Diabetes carries high economic burden
According to a study published in Diabetes Care, the economic burden associated with diagnosed diabetes (all ages) and undiagnosed diabetes, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes (adults) exceeded $322 billion in 2012, amounting to an economic burden exceeding $1,000 for each American.
The authors of “The economic burden of elevated blood glucose levels in 2012: Diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus, and prediabetes” note that the $322 billion number, which comprises $244 billion in excess medical costs and $78 billion in decreased productivity, is 48% higher than the $218 billion estimate for 2007.
Review article on lymphedema published
“Recent progress in the treatment and prevention of cancer-related lymphedema,” published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, reviews recent developments in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer-related lymphedema, including breast cancer and other cancer types—melanoma, gynecologic, genitourinary, and head and neck.
The article also discusses the issue of insufficient insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema. The authors emphasize the importance of early identification of the condition and early referral.
Preventing breast cancer
“Risk determination and prevention of breast cancer,” published in Breast Cancer Research, estimates that half of breast cancers might be prevented in women at high and moderate risk by using chemoprevention (tamoxifen, raloxifene, exemestane, and anastrozole). For all women, lifestyle measures, including weight control, exercise, and moderating alcohol intake, could reduce breast cancer risk by about 30%.
Ostomy can hinder goal attainment in cancer patients
“Changes in cancer patients’ personal goals in the first 6 months after diagnosis: The role of illness variables,” in Supportive Care in Cancer, notes that overall, patients reported a “decrease in illness-related hindrance, higher attainability and likelihood of success, a decrease in total number of goals, goals with a shorter temporal range, and more physical and fewer social goals.”
However, patients with more advanced stages of cancer, rectal cancer, or a stoma and receiving additional chemotherapy or radiotherapy reported more difficulty attaining their goals because of their illness. Only patients with a stoma reported “lower attainability, likelihood of success, and more short-term goals.”
Device to prevent parastomal hernia studied
In “A promising new device for the prevention of parastomal hernia,” in Surgical Innovations, researchers from Switzerland report their experience with a new stomaplasty ring (KORING) that they invented. The ring, which has been used only once, is intended to prevent parastomal hernias.
CDC releases guideline on preventing HIV transmission from those with HIV
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released “Recommendations for HIV prevention with adults and adolescents with HIV in the United States, 2014.” The guideline includes recommendations about biomedical, behavioral, and structural interventions that can help reduce the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from persons with HIV by reducing their infectiousness and their risk of exposing others to HIV.
Rate of rising healthcare costs slows
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports U.S. healthcare spending in 2013 increased 3.6% to $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 per person. “National health spending in 2013: Growth slows, remains in step with the overall economy,” published in Health Affairs, notes that spending slowed by an 0.05 percentage point, compared with 2012. Health care has been 17.4% of the gross national product since 2009.
The slower growth is consistent with slower growth in private health insurance and Medicare spending. Other reasons include slower growth in spending for hospital care, investments in medical structures and equipment, and spending for physician and clinical care.
Low-glycemic index diet doesn’t improve cardiovascular risk factors
Overweight and obese persons who eat a diet that has a low glycemic index of carbohydrate don’t have improvements in insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, or systolic blood pressure, according to a study in JAMA.
“Effects of high vs low glycemic index of dietary carbohydrate on cardiovascular disease risk factors and insulin sensitivity” concludes that “using glycemic index to select specific foods may not improve cardiovascular risk factors or insulin resistance.”
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