Clinical Topics

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

FALLS CHURCH, VA – The DoD has successfully reversed a trend toward increased use of opioids by engaging pharmacists in oversight and management of polypharmacy patients in Warrior Transition Units.

Opioid Prescribing Showed Great Variance Across VHA

IOWA CITY, IA – Opioid prescribing dramatically increased at the VHA during an eight year period ending in 2012 but demonstrated wide variation in prevalence and incident rates across geographical region, sex and age groups. Prevalence and incidence rates reflect… Read More

How Medical Marijuana Laws Affect Opioid Mortality

PHILADELPHIA – Could wider use of medical marijuana reduce mortality from opioid analgesic overdose? That question is raised by a study published recently in JAMA Internal Medicine.1 Noting that opioid analgesic overdose mortality continues to rise in the United States, driven… Read More

Direct Visual Observation Therapy Relieves Phantom-Limb Pain

BETHESDA, MD – With as many as one-third of unilateral=limb amputees suffering regularly from phantom limb pain, military medicine has been in search of an inexpensive and effective treatment. A study published recently in the Annals of Clinical and Translational… Read More

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

Why Do Overweight Patients Live Longer with Heart Failure?
Now the leading cause of hospital admissions in the VA Health Care System, heart failure is associated with high mortality rates and poor quality of life.

New VA Initiative Battles Excesses of ‘Tight Glucose Control’ Trend

New VA Initiative Battles Excesses of ‘Tight Glucose Control’ Trend

Effort Seeks to Reduce Hypoglycemia in Older Veterans
WASHINGTON – At the beginning of the 21st century, tight glucose control for patients with type 2 diabetes was all the rage.

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

DURHAM, NC – While the commitment to physical fitness demanded of active duty forces can keep many ailments at bay, the rigors of service also bring an increased risk of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, especially for young women entering (and exiting) the military.

Test Strip Overuse Common with Dual Benefits

PITTSBURGH – Veterans who double dip benefits, receiving glucose test strips through both the VA and Medicare, use more strips and are more likely to potentially overuse the measurement devices, according to a new study. “These results illustrate the profound… Read More

Insomnia Doubles Risk of Chronic Diseases in Servicemembers

BETHESDA, MD – Chronic insomnia doubles the risk of developing hypertension and type 2 diabetes in servicemembers compared to military personnel who have not been diagnosed with that sleep problem. That’s according to a report in Medical Surveillance Monthly Report… Read More

Mindfulness Training Helps Vets with Diabetes

PITTSBURGH – Veterans who participated in mindfulness training lowered their diabetes-related distress and glucose levels while improving their self-management of the disease, according to a new study. The training included focused breathing and awareness training, according to the research presented… Read More

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

With More Women in Military, the ‘Great Imitator’ Often Challenges Health Providers

Lupus Diagnoses Have Risen Significantly
BETHESDA, MD – As the fictional team of physicians attempted to identify mysterious conditions season after season, TV’s Dr. Gregory House often assured them, “It’s not lupus — It’s never lupus.” But in recent years, many DoD physicians have found that it is lupus — it’s increasingly lupus.

TBI Raises Dementia Risk More Than Other Trauma

SAN FRANCISCO – Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has a higher association with increased risk of dementia in older adults than other types of trauma, a recent study found. Past studies have conflicted on whether a single TBI increases risk of… Read More

Functional Level Higher for Recent Amputees

DETROIT – Noting that multiple limb loss from combat injuries has increased as a proportion of all combat-wounded amputees in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, researchers sought to determine how much function and quality of life had changed since… Read More

Pituitary Dysfunction Related to Blast TBI

CHICAGO – Pituitary dysfunction after blast injury may be an important, under-recognized, and potentially treatable source of symptoms in servicemembers who survive traumatic brain injury (TBI) from blast exposure, according to a new study. The research was presented recently at… Read More

Clay Hunt Suicide Bill Blocked in Senate, Falls to Pass This Session

Clay Hunt Suicide Bill Blocked in Senate, Falls to Pass This Session

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON-Advocacy groups were upset last month that a bill requiring VA and DoD to conduct annual evaluations of their mental healthcare and suicide prevention programs was not passed before Congress finished its business in December. The bill,… Read More

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Healthcare Providers Should Consider Ethnicity in Weight-Loss Counseling

Studies Show Unique Needs of Hispanic, Veteran Populations By Annette M. Boyle NEW YORK – Since 2003, the proportion of new military recruits who identified as Hispanic has increased by more than 50% and the number of Hispanic veterans has… Read More

Air Force Program Helps Prediabetic Patients Battle the Bulge

Air Force Program Helps Prediabetic Patients Battle the Bulge

SAN ANTONIO – For many veterans, leaving the service marks the beginning of a new battle — the constant fight against obesity. Sudden weight gain often accompanies the transition to civilian life, with more than 70% of veterans ending up overweight and at elevated risk of developing diabetes and a complex cascade of related health issues.

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Murtha Center, USU Join NCI to Battle Common Foe: Cancer

Alliance Research Not Limited by Private-Sector Restraints By Annette M. Boyle  BETHESDA, MD – In celebration of its second anniversary, the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, announced plans to substantially expand its… Read More

Algorithm Helps Identify Highest Influenza Activity

AMHERST, MA – A new tool can assist public health practitioners, researchers, and clinicians in defining the community-level onset of seasonal influenza epidemics. Using recent surveillance data on virologically confirmed infections of influenza, a team led by researchers from the… Read More

Rapid Vaccination Can Prevent Deaths, Costs in Flu Pandemic

STANFORD, CA – Rapid vaccination is key to averting deaths and saving tens of millions of dollars in treatment costs from a severe influenza pandemic occurring with a strain as lethal as human influenza A (H7N9), according to a dynamic… Read More