Merck said the shortage of its pediatric hepatitis B recombinant vaccine will continue through the rest of this year due to an ongoing manufacturing problem. GlaxoSmithKline will step in with its own pediatric vaccines to fulfill US demand, the CDC said.
CDC researchers analyzed more than 2,000 semen and urine samples to test for the presence of the Zika virus after symptom onset, and found that the majority of semen contained the Zika genetic footprint for about 30 days, but the infectious virus was present in only 4%. The findings, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, also showed that Zika infection through sexual transmission usually occurred within 20 days after symptom manifestation.
On days when California wildfires created dense fog, there was a 42% increase in hospital emergency department visits for heart attack and a 22% hike in visits for ischemic heart disease in older patients, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers analyzed data from more than 1 million ED visits in 2015 in the eight California air basins with the greatest smoke exposure.
Middle-aged men who spent at least 10 hours a day sedentary had a 15% increased risk of developing bladder problems, compared with those who spent less than five hours sitting daily, according to a study in BJU International. South Korean researchers evaluated 69,795 men with an average age of 40 and no history of bladder disease and found that those who had high physical activity levels were at a 7% reduced risk of developing urinary problems, while those who engaged in even a little exercise had a 6% reduced risk, compared to men who were inactive.
French researchers found that mental illnesses ranked second among the causes of disability-adjusted life-years for youths ages 5 to 14 in the Americas and Europe in 2015, up from third place in 2000. The findings in the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health showed that conduct disorders, anxiety disorders, major depressive disorders and autism-Asperger's syndrome were among the 20 diseases linked to the most disability-adjusted life-years among children living in most regions.
Research published in Lancet Psychiatry found patients who had any type of traumatic brain injury had a 24% higher risk of dementia than those who did not experience a TBI. Even experiencing one mild TBI increased the risk of dementia by 17%.
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Use of the I-PASS handoff technique was associated with fewer major and minor harm events in a study of 32 hospitals that varied in size, setting and patient populations, researchers reported at the Society of Hospital Medicine 2018 Annual Meeting. Earlier research showed the model was effective in reducing medical errors in pediatric hospitals.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare spending will increase by 3% this year, a slower rate than in the past. From 2019 to 2028, it is projected to grow 7% each year to reach $1.2 trillion by 2028.
Congressional Republicans and Democrats are united in a desire to address opioid misuse, and four House and Senate committees are exploring options and drafting legislation. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., says the subcommittee he chairs intends to send a package of bills to the full Senate by the end of April, and House leaders want to pass legislation before Memorial Day.
A study in Health Affairs found about 80% of uninsured patients willing to pay in full were able to obtain an appointment with a primary care clinician, while just 1 in 7 who needed to pay over time could secure a doctor's appointment in 2012-2013 and 2016. Federally qualified health centers were more likely to offer low-income discounts than private physician offices.
Pharmaceutical companies, payers and Congress have been unable -- or unwilling -- to drive down drug costs. Can big retailers make a difference? Natasha Bhuyan, M.D., discusses the issue in this Fresh Perspectives blog post.
Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance; you have to work at it.
Margaret Atwood, writer
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