CDC report summarizes ACIP influenza vaccine recommendations | Bariatric surgery, lifestyle changes can improve liver disease | Fewer moles may indicate higher risk for more aggressive melanoma
August 24, 2015
Family Medicine SmartBrief

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CDC report summarizes ACIP influenza vaccine recommendations
A CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report summarizes this year's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendations for seasonal influenza vaccine use. Many of the current recommendations are the same as those made last year, but the AAFP's liaison to ACIP, Margot Savoy, M.D., M.P.H., said one challenge for physicians will be determining when children need two vaccine doses rather than one. AAFP News (8/21)
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Clinical News
Bariatric surgery, lifestyle changes can improve liver disease
Weight loss, whether through bariatric surgery or lifestyle changes, helped improve liver conditions for patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, according to two studies reported in the journal Gastroenterology. A Cuban study found that obese or overweight patients who lost at least 10% of their weight after changing their lifestyle for a year had NASH resolved and liver scarring reversed. A separate French study found that 85% of obese NASH patients were free from the disease a year after undergoing bariatric surgery. HealthDay News (8/21)
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Fewer moles may indicate higher risk for more aggressive melanoma
An analysis of the health records of 281 patients with melanoma found that those with fewer than 50 moles were more likely to have thicker and more aggressive forms of the disease and to be diagnosed at older ages compared with those who had more than 50 moles. The findings were presented at an American Academy of Dermatology meeting. News (8/20)
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Study: AMI risk is same with insulin analogs, basal insulin therapies
German researchers found no significant difference in the risk of acute myocardial infarction in patients with type 2 diabetes who used long-acting insulin analogs or other basal insulin therapies, according to a study in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. The findings, based on 21,501 new insulin users, revealed no association between AMI in diabetes patients using long-acting analog insulin or premixed insulin, but a higher AMI risk was seen for patients on premixed insulin compared with those on analog insulin. News (8/20)
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PFASs may be passed to babies through breast milk, study shows
Children who were exclusively breast-fed had increased blood concentrations of perfluorinated alkylate substances, chemicals used in consumer products, compared to those partially breast-fed, according to a study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. High blood concentrations of these chemicals may lower the effectiveness of some vaccinations, researchers said. HealthDay News (8/21)
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Practice ManagementAdvertisement
Study: Patients with better physician support lose more weight
A government-funded weight loss study that included 347 obese patients found those who gave their primary care physicians the highest ratings for helpfulness had an average weight loss of 11 pounds, compared with about 5 pounds for those who gave their physician the lowest ratings, researchers reported in Patient Education and Counseling. "This trial supports other evidence that providers are very important in their patients' weight-loss efforts," said Johns Hopkins University researcher Wendy Bennett, M.D., M.P.H. HealthDay News (8/21)
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Physicians turn to Google Glass as a medical training tool
Medical professionals have found Google Glass especially useful for training and are said to be looking forward to an expected upgrade in the coming months, a report states. "[Google Glass] will change the way we train in health care," said Keri Hawkins, global director of professional education at Endologix. Bloomberg (8/20)
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Health Policy & Legislation
FDA extends comment period for e-cigarette packaging regs
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FDA officials have pushed the deadline for submitting comments on the regulation of e-cigarette packaging to Sept. 30. The agency is looking for input on childproof packaging, as well as the language and topics that should be part of labeling. Regulators pursued the plan amid rising concern over exposure to and poisoning from liquid nicotine. The Hill (8/21)
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Professional Issues & Trends
Va. group seeks to open freestanding children's hospital
Most U.S. children's hospitals are affiliated with larger health systems, but the nonprofit Virginia Children’s Hospital Alliance, which is supported by pediatricians, plans to build a freestanding, self-governing facility in the Richmond area. Experts say independent children's hospitals, which number about 50 in the U.S., may be vulnerable financially due to shaky Medicaid funding and are viable only in markets with a population base of 500,000 children. Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.) (8/22)
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Initiative taps paramedics for home care
Health systems are testing programs that engage paramedics in efforts to keep patients out of the hospital. In community paramedicine programs, paramedics visit elderly or frail patients at home to assist with chronic disease management, medication adherence and home safety, administering care if needed and helping patients coordinate with nurses or home-health agencies. One such program at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., has cut 30-day readmissions by 15% and hospital admissions and emergency room visits by 50% among patients with heart failure between March 2014 and June 2015. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/17)
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Inside the AAFP
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Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."
-- Helen Keller,
author and political activist
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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
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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