Researchers detect tumor DNA for head, neck cancers in blood and saliva | Study finds longer survival with postoperative radiation for some lung cancers | Low memory test scores linked to Alzheimer's risk
June 25, 2015
AANP SmartBrief
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Health Care News
U.S. Supreme Court upholds ACA exchange subsidies
Supreme Court
The Supreme Court. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)
The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act for people buying insurance through the federal insurance exchange, HealthCare.Gov. The 6-3 opinion in King vs. Burwell was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. The decision confirms that people qualify for subsidies whether they buy health plans through state or federal exchanges. NBC News (6/25), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (6/25)
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Researchers detect tumor DNA for head, neck cancers in blood and saliva
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that blood and saliva tests can be used to detect the presence of tumor DNA related to head and neck cancer. The dual testing approach found evidence of cancer in 96% of study participants with previously diagnosed cancer who supplied both blood and saliva. The findings were reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Yahoo/Agence France-Presse (6/24)
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Study finds longer survival with postoperative radiation for some lung cancers
A retrospective 3,395-patient analysis found that patients with incompletely resected stage II or III non-small cell lung cancer who received postoperative radiation therapy at 50 to 74 Gy had overall survival times of 33.5 months, compared with 23.7 months without PORT. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. MedPage Today (free registration) (6/24)
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Low memory test scores linked to Alzheimer's risk
Data on over 2,000 study participants with an average age of 73 revealed that those who had low scores on tests of memory and thinking skills were at greater likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease. Researchers said that participants with the lowest test scores had 10 times the risk of developing Alzheimer's compared with those with the highest scores. Findings appeared in the journal Neurology. HealthDay News (6/24)
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Study links traffic noise with stroke, death risk
A study in the European Heart Journal found long-term exposure to road traffic noise was associated with reduced life expectancy. Increased stroke risk, particularly in older people, was associated with living near busy roads. The study included data on 8.6 million people in London from 2003 to 2010. HealthDay News (6/23)
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Pharmaceutical News
Heart drugs may help fight Ebola
Health care workers in Liberia.
(John Moore/Getty Images)
Ebola patients who took a combination of generic statins and angiotensin receptor blockers were better able to fight the disease, according to a study in the journal mBio. Researchers gave a combination of atorvastatin and irbesartan to 100 Ebola patients in Sierra Leone to combat endothelial cell dysfunction by stabilizing the lining of blood vessels. One patient who was in critical condition before treatment and another patient who was shifted to antiviral treatment died, while the others improved. United Press International (6/23)
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Guidelines increase use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics for pediatric CAP
Researchers found that the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics penicillin/ampicillin for children with community-acquired pneumonia increased from 3.9% to 15.2%, while third-generation cephalosporin use declined from 57.3% to 44.8% nine months after the implementation of the 2011 national guidelines for the management of childhood CAP. The study in Pediatrics involved 2,121 children treated at three hospitals in Tennessee and Utah from Jan. 1, 2010 to June 30, 2012. (6/23)
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Study: Inpatients often aren't asked about use of supplements
Only 36% of 333 hospital patients who take dietary supplements had their supplement use documented during admission, according to a study in the journal Patient Education and Counseling. Patients who were older or nonwhite were less likely to have supplement use documented. "If clinicians are unaware of possible drug-[dietary supplement] reactions, they may unknowingly provide a treatment plan or prescribe medications that could have an adverse reaction or interactions with the dietary supplement," said researcher Dr. Paula Gardiner. HealthDay News (6/23)
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Emerging Trends, Products and Technologies
Many heart attack survivors don't get implantable defibrillators, study finds
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that many older heart attack survivors, even patients with very weak and damaged hearts, do not have implantable defibrillators placed. Not all heart attack survivors need the devices, according to researchers, but many without the device would benefit. Researcher Dr. Sean Pokorney said poor post-discharge communication might partially explain the issue. "[T]he health care system needs to continue to focus on improving communication between care providers in the hospital and in the outpatient clinic," he said. HealthDay News (6/23)
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Health Policy and Legislative News
House votes to repeal Medicare IPAB
The House voted to repeal a section of the Affordable Care Act that sets up the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would be convened to suggest spending-reduction strategies if the growth in Medicare spending exceeds certain levels. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (6/23), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/23)
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Vaccination status of school employees
A study of 1,400 school employees from 85 schools in Utah revealed uncertainty about vaccination status, misconceptions about safety and effectiveness of many vaccines, and a lack of understanding about appropriate actions should an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable illness occur in schools. Given the measles outbreak in several states in 2015, this research by Dr. Luthy and colleagues provides valuable insight into areas for improvement in school vaccine programs.
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Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."
-- Arthur Miller,
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