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Mon, Apr 24 – 10 Medical Stories of The Day!

24 Apr, 2017 | 00:47h | UTC


1 – Report: Global hepatitis report, 2017 – World Health Organization (free)

Press release: New hepatitis data highlight need for urgent global response (free)

Related resources: WHO’s work on Hepatitis (free) AND Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis, 2016-2021 (free)

The World Health Organization has released the first ever Global Hepatitis Report, with estimates on Hepatitis B and C burden, incidence and mortality. According to the report, deaths from viral hepatitis are increasing, with 1.34 million deaths in 2015, a number comparable to deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV.


2 – FDA Safety Alert: Codeine and Tramadol Medicines: Drug Safety Communication – Restricting Use in Children, Recommending Against Use in Breastfeeding Women (free)

FDA Statement: New warnings about the use of codeine and tramadol in children & nursing mothers (free)

Commentaries on the statement: FDA: Codeine Now Contraindicated for Pain and Cough in Kids – Physician’s First Watch (free) AND Codeine cough syrup should not be given to kids, FDA warns – STAT News (free)

These drugs should not be used at all for children younger than 12 years, and their use should also be limited in some older children.


3 – Prospective cohort study: Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia – Stroke (free PDF)

Editorial: Sugar-Sweetened and Artificially Sweetened Beverages in Relation to Stroke and Dementia: Are Soft Drinks Hard on the Brain? – Stroke (free PDF)

Commentaries on the study: Diet soda and stroke & dementia news coverage: 3 key points weren’t always reported – HealthNewsReview (free – See Tweet) AND Stroke and dementia risk linked to artificial sweeteners, study suggests – The Guardian (free) AND A diet soda a day might affect dementia risk, study suggests – American Heart Association News (free)

This study has drawn a lot of attention from the media, but no firm conclusions can be made due to the observational nature of the study.


4 – Perspective: Focusing on High-Cost Patients — The Key to Addressing High Costs? – NEJM Catalyst (free) (RT @brhospitalist)

Related commentaries: Caring for High-Need, High-Cost Patients — An Urgent Priority – New England Journal of Medicine (free) AND Richard Smith: The challenge of high need, high cost patients – The BMJ Blogs (free) 

Playbook: Better Care for People with Complex Needs – Institute for Healthcare Improvement (free)


5 – Two new articles in The Lancet address important issues in global health economics.

Article 1: Evolution and patterns of global health financing 1995–2014: development assistance for health, and government, prepaid private, and out-of-pocket health spending in 184 countries – The Lancet (free)

Article 2: Future and potential spending on health 2015–40: development assistance for health, and government, prepaid private, and out-of-pocket health spending in 184 countries – The Lancet (free)

Invited commentary: Patterns of global health financing and potential future spending on health – The Lancet (free)

Commentary on the studies: What Country Spends the Most (And Least) On Health Care Per Person? – NPR Goats and Soda (free)


6 – Systematic review: Effect of Weight Reduction on Hemoglobin A1c in weight loss trials of Type 2 Diabetes Patients – Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (link to abstract – $ for full-text)

“Each 1kg reduction in weight loss trials associated with 0.1% reduction in HbA1c” (RT @kamleshkhunti see Tweet)


7 – Short review: Statistical significance vs. clinical significance – Students 4 Best Evidence Blog (free) (RT @CochraneUK see Tweet)

Related review: Reporting the findings: Absolute vs relative risk – HealthNewsReview (free) (See Tweet)


8 – Prospective, before-after cohort study: Standardized Criteria for Palliative Care Consultation on a Solid Tumor Oncology Service Reduces Downstream Health Care Use – Journal of Oncology Practice (free)

Editorial: Making the Right Thing Easier to Do: Standardized Integration of Oncology and Palliative Care – Journal of Oncology Practice (free)

Related Guideline: Integration of Palliative Care Into Standard Oncology Care: American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline Update (free)

Commentaries on the study: Standardized Palliative Care Consults Cut Cancer Readmissions – Also, less chemotherapy after discharge – MedPage Today (free registration required) AND Standardized Cancer Palliative Care Consults Linked to Stronger Home-Based Support – AJMC (free)

Patients with at least one of the following 4 criteria: 1) advanced solid tumor; 2) prior hospitalization within 30 days; 3) hospitalization > 7 days; or 4) active symptoms – received automatic palliative care consultation. The rates of 30-day readmissions dropped from 35% to 18% and chemotherapy after discharge dropped from 44% to 18%.


9 – Survey and commentaries: Why Physician Burnout Is Endemic, and How Health Care Must Respond – NEJM Catalyst (free)

Increased in clerical burden seems to be one of the leading causes, heavily influenced by expanded and more comprehensive use of electronic health records. More on the burden of administrative tasks in healthcare in our April 21 issue, see #5.


10 – Review: The efficacy of bedside chest ultrasound: from accuracy to outcomes – European Respiratory Review (free)


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