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Category: Geriatrics | Monthly Briefing

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June 2012 Briefing - Geriatrics

Last Updated: July 02, 2012.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Geriatrics for June 2012. 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.

Myrbetriq Approved for Overactive Bladder

FRIDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Myrbetriq (mirabegron) has been approved to treat adults with overactive bladder, a condition affecting some 33 million Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday in a news release.

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Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform Law

THURSDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Supreme Court voted June 28 to uphold the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which has been the subject of debate and multiple lawsuits since its 2010 inception.

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One in Five Newly Admitted to Nursing Home Falls During Stay

THURSDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- About 20 percent of patients who are newly admitted to a nursing home sustain a fall during their stay, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Omega-3 Supplements Reduce Inflammation in Overweight

THURSDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults who are healthy but overweight and sedentary, taking omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can reduce levels of inflammatory markers, according to a study published online May 26 in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

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Hospice Visit Number Affects Ability to Die at Home

WEDNESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Hospice patients with cancer are more likely to be able to die in the setting of their choice if they receive at least one hospice visit per day during the first four days of hospice care, according to research published online June 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Long-Term Adverse Cardiac Outcomes for Low-Carb Diets

WEDNESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Women who follow low carbohydrate-high protein diets have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online June 26 in BMJ.

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Duplicate Payments by Federal Government Increasing

WEDNESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- The federal government spends a substantial and increasing amount on individuals who are dually enrolled in separate managed care programs (the Veterans Affairs health care system [VA] and Medicare Advantage plan [MA]), according to a study published online June 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the Annual Research Meeting of AcademyHealth, held from June 24 to 26 in Orlando, Fla.

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Use of Electronic Records Tied to Fewer Malpractice Claims

TUESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Use of electronic health records (EHRs) is associated with fewer medical malpractice claims among physicians from multiple surgical and medical specialties, according to a research letter published online June 25 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Regional Anesthesia Linked to Better Hip Fracture Outcomes

TUESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Regional anesthesia is associated with a lower risk of death and pulmonary complications compared with general anesthesia in patients undergoing surgery for hip fracture, with improved outcomes specific to patients with intertrochanteric fractures, according to a study published in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Sleep Benefit Seen in Almost Half of Patients With Parkinson's

TUESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Close to half of patients with Parkinson's disease may experience improved motor functioning upon awakening (sleep benefit), according to a study published online May 24 in the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.

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Olmesartan May Be Linked to Spruelike Enteropathy

TUESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients treated with olmesartan may develop a severe form of spruelike enteropathy, which improves after suspension of the drug, according to research published online June 25 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Living Alone Linked to Higher Mortality in Older Adults

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults who live alone have a higher risk of death; and elderly adults who report loneliness experience increased functional decline and an increased risk of death, according to two studies published online June 18 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Eating Disorder Symptoms Evident in Women Over 50

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- For women aged 50 years and older there is wide endorsement of weight and shape concerns and of eating disorder symptoms, dieting, and body checking behaviors, according to a study published online June 21 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

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Genetic Contribution Detected in Responses to Opioids

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- The responses to opioid drugs, such as nausea, respiratory depression, and drug liking or disliking, have a significant inherited component, according to a study published in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Half of Residents Report Working While Sick

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- About half of residents have worked while sick, with many reporting feeling obligated to colleagues and patients, according to a research letter published online June 18 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with worse cognitive function and greater cognitive decline among older adults, according to a study published online June 18 in the Archives of Neurology.

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Deep Brain Stimulation Aids Motor Function in Parkinson's

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- The globus pallidus interna (GPi) and subthalamic nucleus (STN) are both viable deep brain stimulation (DBS) targets for the treatment of motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease, providing stable improvements over 36 months, according to a study published online June 20 in Neurology.

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Diabetes Linked to Increased Cause-Specific Mortality

WEDNESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes is linked with a significantly increased risk of death from many diseases, including specific cancers, in both men and women, according to a study published online June 14 in Diabetes Care.

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Smoking Increases Risk of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

WEDNESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking increases the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma but is not associated with an increased risk of basal cell carcinoma or nonmelanoma skin cancer, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online June 18 in the Archives of Dermatology.

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More Untreated Kidney Failure Seen in Older Adults

TUESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of untreated kidney failure is considerably higher in older adults than in younger adults, according to a study published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fatigue Linked to COPD Severity, Risk of Hospitalization

TUESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fatigue is significantly associated with disease severity, and predicts the risk of hospitalization, according to a study published online June 14 in the European Respiratory Journal.

