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February 1, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • CDC: "Waning immunity" may be causing more pertussis cases
    The U.S. had more than 41,000 provisionally reported cases of pertussis in 2012, leading to 18 deaths, and the CDC is looking at what caused the increase in whooping cough. CDC officials said evidence does not show bacterial strain changes have created an increase in cases or made vaccines less effective but added a "waning immunity" may be behind the spike. To date, case totals for 2013 are well behind those for 2012. AAFP News Now (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Clinical News 
  • WHO sets sodium targets for children
    The World Health Organization has released its first-ever guidelines on dietary sodium intake for children 2 years and older. The recommendations are dependent on the child's size, age and energy requirements. For adults, daily intake of sodium was reduced to less than 2,000 milligrams and daily intake of potassium was revised to at least 3,510 mg. Reuters (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Novartis recalls cold, cough syrups over defective caps
    Novartis Consumer Health removed from the market 2.3 million bottles of Triaminic and Theraflu medicine syrups due to faulty child-resistant caps, the U.S. Consumer Product Safely Commission said. Of the 12 reported children who managed to open the caps, four accidentally ingested the medication, including one who needed medical attention. ABC News (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Abdominal fat tied to death risk in heart disease
    Data on more than 15,000 heart disease patients showed those who were of normal weight overall but had relatively large waistlines were 27% more likely to die than people who were obese but whose fat was distributed in other areas of their bodies rather than around their waistlines. The findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicate physicians should consider distribution of weight in evaluating risk, the researchers said. HealthDay News (1/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Shorter exercise periods may still yield health benefits
    Participants who had short periods of physical activity adding up to 30 minutes a day showed similar health benefits -- including lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels and reduced waist size -- as those who followed a more formal exercise program, according to a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. Researchers also found those who had shorter bouts of exercise had an 89% likelihood of not developing metabolic syndrome, while those who followed a structured exercise regimen had an 87% chance. Examiner.com (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Blacks can benefit from modified DASH diet, study says
    U.S. researchers who used a culturally modified DASH diet in a study of blacks in two communities found it led to significant increases in fruit and vegetable consumption and made participants more confident about eating healthier. The study, published in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease, showed the diet did not lead to significant decreases in blood pressure, but researchers noted it did show the diet was feasible for that demographic group. PhysiciansBriefing.com/HealthDay News (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Data support osmotic laxatives for constipation in elderly
    Osmotic laxatives, such as polyethylene glycol and lactulose, have the strongest supporting data for treatment of constipation in older patients, according to a literature review by researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Evidence to support the use of stool softeners, bulking agents, stimulants or prokinetic agents was limited, inconsistent or absent. MedPage Today (free registration) (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • Report suggests ways to cut Medicare spending by $9.4T
    A 216-page Kaiser Family Foundation report suggests 150 changes to Medicare that together would reduce spending by $9.4 trillion over 10 years. Kaiser researchers reviewed literature and interviewed experts and policymakers to develop the report. Consensus areas included rewarding doctors for quality and reforming the formula by which health care providers are paid. The Washington Post/Wonkblog (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Administration outlines exemptions to ACA's individual mandate
    HHS on Wednesday issued regulations that exempt people who can't purchase insurance for less than 9% of their yearly pay from the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. Certain people in states that forgo Medicaid expansion will be exempt as well, HHS said. Proposals from HHS and the Internal Revenue Service "include rules that will ease implementation and help to ensure that the payment applies only to the limited group of taxpayers who choose to spend a substantial period of time without coverage despite having ready access to affordable coverage," according to CMS. The Hill/Healthwatch blog (1/30) , Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mostashari: Care coordination, payment and value fuel HIE growth
    Most groups that already are exchanging health data cite business value for patients and doctors as the key driver for HIEs. On the whole, HIEs are "trending toward care coordination, trending to the arc of payment, trending toward value not volume," National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Farzad Mostashari said during a joint HIT Policy and Standards Committees hearing. Government Health IT online (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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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 AAFP 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 http://aafp.org.

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