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Current Issue

VA Awakens to Prevalence of Sleep Apnea in Veterans with Severe Mental Illness

PITTSBURGH—Serious mental illness increases the likelihood of sleep apnea by 26%, according to researchers at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Their study, recently published in Psychosomatics, also found that nearly 9% of all veterans had... View Article

Current Issue

VA Now Allows New Therapy Option for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Condition Significantly Increases Veterans’ Healthcare Costs ORLANDO, FL—VA clinicians now will be able to prescribe a form of ketamine to help patients with treatment-resistant depression. The condition is associated with healthcare resource utilization and costs... View Article

Current Issue

IBD Treatment Can Increase Squamous Cell Cancer Risk

PHILADELPHIA—Treatment with thiopurines is associated with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, according to a new study. Researchers from the Corporal Michel J. Crescenz VAMC... View Article

Current Issue

High Satisfaction with Teledermatology at Atlanta VAMC

ATLANTA—Teledermatology is comparable to face-to-face visits in providing accurate diagnoses and effective treatments, but it is not clear how patients feel about teledermatology models that more directly convey provider recommendations to patients. A study in... View Article

Current Issue

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs and Skin Cancer in Veterans

LEXINGTON, KY—Is there a relationship between phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor drugs, prescribed for erectile dysfunction, and skin cancers? A large-scale study of veterans sought to determine that. A retrospective review using the VAs Informatics and Computing... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Three VAMC Campus Suicides in a Week Heighten Concerns About Prevention

WASHINGTON—Concern over the rate of veteran suicides reached a fever pitch last month after three veterans took their lives at VA facilities over a span of five days. Two of the deaths occurred in Georgia—one... View Article

April 2019

Combat, Not Deployment, Appears to Increase Risk of New-Onset Asthma

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article

April 2019

Overcoming Radiation Resistant Prostate Cancer

LOS ANGELES—For nearly half of the patients with localized advanced prostate cancer, radiation therapy is the primary intervention and standard of care for recurrent disease following surgery. The problem is that nearly 30% to 50%... View Article

April 2019

JAK Enzymes Can Treat Leukemia, Lymphoma

NASHVILLE, TN—Precision oncology prescribes the use of molecularly-targeted therapy directed by identification of genomic alterations. A new study suggested the approach is particularly applicable to neoplasms that are resistant to standard cytotoxic chemotherapy, such as... View Article

April 2019

Response of Veterans to PD-1 Checkpoint Inhibitors

RENO, NV—The clinical outcomes and the incidence of adverse events for programmed death-1 checkpoint inhibitors in cancer patients at a VA clinic were different from the data that have been published, according to a new... View Article

April 2019

Steroid Overuse Suggests Benefit to Flipping PCP/Specialist Paradigm in COPD

SEATTLE—New guidelines published in 2017 upended recommendations for use of inhaled corticosteroids in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary. Two years later, many VA patients still receive discordant care. To fix the problem, the VA’s Health... View Article

April 2019

No Link Between Anthrax Vaccine, ‘Lone AFib’

ATLANTA—Concerns have been raised about a possible link between receipt of anthrax vaccine adsorbed and atrial fibrillation in military personnel without identifiable underlying risk factors or structural heart disease. A study in Human Vaccines &... View Article

April 2019

Improving OAC Adherence in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

DURHAM, NC—Treatment of atrial fibrillation patients isn’t always in line with clinical guidelines, but improving adherence to oral anticoagulation has proven to be challenging, according to a new study. The article in Circulation reported on... View Article

April 2019

CVD Risks Differ by Sex in VA Patients

WASHINGTON—Does the incidence of cardiovascular disease differ by sex among veterans as it does with the general U.S. population? A study in the Journal of Women’s Health sought to answer that question. VA researchers from... View Article

April 2019

PTSD Alone Doesn’t Increase Cardiovascular Risk in Veterans

Study Urges Close Monitoring of Physical, Psychological Co-Morbidities ST. LOUIS—Even though veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder are 41% more likely to developing cardiovascular disease than those without, PTSD alone doesn’t fully explain the higher... View Article

2019 issues

Current Treatment Halves Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Hep C Patients

