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  • February 08, 2017
    In a study of patients with Paget’s disease of bone—a common skeletal disorder that can lead to bone deformity, fractures, osteoarthritis, and bone pain—long-term intensive bisphosphonate therapy conferred no clinical benefit over giving bisphosphonates only when patients felt bone pain.Also, long-term bisphosphonate therapy was linked with a non-significant increase in the risk of fractures and serious adverse events.Although bisphosphonates are effective at suppressing the elevated bone...
  • February 08, 2017
    Many older adults with newly diagnosed epilepsy in the United States are being prescribed older anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), and only half begin treatment with AEDs within the first 30 days of a potential epilepsy diagnosis.The analysis included 2008-2010 Medicare administrative claims for a five percent random sample of beneficiaries augmented for minority representation. Investigators found no major racial/ethnic disparities in AED prescription patterns.“In this population of older adults on...
  • February 08, 2017
    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the leading cause of death in patients with cirrhosis. A new analysis indicates that following screening guidelines for HCC in cirrhotic patients is lifesaving and cost-effective compared with ‘real life’ monitoring.Compared with ‘real life’ monitoring, following the guidelines for screening—which recommends biannual ultrasound—increased life expectancy by an average of 5 months and was cost-effective at $1754 per additional life year gained with French costs...
  • February 08, 2017
    For reasons that are unclear, males are diagnosed with dyslexia more often than females. Researchers have now found that this may be due to males’ lower average and more variable reading performance relative to females’.The investigators also found that differences in processing speed—how quickly one can process information and perform cognitive tasks—may help explain sex differences in both dyslexia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.“The fact that greater variability in males'...
  • February 08, 2017
    A new study has found that poor strength in the thigh muscles may increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis in women but not men. This relationship was confounded by body mass index (BMI), which itself is known as a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis.The study’s investigators noted that there may be more contractile tissue (and strength) present in men with greater BMI and more non-contractile (fat) tissue in women with greater BMI. The sex-specific relationship between muscle strength and BMI...
  • February 08, 2017
    A new study indicates that the antiviral drug oseltamivir can reduce influenza infections and prevent deaths in a cost-saving manner under most pandemic scenarios.Investigators’ analyses of phase II clinical data and information from a previous influenza outbreak revealed that oseltamivir 75 mg relative to no treatment was effective and affordable under all scenarios. Oseltamivir 150 mg relative to 75 mg was not cost effective in low transmissibility scenarios but was cost saving in...
  • February 08, 2017
    In a study of hip fracture patients, men displayed greater levels of cognitive impairment within the first 22 days of fracture than women, and cognitive limitations increased the risk of dying within six months in both men and women.“While men make up only about 25 percent of all hip fractures, the number of men who fracture their hip is increasing and we know men are more likely to die than women after a hip fracture,” said Dr. Ann Gruber-Baldini, lead author of the Journal of the...
  • February 08, 2017
    Gastric bypass surgery is one of the most successful treatments for obesity and related disorders; however, some patients may not want to undergo surgery. In an attempt to reduce nutrient absorption and replicate the effects of gastric bypass surgery, researchers screened for inhibitors of an amino acid transporter, called B0AT1, and discovered a number of agents—including benztropine, a drug that is already in clinical use—as promising candidates.“These compounds are...
  • February 08, 2017
    In an analysis of more than 18,000 patients treated for colon cancer, current smokers were 14 percent more likely to die from their colon cancer within five years than patients who had never smoked. Among patients treated by surgery only, current smokers were 21 percent more likely to die from their colon cancer than patients who had never smoked.“While further research is needed to elucidate mechanisms, continued efforts to encourage smoking prevention and cessation may yield benefits in...
  • February 08, 2017
    A national study from England indicates that older women are often not offered immediate breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, even though guidelines state that surgeons should discuss reconstruction with all suitable patients and that it should be available at the initial surgical operation.The findings suggest a need for clinicians to audit their own—and their organization’s—decision-making processes around offering immediate breast reconstruction, and to deal with any age bias that...