CDC says flu vaccine efficacy rate overall is 45% | USPSTF: Cognitive screening for older adults lacks evidence | Few youths with asthma adhere to inhaled corticosteroid therapy
February 27, 2020
Family Medicine SmartBrief
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Top Story
A report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said the influenza vaccine has an overall efficacy rate of 45% against 2019 to 2020 seasonal influenza A and B viruses, with a 55% efficacy rate in children and adolescents ages 6 months to 17 years. The report said antiviral medications are important adjuncts to influenza vaccination.
Full Story: AAFP News (2/26) 
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Clinical News
The US Preventive Services Task Force this week released a final recommendation statement that says there is insufficient evidence to assess the harms and benefits of screening older adults for cognitive impairment. Even after reviewing updated evidence, the statement is virtually the same as the USPSTF's 2014 recommendation, which the AAFP supported.
Full Story: AAFP News (2/26) 
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Only 28% of teens and young adults with asthma adhere to inhaled corticosteroid use, with elevated ICS adherence observed among those younger than 18, researchers reported in the Journal of Asthma. The findings, based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 29 studies involving 187,401 youths with asthma ages 15 to 30, also showed that personality, treatment views and illness perceptions predicted ICS adherence.
Full Story: Pulmonology Advisor (2/25) 
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Researchers found that only 12% of teens and young adults with HIV who took antiretroviral therapy reached viral suppression after 4.8 months, making them significantly less likely to achieve undetectable viral load levels than adults despite having similar rates of linkage to care. The findings in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, based on data involving 1,411 youths with HIV ages 12 to 24, also showed increased odds of viral suppression among those with immediate care referrals after diagnosis.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Infectious Diseases in Children (2/24) 
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Consuming more than 12 ounces of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit juice daily was associated with a 53% higher risk of having high triglyceride levels and a 98% higher likelihood of having low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, compared with drinking lesser amounts, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Low-calorie sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juice were not linked to negative cholesterol changes.
Full Story: HealthDay News (2/26) 
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A study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology showed that metformin improves the clinical status of patients using glucocorticoid, a steroid used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases, by reducing its unwanted side effects such as loss of bone and muscle mass and higher blood glucose levels. Based on data from 53 patients without diabetes but with CID, the findings also showed that those treated with metformin had a 30% reduction in the rate of infections and lower hospital admissions, compared to those treated with placebo.
Full Story: The Islander (Kangaroo Island, Australia)/Australian Associated Press (2/26) 
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Practice Management
A study in the Annals of Family Medicine found a 24.2% decrease in primary care visits by insured adults over nine years, and researchers said possible reasons include financial barriers, a lower real or perceived need, and alternative sources of care. "We continue to see the devastating effects of delaying or declining prescribed medications and needed treatments because patients can't afford them," said AAFP President Gary LeRoy, M.D., citing the report in a letter responding to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.
Full Story: AAFP News (2/26) 
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Health Policy & Legislation
VP to lead coronavirus response
Trump and Pence (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the government's coronavirus response and said health experts are ready to move quickly if the virus spreads in the US, but he said the risk to the American public remains "very low." CDC officials have confirmed the country's first COVID-19 case that does not involve travel to a region where the virus is spreading or known exposure to a person with the illness.
Full Story: Reuters (2/27),  National Public Radio (2/26),  CNN (2/27) 
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The Trump administration turned down New York's request to extend its Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment waiver through March 2024 after the state requested the extension and an additional $8 billion in funding, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The waiver, which is set to end next month, was designed to enable the state to cut preventable hospitalizations by 25% between 2015 and 2020.
Full Story: Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (2/25) 
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Professional Issues & Trends
CMS Administrator Seema Verma says she envisions an electronic system for reporting progress on the Merit-based Incentive Payment System using electronic health records to reduce administrative burdens for health care professionals. The plan includes using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource standards and application programming interfaces.
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (2/25) 
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An empty canvas is a living wonder -- far lovelier than certain pictures.
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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 http://aafp.org.
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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