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Heightened injury risk linked to shift length for emergency services clinicians

2015-09-15
Working shifts of 16 to 24 hours in length is linked to a 60% heightened risk of injury and illness among emergency services (EMS) clinicians, compared to shifts of 8-12 hours, finds research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. This risk rises in tandem with shift length, the findings show. The nature of the job requires physical strength to lift and move patients, clear mental focus to deliver medical care in uniquely stressful and often chaotic situations, and sufficient alertness to drive safely, say the researchers. Yet EMS clinicians often ...

Widely used software doesn't note differences in care quality among hospital readmissions

2015-09-15
The 3M software program, increasingly used to make payments to US hospitals based on readmission rates, doesn't clearly distinguish differences in care quality--one of the key factors involved in readmission--between readmissions that are preventable and those that aren't, suggests research published online in BMJ Quality and Safety. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posts data on 30 day readmissions for three common causes of hospital admissions: heart attack; heart failure; and pneumonia. Hospitals with high rates of readmissions are penalised ...

Study suggests improving blood sugar control could help prevent dementia in patients with type 2 diabetes

2015-09-15
A study of 350,000 patients with type 2 diabetes shows that those with poor blood sugar control have 50% higher risk of being admitted to hospital in future for dementia as those with good control. The research, which suggests improving blood sugar control could prevent many cases of dementia, is by Dr Aidin Rawshani, National Diabetes Register and Institute of Medicine, Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues, and is presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm. Evidence is growing that diabetes increases ...

Diabetic women at 34 percent higher risk of heart attack than diabetic men as they age

2015-09-15
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm shows that diabetic women are more at risk than diabetic men of having a heart attack and other complications as they age. The study is by Dr Giuseppe Seghieri, Regional Health Agency, Florence, Italy, and colleagues. Previous research has revealed that diabetic women have a higher risk of cardiovascular events than diabetic men, when compared with the respective non-diabetic counterparts. However, it is unclear when this risk begins or how long it ...

Studies covering 11 million patients show diabetic women around 40 percent more likely to suffer severe heart problems than diabetic men

2015-09-15
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 studies containing almost 11 million patients shows that diabetic women are around 40% more likely to suffer acute coronary syndromes (heart attack or angina) than diabetic men. The study is by Dr Xue Dong, the Affiliated ZhongDa Hospital of Southeast University, Nanjing, China, and colleagues, and is presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm. Diabetes is a strong risk factor for acute coronary syndrome, yet whether diabetes confers the same excess risk ...

The Lancet: Study reveals England's improving health performance compared to other wealthy countries

2015-09-15
In 2013, England performed better than average on a variety of key health outcomes compared with 18 other high-income countries in the European Union [1], and Australia, Canada, Norway, and the USA (EU15+), according to new research published in The Lancet. However, the findings also reveal the impact of substantial health disparities within English regions, the significant toll of chronic disabling conditions, and the importance of tackling preventable diseases. It is likely that around 40% of NHS workload is due to potentially preventable risk factors. Using data ...

Panel releases guide for appropriate use of PICCs

2015-09-15
An international panel of experts applied the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method to develop criteria for use of peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs). The Michigan Appropriateness Guide for Intravenous Catheters (MAGIC) is published as a supplement in Annals of Internal Medicine. Use of PICCs has become popular for venous access in hospital settings but their use can result in important complications, such as thrombosis and infection. In addition, a growing number of studies suggest substantial variation and potentially inappropriate use of PICCs in hospitalized ...

September/October 2015 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet

2015-09-15
Cost of Sustaining a Patient-Centered Medical Home More than $100,000 per Full Time Physician Annually With primary care practices in the United States aggressively shifting to the patient-centered medical home model of care, researchers examine the costs to deliver PCMH functions and find even partial implementation costs approximately $105,000 per full time equivalent provider annually. Using a PCMH cost dimensions tool, researchers assessed costs associated with activities uniquely required to maintain PCMH functions at a diverse group of 20 primary care practices in ...

