Not everyone benefits from cancer screening, researchers argue | Neurological symptoms can be obstacle to diagnosing lupus | Study: Use total CVD risk to determine hypertension treatment
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August 20, 2014
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Not everyone benefits from cancer screening, researchers argue
Performing routine cancer screenings on patients near the end of their lives when they are unlikely to benefit from treatment can put them at risk of invasive and potentially harmful procedures, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers also found some screenings are inappropriate, such as cervical cancer tests for women who have undergone a hysterectomy. Reuters (8/18), HealthDay News (8/18), MedPage Today (free registration) (8/18)
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Learn five ways to prevent your hospital from making a critical communication mistake. Suggestions include supporting device diversity, maximizing your signals, and making the process simple and seamless. Read the eBrief now.
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Nursing, Health & Medical Science
Neurological symptoms can be obstacle to diagnosing lupus
A study in the journal Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports found that symptoms such as seizures and headaches can delay the diagnosis of lupus and other rheumatic diseases by months. The neurological symptoms of lupus can even mirror those of schizophrenia. Providers should be familiar with the neurological symptoms that can be associated with rheumatic diseases, researchers said. HealthDay News (8/19)
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Study: Use total CVD risk to determine hypertension treatment
A patient's total cardiovascular disease risk, instead of just blood-pressure readings, should be the determining factor for initial treatment of hypertension, researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden reported in The Lancet. An accompanying editorial said more research is needed because some data in the meta-analysis was a decade old and the studies included only a small number of mildly hypertensive patients. Medscape (free registration) (8/18)
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Vitamin D supplementation may improve outcomes in asthma patients
Children and adults with asthma treated with high doses of vitamin D, along with a dry powder inhaler, exhaled a greater amount of air after 28 weeks of treatment than those who used inhalers alone, an Iranian study showed. The findings appear in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Reuters (8/18)
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Study looks at oxygen saturation, hospitalization with bronchiolitis
In an analysis involving 213 infants with mild to moderate bronchiolitis, Canadian researchers found that artificially raised pulse oximetry values were associated with lower rates of hospitalization within 72 hours compared with true oxygen saturation. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (8/19)
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Trends & Technologies
Preferred networks boost quality in Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage plans offer higher-quality care than standard Medicare, according to research from Harvard economists. One way in which MA plans boost quality compared with traditional Medicare is through preferred networks that exclude lower-quality providers, writes health economist Austin Frakt. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Upshot blog (8/19)
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HIE tool promotes electronic referrals to smoking-cessation service
Wilbarger General Hospital and Clay County Memorial Hospital are testing a program in Texas that encourages providers to use Holon Solutions' CollaborNet HIE software to transmit an electronic referral to the Texas Tobacco Quitline. Patients with referrals are not charged for five counseling sessions and two weeks of nicotine replacement therapy. Health Data Management (8/19)
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Heart-disease genetics study gets $2.7M grant from NIH
The NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded a Texas Biomedical Research Institute research team a $2.7 million grant to identify gene-regulating proteins vital to the regulation of cholesterol and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease using mass spectrometry. The team will also use the four-year grant to develop new ways of distinguishing sequence differences in the human genome that play a role in heart disease. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (8/15)
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Work-Life Balance
Physical activity may not affect chronic pain, study says
Japanese researchers said data on more than 4,500 adults ages 40 to 79 did not show any significant correlation between physical activity and chronic lower-back or knee pain. The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology, contradicts earlier findings. MedWire News (U.K.) (8/18)
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Legislative Policy & Regulatory News
Employer-sponsored health care may change but won't disappear, expert says
The Congressional Budget Office predicts that millions fewer Americans will get health coverage through an employer in the coming years than would have without the Affordable Care Act, but experts say employer-sponsored coverage is alive and well. Comprehensive benefits contribute to a "robust workforce," says National Association of Health Underwriters spokeswoman Kathryn Gaglione. Employee Benefit Adviser (8/18)
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SmartQuote
Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: It is character."
-- Albert Einstein,
German-American theoretical physicist
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