AAFP launches Speak Out campaign to support THC funding | CDC data show decreasing cholesterol rates among US adults | Gastroesophageal reflux drug use prevalent among preemies
December 2, 2016
Family Medicine SmartBrief
Top Story
AAFP launches Speak Out campaign to support THC funding
The AAFP started a Speak Out campaign to help members urge lawmakers to approve long-term, consistent funding for teaching health centers. The Academy offers a prewritten message physicians can send to lawmakers regarding funding for the THC Graduate Medical Education program, which provides direct funding to community-based teaching sites but is to expire on Sept. 30, 2017.
AAFP News (11/30) 
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Clinical News
CDC data show decreasing cholesterol rates among US adults
Researchers found that average total cholesterol levels of US adults went down by 15 milligrams per deciliter between 1999-2000 and 2013-2014. The study in JAMA Cardiology found decreasing levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, and researchers said declines were stronger among patients who did not take cholesterol-lowering medications, indicating the removal of trans fats from foods may be having an effect.
Reuters (11/30) 
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Gastroesophageal reflux drug use prevalent among preemies
A study in Pediatrics found that 37% of preterm babies received prescriptions for gastroesophageal reflux medications, 77% of whom began using the drugs after NICU discharge. The findings also showed that 40% had more than one GER medication and 43% of those who initiated drug use before age 6 months continued medication at age 12 months.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (11/30) 
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Analysis ties statin use to lower advanced colorectal adenoma risk
An analysis of study data in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found the use of statins was linked to a lower risk of advanced colorectal adenoma. The findings, based on data from six studies involving 13,239 patients, did not show any significant association between statin use and the risk of colorectal adenoma. "Statins may prevent neoplastic progression of adenomas rather the development of adenomas," said the authors.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (11/30) 
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Study links cancer to elevated heart attack risk
A study of data from more than 2,300 patients who experienced ST-elevation myocardial infarction found one in 10 had a history of cancer. The findings, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, also showed cancer survivors had a three times increased risk of non-cardiac mortality, a greater likelihood of cardiogenic shock and a higher risk of being hospitalized for heart failure.
United Press International (12/1),  The Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (12/1) 
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Group: Vegetarian, vegan diets healthy at all ages
A vegetarian or vegan diet can be healthy for people of all ages, including pregnant women and the elderly, according to a position statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian nutritionist Vandana Sheth said these diets must be balanced and well planned to ensure they contain sufficient nutrients.
Reuters (12/1) 
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Practice Management
Study finds many PCPs use panel tests for pediatric food allergies
Forty-five percent of pediatric food allergy tests ordered by primary care physicians were panel tests, compared with 1.2% of allergists' orders, according to a study in Pediatrics based on one-year food allergy testing data at a hospital in Ohio. Using panel tests instead of testing for allergens individually may prompt food allergy misdiagnosis and unnecessary diet restrictions that can increase the risk of stunted growth, nutritional deficiencies and true allergies in children, said study author and physician David Stukus.
Reuters (12/1) 
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Health Policy & Legislation
Report urges FDA to revamp food allergy warnings
A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report called on the FDA to revise food allergy warning labels to make them less confusing and more specific about the level of risk people face. The report said more studies are needed on how many adults and children are affected by food allergies and recommended the FDA replace its current use of precautionary labels with a risk-based approach.
The Associated Press (11/30) 
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US to implement nationwide smoking ban in public housing
The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a final rule to prohibit smoking in all public housing developments nationwide within the next 18 months to reduce smoking health risks, particularly for children and the elderly. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids supported the action but said HUD also should have applied the ban to electronic cigarettes.
NBC News/The Associated Press (11/30) 
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Professional Issues & Trends
VA to build "medical knowledge graph" with Flow Health
The Department of Veterans Affairs signed a five-year partnership with Flow Health to develop a "medical knowledge graph" that will be used to help train artificial intelligence apps and inform decision-making for better patient care. "Developing artificial intelligence which can automatically identify the best diagnostic and treatment pathways will assist clinicians in delivering precision medicine to every veteran," said Robert Rowley, M.D., chief medical officer at Flow Health.
Health Data Management (11/30) 
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Inside the AAFP
AAFP CareerLink is giving away a free iPad
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About AAFP
This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in Family Medicine SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to http://aafp.org.
External Resources are not a part of the AAFP website. AAFP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAFP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAFP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.

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