Current Issue

More Comprehensive Data Shows Lower Average Veteran Suicide Rate

Serious Concerns Remain About 20, Not 22, Suicides A Day By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—A recent veterans suicide analysis indicates that an average of 20 veterans died every day in 2014—slightly less than a 2010 estimate—but VA is not “declaring that… Read More

CVD Rates Higher in Black Patients With Diabetes, CKD

SEATTLE—Blacks have high rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality, as well as diabetes and chronic kidney disease, and risk factors for cardiovascular mortality in the general population are common among blacks. A report published recently in the Clinical Journal of… Read More

Mindfulness Meditation Helps Veterans Control Pain

WASHINGTON — Pain is recognized as a significant health issue among the approximately 2.6 million servicemembers who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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.

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

Lymphoma Survivors Should Be Monitored for Melanoma

ROCKVILLE, MD — While previous studies have reported that survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have an increased risk of developing cutaneous melanoma, risks associated with specific treatments and immune-related risk factors have not been quantified. To remedy that, a study… 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

Letter To The Editor

Dear Dr. Buckenmaier, I’m a gynecologist, working part-time since 2004, at the VA in Fresno. I was an attending with the UCSF Ob/Gyn Fresno Residency Training Program for 20 years and am doing this job as I fade slowly toward… Read More

Men Benefit From Incontinence Exercises After PCa Treatment

Post-partum exercises used to treat women for incontinence also show benefit in men with urinary leaks from prostate cancer surgery or radiation therapy, according to a new VA-funded study.

Indian Health Service Counseling Technique Improves Medication Knowledge

Indian Health Service Counseling Technique Improves Medication Knowledge

An extra minute of patient interaction using the Indian Health Service (IHS) technique more than doubles the likelihood that patients will remember and understand what their new prescription treats, how to take the medication and its possible side effects.

High Cost of Paperless Benefits System Questioned

High Cost of Paperless Benefits System Questioned

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) officials recently defended cost increases related to development of the paperless claims processing system Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS). “Scope and cost increases were planned, essential and approved to move beyond… 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.

Wounded Warriors at Higher Risk of Developing Vascular, Other Conditions

The more than 50,000 troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are at greater risk of developing diseases such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, according to a new retrospective cohort study.

Inadequate Nutrition Found for VA Peripheral Arterial Disease Patients

SAN FRANCISCO — Inadequate nutrient intake may contribute to the development and progression of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), according to a new investigation of the intake of essential fatty acids and nutrients among veterans with PAD. The study, published in… Read More

Pharmacist Calls to Cognitively Impaired Veterans Lowers Readmissions

Pharmacist Calls to Cognitively Impaired Veterans Lowers Readmissions

By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — For many older veterans, the transition from hospital to home can create confusion about which medications to take when. For veterans with cognitive impairment, the challenge increases — and so does the risk of… Read More

Research Suggests Gout Drug Could Lower Diabetes Risk Among Veterans

Could a common drug used for gout lower the risk of diabetes? That’s what a recent study in the journal Clinical Therapeutics endeavored to find out.

Scarce Sun Protection in Iraq, Afghanistan Put Troops at Risk

NASHVILLE, TN — It wasn’t only the climate that increased the risk of skin cancer for military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lack of sun protection also was a contributing factor, according to a new study. Results published recently… Read More

How Obesity Affects Kidney Function, Mortality in Veterans

MEMPHIS, TN — A new study investigated the association of body mass index with progressive loss of kidney function and all-cause mortality in U.S. veterans, finding that those who were overweight but not obese had the best clinical outcomes. The… Read More

Dialysis Timing Tends to Be Different for VA Patients

SEATTLE — The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) tends to be lower at the VA when dialysis is initiated compared with other healthcare systems, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the Clinical Journal of the American… Read More

Knee Arthroplasty Less Effective in RA, Compared to OA

OMAHA, NE — Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is effective in reducing pain for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but not as much as with osteoarthritis (OA) patients, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the journal Arthritis… Read More

VA Seeks Presumptive-Disability Status for Camp Lejeune Veterans

VA Seeks Presumptive-Disability Status for Camp Lejeune Veterans

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The VA is beginning the process of amending its regulations to establish presumptive-disability status for veterans who have certain diseases linked to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. By establishing presumptive status, it is presumed… Read More

Individual Prescriber Preferences Contribute to VA’s Antibiotic Overuse

Individual Prescriber Preferences Contribute to VA’s Antibiotic Overuse

By Brenda L. Mooney SALT LAKE CITY — A study conducted in the VA health system uncovered a disturbing truth about overuse of antibiotics: A big contributor to the problem is that some clinicians prescribe the drugs to nearly every… Read More