Clinical Topics

VA Patients Receive Appropriate Scans for CRC

INDIANAPOLIS — The current standard for post-treatment surveillance of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors following curative treatment at the VA is an annual computed tomography scan for three years.

Screening Doesn’t Explain All Colorectal Cancer Drop

LEBANON, NH — Colorectal-cancer incidence among U.S. adults 50 or older has dropped by almost 40% since 1975 and by more than 45% since its peak in the mid-1980s.

Antipsychotics Increase Death Risk in Veterans With Parkinson’s Disease

Antipsychotics Increase Death Risk in Veterans With Parkinson’s Disease

PHILADELPHIA — Parkinson’s disease patients prescribed antipsychotics are significantly more likely to die in the short-term, according to a new veterans study.

VA Studies rTMS As Alternative Treatment for Depressed Veterans

VA Studies rTMS As Alternative Treatment for Depressed Veterans

How Effective Will Therapy Be for Complex Mental Health Profiles? By Annette M. Boyle PALO ALTO, CA — At one point during the 20th century, the idea of using “shock treatment” on patients who failed to respond to medications or… Read More

Legislators Focus on Concerns About Suicide ‘Epidemic’ Among Women Veterans

Legislators Focus on Concerns About Suicide ‘Epidemic’ Among Women Veterans

Suicide Rate Six Times Higher Than Civilian Peers By Annette M. Boyle DENVER — Suicide among women veterans is six times higher than among their civilian peers, according to a recently published study, and Congress wants to know why. The… Read More

Bleeding Risk Greater for Veterans on Warfarin Than Previously Expected

Bleeding Risk Greater for Veterans on Warfarin Than Previously Expected

Worried that a fall might lead to traumatic intracranial bleeding, many physicians are wary of prescribing warfarin to older adults with atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Continuous Glucose Monitoring Found Cost-Effective

BALTIMORE — Real-time continuous glucose monitoring (RT-CGM) is cost-effective in diabetes patients, according to a military study. In making that determination, a study team led by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center researchers used evidence from a randomized, controlled trial… Read More

Severely Injured Warriors More Likely to Develop Diabetes

TRAVIS Air Force Base, CA — Severity of combat injuries influences the risk of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans to develop diabetes and other chronic diseases, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the journal Circulation, notes… Read More

AMD Predicts Poorer Overall Survival in Older Women

PORTLAND, OR — What is the association between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a population of older women? Answering that question was the goal of a prospective cohort study at four U.S. clinical centers. Results… Read More

Glaucoma Increases Cataract Surgery Complications

JAMAICA PLAINS, MA — A new VA study compared visual acuity outcomes, vision-related quality of life and complications related to cataract surgery in eyes with and without glaucoma. The retrospective cohort study was published recently in the American Journal of… Read More

How Does Serious Hypoglycemia Relate to Atherosclerosis?

PHOENIX — Is serious hypoglycemia associated with progression of atherosclerosis in veterans? An investigation published recently in the journal Diabetes Care sought to answer that question and came up with a mixed answer.1 Researchers from the Phoenix VA Health Care… Read More

CAD Linked to Macular Degeneration in Veterans

LEXINGTON, KY — VA clinicians should co-screen for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and systemic vascular disease, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the Southern Medical Journal, notes that, although AMD — the leading cause of blindness… Read More

Major Military Advancement in Trauma Care Now Adopted by Civilian Medicine

Major Military Advancement in Trauma Care Now Adopted by Civilian Medicine

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON — In yet another example of how battlefield medicine has altered civilian healthcare practice, damage-control resuscitation (DCR) now is being widely used in trauma centers across the United States. A survey of trauma medical directors… Read More

COPD: Risk Factor for HIV Lung Infections

SEATTLE — Pulmonary infections remain more common in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), compared with those who are uninfected. Surmising that an increase in chronic lung diseases among aging HIV positive patients could contribute to the risk, a University… Read More

Few Smoking Cessation Meds for COPD Patients

SEATTLE – At the VA, many smokers admitted for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not given smoking cessation medications at discharge. A study published recently in the Journal of General Internal Medicine noted that the reasons are unclear but… Read More

Veterans’ Asthma, Mental Health Show Link

SAN BERNARDINO, CA — Mental illness is associated with both current and lifetime asthma among U.S. veterans, according to a new study. The study, published recently in the Journal of Asthma, involved 20,581 veterans. A study team led by California… Read More

TZDs Linked to Fewer COPD Exacerbations

Does therapy with a common diabetes drug class decrease the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations?

Medications Slow Progression As Well As Reduce Symptoms in MS

Medications Slow Progression As Well As Reduce Symptoms in MS

African-Americans 50% More Likely to Experience Significant Disability.

Proposed Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes Could Benefit Patients, Researchers

Proposed Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes Could Benefit Patients, Researchers

VA Could Help Validate New Classifications By Annette M. Boyle BALTIMORE — Sometimes consensus sounds like controversy. In 2014, the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis recommended a revision to the four subtypes of the disease in… Read More

VA, DoD Adopting Earlier HIV Treatment to Dramatically Reduce AIDS Risk

VA, DoD Adopting Earlier HIV Treatment to Dramatically Reduce AIDS Risk

Pre-infection Immunological Health Achieved in Some Cases By Annette M. Boyle SAN ANTONIO — For years, clinicians have not recommended treating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients with antiretroviral therapy (ART) before they saw a significant drop in T-cell levels. Starting… Read More

Long-Term Opioid Use Increases Depression Risk

LOUIS — While opioids can cause short-term improvement in mood as patients experience pain relief, long-term use of the drugs increases risk of new-onset depression, according to a new study. The research, published recently in the Annals of Family Medicine,… Read More

Hospitals’ Routine Use of PPIs Increases Risk of Inpatient Pneumonia, C. Diff

Hospitals’ Routine Use of PPIs Increases Risk of Inpatient Pneumonia, C. Diff

VA Researchers Recommend Against the Practice in Most Cases By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — In a case where the preventive measure might be worse than the avoided outcome, hospitals at the VHA and elsewhere often routinely provide… Read More