2016 Issues

December 2016

Low Vitamin D Doesn’t Explain Low Flu Vaccination Response in HIV Patients

BETHESDA, MD – While vaccination is the most important preventive strategy against influenza, post-vaccination antibody responses are often inadequate, especially among HIV-infected persons, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the journal Vaccine,... View Article

December 2016

Percentage of Flu Vaccines Obtained At Pharmacies Up, Not Overall Rate

In the not-too-distant past, influenza vaccines could only be obtained in clinics or physicians’ offices. That changed over a 14 year period from 1996 to 2010 when 41 states changed statutes to allow pharmacists to provide immunizations.

December 2016

Hospital Stays Drop With Early Antivirals for Pregnant Women With The Flu

How beneficial is early initiation of influenza antiviral treatment administered to pregnant women hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed influenza?

December 2016

What Will New Trump Administration Mean for VA’s Future?

Questions abounded last month about what changes were in store for VA healthcare with the election of President-elect Donald Trump and both the House and Senate maintaining their Republican majority.

December 2016

McDonald Pushes for Passage of Key VA Bills Before Clock Runs Out

With the clock ticking on the Obama administration, VA Secretary Robert McDonald implored lawmakers last month to pass “key pieces of legislation” before the end of the congressional session.

December 2016

TRICARE Switches to Walgreens Pharmacy Network from CVS

At the beginning of this month, the TRICARE retail pharmacy network changed to Walgreens from CVS as a result of a new contract with Express Scripts, TRICARE’s pharmacy contractor. The new network has more than 58,000 locations nationwide.

December 2016

Stereotactic Body Radiation Doubles Lung Cancer Survival in Some Veterans

Between 2001 and 2010, survival rates for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) doubled among veterans.

December 2016

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.

December 2016

Metformin Might Improve Colorectal Cancer Survival

Recent clinical studies have suggested that the common diabetes drug metformin holds promise in improving colorectal cancer survival, but the small number of patients and inconsistencies related to diabetic severity have limited the significance of that research.

December 2016

Non-CLL Rates Higher for SMOKY Nuclear Test Veterans

Military veterans at the Nevada test site (NTS) during the SMOKY atmospheric nuclear weapons test in 1957 were reported to be at increased risk for leukemia in 1979, but this increase was not evaluated with respect to radiation dose.

December 2016

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.

December 2016

GAO: VHA Fails to Evaluate, Respond to Many Report Recommendations

A major realignment of VISN boundaries has been occurring with “little monitoring” from VHA’s central office, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

December 2016

Problem Drinking Early in Life Linked to Health Problems Decades Later

Is problem drinking among young military servicemembers a life sentence for ill health?

December 2016

Soft Tissue Infections in Military Trainees

Military trainees are at high risk for skin and soft-tissue infections (SSTIs) but, while Staphylococcus aureus is associated with purulent SSTI, it is unclear to what degree this pathogen causes nonpurulent cellulitis.

December 2016

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.

December 2016

VHA Costs to Treat Keratinocyte Carcinoma

Keratinocyte carcinoma (KC) is by far the most common cancer in the United States, with basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas accounting for about 80% and 20% of cases of KC, respectively.

December 2016

Veterans With Moderate COPD More Likely to Quit Smoking Than Severely Ill

Participation in smoking cessation programs depends on striking while the iron is ... warm.

December 2016

New Study Finds More Evidence of Burn Pit, Respiratory Illness Connection

For years, multiple veterans’ groups have contended that burn-pit exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan increased the risk of long-term health problems.

December 2016

“The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words.” Hippocrates (c. 460- c. 370 BC)

The classical Greek physician Hippocrates is considered the father of modern medicine and is credited for believing that disease was caused naturally and not due to supernatural forces or the gods. With this idea, medicine as a body of knowledge began its journey into the realm of science and the scientific method to drive medical understanding and therapeutic practice.

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