Cardiovascular Disease

Colorectal Cancer Procedure Wait Times: Deadly Delays or Just Good Medicine?

Martin D. McCarter, MD By Annette M. Boyle DENVER — Are increased wait times at the VA for colorectal cancer procedures because patients are receiving more appropriate care, or are they simply dangerous delays that could be deadly for some… Read More

Too Little Sleep Raises Women’s Risk of Coronary Events

SAN FRANCISCO – Too little sleep, especially early awakening, plays a significant role in raising unhealthy levels of inflammation among women with coronary heart disease, according to a new study. Interestingly, the elevated inflammation affected only women, not men, even… Read More

Death at Bronx VAMC Leads to Nationwide Recall of Nuclear Medicine Equipment

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – An investigation is ongoing “to determine a definitive cause” of an accident in which a veteran died from injuries sustained when a portion of a nuclear medicine system fell during a scan, according to the… Read More

New Research Shows Increased Cardiovascular Risks for TBI, PTSD Patients

By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI – New research on short- and long-term cardiovascular risks from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could present significant challenges for the VA and the Military Health System. More than… Read More

VA Study Links Statins to Musculoskeletal Conditions, Injuries

By Brenda L. Mooney DALLAS — Adverse effects from statin therapy go beyond just muscle pain and weakness, also increasing risks of musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies and injuries, according to a new VA study using a large military medical database. The… Read More

Atrial Fibrillation Treatment Varies in VA by Who Is Providing Care

By Annette M. Boyle Mintu Turakhia, MD PALO ALTO, CA – Cardiologists may overtreat veterans newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter, while primary care physicians may undertreat them, according to research recently published in the American Heart Journal.1… Read More

For example, battlefield conditions ranging from sun exposure to crowded living conditions to chafing and sweating caused by body armor can create hard-to-manage dermatologic issues. This year’s Compendium discusses the unexpectedly high rate of medical evacuations of troops from war… Read More

Introduction by Brenda L. Mooney, Editorial Director, U.S. Medicine

“An army is a minature of the society which produces it.”– C.L.R. James Brenda L. Mooney, Editorial Director On a recent road trip to enjoy the spring weather, my husband and I stopped at a convenience store near the Georgia-South… Read More

Newly-Approved Anticoagulants Offer More Options, Different Risks

Annette M. Boyle Dr. Alan Jacobson, MD, Director of the anti-coagulation services at the Loma Linda, CA, Veterans Administration Medical Center BOSTON – While newer anticoagulants provide options for many patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who are at risk for… Read More

Surgery May Trump Angioplasty for Diabetes Patients with CAD

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – A new study from the Roudebush VAMC in Indianapolis suggests survival rates are better when diabetes patients with multivessel coronary artery disease receive coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery as opposed to angioplasty, even when the most… Read More

The Clinical Pharmacy Specialist’s Growing Provider Role in VA

By Anthony P. Morreale, PharmD, MBA, BCPS; Heather Ourth, PharmD, BCPS, CGP; and Julie A. Groppi, PharmD, CDE  VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services for Clinical Pharmacy Services and Healthcare Anthony P. Morreale, PharmD, MBA, BCPS Clinical Pharmacy Specialists have an… Read More

By Heart Disease Measures, Current Troops Might Be Healthier Than Ever

Annette M. Boyle Maj. Bryant Webber, MD BETHESDA, MD — Despite concerns about unhealthy lifestyles and rising obesity among recruits, the U.S. military might be in better shape than ever, as measured by cardiovascular disease markers. That’s according to a… Read More

Exercise Plus Statins for Heart Disease: Determining How Much Is Too Much

Annette M. Boyle “…low-fit patients who were not taking statins had 2 to 2.5 times the risk of the patients in the highest fit group who were not on statins.” — Peter Kokkinos, PhD, Director, LIVe Program, Washington DC VAMC… Read More

Quick Stress Reduction Technique Improves Sleep for Heart Patients

BETHESDA, MD — An easy 10-minute stress reduction technique can substantially improve sleep quality, according to researchers from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The 10-minute Tension Tamer was tested on 334 patients in a heart health program. Subjects attended… Read More

Effect on INR from Antibiotics in Warfarin Patients

RICHMOND, VA – Even though antibiotics may lead to an increase in international normalized ratio (INR) for older veterans on stable warfarin therapy, that may not result in clinically significant outcomes of bleeding or hospitalization, according to a new report.1… Read More

Women Veterans at Risk for Heart Disease; VA Seeks to Raise Awareness

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON —The No. 1 killer of women in the United States is heart disease, and women veterans are in no way exempt. In fact, by some measures, they have higher rates of heart disease risk factors. That… Read More

Veterans’ CPAP Compliance Linked to Medication Adherence

ATLANTA–A study of veterans who were prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy after having a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)found that their compliance with the treatment had a significant  association with how regularly they also took cardiovascular medications.… Read More

Balloon Cryoplasty Effective for PAD in Diabetics

NEW YORK — The COBRA trial suggests that cryoplasty for post-dilation of nitinol stents in the superficial femoral artery is an effective adjunctive treatment for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in diabetics. “Post-dilation of SFA stents with cryoplasty can significantly reduce… Read More

Research Offers More Focused Treatment Options for AF

SAN DIEGO–Recurrence of symptoms is common for many patients treated for atrial fibrillation, at least partly because the source of the arrhythmia is unknown. New research seeks to remedy that situation. Reporting earlier this year in Journal of the American… Read More

VA Telerehab Program Improves Post-Stroke Functioning

Participating in a home telerehabilitation program improves lower-body physical functioning after a stroke, as well as increasing the likelihood of maintaining a regular fitness routine, enhancing money-management skills and improving the capability to prepare meals and take care of personal… Read More