component of innate immunity that removes pathogens and unwanted host material, affect the likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 7 in The Lancet.

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Standard Eye Test for Preschoolers Performs Poorly

THURSDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The fixation preference test, widely used by eye specialists to test vision in preschoolers, fails to accurately identify interocular differences in visual acuity, according to an article published in the October issue of Ophthalmology, while a related article concludes that the incidence of decreased visual acuity among children aged 30 months through 71 months is very low.

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