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Research Suggests Flavocoxid Causes Acute Liver Injury

TUESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Flavocoxid, a proprietary prescription medical food used to treat osteoarthritis, appears to cause acute liver injury within months of initiating use, according to research published in the June 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Poor Outcomes for Hospitalized Patients With Alzheimer's

MONDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalization of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with increased risks of death and institutionalization, with the risk further increased for hospitalized patients with delirium, according to a study published in the June 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Psychological Distress Increases Cerebrovascular Death Risk

MONDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Psychological distress, as assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), is associated with an increased risk of death due to cerebrovascular disease and ischemic heart disease, according to a study published online June 18 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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High-Salt Diet Ups Markers of Endothelial Dysfunction

MONDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- A high-sodium diet is associated with markers of endothelial dysfunction (serum uric acid [SUA] and urine albumin excretion [UAE]), and increased sodium intake in those with high levels of biomarkers correlates with an increased risk of hypertension, according to a study published online June 18 in Circulation.

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Coexistent Lumbar Disorders Complicate Hip Arthroplasty

MONDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty (THA) who have coexistent lumbar spine disorders (LSDs) do not report as much improvement in pain and function after arthroplasty compared with patients without lumbar disorders, according to a study published in the May issue of The Spine Journal.

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Review: Vitamin D Plus Calcium Linked to Mortality Reduction

FRIDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Analyses of data from individual patients and trials indicate that vitamin D supplementation in combination with calcium is linked to a reduction in mortality for elderly adults, but this effect is not seen for vitamin D alone, according to research published online May 17 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Factors ID'd in Healing Failure of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

FRIDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetes whose foot ulcers fail to heal have increased inflammation and aberrant growth factor levels, according to a study published online June 11 in Diabetes.

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Testosterone Therapy Does Not Up Prostate Cancer Incidence

FRIDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) appears to be safe and does not increase the incidence of prostate cancer, according to a study published online June 6 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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CDC: Preventive Health Services Underused Before 2010

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Prior to 2010, only about half of all U.S. adults received key preventive health services, according to a report published in the June 15 supplement of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Cognitive Benefit of Omega-3s in Older Adults Questioned

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) supplementation has no benefit on cognitive function in cognitively healthy older people, according to a review published online June 13 in The Cochrane Library.

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Female APOE ε4 Carriers Have Preclinical Signs of Alzheimer's

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy elderly women carrying the apolipoprotein E type 4 allele (APOE ε4) show changes in the brain's memory network characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, which can be observed before any symptoms appear, according to a study published in the June 13 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

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Trend Shows Early Menopause Linked to Cerebral Aneurysm

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Younger age of menopause is associated with a trend toward an increased likelihood of cerebral aneurysm, according to a study published online June 13 in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

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Statins Exhibit Adverse Effect on Energy, Exertional Fatigue

THURSDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- For relatively healthy individuals, particularly women, statin use may be associated with reduced energy and exertional fatigue, according to a research letter published online June 11 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Fatal Airway Necrosis Noted After Stereotactic Body Radiation

WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- A woman who was treated with stereotactic body-radiation therapy (SBRT) for two non-metastasized non-small-cell lung cancers died from fatal central-airway necrosis, according to a case report published in the June 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fecal Incontinence Costs ~$4,000 Per Patient Annually

WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Direct medical and nonmedical costs, plus indirect costs, including loss of productivity, for the treatment of fecal incontinence average $4,110 per patient annually, according to a study published in the May issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum.

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Curbing Antibiotic Prophylaxis Doesn't Up Endocarditis Risk

WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of viridans group streptococci infective endocarditis (VGS-IE) has not increased since the publication of the 2007 American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines restricting prophylactic antibiotics in dental patients, according to a study published online June 11 in Circulation.

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Poor Oral Hygiene Found Predictive of Cancer Mortality

WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Poor oral hygiene, as determined by an increased amount of dental plaque, is a significant and independent predictor of cancer-related death, according to a study published online June 11 in BMJ Open.

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Cannabinoid Formulation Benefits Opioid-Refractory Pain

WEDNESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- A novel cannabinoid formulation, nabiximols, is safe and effective for patients with advanced cancer and opioid-refractory pain, especially at a low-dose, according to a study published in the May issue of The Journal of Pain.

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Task Force Questions Use of Vitamin D, Calcium Supplements

TUESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Current evidence is insufficient to support the use of vitamin D and calcium supplements to protect against cancer or osteoporotic fractures, according to a draft recommendation issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

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Gender Gap Exists in Physician Researchers' Salaries

TUESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- A survey of mid-career academic physician researchers shows that gender differences in salary exist even after adjusting for differences in specialty, institutional characteristics, academic productivity, academic rank, and work hours, according to a study published in the June 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Short-Term Meditation Improves Brain Function

TUESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Meditating for only a few weeks leads to improved white matter changes in areas of the brain linked to self-regulation, according to a study published online June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Walking Speed May Be Early Marker of Cognitive Impairment

MONDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- For elderly patients, walking speed and its variability may help distinguish individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from those with normal cognition, according to a study published in the June 12 issue of Neurology.

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Many PCPs Recommend Colorectal Cancer Screening in Elderly

MONDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial portion of primary care physicians (PCPs) recommend screening elderly patients with advanced cancer for colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study published online June 1 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Three Percent of Hip, Knee Replacements Need Critical Care

FRIDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Three percent of patients who undergo knee and hip replacements require critical care services (CCS), and they are more likely to be older and have more comorbidities than those who do not require CCS, according to a study published online May 24 in Anesthesiology.

