Representatives of the AAFP and five other physician groups urged US senators considering the American Health Care Act to maintain health insurance coverage guarantees and access to health care, and pointed out flaws in the House-passed legislation. "We emphasized how important it was to keep the consumer protections regarding health benefits in the current law," said AAFP President John Meigs, M.D.
EU upholds conclusion that sucralose is safe The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) EFSA Journal upholds that research on sucralose shows it to be safe and does not cause cancer. This is welcome news from a leading health authority and reaffirms that SPLENDA® Sweeteners are a safe option for those wanting to reduce their sugar intake.
A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests many adults under age 40 may not need routine cholesterol tests. Researchers looked at data on 9,600 adults ages 30 to 49 and found that for nonsmokers with normal blood pressure, there was little heightened risk of a heart attack over the next decade.
A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found women who experienced menopause earlier than the average age of 47 had an increased risk of heart failure, while the risk decreased 1% for every additional year before onset. The findings, based on data for 28,516 women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative, also showed women who never gave birth had a 2.75 times higher risk of diastolic heart failure, compared with those who had children.
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine reported that incidental findings were noted in more than half of patients who underwent imaging for chest pain, yet only 7% of the incidental findings were clinically significant. Follow-up in such cases contributed to longer hospitalization, which the authors note raises costs and exposes patients to hospital-acquired health problems.
A study in Diabetes Care showed that 35.5% of adults who attended the US National Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based program developed by the CDC, for an average of 14 sessions through the year achieved their body weight-loss goal of 5% and 41.8% reported achieving the physical activity goal of 150 minutes a week. Researchers analyzed data from 14,747 adults who were enrolled in DPPs from 2012 to 2016 and found that every 30 minutes of weekly activity reported and each additional session attended was tied to a 0.3% body weight reduction.
A study in Nature Reviews Rheumatology showed that regular exercise and a healthy diet could reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. UK researchers note that poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle could lead to metabolic changes that force cells in the body and joints to produce alternate energy sources, which could lead to overproduction of glucose and to osteoarthritis.
The AAFP has mailed new immunization resources to active and resident members, including full-color copies of the 2017 adult, childhood/adolescent and catch-up immunization schedules and guidance on talking with parents about infant immunizations. "As physicians, it's our job to inform our patients of the facts, and this includes the life-saving value and overall safety of immunizations," said Jennifer Frost, M.D., medical director for the AAFP's Health of the Public and Science Division.
Progress on expanding insurance coverage in the US faltered last year after five years of gains, the CDC reports. The agency estimates that 28.6 million people lacked coverage in 2016, translating to a 9% uninsured rate, statistically no different from 2015's uninsured rate of 9.1%.
A Commonwealth Fund report found that 40% of Medicare beneficiaries with an annual income of less than $24,000 spend at least 20% of that income on Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. About 45% of people covered by Medicare have annual incomes below that threshold, and many lack supplemental coverage through Medigap or Medicaid, leaving them with higher out-of-pocket costs.
The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative will use a pilot program to help health care organizations share patient data across state lines. "The infrastructure that we're building with the Patient-Centered Data Home gives patients confidence that their records can follow them across the health system while adhering to their privacy preferences," said SHIEC board member David Kendrick.
Watch the AAFP webcast Gout and Your Patients: Diagnosis, Treatment and Management to better assess and care for your patients who have gout. Earn 1 AAFP Prescribed credit, and up to 2 additional AAFP Prescribed credits when you complete the Translation to Practice (t2p) process. This CME activity is funded by an educational grant to the AAFP from AstraZeneca.
Strong medicine. Strong doctors. FMX—the AAFP's largest annual meeting-is the gathering place for physicians to be empowered by—and for—family medicine. Attendees earn CME, experience inspirational speakers, make powerful connections, and find patient care solutions. Learn more and register.
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