Editor’s Note: U.S. Medicine Direct is now coming to you twice a month, with the second issue focusing on specific clinical topics featured in the U.S. Medicine print edition. This month the special focus is COPD/Respiratory Care with specialty updates in psychiatry and endocrinology.
Special Focus: COPD/Respiratory Care
Patient Autonomy Is Important Feature of VA’s New COPD Program MINNEAPOLIS, MN— A healthy dose of patient autonomy can improve COPD care, according to researchers at the Minneapolis VAHCS. In addition to being educated about the importance of proper disease management, patients must be empowered to make care decisions when their symptoms flare up. After a pilot project using those findings, the patient autonomy-focused disease management system was rolled out to several states in the Midwest. It now is being considered for use across the VA. More
Smoking Rate Makes COPD Problem for Military WASHINGTON, DC—COPD is on the rise in the United States, increasing 8% from 2000 to 2005. Just as COPD is a concern in the civilian population, it is also a concern for the military, where more than 30% of active duty personnel smoke. Air Force Col. Chris Henderson, MD, pulmonary medicine chairman at Wilford Hall Medical Center, noted that smoking one pack a day for 10 years significantly increases the chance for developing obstructive lung disease in middle age. More
CDC: Asthma Prevalence Remains at Historic High WASHINGTON, DC—Although an increase in the prevalence of asthma has slowed since the mid-1990s, it still remains at historically high levels, according to a CDC report released this year. In 2009, nearly 8.2% of Americans surveyed had asthma, an increase of 0.4% over 2008. More
Specialty Update: Psychiatry
Peer-to-Peer Support Programs Help Struggling Servicemembers WASHINGTON, DC—Some emotionally distressed servicemembers may be more comfortable sharing their concerns with a peer than with a mental health counselor, suggested studies reviewed by the Defense Centers of Excellence For Psychological Health and Traumatic Injury (DCoE). Now, the group is offering formalized training to peer counselors who can provide guidance and resources links to colleagues in need. More
Mind-Body Skills Offer Way to Regulate Stress, Build Warrior Resilience WASHINGTON, DC—Mind-body skills offer a way for servicemembers to handle stress and build resiliency, according to a panel at the recent Warrior Resilience Conference. Techniques, including meditation, breathing exercises, imagery and yoga, could be an alternative for servicemembers who may be reluctant to seek traditional care for psychological issues, officials said. More.
Specialty Update: Endocrinology
Pharmaceutical Solutions Lag Behind Growth in Childhood Obesity BETHESDA, MD—With the continuing rise in the rates of diabetes and obesity, researchers are exerting more and more effort to find a viable pharmaceutical treatment to combat weight gain. The pediatric population is especially at risk. Obesity in children and young adults is becoming more and more prevalent, but there is very scant data on pharmacotherapy for that age group. More
Obesity, Psychological Health Issues Combine to Take Toll on Children WASHINGTON, DC—Obesity and psychological problems are taking a toll on children. How can health providers, federal agencies, schools, and other entities address these issues in young people? Private and public sector officials discussed possible solutions at an Arizona State University forum. Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who outlined the problem, said that children who are overweight or obese will also likely have a higher incidence of depression, partly because they are ostracized. More
Brenda Mooney Editorial Director, U.S. Medicine firstname.lastname@example.org 39 York Street Lambertville, NJ 08530