LIVING WITH CHRONIC DISEASE
• Long-term care must be improved to aid rising numbers with dementia, study finds: As millions of Americans struggle to help loved ones with dementia, policymakers should consider more ways to improve long-term services and supports for the soaring numbers of people with the debilitating condition and their caregivers, a new RAND Corporation study says -- and it offers possible ways to do so.
Adults with Type 2 diabetes achieve better blood glucose control two years after undergoing laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy than do patients who receive standard medical diabetes care without this weight loss surgery, a new study finds. The results were presented Monday at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society: ICE/ENDO 2014 in Chicago.
• Choose the Right Medical Alert System: Consumer Reports provides a guide in purchasing a medical alert system based on technology, price and need. July 2014
• Sleeping Pills for Insomnia: Which ones work? According to Consumer Reports, Studies have found that improving your sleep habits and making other changes like doing relaxation training, setting and sticking to consistent bedtimes and wake-up times, regular exercise, quitting smoking, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, keeping your bedroom quiet and dark, and not watching TV or using computers in bed can relieve insomnia. If those don’t seem to help and you and your doctor decide a prescription sedative is an option to try, our analysis of the newer drugs led us to recommend generic zolpidem as a Best Buy. This is the less expensive, generic version of the drug Ambien. Seven pills cost $16 to $17, depending on the dose and where you buy it.
• ERs, the Busier, the Better: Surviving a life-threatening illness or injury may be more likely if you're treated at a busy emergency department instead of one that handles fewer patients, a new study finds. Annals of Emergency Medicine 7/17/14
• Polyphenois Could Yield Small Benefit for People with PAD: Polyphenols -- compounds found in cocoa and other foods -- may help people with peripheral artery disease walk a little longer and farther before pain sets in. More research is needed to see whether long-term use of these compounds in dark chocolate can improve circulation and aid patients. Journal of the American Heart Association
• Chronic Migraines Affect the Whole Family: When a spouse, partner or parent has chronic migraines, the whole family suffers, a new web study found. Almost 75 percent of chronic migraine sufferers in the study said they thought they would be better spouses if they didn't have chronic migraines. And almost 60 percent said they felt they would be better parents without the illness. Presentation at American Headache Society, Los Angeles, Calif.
COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
• NCCAM Guide to Cancer Prevention and Treatment: Cancer information including the status of research on mind and body practices and dietary supplements and sources for additional information.
Mind and Body Practices for Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, fatigue, and a number of other symptoms that can interfere with a person’s ability to carry out daily activities. This issue of the digest provides a summary of the science of several complementary mind and body approaches often included in treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.
• St. John's wort can cause dangerous interactions with many common medications: St. John's wort is the most frequently used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment in the U.S. for depression and similar psychiatric disorders. The many commonly prescribed medications that St. John's wort can interact with—sometimes with serious consequences such as serotonin syndrome or heart disease—are reviewed in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION ACTION
• Approves Inhaled Diabetes Medication: The drug, Afrezza, "is a new treatment option for patients with diabetes requiring mealtime insulin.
• Daily low-dose Aspirin May Help Ward off Pancreatic Cancer: People who take low-dose aspirin for more than 10 years might be reducing their risk for pancreatic cancer, a new study suggests. Even taking a daily aspirin for just three years lowered the chances of the deadly cancer by 48 percent, the researchers said. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
• Fruits,Veggies Not a Magic Bullet for Weight Loss: Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is often recommended as a way to lose weight, but doing so may not help you shed excess pounds, according to researchers. They reviewed data from more than seven studies that examined how increased fruit and vegetable consumption affected weight loss. American Journal of Nutrition 6/25/14
• Study of seniors shows decreased knee-hip pain and increased ability to walk among those who dance: The research involved 34 seniors, average age 80, who all had pain or stiffness in their knees or hips as a result mainly of arthritis. The participants -- mostly women -- were assigned to a group that danced for 45 minutes up to two times a week for 12 weeks or to a control group that did not dance. By the end of the 12 weeks, those who danced had less pain in their knees and hips and were able to walk faster, said Jean Krampe, an assistant professor of nursing at Saint Louis University and lead author of the study. Geriatric Nursing
Healthy Lifestyle May Deflect Dementia: Seniors at risk for dementia may help safeguard their memory and ability to think by adopting a healthier lifestyle, a new study from Finland suggests. Older people who began eating right, exercising, playing "brain games" and socializing more often performed better on memory and problem-solving tests than people who maintained their habits, the researchers said. AA Conference
• Do Vitamins Work? Risk and benefits of seven top-selling supplements from Consumer Reports
Niacin, a commonly used cholesterol treatment, doesn't reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in people with hardened arteries. What's more, the drug appears to have dangerous side effects, including a potential increased risk of death, according to new research. New England Journal of Medicine 7/17/14
• Vitamin B No Help for Alzhemier’s: Taking B vitamins does not slow age-related mental decline or prevent Alzheimer's disease, a new review says. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
• Liver Dangers from Herbal Supplements, Over the counter and prescription drugs: New clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and management of idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) have now been released. DILI is a rare adverse drug reaction, challenging to diagnose, and can lead to jaundice, liver failure and even death. The frequency of DILI incidence is increasing, as the use of herbal and dietary supplements has drastically increased over the last 10 years. The American Journal of Gastroenterolgy, July 2014
• Fish Oil Supplements Reduce Incidence of Cognitive Decline, May Improve Memory Function: Regular use of fish oil supplements (FOS) was associated with a significant reduction in cognitive decline and brain atrophy in older adults, a study has found. The study examined the relationship between FOS use during the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and indicators of cognitive decline. Alzheimer's & Dementia
• Half of All Americans Have a Chronic Disease: Half of all adults in the US have at least one chronic condition, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity, and a quarter have more than two or more conditions, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in The Lancet.
• Medical Mistakes are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US: Preventable medical errors in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the United States, a Senate panel was told today. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans.