Web Exclusives

Viekira Pak HCV combo tx gets FDA nod

Viekira Pak HCV combo tx gets FDA nod

The novel combination treatment is indicated for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection, including cirrhosis.

High-dose flu vaccine better for seniors in nursing homes

High-dose flu vaccine better for seniors in nursing homes

Stronger improvement in the immune response was seen in frail senior patients living in nursing homes who received a high-dose flu vaccine.

Metformin may promote weight loss in obese kids

Metformin may promote weight loss in obese kids

Metformin treatment correlated with significant reduction in energy intake.

Geospatial map provides insight into HIV/hepatitis C mortality rates

Geospatial map provides insight into HIV/hepatitis C mortality rates

Multiple cause methodologies were used to illustrate HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C infection rates in Massachusetts.

Cardiovascular benefits from yoga comparable to walking

Cardiovascular benefits from yoga comparable to walking

No significant difference in heart health benefit was found between patients who practiced yoga compared with patients who walked for exercise.

Indoor tanning-related emergency department visits drop

Indoor tanning-related emergency department visits drop

The decreasing popularity of tanning salons may be a contributing factor to the drop of emergency care visits because of overexposure to UV radiation.

Acute myocardial infarction patients not receiving sexual counseling

Acute myocardial infarction patients not receiving sexual counseling

Younger patients received either incorrect or no information regarding sexual activity after an acute myocardial infarction.

No link between migraines, breast cancer risk

No link between migraines, breast cancer risk

Researchers found no association between patients with clinician-diagnosed migraines and invasive breast cancer.

Rapid syphilis screening test expands into more health-care settings

Rapid syphilis screening test expands into more health-care settings

The Syphilis Health Check test can now be performed by untrained health-care workers in a variety of nontraditional laboratory settings.

First neonatal SCID screening test approved by FDA

First neonatal SCID screening test approved by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted marketing of the EnLite Neonatal TREC Kit, the first FDA-cleared test to screen for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) in newborns.

Nearly 50% of hospitalized kids exposed to potentially dangerous drug combos

Nearly 50% of hospitalized kids exposed to potentially dangerous drug combos

Opioids such as morphine and oxycodone were drugs most often involved in potentially dangerous drug interactions.

Test to predict cardiovascular disease risk gains FDA approval

Test to predict cardiovascular disease risk gains FDA approval

The PLAC test for Lp-PLA2 Activity is intended for patients without a prior history of cardiovascular disease.

Intermittent heroin use worsens HIV

Intermittent heroin use worsens HIV

Patients who sporadically used heroin had lower CD4 counts compared with patients who frequently reported heroin use.

Fatty acid propionate may prevent weight gain

Fatty acid propionate may prevent weight gain

Colonic propionate may aid in appetite suppression in overweight adult patients.

Gene-environment interactions, parents' ethnicity may influence peanut allergy

Gene-environment interactions, parents' ethnicity may influence peanut allergy

Patients who were born of Asian parents in a single generation in Australia had an increased risk of peanut allergy.

Low-fat diet may reduce premature death risk in patients with breast cancer

Low-fat diet may reduce premature death risk in patients with breast cancer

Women without hormone-dependent disease benefited most in study

Provide counseling to family after infant tests positive for sickle cell trait

Provide counseling to family after infant tests positive for sickle cell trait

Primary-care providers should offer educational materials and genetic counseling to families of newborns with positive results for sickle cell trait.

Patients can now sue cruise lines for medical malpractice

Patients can now sue cruise lines for medical malpractice

Prior to the new ruling, cruise lines were immune from medical malpractice lawsuits. Passengers had to sue medical personnel personally.

CA Supreme Court to hear challenge on medical malpractice awards

CA Supreme Court to hear challenge on medical malpractice awards

Currently, California allows up to $250K in noneconomic damages in medical malpractice suits.

Less than 50% of Americans received their flu shot so far this year

Less than 50% of Americans received their flu shot so far this year

CDC officials are urging the public to get the flu vaccine even though it may not be as effective against the mutated H3N2 strain.

IUDs, implants gaining popularity

IUDs, implants gaining popularity

The pill is still the most popular birth control method of choice.

HPV vaccine approved by FDA to treat additional strains

HPV vaccine approved by FDA to treat additional strains

The additional types of human papillomavirus cause about 20% of cervical cancers and weren't covered by prior approvals of the vaccine.

University press releases may exaggerate research claims

University press releases may exaggerate research claims

When University-authored press releases were exaggerated, often times, national news coverage of the same research would be embellished as well.

Routine ultrasounds for women with dense breasts may not be cost-effective

Routine ultrasounds for women with dense breasts may not be cost-effective

A computer-based simulation demonstrated that routine ultrasounds for patients with dense breasts may not be worth the costs of supplemental examination.