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Prediabetes Linked to Increased Risk of Stroke

FRIDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Prediabetes may be associated with a higher risk of future stroke if defined as impaired glucose tolerance or a combination of impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance, according to a study published online June 7 in BMJ.

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Prevalence, Predictors of Interval Colorectal Cancer ID'd

FRIDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- A variety of procedural and biologic factors contribute to the development of interval colorectal cancers, seen in 7.2 percent of Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of Cancer.

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Higher Risk of VTE in CKD Surgical Patients on Enoxaparin

FRIDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who undergo total hip replacement (THR), the rate of major venous thromboembolism (VTE) is significantly higher in those treated with enoxaparin compared to those treated with desirudin, according to a study published online June 4 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Link Between Vascular Disease and Disc Height Loss Examined

FRIDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- The association between vascular disease, as measured by abdominal aortic calcifications (AACs), and disc height loss is independent of cardiovascular disease and is largely explained by patient age, gender, and body mass index (BMI), according to a study published in the April issue of The Spine Journal.

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Venous Thromboembolism Up in Adult Hospitalizations

THURSDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Every year, more than half a million hospitalized U.S. adults acquire venous thromboembolism (VTE), a growing public health concern that is often preventable, according to research published in the June 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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Hospital Observation Services Rising for Medicare Enrollees

THURSDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- From 2007 to 2009, there was an increase in the prevalence and duration of hospital observation services for Medicare beneficiaries, according to a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

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Elevated Antibody Component Tied to Worse General Survival

THURSDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged and elderly individuals with elevated levels of immunoglobulin free light chains (FLCs), without plasma cell disorders, have a two-fold higher risk of death, according to a study published in the June issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Low Risk of Herpes Zoster Recurrence in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- For older immunocompetent adults, the risk of herpes zoster recurrence following a recent initial episode is fairly low in both vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts, according to a study published online June 4 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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Endurance Training May Induce Adverse Cardiac Remodeling

WEDNESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Excessive endurance training may induce adverse cardiovascular remodeling in some individuals, according to a review published in the June issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Many Adults May Accidentally Overdose on Acetaminophen

WEDNESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- About a quarter of adults may accidentally overdose on over-the-counter (OTC) acetaminophen-containing products, and almost half overdose by "double-dipping" with two acetaminophen-containing products, according to a study published online May 26 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Telephone Therapy Effective for Treating Depression

TUESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy (T-CBT) correlates with reduced attrition and similar post-treatment improvement in depression compared to face-to-face CBT, but at six months, those who undergo face-to-face CBT are significantly less depressed, according to a study published in the June 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Troponin T May Help Predict Death After Noncardiac Surgery

TUESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated peak troponin T (TnT) measurements in the first three days after noncardiac surgery are associated with an increased risk of 30-day mortality, according to a study published in the June 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Aspirin Ups Risk of Bleeding in All But Diabetes Patients

TUESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin use is associated with an increased risk of major bleeding, while patients with diabetes have a high risk of bleeding, independent of aspirin use, according to a study published in the June 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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In A-Fib, Rhythm Control Reduces Mortality in Long Term

TUESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with atrial fibrillation have reduced mortality over the long term if they initiate rhythm control treatment rather than rate control treatment, according to a study published online June 4 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Pollution Exposure, Obesity Linked to Poor Asthma Control

TUESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Higher exposure to traffic pollutants and obesity increase the likelihood of poor asthma control in older adults, according to a study published in the June issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Many Patients Keep Using PPIs After Negative GERD Test

TUESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of patients continue to use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) even after pH studies confirm that they do not have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and most do not recall being instructed to stop taking PPIs, according to a study published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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More Fruit, Veggies, Exercise Ups Survival in Older Women

MONDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Higher fruit and vegetable intake combined with exercise improves survival in older women, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Soy-Rich Diet Not Found to Improve Global Cognition

MONDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term dietary supplementation with isoflavone-rich soy protein does not appear to improve the global cognition of healthy postmenopausal women, according to research published in the June 5 issue of Neurology.

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Ischemic Stroke Risk Higher in Women With A-Fib

FRIDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women with atrial fibrillation have a moderately higher risk of ischemic stroke than men, even after accounting for multiple cofactors for stroke, according to a study published online May 31 in BMJ.

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Global Cancer Incidence Set to Top 20 Million Per Year by 2030

FRIDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Assuming current trends continue, the global incidence of all-cancer cases is set to increase to more than 20 million per year by 2030, according to a study published online June 1 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Dark Chocolate May Prevent Cardio Events in High-Risk

FRIDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with metabolic syndrome at high risk for cardiovascular events, daily consumption of dark chocolate offers a long-term, cost-effective way of reducing the number of cardiovascular events, according to a study published online May 31 in BMJ.

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