Tag Archives: Internal Medicine News

Video of the Week:

It may be appropriate to forgo dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scanning and instead use body mass index to rule out osteoporosis in some obese patients, according to the findings of a large study presented by Dr. Thomas Nelson at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology. Our reporter, Heidi Splete, was able to sit down with Dr. Nelson  to talk about the study results.

You can read the story in Internal Medicine News.


Filed under Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Primary care, Video

Video of the Week: Live From ACC — Yoga Does a Heart Good

Yes, this week, Global Medical News Network staff are bringing you the very latest news live from the Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology.

At the meeting, investigators reported that yoga can help reduce arrhythmia episodes in patients with atrial fibrillation, and improve their anxiety and depression. The study authors caution, however, that yoga is not a treatment for atrial fibrillation.

Our own video star Naseem S. Miller talked with the study’s lead author Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, who is an associate professor of medicine at University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City.

You can read her story at Internal Medicine News, where you can find all of our coverage of ACC.

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Filed under Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Video

Adding Clinical Judgement to the Dialysis Entitlement

Has the day of reckoning for the U.S. dialysis entitlement finally arrived?  

An article in today’s New York Times by Gina Kolata says it has, and to me it seems like it’s about time. Kolata’s report notes that a committee of nephrologists assembled by the Renal Physicians Association recently drew up guidelines on which patients are appropriate dialysis candidates from a medical perspective and which are not, a test that until now has often not been applied to patients with end-stage renal disease.  The new guidelines call for physicians and patients to discuss the patient’s condition and arrive at a mutually agreed on decision as to whether dialysis is the right course of action.

One of their criteria: Physicians treating a patient should ask themselves whether, even with dialysis, the patient likely has a year to live. 

dialysis machine/image courtesy Flickr user jimforest

As the Times article summarizes, in 1972 Congress made free dialysis a right for just about any American with failing kidneys. The program now includes 400,000 patients with an annual bill of $40-$50 billion, and with those older than 75 the fastest growing segment of the dialysis patient load.  The 1972 law never anticipated a program of this scope, and at a time when Congress is haggling over whether the entire U.S. budget should get cut by $30 billion or $60 billion, a $45 billion program that has ballooned into a clinically questionable, medically-blind monster stands out. Aren’t there more pressing and cost-beneficial ways to spend America’s health care dollars than providing dialysis to all comers?  

I have heard many cost-benefit analyses in my years as a medical journalist, and I never fail to be struck that the perennial benchmark is the quality-adjusted life years–the QALYs–that dialysis delivers. Since American society accepts the dialysis entitlement, any other treatment that delivers as much medical bang as dialysis for a buck is judged acceptable. Now, finally, American nephrologists have questioned the premise that underlies this benchmark.

—Mitchel Zoler (on Twitter @mitchelzoler)

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Filed under Blognosis, Health Policy, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine News, Nephrology, Practice Trends

Video of the Week: Personalizing Cancer Medicine

New tools for molecular and genetic testing of cancer tumors could individualize cancer care and revolutionize cancer research, but only if more people start using them, according to Dr. Joseph R. Nevins of Duke University.

Dr. Nevin talked with our reporter, Sherry Boschert, about how molecular and genetic tools have the potential to speed cancer research and greatly improve cancer treatment, at a translational cancer medicine meeting sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research.

We have the tools that can be applied to these clinical studies that in many instances will give us the capability to identify those patients who will benefit from from a drug and so start moving toward trials that select subgroups of patients for the study based on those molecular characteristics and greatly improve the chance of success of the clinical study.

To see more great videos and to read about the latest medical news, check out Internal Medicine News.

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Filed under Genomic medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Medical Genetics, Oncology, Primary care, Video

Video of the Week: Substance Abuse Increases

Roughly 8.7% of Americans aged 12 years or older used illicit drugs in 2009. That’s up 0.7% from 2008, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The rise was largely driven by an increase in marijuana use.

Our Naseem Miller had the chance to talk with Dr. Westley Clark, director of SAMHSA‘s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment about the findings of the survey and how physicians can help stop the rise.

Physicans “can make sure that they screen for alcohol use and other drug use,” said Dr. Clark. In particular, he recommended becoming familiar with available screening tools, such as those that can be found at NIDAMed.

You can read Naseem’s story here.  Be sure to check out Internal Medicine News for the latest medical videos, updates and in-depth analysis.

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Filed under Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Primary care, Psychiatry, Video

Video of the Week: Olympic Trauma Care


Trauma care at the Olympic Games focuses on getting the athletes back in the games.  That’s what Dr. Jay Doucet told our Doug Brunk at a critical care meeting sponsored by the University of California in San Diego.

Dr. Doucet—director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the university—was one of the clinicians who provided trauma care at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. In fact, he provided care at Whistler Mountain, where many of the high-speed events—-such as luge and bobsled—took place. “We did see quite a few injuries from that.  Luckily most were not serious or career-ending,” he said.

“The Olympics is a pretty rare event, and the opportunity to do well at the Olympics is something that these athletes really strive for.  You have to be totally focused on what they need. What they don’t need is more time off work or more narcotics. What they need is to get better.”

For more great videos and the latest medical news, check out our new Internal Medicine News Web site.

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Filed under Emergency Medicine, IMNG, Orthopedic Surgery, Pediatrics, Primary care, Radiology, Sports Medicine, Surgery, Video

Video of the Week: Gastric Band Improves Metabolic Risk Factors in Obese Teens

Increasing rates of obesity — particularly in children and adolescents — have health professionals scrambling to find ways to fight growing waistlines.  Dr. Kirk Reichard talked with our reporter Diana Mahoney, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, about how gastric band surgery could be a potential solution.  He presented data on significant improvements in metabolic measures in 17 morbidly obese teens who underwent the surgery using an investigational device.

While these kids really are sick, they benefit probably more greatly from the lap band — or from any bariatric procedure perhaps — even than adults.  We know that kids will go on to be obese adults, if they’re obese kids. They will go on to have cardiac problems.  So our bias is that the younger we fix these problems, the more healthy they’ll be later.

You can see more great medical news videos by checking out our new Internal Medicine News Web site.


Filed under Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Primary care, Surgery, Video

Video of the Week: Despite CV Risks, Meridia Offers Help to the Right Patient

Researchers  involved in the Sibutramine and the Role of Obesity Management in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease in Overweight and Obese Patients (SCOUT) trial have concluded that long-term use of the weight loss drug sibutramine (Meridia) was not associated with an increased risk of death; however, the drug was associated with a significantly increased risk of nonfatal myocardial infarctions and strokes among overweight and obese people with preexisting cardiovascular conditions. The findings were presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm, and then published in the September 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Read our story by Elizabeth Mechcatie here.

Mitchel Zoler spoke with Dr. Stephan Rössner of the obesity unit at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who was an invited discussant for the SCOUT presentation. The drug is still a good option for patients without cardiovascular problems, he said.  Sibutramine can be considered for patients with eating disorders, sleep apnea or arthritis, who need additional help losing  or maintaining weight, provided that cardiovascular risk factors are monitored, he added.

Check back here or at Internal Medicine News next week, when Elizabeth Mechcatie will be covering the FDA Advisory Committee meeting on sibutramine September 15-16. You can follow Elizabeth’s coverage on Twitter, @ElizMech.

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Filed under Cardiovascular Medicine, Drug And Device Safety, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Video

Video of the Week: Dealing With Suicide

For psychiatrists, dealing with suicide comes with the job. 

The nature of our work is such that we do look after people with serious mental illnesses.  It’s known that somewhere between 85% to 95% of people who die by suicide have been living with some type of psychiatric illness, whether it’s been treated or not.

— Dr. Michael F. Myers

While at the annual meeting of the American Society of Suicidology, reporter Damian McNamara talked with Dr. Michael Myers (SUNY-Downstate Medical Center) about how psychiatrists can cope with the suicide of a patient or colleague.  His first piece of advice: Don’t isolate.

For more great videos and the latest medical news, check out our new Internal Medicine News Web site.

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Filed under IMNG, Psychiatry, Video