Software may improve quality of life for patients with rheumatic disease

Software may improve quality of life for patients with rheumatic disease

A new software program that combines, stores, and rearranges patient and provider information was linked to positive disease control.

BPA in canned beverages linked to hypertension

BPA in canned beverages linked to hypertension

The estrogen-like chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has previously been linked to obesity, respiratory issues and behavior problems in children.

Formalized programs help lower antibiotic prescribing rates

Formalized programs help lower antibiotic prescribing rates

Hospitals that implemented a formalized antibiotic stewardship program saw an overall reduction in antibiotic use.

Statin use may increase cataract risk

Statin use may increase cataract risk

But benefits of cholesterol-lowering drugs outweigh risks, researcher says

Low-dose aspirin risks negate benefits in women

Low-dose aspirin risks negate benefits in women

Although women who took low-dose aspirin saw a small reduction of CVD and colorectal cancer risk, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding increased.

Running may lower Alzheimer-related mortality risk

Running may lower Alzheimer-related mortality risk

Patients who ran more than 15.3 miles per week had a 40% reduced risk of dying from Alzheimer disease.

Prepare for a potentially severe flu season

Prepare for a potentially severe flu season

Even though this year's vaccine does not directly protect against the most widely circulated H3N2 strain this year, CDC still urges clinicians to immunize patients.

Mediterranean diet may slow aging

Mediterranean diet may slow aging

Longer telomere length was found in patients who adhered to the Mediterranean diet.

Patients may be dismissing cancer symptoms

Patients may be dismissing cancer symptoms

More than 50% of survey respondents reported cancer warning signs, but only 2% considered cancer as a possible cause.

Obesity prevention programs influence kids' lipids levels

Obesity prevention programs influence kids' lipids levels

Adiposity and lipid outcomes improved in 15% of obesity prevention programs aimed at children.

Medical errors dropped 17% from 2010 to 2013

Medical errors dropped 17% from 2010 to 2013

Most progress occurred in 2013, when 35,000 fewer patients died in United States hospitals.

Educate parents on child safety after falls at home

Educate parents on child safety after falls at home

Fall-prevention advice may help reduce the risk of injuries at home amongst toddlers.

Breast cancer vaccine shows promise in preliminary trial

Breast cancer vaccine shows promise in preliminary trial

A vaccine that targets the MAM-A protein demonstrated a 50% halt of disease progression after one year.

New guidelines address irritable bowel syndrome drugs

New guidelines address irritable bowel syndrome drugs

New guidelines for irritable bowel syndrome treatment have been released by the American Gastroenterological Association.

Avoid these five emergency department tests

Avoid these five emergency department tests

The American College of Emergency Physicians has issued another list of five tests and procedures that should be questioned before use.

Blood pressure of 150 adequate for older adults

Blood pressure of 150 adequate for older adults

Maintaining systolic blood pressure at less than 150 mmHG is adequate for preventing hypertension in older adults.

Patient-tailored treatments no better for improving low-back-pain outcomes

Patient-tailored treatments no better for improving low-back-pain outcomes

Patient-matched treatments did not demonstrate better outcomes at seven weeks or 12 months compared with unmatched treatments.

Statin use advised in chronic kidney disease

Statin use advised in chronic kidney disease


A new study indicated that older patients with predialysis chronic kidney disease should take statins.

Diabetes rate drops with bariatric surgery

Diabetes rate drops with bariatric surgery


The rate of diabetes decreased for up to seven years after bariatric surgery for obese patients.

Jogging effective for combating physical decline in seniors

Jogging effective for combating physical decline in seniors

Senior patients who jogged at least 30 minutes three times a week were less likely to have age-related physical decline.

Eczema heightens fracture risk in adults

Eczema heightens fracture risk in adults

The combined lifetime risk for hip, forearm, and vertebral fractures that will require clinical attention is approximately 40%.

Chain restaurants now required to supply calorie counts

Chain restaurants now required to supply calorie counts

Restaurants that are part of a chain of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name will have to have list calorie content.

NPs, PAs more likely to use diagnostic imaging

NPs, PAs more likely to use diagnostic imaging

Expanding the use of advance practice clinicians such as NPs and PAs may alleviate primary-care provider shortages.

Profilins may induce severe food-allergic reactions

Profilins may induce severe food-allergic reactions

Profilins are complete food allergens in food-allergic patient populations that are exposed to high levels of grass pollen.

Sugary beverages up type 2 diabetes risk

Sugary beverages up type 2 diabetes risk

Significant positive associations between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and type 2 diabetes risk was found in Europe and the United States.

Many seniors qualify for statin treatment under new guidelines

Many seniors qualify for statin treatment under new guidelines

Statin therapy for patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels is recommended.