PITTSBURGH—In more good news for veterans who have received treatment for hepatitis C virus, VA researchers have found that treatment not only reduces the risk of complications from liver disease, it also dramatically reduces the... View Article

2019 issues

VA Models Allow Earlier Identification of HCV Patients at Risk of Progression

ANN ARBOR, MI—New prognostic models developed by VA researchers can help clinicians identify which patients who have or have had chronic hepatitis C virus infection will develop cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. While the VA has... View Article

2019 issues

Fewer Than Half of Eligible Servicemembers Complete HPV Vaccine Series

FORT BRAGG, NC—Immunization rates of human papilloma virus (HPV) have risen among active duty forces, but many fail to complete the full vaccine series, despite recommendations from the Defense Health Agency.   “DHA fully endorses... View Article

2019 issues

How Does Breast Density Affect Cancer Risk, Tumor Type?

GAINESVILLE, FL—What is the association of mammographic breast density with breast cancer risk by tumor aggressiveness and by menopausal status and current postmenopausal hormone therapy? That question was addressed in an article in Breast Cancer... View Article

2019 issues

Surgery Delay Does Not Explain Racial Differences in Breast Cancer Survival

BETHESDA, MD—Black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women, but exactly why remains unclear. A new study from the Military Health System just shot down one of the leading explanations... View Article

2019 issues

Greatest VA Weight Gains in Women Veterans Without Diabetes

ATLANTA—How does a diagnosis of diabetes affect weight management among U.S. veterans? A study in the journal Obesity (Silver Spring) sought to assess weight trends and diabetes prevalence among U.S. veterans.1 Atlanta VAMC researchers and... View Article

2019 issues

Diabetes Patients Do Well in Military Healthcare-to-VA Transition

SAN DIEGO—When service members leave active duty and receive healthcare in a different setting, care for conditions such as diabetes can suffer. A study in Military Medicine pointed out that changes in healthcare have been... View Article

2019 issues

NPs, PAs Have as Good Diabetes Outcomes as Physicians

DURHAM, NC—So-called physician extenders do as good a job as physicians at the VA in helping to achieve good outcomes in diabetes patients, according to a new study. The report in Annals of Internal Medicine... View Article

Current Issue

Veterans on Standard Diabetes Care Face Dangers from Hypoglycemia Subhead: Post-hoc VADT Analysis Links Low Blood Sugar to CV Events

BALTIMORE, MD—A post-hoc analysis of the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) once again shines a spotlight on the dangers of hypoglycemia in veterans treated for Type 2 diabetes. The study published in Diabetes Care found... View Article

Current Issue

New Antibiotic Provides Powerful Option for Resistant Pneumonia, Skin Infections

A next-generation tetracycline, omadacycline could improve care for veterans with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) and acute skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI).

Current Issue

Physical Fitness Associated With Lower Parkinson’s Rates

While exercise is important physical therapy for Parkinson's disease, it might be more than that.

Current Issue

Surgical Staging Often Inadequate for Gallbladder Cancer

Guidelines frequently aren’t followed when it comes to radical cholecystectomy with regional lymphadenectomy for patients with T1b gallbladder cancer.

Current Issue

Prescribed Opioids Increase Risk of Pneumonia in Veterans

A study looking at whether taking prescribed opioids increased pneumonia risk in veterans with HIV vs. those without came to a disturbing conclusion: The likelihood is increased in both.

Current Issue

Use of Hospice During Treatment Has Limited VA Use

Unlike in most private sector settings, veterans with advanced cancer can receive hospice care concurrently with treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.

Current Issue

Most Veterans Receiving VA Mental Healthcare Support Some Gun Restrictions

A survey of veterans receiving mental healthcare through VA found that the vast majority would favor at least one option to restrict firearm access with the goal of reducing dangers of self-harm.

Current Issue

Hypertension, MGUS Associated with Herbicide Exposure in Vietnam Veterans

Based on a new review, two conditions–one extremely common and the other rare–appear to be related to herbicide exposure during the Vietnam War era.

