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Thu, Apr 20 – Top 10 Medical News Stories!

20 Apr, 2017 | 00:01h | UTC


1 – Changes in prices, sales, consumer spending, and beverage consumption one year after a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Berkeley, California, US: A before-and-after study – PLOS One (free)

Sources: First US sugar tax sees soft drink sales fall by almost 10%, study shows – The Guardian (free) (RT @kamleshkhunti see Tweet) AND Sugary Drink Sales Fizzled After Soda Tax – MedPage Today (free registration required)

Related articles and commentaries on the possible benefits of sugar taxes: W.H.O. Urges Tax on Sugary Drinks to Fight Obesity – The New York Times (10 articles per month are free) Fiscal policies for diet and the prevention of noncommunicable diseases – World Health Organization (free) AND Mexico’s sugar tax leads to fall in consumption for second year running – The Guardian (free) AND Why the government should tax unhealthy foods and subsidise nutritious ones – The Conversation (free)


2 – Updated Guideline: Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis and management of physical complications – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE – UK) (free)


3 – Updated Guideline: Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE – UK) (free)


4 – Cost-effectiveness of Common Diagnostic Approaches for Evaluation of Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria – JAMA Internal Medicine (free)

Invited commentary: Asymptomatic Microscopic Hematuria – Rethinking the Diagnostic Algorithm (free)

Routine urinalysis for screening is not presently recommended by any major health organization, but asymptomatic microscopic hematuria is a common incidental finding. This study suggests that the combination of renal ultrasound and cystoscopy is the most cost-effective approach for the evaluation of these patients.


5 – β-Blocker Exposure in Pregnancy and Risk of Fetal Cardiac Anomalies – JAMA Internal Medicine (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

See also: No Fetal Heart Risk from Mom’s Beta-Blocker Use – MedPage Today (free registration required)


6 – Syncope and Its Impact on Occupational Accidents and Employment: A Danish Nationwide Retrospective Cohort Study – Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes (free)

News release: Fainting spells may increase risk of workplace accidents, job loss – American Heart Association News (free)

See also: 2017 ACC/AHA/HRS Guideline for the Evaluation and Management of Patients With Syncope (free PDF) AND First fainting guidelines issued to diagnose life-threatening heart conditions – American Heart Association News (free)


7 – Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases: low value interventions – The Medical Journal of Australia (free) (RT @ChooseWiselyAU and @ASIDANZ see Tweet)

See also: Choosing Wisely initiative was launched 5 years ago in our April 5 issue.

The society has just released a selection of 5 low value interventions (details in the text):


– Prescribing antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria.

– Taking a swab of a leg ulcer without signs of clinical infection and treating the patient with antibiotics against the identified bacteria.

– Treating upper respiratory tract infections with antibiotics.

– Investigation for fecal pathogens in the absence of diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

– Ordering multiple serological investigations for patients with fatigue without a clinical indication or relevant epidemiology.


8 – Use of Medications of Questionable Benefit at the End of Life in Nursing Home Residents with Advanced Dementia – Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

See also: Use of Medications of Questionable Benefit at the End of Life in Nursing Home Residents with Advanced Dementia – CBCNews (free) AND Many With Advanced Dementia Receiving Drugs of Uncertain Benefit – Medscape (free registration required)

“Too much use of meds of questionable benefit at the end of life: Just Stop.” (RT @DeeMangin see Tweet)


9 – Should You Take an Anticoagulant for AF? — Applying the 4 questions – Dr John M Blog (free) (@drjohnm see Tweet)

See also: anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation decision aid endorsed by NICE – National Institute for Health Care Excellence (UK) (free)

Very interesting post about how to practice shared decision making in patients with atrial fibrillation.


10 – Mortality Trends After a Voluntary Checklist-based Surgical Safety Collaborative – Annals of Surgery (link to abstract – free PDF available)

Sources: Global Health NOW Newsletter (free) AND South Carolina Hospitals Saw Surgery Deaths Drop After Implementing WHO Checklist – AJMC News (free) AND A simple checklist prevents deaths after surgery, a large new study suggests – The Washington Post (a few articles per month are free)

See also: WHO Surgical Safety Checklist – World Health Organization (free) AND A Surgical Safety Checklist to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality in a Global Population – New England Journal of Medicine (free)


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