Clinical Topics

Statins Lower Amputation, Death Risk in PAD

Statins appear to lower risk of amputation and death in veterans with peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to a recent study.

High Mortality for Lower Limb Amputation

While high mortality rates have been reported after major amputations of a lower limb secondary to diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, the mortality rates have varied across studies.

Systolic BP Variation Linked to Poor Outcomes

Within individual patients, blood pressure (BP) fluctuates dynamically over time, and previous clinical studies have suggested an adverse link between greater visit-to-visit variability in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and various outcomes, according to a new study.

Predialysis Nephrology Care Advantages Older Veterans

Predialysis nephrology care is associated with lower mortality and rates of hospitalization following chronic dialysis initiation.

Numerous Factors Affect Dialysis Initiation at VA

When is the optimal time to initiate maintenance dialysis in individual patients?

AKI Linked to Mortality in Combat Injured

While acute kidney injury (AKI) has been associated with mortality after traumatic injury, little data exists on military servicemembers with combat injuries.

VA Finds Diets Allowing More Fat Might Reduce Diabetes, Other Ailments

VA Finds Diets Allowing More Fat Might Reduce Diabetes, Other Ailments

For 30 years, Americans have focused on reducing fat to lower their risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Telemedicine Allows Army, Indian Health Service to Expand Range of Diabetes Care

Telemedicine Allows Army, Indian Health Service to Expand Range of Diabetes Care

To reach the growing number of individuals in their care who have diabetes, both the Army and the Indian Health Service have aggressively adopted telemedicine

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

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.

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?

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.

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).

Primary Care-Based Treatment Improved PTSD, Depression Without Stigma

Primary Care-Based Treatment Improved PTSD, Depression Without Stigma

By Brenda L. Mooney SANTA MONICA, CA – Can enhanced primary care treatment help alleviate the stigma some military servicemembers fear when told to seek mental healthcare? A new study suggests it can. Military members who visited a primary care… Read More

White House Action Increases Opioid Prescription Monitoring at VA

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—The White House’s announcement this summer of new steps to address the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic had a mixed message for the VA: While the administration specifically praised the VA’s new opioid prescribing policies for… Read More

VA Explores Pain Management Alternatives to Delay Opioid Use

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON—Since the rollout of the VA’s Opioid Safety Initiative in 2014, the department has aggressively focused on developing non-narcotic alternatives to reduce opioid use for chronic pain. Now, attention is turning to options that delay or… Read More

Timing of Flu in HIV Patients Vaccinated Early

SAN DIEGO – Past research has shown that patients with HIV infection vaccinated early in the flu season are generally more likely to contract influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI), compared with those receiving late vaccination. The reason likely is that… Read More

Staph, Influenza Co-Infection Increases Mortality

IOWA CITY, IA – Co-infection with Staphyloccocus aureus and influenza more than quadruples the risk of death compared to those without influenza, according to a new study. The article published recently in the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s… Read More

VA Healthcare Workers Have Relatively Low Flu Vaccine Rates

ANN ARBOR, MI—Multiple national recommendations encourage all healthcare workers to get the influenza vaccination, thereby reducing the chance they will pass the virus on to their patients. Despite a patient population of older and sicker patients more likely to develop… Read More

For Veterans and Armed Forces, Risk Remains Despite Flu Shots

For Veterans and Armed Forces, Risk Remains Despite Flu Shots

While influenza vaccine is the first line of defense against an infectious disease that can dramatically affect troop readiness, it is far from 100% effective.

Inferior VA End-of-Life Care Reported for Some Noncancer Conditions

Inferior VA End-of-Life Care Reported for Some Noncancer Conditions

Although most patients in the United States die of another condition, cancer is the focus of most end-of-life care studies.

Despite Legislative Complaints, Media Frenzy, TB Outbreak Never Occurred at VA Facilities

Despite Legislative Complaints, Media Frenzy, TB Outbreak Never Occurred at VA Facilities

In February, five U.S. representatives from California blasted the VA in a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald, alleging the Palo Alto Medical Center failed to follow public health protocol regarding potential tuberculosis (TB) exposure.

Army Research Produces Zika Vaccine Candidate in Record Time

Army Research Produces Zika Vaccine Candidate in Record Time

Drawing on deep experience with flaviviruses that started with its namesake’s research on yellow fever in the 1800s, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and collaborators brought two Zika vaccine candidates through early testing in just four months this spring.