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Cardiology

All-Cause Mortality Reduced in Heart Failure Patients with Lower Discharge Heart Rate

WASHINGTON — Although a lower heart rate is known to be linked with better outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (EF), not as much research is available on the association in... View Article

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VA Study Finds Older Medicare Patients Often Are Overtreated for Diabetes

It’s not only the VA that struggles with the balance between just enough treatment of older Type 2 diabetes patients and too much.

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Metformin Shows Promise for Increasing NSCLC Survival

BETHESDA, MD—Past research has raised the possibility that a common blood sugar-lowering drug could be associated with improved survival in cancer patients with Type 2 diabetes. A study published recently in the International Journal of Cancer assessed... View Article

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New Techniques Improved Survival for Veterans with Stage 1 NSCLC

Improved radiation and surgical techniques boosted overall survival in veterans diagnosed with Stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from 2001 to 2010.

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Augmentation Better Than Switching Drugs in MDD

The addition of an atypical anti-psychotic medication to an antidepressant regimen for veterans not responding to their current treatment led to greater improvement in symptoms of depression than switching to another antidepressant altogether.

Cardiology

Cleveland VA Pharmacy Clinic Shows Promise in Heart Failure Pilot

A pilot evaluation of a pharmacist-led, multidisciplinary transitional care clinic for heart failure (HF) patients showed good results at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VAMC in Cleveland.

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Characteristics of Clinicians Most Likely to Prescribe Testosterone at VA

Testosterone prescribing at the VHA has followed national trends and increased substantially over the last decade.

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Study Suggests Physician Awareness of Natalizumab Side Effects

After a 43-year-old female with multiple sclerosis developed urethral melanoma, with the only potential risk factor being treatment with natalizumab

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Lipoic Acid Promising in VA-Funded MS Study

PORTLAND, OR—While not many treatment options exist for patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, a new study is suggesting that an over-the-counter remedy might improve quality of life. Research published in the journal Neuroimmunology &... View Article

August 2017

Not Enough Veterans Get Folic Acid With Methotrexate

SAN FRANCISCO—Co-prescription of folic acid in patients receiving low dose oral methotrexate (MTX) is recommended because it reduces adverse events and prolongs the use of the drug. A study on PLOS One suggests, however, that... View Article

August 2017

PTSD Combined With Some Medications Dramatically Increases Dementia Risk

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appears to increase the risk of dementia in veterans but exactly why remains unclear: Is the increased risk attributable to frequent comorbidities such as diabetes and traumatic brain injury or to medications used to treat PTSD or to other factors?

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Which Type of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Surgery Is Preferred at VA?

Patients Now Being Asked to Choose Open or Endoscopic By Annette M. Boyle WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT—Each year, about 2,000 veterans have surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysms. Over the past two decades, a rising percentage... View Article

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Viagra Likely Doesn’t Cause Melanoma Cases

NEW YORK—A new study found higher rates of melanoma in users of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra but could identify no direct cause and effect. A report published online by the Journal of the National... View Article

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TBI, OSA Combination Affects Cognitive Function

WASHINGTON—Patients with TBI are considered to be at high risk for the development of sleep disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In a study published in the journal Neurology, researchers posited that the combination of... View Article

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Most Common GI Scope Adverse Events at VHA

How common are adverse events related to gastrointestinal (GI) scope and tube placement procedures at the VHA?

Cancer

USU: Younger Colon Cancer Patients Appear Overtreated

While young and middle-aged patients are much more likely to receive postoperative chemotherapy than older patients, they don't appear to survive any longer from colon cancer, a new study reported.

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Surgery Increasing at VA

Women will make up approximately 10% of the VA healthcare system by 2020 and 15% by 2030, meaning that the need for women’s health services, including breast cancer treatment, will increase.

Cancer

TKI Persistence Rates at VHA Over Time

How is chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treated over an extended period at the VHA, including the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy with imatinib, dasatinib and nilotinib?

Addiction

Alcohol Abuse, PTSD Can Be Treated Simultaneously

DURHAM, NC — Many servicemembers and veterans seeking treatment for alcohol problems have experienced the life-threatening stress of combat, many have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many servicemembers and veterans seeking treatment for PTSD also have alcohol or other substance problems.

Addiction

New Soldiers’ Alcohol Abuse Linked to Mental Disorders

LA JOLLA, CA— Problem drinking that predates enlistment into military service might be a contributor to the overall burden of alcohol misuse and mental disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces, but evidence remains somewhat limited.

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Guideline-Discordant Imaging In Prostate Cancer

About half of veterans with low-risk prostate cancer receive imaging not called for in clinical guidelines, according to a new study.

Asthma

How Ignoring COPD Guidelines Helped Veterans

Failing to follow international guidelines on treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) isn’t always bad medicine, a new study reported.

