Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treatment, Survival Varies Among VA Regions

Veterans have higher rates of cirrhosis, hepatitis C infection, obesity, high alcohol use and diabetes—all of which put them at greater risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Treatment is challenging, and a new study found that it tends to be inconsistent across regions within VA healthcare, with the West providing more interventions and having longer survival.

Chronic Insomnia Plagues Active Duty Servicemembers, Affects Readiness

Chronic Insomnia Plagues Active Duty Servicemembers, Affects Readiness

Sleep issues continue to torment military personnel, and the military is increasingly concerned, because insufficient sleep from chronic insomnia poses a direct threat to military operational readiness. Soldiers in the Army have been most effected. Still, a recent study pointed out that clinical guidelines on treating the issues aren’t always being followed.

Mental Health Disorders Identified in Deployed Soldiers, Higher Among Females

Active-duty servicemembers who have mental health disorders need continued support when they are deployed, according to a new study that underscored the need for in-theater healthcare providers. The Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences-led authors also found that women were more likely to report mental health issues, including serious types, such as bipolar disorder.

Social Determinants of Health Can Predict Schizophrenia in Veterans

Among the most complex patients treated in the VA healthcare system are those with serious mental illnesses, including the more than 120,000 diagnosed with schizophrenia. Those patients not only tend to have worse physical function as they age, but also are more likely to engage in suicidal behavior. To better understand what increases the risk of schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses, VA researchers are taking a close look at social determinants of health.

RSV in Older Adults Riskier Than Realized; Vaccine Could Help

A new model suggests that as many as 4.8 million symptomatic cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) occur in the United States among patients 65 and older. That burden is greater than previously recognized, according to another study, which looked at the U.S. and other high-income countries. Recently approved vaccines are likely to be game-changers.

Better Understanding Leads to New Treatment Options for Follicular Lymphoma

Already a presumptive condition for Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange and military personnel who were at Camp Lejeune in the mid-20th century, follicular lymphoma is also one of the presumptive conditions associated with burn put for Gulf War era and post-9/11 veterans under the new PACT Act. Recent advances have provided a greater understanding of the biological changes that precede the development of FL, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and treatment options are improving.

NSAIDs Might Be Associated With Improved Survival in ICI-Treated NSCLC

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have played a major role in the increased survival of patients with NSCLC. Now, a new study looking at veterans has raised the possibility that common painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), could play a role in further lengthening survival rates in lung cancer patients being treated with ICIs.

Racial Disparity Found in VA Care When Novel CLL Treatments Introduced

In a new study, researchers said they were surprised when a review of first-line chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment showed racial disparities within the VA healthcare system, which is known for providing equitable care. Black veterans were found to be less likely to receive early novel agents to treat CLL compared to white ones. The situation improved over time, however, and survival rates did not appear to be affected.

New Therapeutic Combinations Show Promise in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Unlike veterans with a variety of types of lymphoma, the expanded list of presumptive conditions for the PACT Act did not include acute myeloid leukemia or other types of leukemia. Because AML occurs primarily in older adults, with an average age at diagnosis of 68, it remains a challenge for clinicians treating veterans receiving care from the VHA. The good news, according to recent studies, is that new combinations of treatment have now come online for older patients.

2023 Compendium of Federal Medicine

The White House announced this month that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) has ended and that the United States is “well-prepared to manage the risks of COVID-19 going forward.”

PACT Act Ensures VA IPF Care for Gulf War Era, Post-9/11 Veterans

For veterans diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis due to exposure to toxins during military service, the new PACT Act could literally be a lifesaver. The law assumes a service connection between the condition for certain military servicemembers. That is especially important because the prevalence of IPF more than doubled among veterans over the last decade or so.

Glaucoma Interventions Critical for Preserving Sight, Quality of Life

Glaucoma Interventions Critical for Preserving Sight, Quality of Life

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. Avoiding that often requires lifelong adherence to treatment. An intervention led by the Durham, NC, VAMC helped patients not only improve compliance with their treatment regimen but also was a cost-saver. Now, the goal is to roll out the intervention to more VA facilities across the country.

Weight Loss Similar in Older/Younger Veterans on Semaglutide

Concerns have been raised about GLP-1 receptor agonists causing unintended weight loss in older adults. A new VA study has put that worry to rest, finding no significant difference in weight loss with semaglutide use among veterans 65 or older compared to those who are younger. The authors concluded that age does not appear to be a “robust predictor” of semaglutide’s effect on weight.

Colorectal Cancer Detected Post Colonoscopy Measures Screening Quality

Colonoscopy might be one of the best tools for detecting colorectal cancer, but that doesn’t mean it’s foolproof. Some cases of CRC are missed, usually because they are too small to detect. The VHA’s 6% rate of post-colonoscopy CRCs is in line with other U.S. healthcare systems and is an indicator of a high-quality CRC screening program, according to a new study.