Clinical Topics

Despite Outcry About Cost, New HCV Therapies Likely to Save Money at VA

Despite Outcry About Cost, New HCV Therapies Likely to Save Money at VA

Amid all the outcry over the high cost of new hepatitis C therapies, including congressional hearings, a simple fact has been overlooked: The VA expects to save money in the long run because of the drugs’ high cure rates. By… Read More

VA/DoD Issue First COPD Guideline Update Since 2007

VA/DoD Issue First COPD Guideline Update Since 2007

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) increasingly is viewed by clinicians as a systemic disease that is treatable, instead of a debilitating lung disease that offers few options for patients.

DoD Takes Lead Role in Push for Ebola Vaccine

DoD Takes Lead Role in Push for Ebola Vaccine

WASHINGTON — When dozens of patients suffering with fever, severe diarrhea, hemorrhage and vomiting started dying in Guinea in early 2014

Thromboembolic Events Increase in Hospitalized IBD Patients

SHREVEPORT, LA — Over the past decade, an increasing incidence of thromboembolic events has been observed in hospitalized patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease, according to a new study. The study, published in the journal Vascular, was… Read More

Obesity May Indicate Less Severe Crohn’s Disease

DALLAS — Obesity, as defined by body mass index (BMI), appears to be somewhat of an advantage in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease, according to a new study involving veterans. The study, published ahead of print recently in… Read More

Despite Risks, Female Veterans with Heart Disease Less Likely to Receive Statins

Despite Risks, Female Veterans with Heart Disease Less Likely to Receive Statins

HOUSTON — Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women veterans, yet they remain undertreated

Heart Disease Added to List of Health Effects After Experiencing Combat

Heart Disease Added to List of Health Effects After Experiencing Combat

SEATTLE – While combat has long been known to increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

VA Educates Patients about Who Really Needs Testosterone Therapy

VA Educates Patients about Who Really Needs Testosterone Therapy

COLUMBIA, MO – Often spurred by advertising touting the benefits of testosterone supplementation for “low T,” veterans treated by the VA increasingly are requesting the replacement therapy.

Native Americans, Alaskans More Likely to Have Higher HbA1c Levels

OAKLAND, CA – American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are more than twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic Caucasians, and the prevalence of diabetes in the AI/AN populations has increased by more than 68% since 1994. A study… Read More

‘Precision Medicine’ Approach Helps Predict Who Will Develop Diabetes

ANN ARBOR, MI – A new “precision medicine” approach to diabetes prevention uses existing information such as blood sugar levels and waist-to-hip ratios, rather than a genetic test, to determine who has the highest risk of developing the disease. The… Read More

Black Women Working the Night Shift More Likely to Develop Diabetes

BEDFORD, MA – African-American women who work night shifts are significantly more likely to develop diabetes, and their risk increases the longer they work that schedule. That’s according to a new study published in Diabetolgia, which notes that the increased… Read More

Secretary Proposes ‘Rightsizing’ VA by Closing Underused Facilities

Secretary Proposes ‘Rightsizing’ VA by Closing Underused Facilities

Political Battles Expected WASHINGTON – The VA needs to “right-size” by shifting resources to areas of the country where the veteran population is growing and by disposing of more than 10 million square feet of excess space that is costing… Read More

Dietary Changes Show Promise in Slowing MS Progression

PHILADELPHIA – Emerging evidence suggests that diet and vascular risk factors including obesity and hyperlipidemia may influence progression of multiple sclerosis. A poster presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology sought to determine the compliance… Read More

What Causes High Incidence of Falls in MS Patients?

PORTLAND, OR – Multiple sclerosis patients have a high incidence of falls with research indicating that more than 50% of them fall in a three- to six-month period and around 30% to 50% fall multiple times. Because those falls can… Read More

Remote Evaluation Possible for MS Patients

WASHINGTON – Traveling to VA testing centers can be difficult for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. What if, instead, the testing could be done remotely? That’s what a study led by researchers from the Washington DC VAMC sought to find out.… Read More

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

By Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO – Your patient presents with wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Is it asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or both? The diagnosis and decision about treatment are not so simple, however. In fact, they… Read More

Better Treatments Sought for Bacteria Colonization in COPD Patients

Better Treatments Sought for Bacteria Colonization in COPD Patients

Symptoms Increase, Worsening Quality of Life By Annette M. Boyle BUFFALO, NY – Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) commonly have bacteria in their lungs. This has been considered inconsequential except during exacerbations, but now it seems that those… Read More

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

Veteran Study Shows Significant Survival Benefit From Bariatric Surgery

DURHAM, NC – While evidence is growing that bariatric surgery can improve survival among the severely obese, past research hasn’t been as useful for some of the patients who would benefit most from weight loss.

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.