Atrial Fibrillation Linked with Greater Alcohol Access

NEW YORK – Greater access to alcohol is linked with more atrial fibrillation but less myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure, researchers report. Dr. Gregory M. Marcus, from the Division of Cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues conducted an observational cohort study of differences in health outcomes based on alcohol sales laws by county in Texas…. [Read More]

Prevalence of Iron Deficiency in Heart Failure Patients, Study Says

NEW YORK – About a third of heart failure patients have anemia and most also have iron deficiency, according to UK researchers. This observational analysis, Dr. John G.F. Cleland told Reuters Health by email, “shows that iron deficiency is very common in patients with heart failure and often leads to anemia and that the prevalence of both iron deficiency and… [Read More]

Alendronate Therapy Lowers Risk of Hip Fractures

NEW YORK – Long-term use of the bisphosphonate alendronate substantially lowers the risk of hip fracture without increasing the risk of atypical fractures of the subtrochanteric femur or femoral shaft, according to a Danish study. “These findings support an acceptable balance between benefit and risk with treatment with alendronate in terms of fracture outcomes, even for over 10 years of continuous… [Read More]

Medical Marijuana Cuts Medicare Spending and May Reduce Dependency on Prescription Opioids

Physicians wrote significantly fewer prescriptions for painkillers and other medications for elderly and disabled patients who had legal access to medical marijuana, a new study finds. In fact, Medicare saved more than $165 million in 2013 on prescription drugs in the District of Columbia and 17 states that allowed cannabis to be used as medicine, researchers calculated. If every state in… [Read More]

Active Surveillance is Safe Treatment Option for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer: PRIAS Study

NEW YORK – After a decade of follow-up in the Prostate Cancer Research International Active Surveillance (PRIAS) study, researchers have confirmed that active surveillance is a safe treatment option for men with low-risk prostate cancer. “However,” they say, “some changes could be made to the follow-up protocol to safely increase the number of men who remain on active surveillance.” Dr. Leonard… [Read More]

CAC Progression No Better Than Most Recent CAC Score: Study

NEW YORK – Progression of the coronary artery calcification (CAC) score over time predicts the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it performs no better than the most recent CAC score, according to findings from the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS). “I must admit that I expected to find that the change in CAC was going to provide a lot of… [Read More]

What Is the Best Management Strategy for Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation?

Clinical question: What is the best management strategy for postoperative atrial fibrillation? Bottom line: For new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF) following cardiac surgery, both rate control and rhythm control are reasonable strategies. There is no a clear advantage of one over the other. (LOE = 1b) Reference: Gillinov AM, Bagiella E, Moskowitz AJ, et al. Rate… [Read More]

Early Initiation of Renal Replacement Therapy Improves Mortality in Critically Ill Patients with Acute Kidney Injury

Clinical question: For critically ill patients with acute kidney injury, does early initiation of renal replacement therapy improve mortality? Bottom line: In this single-center study, early initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in critically ill patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) decreased the number of deaths at 90 days. Larger studies are required to confirm… [Read More]

Persistent Fatty Liver Increases Risk of Carotid Atherosclerosis

NEW YORK – Patients with persistent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) face a significantly elevated risk of carotid atherosclerosis, according to a new study of Korean men. “The most interesting finding of our research is that regression of fatty liver is associated with reduced risk of subclinical carotid atherosclerosis compared to persistent fatty liver,” said Dr. Geum-Youn Gwak from Sungkyunkwan University School… [Read More]

CT Scans Reliable Determinants of Blunt Trauma

NEW YORK – CT scans identify all clinically significant cervical spine injuries in intoxicated patients with blunt trauma, according to a new study. “I don’t think any of the results were particularly surprising to any of us who regularly do trauma care, but what I do think is remarkable about them is that they dispel several long-held myths about the… [Read More]