Clinical Topics

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.

Telehealth Found Equally Effective in Lowering Blood Sugar

DENVER—Endocrinology telehealth consultations improved short-term glycemic control as effectively as traditional face-to-face visits in a veteran population with diabetes, according to a new study. The article published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology noted that rates of diabetes… Read More

CVD Rates Higher in Black Patients With Diabetes, CKD

SEATTLE—Blacks have high rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality, as well as diabetes and chronic kidney disease, and risk factors for cardiovascular mortality in the general population are common among blacks. A report published recently in the Clinical Journal of… Read More

How Treatment Intensification Affects Veterans’ HbA1c

NASHVILLE—How do common type 2 diabetes treatment intensification regimens  at the VA affect glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and body mass index (BMI)? A study published recently in the journal BMC Endocrine Disorders sought to answer that question.1 A study team led… Read More

Walter Reed Researchers Seek to Improve Accuracy in CVD Risk Scoring

Walter Reed Researchers Seek to Improve Accuracy in CVD Risk Scoring

Primary care physicians and cardiologists increasingly rely on risk factor-based scores to determine who should start preventive therapy for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Relationship Between AFib, Diabetes Critical to Veteran Care

Relationship Between AFib, Diabetes Critical to Veteran Care

WASHINGTON—The VA treats about a million veterans for diabetes, nearly one-fourth of its patient population.

VA Study Questions Pathogenesis of GERD

VA Study Questions Pathogenesis of GERD

DALLAS—A small, single-center study led by researchers from the Dallas VAMC suggests that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) might be caused by an immune reaction, rather than direct chemical injury from stomach acids. Results were published online recently as a “Preliminary… Read More

Veteran Study Links Long Term PPI Use to Kidney Disease, Failure

By Brenda L. Mooney SAINT LOUIS—Common drugs prescribed to millions of Americans to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers appear to be harmful over the long term to the kidneys and probably should be avoided, according to a new veterans… Read More

Hormone Deficiencies Common in Concussion Patients

SEATTLE—Hormonal changes related to explosive blast-related concussions often cause military veterans to suffer sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression and poor quality of life, according to a new study. The research evaluating hormone levels in 41 male veterans who had been deployed… Read More

High False-Negative Rate in Cognitive Screening

SAN DIEGO—Existing screening tools for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) miss too many confirming diagnoses, according to a new study. An article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reports a false-negative error rate of 7%. Researchers at University of California… Read More

When Should Physicians Recommend HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis to Patients?

When Should Physicians Recommend HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis to Patients?

ANN ARBOR, MI — Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gained Food and Drug Administration approval in 2012, and many commentators hailed the therapy as a “once-in-a-generation” advance.

Turning the Tide on Rising VA Hepatocellular Carcinoma Rates

Turning the Tide on Rising VA Hepatocellular Carcinoma Rates

HOUSTON — After a decade of dramatically rising rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among veterans, aggressive treatment of hepatitis C infections (HCV) appears poised to turn the tide.

Colorectal Cancer at VA Similar to General Population

DURHAM, NC ‑- How does colorectal cancer incidence and survival at the VA compare with the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) data?