April 2014

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

Military Medicine Also Benefits Civilians

By Jonathan Woodson, MD, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Throughout every war, the Military Health System (www.health.mil) has made significant medical advancements to help protect our troops. Our innovations not only save the lives of our servicemembers but… Read More

VA Notes Major Demographic, Technological Trends in Strategic Document

VA Notes Major Demographic, Technological Trends in Strategic Document

WASHINGTON — The VA is facing a tide of demographic and technological changes that will affect the way it will provide care in the next decades.

Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Call for More Services for Victims

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Military sexual trauma (MST) survivors told a Senate subcommittee that improvements still are needed to ensure rape victims get all the help they need in the DoD and VA healthcare systems. “Good counselors are the… Read More

VA’s Mail-Order Pharmacy Ranked Top in Nation – Again

VA’s Mail-Order Pharmacy Ranked Top in Nation – Again

Highest Customer Satisfaction for Fourth Year in A Row By Annette M. Boyle MILWAUKEE — For the fourth year in a row, the VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) received the highest customer satisfaction score among the nation’s public and… Read More

Marketing Allowed for First TENS Device to Prevent Migraines

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration is allowing marketing of a device as a preventive treatment for migraine headaches. The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device, marketed as Cefaly, also is the first to be… Read More

FDA Approves Another Lower-Dose NSAID for Moderate Pain Control

PHILADELPHIA — A new nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of mild to moderate pain in adults. Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC, announced that its product Tivorbex was approved in 20 mg… Read More

FDA: Use Doripenem Cautiously in Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

WASHINGTON — Label changes on Doribax (doripenem), an antibacterial drug used to treat ventilator-associated pneumonia, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA said the drug carries an increased risk of death and lower clinical cure rates… Read More

LOS, Costs Decreased in VA Joint Replacement Initiative

INDIANAPOLIS — Five years ago, an analysis of joint replacement surgical procedures at the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis revealed that $1.4 million in non-VA care costs had been spent for total hip and knee replacements… Read More

Increasing Knee Replacements for African-American Vets

PHILADELPHIA — Even though joint-replacement surgery is considered one of the most effective treatments for end-stage knee osteoarthritis, relieving pain in more than 90% of patients, African-Americans are much less likely than whites to consider it as an option. Consequently, those… Read More

Biomechanical Risk Factors Identified for Fractures

WEST POINT, NY — Stress fracture injuries disproportionately affect military servicemembers, yet little is known about the biomechanical risk factors associated with them. That’s why a team led by researchers from Keller Army Hospital in West Point, NY, prospectively examined… Read More

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Study Questions Whether Guidelines Are Being Followed By Annette M. Boyle EAST ORANGE, NJ — Across the VHA, more than 85,000 men receive testosterone supplementation therapy. The likelihood that any particular patient would be prescribed the steroid hormone, however, varies… Read More

Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk Rises 50% with Elevated Glucose Levels

Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk Rises 50% with Elevated Glucose Levels

By Annette M. Boyle SEATTLE — Obesity is clearly associated with poor outcomes in patients with prostate cancer, according to past research, but the reason why has remained elusive. Now a new study suggests the real culprit might be hyperglycemia,… Read More

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

IoM: DoD’s Programs to Prevent Mental Health Disorders Lack Evidence

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Between 2000 and 2011, almost 1 million servicemembers or veterans were diagnosed with at least one psychological disorder, either during or after deployment, with nearly half having multiple disorders, according to the Institute of Medicine… Read More

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

Black Servicemembers At More Hypertension Risk, Despite Equitable Healthcare

SILVER SPRING, MD — Military research is raising a new question about an old issue: Why do African-Americans have higher incidence rates of hypertension compared with servicemembers of other races and ethnicities despite equitable access to healthcare within the armed forces?

 FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

WASHINGTON — In a highly controversial proposal, President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget request recommends merging three TRICARE health plans for those under 65 — Prime, Standard and Extra — into a “single, modernized health plan.”

Meeting Two Treatment Goals Significantly Reduces CVD Risk

NEW ORLEANS — Veterans with diabetes who met treatment goals for both HbA1c and LDL cholesterol significantly reduced their risk for microvascular complications, acute coronary syndromes, percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass graft compared with those who met only… Read More

Group Appointments Improved Dyslipidemia in Diabetic Vets

DURHAM, NC — How effective are group medical appointments for improving dyslipidemia in veterans with uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension? A recent study led by researchers from the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham, NC, VAMC… Read More

Intensive BP-Lowering Didn’t Affect Cognitive Function in Diabetes

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — A decline in cognitive function, reduced brain volume and increased white matter lesions are all risks for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), especially with high blood pressure and lipid levels. In light of that, a… Read More

 Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

Pre-Enlistment Mental Disorders Big Contributors to Army Suicide Risks

CAMBRIDGE, MA — About half of all soldiers reporting that they had tried to kill themselves said that their initial suicide attempt occurred before enlistment, according to a new study.

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

By Brenda L. Mooney COLUMBIA, SC — Veterans prescribed amoxicillin over a nearly 13-year period were less likely to be diagnosed with potentially fatal heart rhythms than those using either azithromycin or levofloxacin, according to new research. The study, published… Read More