Clinical Topics

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

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

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

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

CDC Opioid Guidelines Could Cause Problems for VA Patients, Clinicians

CDC Opioid Guidelines Could Cause Problems for VA Patients, Clinicians

Congress Is Forcing VA to Comply With ‘Voluntary’ Document By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA — VA clinicians and their patients might find themselves in a difficult position related to proposed opioid prescribing guidelines from the national Centers for Disease Control… Read More

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

In the last few months, several federal agencies and Congress have taken steps to eliminate obstacles to the study and potential use of marijuana for veterans with epilepsy and other conditions.

Guidelines Offer No Set Recommendations for How to Deal with First Seizures

Guidelines Offer No Set Recommendations for How to Deal with First Seizures

While veterans and servicemembers who have experienced a single unprovoked seizure and the clinicians who treat them would like clear, consistent next steps, new guidelines take them into solidly gray areas.

Web Program Promising for Women Vets With Pre-Diabetes

LOS ANGELES — Diabetes prevention is especially important at the VHA where 1 in 4 veterans has the disease, according to a small study citing growing evidence for the use of Web-based diabetes prevention program (DPP) interventions. The report appearing… Read More

Veterans With Diabetes Benefit From Lowering Both HbA1c, LDL-C

NEW ORLEANS — Most diabetes patients don’t have levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) under control, either individually or in combination, according to a new study seeking to determine the value of dual control as opposed… Read More

Comorbid Mental Disorders Increase VHA Diabetes Costs

CHARLESTON, SC — Costs of treating diabetes increase when patients also have mental health issues, according to a new VHA study. The study, which was published recently in the American Journal of Managed Care, looked at the prevalence and specific… Read More

MRI Study Finds ‘Brain Scars’ in Troops With Blast-Related mTBI

MRI Study Finds ‘Brain Scars’ in Troops With Blast-Related mTBI

“Brain scars” were detected in more than half of the active-duty servicemembers who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).