Eczema rates increase among children

Eczema rates increase among children

Due to a lack of pediatric dermatologists, primary-care clinicians are handling the influx of children with atopic dermatitis.

Many primary-care providers noncompliant with antibiotic guidelines

Many primary-care providers noncompliant with antibiotic guidelines

Inappropriate antibiotic selection more likely a result of demands than with a lack of familiarity with guideline recommendations.

Hand dryers may be unsuitable in health-care settings

Hand dryers may be unsuitable in health-care settings

Compared with paper towels, jet air and warm air dryers in public restrooms had higher bacteria levels.

Insufficient evidence for vitamin D deficiency screenings

Insufficient evidence for vitamin D deficiency screenings

There is not enough evidence to support vitamin D deficiency screenings said the USPSTF in a final recommendation statement.

Are women in positions of power more likely to be depressed?

Are women in positions of power more likely to be depressed?

Are women in positions of power more likely to be depressed?

Results of medicine-adherence interventions inconsistent

Results of medicine-adherence interventions inconsistent

More research needs to be done in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of interventions designed to improve patient adherence to prescribed medications.

Mom's pre-pregnancy weight impacts infant's risk of heart disease

Mom's pre-pregnancy weight impacts infant's risk of heart disease

Adults born to women who were overweight before pregnancy may be more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

Mentally challenging jobs preserve cognitive skills in later life

Mentally challenging jobs preserve cognitive skills in later life

Patients who had mentally stimulating jobs appeared to retain sharper thinking even years after retirement.

Abuse-resistant hydrocodone approved by FDA

Abuse-resistant hydrocodone approved by FDA

Hydrocodone bitartrate is difficult to crush, break, or dissolve, making it resistant to abuse.

Diabetes costs United States $322B annually

Diabetes costs United States $322B annually

In 2012,the cost of prediabetes was $44 billion, while the cost of undiagnosed diabetes was $33 billion.

Telephone reminders up cardiovascular disease medication adherence

Telephone reminders up cardiovascular disease medication adherence

Small but statistically significant improvements in adherence were seen among intervention participants.

COPD hospital visits increased in past decade

COPD hospital visits increased in past decade

The number of hospital visits for COPD has increased by 88,000 from 2001 to 2012.

Long-term opioid use ups mortality risk in patients with chronic pain

Long-term opioid use ups mortality risk in patients with chronic pain

Compared with patients without chronic pain, opioid users had higher risks of injuries and toxicity/poisoning resulting in hospital inpatient admissions.

Genetically low vitamin D levels may increase early death risk

Genetically low vitamin D levels may increase early death risk

Gene variants linked to vitamin levels didn't affect cardiovascular-related mortality.

Despite weight gain, quitting smoking still healthier

Despite weight gain, quitting smoking still healthier

Compared with patients who kept smoking, the risk of dying was still 34% lower among quitters who did not gain weight.

High trans fat consumption tied to worse memory in men

High trans fat consumption tied to worse memory in men

Men who ate more trans fat demonstrated notably worse performance on the word memory test.

Biologics may up fungal infection risk in patients with psoriasis

Biologics may up fungal infection risk in patients with psoriasis

The incidence of deep fungal infections has risen with the increase of biologic treatment in psoriasis patients.

Wisconsin malpractice laws make tough cases for plaintiffs

Wisconsin malpractice laws make tough cases for plaintiffs

Since 1999, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in Wisconsin has fallen by more than 50%.

Shortened life span, disability in tots with abusive head trauma

Shortened life span, disability in tots with abusive head trauma

Of the 4824 patients who experienced abusive head trauma in 2009, 334 died within 30 days of the trauma.

Beware of caffeine poisoning with energy drinks

Beware of caffeine poisoning with energy drinks

Poisoning by caffeine can occur at levels higher than 400 mg a day in adults, and above 100 mg a day in teens.

Low-sodium meats have higher potassium levels

Low-sodium meats have higher potassium levels

Potassium-containing additives were listed in the ingredients in 63% of sodium-reduced products and 25% of non-reduced products.

Catastrophizing worsens low back pain

Catastrophizing worsens low back pain

Catastrophizing and fear-avoidance beliefs may be linked to poor treatment outcomes in those with low back pain.

Teen tobacco use still common

Teen tobacco use still common

More regulation could stop young Americans from picking up the deadly habit.

Acupuncture, exercise may ease breast cancer pain

Acupuncture, exercise may ease breast cancer pain

Treatment-related discomfort, swelling helped by the approaches in two studies.

Oral-oral, oral-genital HPV transmission routes identified

Oral-oral, oral-genital HPV transmission routes identified

Having female sex partner with HPV puts men at greater risk for contracting HPV type responsible for throat cancers.

