2016 Issues

October 2016

VA Program Seeks to Disseminate Best Practices Throughout System

An iPad questionnaire completed in the waiting rooms of VAMCs is helping clinicians more quickly identify patient suicide risk.

October 2016

Suicide Risk Remains Much Higher for Military, Veterans Than Civilian U.S. Population

Suicide rates in the general U.S. population rose to their highest level in 30 years in 2014, but among both active-duty servicemembers and veterans, the rates were higher still.

October 2016

Sleep Disorders Increase Sixfold in Veterans; Women Especially Affected

Sleep—or, more precisely, the lack thereof—continues to complicate mental and physical health for veterans and military servicemembers.

October 2016

Costs Higher When RA Patients Switch TNFi Therapies

How are clinical outcomes and drug/administration costs of treatment affected when VA patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) use tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) agents?

October 2016

Smoking Associated With RA Severity at VA

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis and has been associated with increased disease severity and lower rates of disease remission.

October 2016

Which Drugs Cause Weight Gain, Loss in RA?

Unintentional weight loss often can help predict long-term outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

October 2016

Refill Synchronization Significantly Improves Adherence Among Some Groups

As every pharmacist and physician knows, medications only work if patients take them as prescribed—and increasing consistent adherence remains one of the biggest challenges in medicine.

October 2016

Pain Levels Improve in Most VA-Treated Veterans As They Age

Time is said to heal all wounds, and that might also be the case with older military veterans suffering from pain.

October 2016

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

While Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame often missed the critical clue, the VA expects its new partnership with IBM’s Watson to help it detect the genomic fingerprints of cancer and make effective treatments less of a mystery.

October 2016

Rules Keep Some VA Cancer Patients from Receiving Concurrent Care in Hospice

According to VHA rules, veterans with cancer need not make the “terrible choice” between receiving therapies to combat their illness or hospice services.

October 2016

Study Links Depression, Substance Abuse in Veterans

What are the patterns over time of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use among individuals receiving medical care, and when are integrated screening and treatment strategies warranted?

October 2016

Combat Increases Female Veterans’ Mental Issues

While an association between combat exposure and post-deployment behavioral health problems has been demonstrated among U.S. military servicemembers returning from Afghanistan or Iraq in predominantly male samples, few studies have focused on the experiences of women.

October 2016

Depression, PTSD Most Often Led to Cognitive Impairment

Self-reported cognitive impairment, such as problems with attention, concentration and memory in veterans, is more likely to occur with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than with combat-related traumatic brain injury (TBI).

October 2016

Impetigo, Psoriasis Might Increase Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Risk

Recent research has focused on some etiological factors to help predict who is at risk for developing cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which occurs disproportionately in veterans.

October 2016

White House, VA Oppose Oversight From Independent Board

Transforming the VHA does not require an independent board of directors overseeing the healthcare system, as recommended in a recent report, according to VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

October 2016

VA Pushes for Presumptive Coverage for Camp Lejeune Veterans

Under a newly-proposed regulation, thousands of veterans could have an easier time obtaining disability benefits for certain conditions linked to service at Camp Lejeune.

October 2016

AMSUS Meeting Aids Adjustment to ‘New Normal’ in Federal Medicine

The state of medicine, including federal medicine, is always evolving, and that is why conferences such as the annual AMSUS Annual Continuing Education Meeting are so vital to federal providers, according to AMSUS Executive Director Michael Cowan MD, VADM, USN (Ret.).

October 2016

Giving Every Veteran a Hug Is Goal of Project Founder

Ian Michaels—like the other founders of the Human Hug Project—firmly believes in the healing powers of human touch.

October 2016

“Every positive value has its price in negative terms … the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.” — Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

One of the interesting aspects of writing this federal medicine column is friends, colleagues and readers who follow U.S. Medicine editorials feed me interesting unsolicited ideas for writing topics.


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