Researchers identify gene that determines bone density and fracture risk

2015-09-15
BOSTON--September 14, 2015--Researchers from Harvard-affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research (IFAR), in collaboration with scientists from a number of international institutes, have identified a genetic variant regulating a gene responsible for bone mineral density and fracture risk. Findings from this study--funded in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)--are published in the journal Nature and could lead to interventions that may prevent fractures in older adults. Osteoporosis, a word meaning "porous bone," is a disease that ...

Drug prevents type 1 diabetes in mice, Stanford study finds

2015-09-14
The buildup of a substance in the pancreas during the pre-symptomatic stage of Type 1 diabetes is essential to the development of the disease, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have shown. The investigators used a drug to block production of this substance in mouse models, staving off damage to insulin-producing cells and preventing the onset of the autoimmune disorder. The drug, which is currently used in Europe and Asia for treating gallstone-related spasms, has an excellent safety record, the researchers said. The findings, described in a study to ...

Blacks in all socioeconomic groups have poorer outcomes after heart attack

2015-09-14
DALLAS, Sept. 14, 2015 -- Black patients and patients with low socioeconomic status have shorter life expectancies after a heart attack. However, the largest racial differences in life expectancy after a heart attack occur in patients with high socioeconomic status, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. "Race and socioeconomic status are intimately related, with black individuals bearing a disproportionate burden of the poverty and health inequalities in the U.S.," said Emily Bucholz, M.D., MPH, Ph.D., lead author of the study and ...

Globalization is not saving developing countries from inequality

2015-09-14
The processes of globalization should have contributed to reduced inequality in the world. In reality, however, the situation looks differently, with income inequality in the populations of developing economies growing. To correct this, the level of education of low-skilled workers must be increased, said Eric Maskin, Chief Research Fellow at the HSE International Laboratory of Decision Choice and Analysis and Nobel Laureate in Economics for 2007. In the last 20 years, the world has experienced unprecedented growth in global markets. Trading borders between countries ...

Building the electron superhighway

Building the electron superhighway
2015-09-14
TV screens that roll up. Roofing tiles that double as solar panels. Sun-powered cell phone chargers woven into the fabric of backpacks. A new generation of organic semiconductors may allow these kinds of flexible electronics to be manufactured at low cost, says University of Vermont physicist and materials scientist Madalina Furis. But the basic science of how to get electrons to move quickly and easily in these organic materials remains murky. To help, Furis and a team of UVM materials scientists have invented a new way to create what they are calling "an electron ...

Learning is not a spectator sport

2015-09-14
Free - or very inexpensive - online courses have become quite a trend in education. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers currently offer thousands of courses and have enticed millions of students to enroll. The emphasis in MOOCs is often on lecture videos that students watch and learn from. However, a study published in the Proceedings of the Second (2015) ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale shows that this central approach of MOOCs - having students watch to learn - is ineffective. Instead, the emphasis on interactive activities as advocated by Carnegie Mellon ...

Queen's researcher finds evidence of emotional 'load sharing' in close relationships

2015-09-14
KINGSTON - New research out of Queen's University has found evidence of emotional load sharing between partners in a close relationship. The study, co-authored by PhD candidate Jessica Lougheed, found that a strong relationship with a loved one can help ease stress when placed in difficult situations. "We wanted to test a new evolutionary theory in psychology called Social Baseline Theory which suggests that humans adapted to be close to other humans," says Ms. Lougheed. "The idea is that individuals function at a relative deficit when they are farther away from people ...

Upslope migration of tropical plants due to climate change

Upslope migration of tropical plants due to climate change
2015-09-14
This news release is available in Spanish. The plants on the highest mountain in Ecuador have migrated more than 500 meters to higher altitudes during the last two centuries. This is determined in a new study, in which Aarhus University researchers compared Humboldt's data from 1802 with current conditions. Although most of the world's species diversity is found in tropical areas, there are very few studies that have examined whether tropical mountain species are affected by climate change to the same extent as temperate species. A new study has now determined ...

Molecule made by muscle shown for first time to build bone

2015-09-14
A recently identified molecule produced by skeletal muscle in response to exercise, has been shown to increase bone mass, according to a collaborative study between researchers at the Mount Sinai Bone Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine at University of Ancona in Italy, and the Department of Basic Medical Science, Neuroscience and Sense Organs at the University of Bari in Italy, and published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Although exercise is a well known ...