Omega-3 supplementation cuts tobacco dependence

Omega-3 supplementation cuts tobacco dependence

Increasing omega-3 PUFA concentrations reduced cigarette cravings even after intervention.

Tdap vaccine OK for pregnant women

Tdap vaccine OK for pregnant women

Rate of preterm delivery, low birth weights did not vary dramatically between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

FDA approves combination simeprevir and sofosbuvir for HCV treatment

FDA approves combination simeprevir and sofosbuvir for HCV treatment

Combination simeprevir and sofosbuvir has been approved by the FDA for treatment of chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C.

Medicare proposes to cover lung cancer screenings for at-risk patients

Medicare proposes to cover lung cancer screenings for at-risk patients

CMS announced it has drafted a reimbursement proposal to cover annual computed tomography (CT) scans for high-risk patients.

Secukinumab may clear psoriasis for a year

Secukinumab may clear psoriasis for a year

All subjects successfully self-administered treatment at Week 1, without critical use-related hazards.

HIPAA privacy bulletin released in wake of Ebola outbreak

HIPAA privacy bulletin released in wake of Ebola outbreak

HHS released details on how patient information can be shared during a public-health emergency.

Screening increases COPD, heart failure diagnoses

Screening increases COPD, heart failure diagnoses

Screening elderly patients for heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can increase detection.

Schools encouraged to stock epinephrine

Schools encouraged to stock epinephrine

Nearly 15% of school-aged children with food allergies have had an allergic reaction at school.

Despite progress, United States premature birth rates still high

Despite progress, United States premature birth rates still high

Despite noteworthy progress, the United States rate of preterm births is one of the highest among wealthy nations.

Test patients for penicillin allergy before prescribing costly alternatives

Test patients for penicillin allergy before prescribing costly alternatives

Majority of patients reporting penicillin allergy showed no evidence in skin tests.

Early safety test of lorcaserin, phentermine conducted

Early safety test of lorcaserin, phentermine conducted

A phase II study of the combination of lorcaserin and phentermine showed no increased serotonergic effects and increased weight loss.

Newer pneumonia vaccine better for children

Newer pneumonia vaccine better for children

Patients in Tennessee aged less than two years experienced about 1,300 fewer pneumonia hospitalizations annually in 2011 and 2012.

Obama calls for $6 billion to combat Ebola

Obama calls for $6 billion to combat Ebola

The Obama administration has asked for over $6 billion to help combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and strengthen protection in the United States.

California medical malpractice ballot initiative voted down

California medical malpractice ballot initiative voted down

The ballot initiative requiring the drug testing of clinicians and raising of malpractice caps in California has been struck down.

8M women not screened for cervical cancer

8M women not screened for cervical cancer

CDC notes that more than half of cervical cancer cases occur among women never or rarely screened

Nearly 140M Americans need weight-loss treatment

Nearly 140M Americans need weight-loss treatment

Of the 140 million American adults advised for weight-loss treatment, 83% could be considered for pharmacotherapy.

Early signs of plaque in arteries up myocardial infarction risk

Early signs of plaque in arteries up myocardial infarction risk

Patients with non-obstructive coronary artery disease were about 2 to 4.5 times more likely to have suffered an MI or died with no apparent CAD.

Recommendations for improved COPD intervention adherence

Recommendations for improved COPD intervention adherence

Researchers suggest improving self-management support and delivery system design to increase patients' adherence to COPD interventions.

HPV vaccine does not protect against recurrent warts in men

HPV vaccine does not protect against recurrent warts in men

The only significant factor in the recurrence of genital warts was marital status.

Dabigatran linked to higher bleeding risks compared with warfarin

Dabigatran linked to higher bleeding risks compared with warfarin

In black patients and those with chronic kidney disease, the risk of major bleeding was especially high.

Obesity linked to increased breast cancer risk in black, Hispanic women

Obesity linked to increased breast cancer risk in black, Hispanic women

Being overweight or obese increased the risk for ER-negative and progesterone receptor-positive breast tumors among postmenopausal women.

Women more likely to delay cardiovascular care

Women more likely to delay cardiovascular care

Men acted more quickly when they developed cardiovascular symptoms than women.

High milk intake associated with increased mortality risk

High milk intake associated with increased mortality risk

The risk of any bone fracture increased 16% in women who drank three or more glasses daily, and the risk of a broken hip increased 60%.

Overnight denture wear tied to pneumonia

Overnight denture wear tied to pneumonia

Perceived swallowing difficulties and overnight denture-wearing were independently associated with an approximately 2.3-fold higher risk of pneumonia.

Stents okay 
for stroke 
prevention

Stents okay 
for stroke 
prevention

Stenting carries no risk of nerve damage and is associated with a lower risk for heart attack than is endarterectomy.