Current Issue

Detailed Medical History Crucial for Lung Disease Diagnosis

Both general medicine physicians and specialists can find interstitial lung disease (ILD) and pulmonary fibrosis confusing, according to a recent study.

Current Issue

Melanomas Associated With Internal Malignancy Risk

Genetic and environmental risk factors have been associated with the development of multiple primary melanomas (MPM) but a new study questioned whether those patients might have increased predisposition to developing internal malignancies.

Current Issue

Some RCC Risk Factors Can Be Modified

Obesity, hypertension and smoking are the three modifiable risk factors that could aggressively be targeted to reduce renal cell carcinoma, according to a new study.

Current Issue

DHA Releases Interim Guidance for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) has released interim guidance designed to optimize clinical use of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pre-exposure prophylaxis and reduce variability in access to prophylactic medication.

Current Issue

With Advancing Age, Veterans with HIV Face Novel Challenges

Thirty years ago, veterans with human immunodeficiency virus and their physicians focused on survival.

Current Issue

After 40 Years, VA Study Finds Antipsychotics No Help for Delirium

For more than 40 years, haloperidol and ziprasidone have been given to critically ill patients who develop delirium in hospital intensive care units.

Current Issue

Is Prandial Insulin or Noninsulin Agent Better for T2D Treatment Intensification?

Some veterans with type 2 diabetes patients can't reach their hemoglobin A1c goal despite using metformin, basal insulin and a sulfonylurea. What should come next?

Current Issue

Program Helps Reduce Domestic Violence Involving Returning Servicemembers

While intimate partner violence in the military population has been found to occur at about the same rate as the civilian population, servicemembers and veterans face unique challenges: a lack of separation between home and work life, long separations from family and repeated exposure to combat and other traumatic situations.

Clinical Topics

New Device Improves Balance in 100% of Veterans with Gulf War Illness

A new device that corrects vestibular dysfunction could be a key to treating many of the symptoms affecting the approximately 300,000 veterans who suffer from Gulf War Illness.

Current Issue

‘Severe’ 2017-18 Influenza Season Hit VA Especially Hard

This likely will come as little surprise to healthcare professionals who soldiered through it, but the 2017-18 influenza season was the most severe since VA surveillance was initiated in 2009.

Current Issue

Better Survival for NSCLC Patients Treated by Military Medicine

Does universal healthcare access provided by the MHS translate into improved patient outcomes for non-small cell lung cancer?

Current Issue

Increasing Usage of SSRIs for Dementia Symptoms

Emerging data has suggested effectiveness for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Current Issue

Caution Urged in Use of Sulfonylureas in Some T2 Diabetes Patients with CAD

VA clinicians should exercise caution with use of sulfonylurea in some patients with co-morbid type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new research.

Current Issue

Hypoglycemia Concerns Help Drive Use of Continuous Glucose Monitoring at VA

As the VA increases its focus on minimizing hypoglycemia in veterans with type 2 diabetes, it expects that more physicians and veterans will consider using continuous glucose monitors to meet that goal.

Current Issue

Veterans Study Calls for Better Guidance on Lung Cancer Treatment

With increased imaging now detecting lung cancer nodules in sicker patients, a new report suggested that guidelines should be more directive in how to maximize benefit and minimize harm, while taking into account comorbidities and life expectancy.

Cardiology

NASA Partners with Academia for CVD Prediction Tool in Younger Adults

Federal medicine played a crucial role in the development of a new online tool to better predict which middle-aged adults are at the greatest risk of having acute myocardial infarction or stroke over the next decade.

Current Issue

Intensive Short-Term Therapy More Effective for PTSD in Veterans

Short-term intensive outpatient treatment is more effective for post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans than longer-term therapy, a new study suggested.

Current Issue

VA/National Cancer Institute Partnership Increases Veteran Access to Trials

Thanks to a new partnership between the National Cancer Institute and the VA, veterans with cancer will now have greater access to potentially lifesaving clinical trials.

Current Issue

VA Continues Hepatocellular Screening, but Study Questions the Value

Although a recent study determined that screening veterans with cirrhosis for hepatocellular carcinoma did not reduce the risk of death associated with liver cancer, the VA has no plans to change its screening practices.