Penn Vet team identifies a form of congenital night blindness in dogs

Penn Vet team identifies a form of congenital night blindness in dogs
2015-09-14
People with congenital stationary night blindness, or CSNB, have normal vision during the day but find it difficult or impossible to distinguish objects in low light. This rare condition is present from birth and can seriously impact quality of life, especially in locations and conditions where artificial illumination is not available. Working in collaboration with Japanese scientists, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have for the first time found a form of CSNB in dogs. Their discovery and subsequent hunt for the genetic mutation responsible may one day ...

Loss of cellular energy leads to neuronal dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease model

2015-09-14
A new study from the Gladstone Institutes shows for the first time that impairments in mitochondria--the brain's cellular power plants--can deplete cellular energy levels and cause neuronal dysfunction in a model of neurodegenerative disease. A link between mitochondria, energy failure, and neurodegeneration has long been hypothesized. However, no previous studies were able to comprehensively investigate the connection because sufficiently sensitive tests, or assays, were not available to measure ATP (the energy unit of the cell that is generated by mitochondria) in individual ...

GW participates in landmark study; blood pressure management can reduce heart disease death

2015-09-14
WASHINGTON (Sept. 14, 2015) -- According to initial results of a multi-site landmark study, led by Dominic Raj, M.D., at the George Washington University (GW) site, cardiovascular disease morbidity is significantly reduced through intensive management of high blood pressure. By targeting a blood pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), lower than current guidelines, researchers found that adults 50 years and older also significantly reduced their rates of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, ...

Birds reveal the evolutionary importance of love

2015-09-14
Humans are extremely choosy when it comes to mating, only settling down and having kids after a long screening process involving nervous flirtations, set-ups by friends, online matchmaking sites, awkward dates, humiliating rejections, hasty retreats and the occasional lucky strike. In the end, we "fall in love" and "live happily ever after." But evolution is an unforgiving force - isn't this choosiness rather a costly waste of time and energy when we should just be "going forth and multiplying?" What, if anything, is the evolutionary point of it all? A new study may have ...

New method to treat antibiotic resistant MRSA: Bacteriophages

New method to treat antibiotic resistant MRSA: Bacteriophages
2015-09-14
MRSA is bad news. If you've never heard of it, here's what you need to know: It's pronounced MER-suh, it's a nasty bacterial infection and it can cause serious disease and death. Senior molecular biology major Jacob Hatch knows MRSA as the infection that took his dad's leg. Hatch was thousands of miles away on an LDS (Mormon) mission when Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus decalcified the bones in his dad's foot and lower leg, leading to an emergency amputation just below the knee. "It was really hard to hear the news--you never expect to hear someone in ...

UCI study uncovers anticonvulsant effects of valproic acid

2015-09-14
Irvine, Calif., Sept. 14, 2015 -- University of California, Irvine researchers with the School of Medicine have identified the mechanism by which valproic acid controls epileptic seizures, and by doing so, also revealed an underlying factor of seizures. Valproic acid is widely used to treat various types of seizure disorders, but to this point, the cellular mechanism affected by its anticonvulsant properties were not well understood. Dr. Naoto Hoshi, an associate professor of pharmacology and physiology & biophysics, and colleagues discovered that valproic acid preserved ...

UGA microbiologists describe new insights into human neurodegenerative disease

2015-09-14
Athens, Ga. - Microbiology researchers at the University of Georgia studying a soil bacterium have identified a potential mechanism for neurodegenerative diseases. A role for the protein HSD10 had been suspected in patients with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, but no direct connection had previously been established. This new breakthrough suggests that HSD10 reduces oxidative stress, promotes cell repair and prevents cellular death. The authors first discovered that an enzyme related to HSD10, CsgA, produces energy during sporulation in the bacterium ...

Larger-sized portions, packages and tableware lead to higher consumption of food and drink

2015-09-14
A new review has produced the most conclusive evidence to date that people consume more food or non-alcoholic drinks when offered larger sized portions or when they use larger items of tableware. The research, carried out by the University of Cambridge and published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, suggests that eliminating larger-sized portions from the diet completely could reduce energy intake by up to 16% among UK adults or 29% among US adults. Overeating increases the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers, which are among the leading causes ...
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