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Veterans with HIV Responsive to Standard Diabetes Therapy

With Type 2 diabetes increasingly common in HIV-infected individuals, are standard oral diabetes medications as effective in that population?

Cardiovascular Disease

Fenofibrate Associated With Reduced CV Disease in Diabetics

Cardiovascular risk is increased in patients with Type 2 diabetes, at least partly because of hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

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Anticoagulants for the Prevention of VTE After Arthroplasty

Because venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and potentially fatal complication of arthroplasty, a recent meta-analysis looked at the safety and effectiveness of new anticoagulants for the prevention of VTE after hip and knee procedures.

Battlefield Medicine

Younger Veterans Much More Likely to Suffer Severe Pain Than Nonveterans

Veterans, especially those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, are about 40% more likely to experience severe pain than nonveterans, according to a new study.

Addiction

Veterans Who Abuse Non-Medical Opioids Have High Risk of Using Heroin

Veterans who misuse opioid painkillers have a very high risk of also beginning to use heroin, according to a new study.

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Inadequate Anemia Testing for UC Patients at VA

Many veterans being treated at the VA for ulcerative colitis aren’t getting recommended testing and treatment for the common problem of iron deficiency anemia.

Agencies Home

Types of Skin Lesions Referred by PCPs at VA

MINNEAPOLIS—Skin lesions sent to dermatology by primary care physicians (PCPs) represent a significant proportion of VA healthcare visits, according to a new study.

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Numerous Factors Affect Dialysis Initiation at VA

When is the optimal time to initiate maintenance dialysis in individual patients?

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AKI Linked to Mortality in Combat Injured

While acute kidney injury (AKI) has been associated with mortality after traumatic injury, little data exists on military servicemembers with combat injuries.

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Suicide Risk Remains Much Higher for Military, Veterans Than Civilian U.S. Population

Suicide rates in the general U.S. population rose to their highest level in 30 years in 2014, but among both active-duty servicemembers and veterans, the rates were higher still.

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Smoking Associated With RA Severity at VA

Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis and has been associated with increased disease severity and lower rates of disease remission.

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Waiting to Treat Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Doesn’t Lessen Quality of Life

By Brenda L. Mooney SEATTLE—With active surveillance (AS) an increasingly important alternative to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment for men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, clinicians have been unsure how that affects patients’ health-related quality... View Article

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Low Vitamin D Linked to Aggressive PC

CHICAGO—Aggressive prostate cancer appears to be linked to low levels of vitamin D, according to a new study. The report, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggests its finding is important, because it can... View Article

August 2016

Military Knee Injuries Could Be Linked to Hip, Thigh Strength

TULSA, OK—Knee overuse injuries are the most common musculoskeletal complaints in military trainees and are common in active-duty warfighters, according to a new study which suggested a possible link between lower hip and thigh strength... View Article

August 2016

Recent Servicemembers Have More Severe Orthopedic Injuries

EL PASO, TX—Of the around 60,000 U.S. military servicemembers injured in combat during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, 40% have suffered fractures, traumatic amputations and injuries to the spine.With about 64% percent of those with... View Article

CDC

Study Determines Patients Most Vulnerable to E. Coli H30

MINNEAPOLIS—The pandemic strain of drug-resistant E. coli H30 begins as a subtle, hard-to-detect infection, usually of the urinary tract. The strain is of special concern, however, according to a report in Clinical Infectious Diseases, because... View Article

April 2009

Hormone Deficiencies Common in Concussion Patients

SEATTLE—Hormonal changes related to explosive blast-related concussions often cause military veterans to suffer sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression and poor quality of life, according to a new study.The research evaluating hormone levels in 41 male veterans... View Article

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Cryoablation Promising for Phantom Limb Pain

ATLANTA — Military veterans wounded in combat, as well as patients with complex medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes, make up a significant portion of those grappling with pain that seems to appear from an amputated limb.

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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.

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Disrupted Metabolism Affects Lymphoma Development

SAN ANTONIO — New research directly links disrupted metabolism to a common and often fatal type of lymphoma, according to an article in Nature Communications.1“The link between metabolism and cancer has been proposed or inferred... View Article

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Why a Racial Difference in Preference for Knee Replacement?

TUCSON, AZ — Racial disparities exist in use of total knee replacement (TKR), and patient preferences play a role in that, according to a new study seeking to identify the determinants of knee osteoarthritis (OA)... View Article

April 2016

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... View Article

April 2016

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... View Article

April 2016

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.1Researchers from the Phoenix... View Article

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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... View Article

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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... View Article

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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... View Article

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

VA Researchers Recommend Against the Practice in Most CasesBy Brenda L. MooneyANN ARBOR, MI — In a case where the preventive measure might be worse than the avoided outcome, hospitals at the VHA and elsewhere... View Article

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