January 2014 Focus

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In this Issue:

News Update
Army Announces Warrior Transition Unit Changes
Focus on Obesity
Leaner Fighting Forces Might Mean Slim Pickings for Recruiters

New Formulary Drugs Promote Weight Loss, Reduce Diabetes

Pharmacy Update
Pharmacist Monitoring Increases Veteran Adherence to ACS Therapy
Trauma Clinical Consult
Spinal Injury Rate Much Higher in Recent Wars
Seasonal Flu Clinical Consult
Veterans Have Elevated Rates of Flu Vaccination

U.S. MEDICINE NEWS UPDATE


Army Announces Warrior Transition Unit Changes

WASHINGTON – With fewer wounded troops returning from war, the Army has announced that, in the coming months, it is inactivating five of 29 units designed to support seriously wounded, ill and injured troops. Known as Warrior Transition Units (WTUs), these units are located at major military treatment facilities around the world and support wounded soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management. As of the beginning of January, 7,070 soldiers were assigned to WTUs and Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs), down from a high of 12,551 in June 2008.
More

http://www.usmedicine.com/late-breaking-news/army-announces-warrior-transition-unit-changes/

FOCUS ON OBESITY

Leaner Fighting Forces Might Mean Slim Pickings for Recruiters

Rear Admiral Casey W. Coane

WASHINGTON – Even as nearly 1 in 3 young adults, ages 17 to 24, fail to qualify for military service solely because of their weight, the DoD has increased enforcement of body fat measures for active-duty personnel and eliminated waivers for overweight recruits. While all branches met their accession goals for active duty enlistments in 2013, the new standards for recruits and for retention could create challenges.
More

http://www.usmedicine.com/agencies/department-of-defense-dod/leaner-fighting-forces-might-mean-slim-pickings-for-recruiters/


New Formulary Drugs Promote Weight Loss, Reduce Diabetes

BIRMINGHAM, AL – Two recently available drugs for long-term treatment of obesity helped patients lose 5% or more of their body weight over the course of a year, according to their VA criteria for use statements. The medications, a phentermine and topiramate extended-release combination (P/T) and lorcaserin, are the first new weight loss drugs to be launched in 13 years.For the nearly 40% of veterans receiving care through the VA who are obese (body mass index of 30 or more), the effectiveness of the new drugs provide new options and new hope.
More

http://www.usmedicine.com/agencies/department-of-veterans-affairs/new-formulary-drugs-promote-weight-loss-reduce-progression-to-diabetes/

PHARMACY UPDATE

Pharmacist Monitoring Increases Veteran Adherence to ACS Therapy

P. Michael Ho, MD, PhD

DENVER – Personalized attention from a pharmacist increases medication adherence in patients to nearly 90% in the year following hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), according to a recent study. Researchers noted that a third of ACS patients typically discontinue at least one oral medication by the end of the first month after hospitalization. The multifaceted intervention included reconciliation of medications and counseling by pharmacists.
More

http://www.usmedicine.com/agencies/department-of-veterans-affairs/pharmacist-monitoring-increases-veteran-adherence-to-acs-therapy/

TRAUMA CLINICAL CONSULT

Spinal Injury Rate Much Higher in Recent Wars
EL PASO, TX – More than 10% of wounded troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered spinal injuries, and a new study noted that is a much higher rate than in previous wars. The authors, who looked at casualty records from 2005 to 2009, suggested that the significant increase in spinal injuries may reflect “enhanced personnel protection and medical advancements” that have improved survival from combat injuries that would previously have been lethal.
More

http://www.usmedicine.com/clinical-topics/trauma/spinal-injury-rate-much-higher-in-recent-wars/

SEASONAL FLU CLINICAL CONSULT

Veterans Have Elevated Rates of Flu Vaccination

NORTH HILLS, CA – Compared with the general population, veterans are more likely to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza and H1N1, according to a new study. The study sought to determine the factors influencing the decision to be immunized, noting that the higher rate for veterans could provide some clues other than greater availability of healthcare. Overall, veterans, women, non-Hispanic whites, nonsmokers, those at high risk, those who use clinics as a usual source of care as well as more educated Americans with health insurance were more likely to receive both H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccinations.
More

http://www.usmedicine.com/current-issue/veterans-have-higher-rates-of-flu-vaccination/

Brenda L. Mooney

Editorial Director, U.S. Medicine

mooney@usmedicine.com

39 York Street

Lambertville, NJ  08530

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