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Free CME

This CME program will provide endocrinologists and other health care professionals with the knowledge about the pathophysiology of acromegaly, the need for multidisciplinary care, and when and how to initiate appropriate treatment. The activity will also provide the latest information about emerging therapies that may preserve pituitary function, improve patient outcomes, quality of life, and adherence to therapy.

Click here to participate in this free CME video series.

Risks of BP Medications

A new post in The New York Times’ The New Old Age blog reports on research into “whether anti-hypertensive drugs might be causing problems in the real world beyond clinical trials.” The study followed “5,000 older people (average age: 80) with hypertension for up to three years, and the results of their study are disturbing: The risk of serious fall injuries — fractured bones, brain injuries or dislocated joints — was significantly higher among those who took anti-hypertensives than among those who didn’t.” In the group classified as moderate users of hypertensives, “serious fall injuries were 40 percent higher than among people who didn’t take anti-hypertensives.”

Read it in The New Old Age blog.

Diabetes

The number of Americans with diabetes has nearly tripled since 1990 but a new study in NEJM has shown that the health risks for diabetics have decreased dramatically in the past 2 decades, The New York Times reports. Researchers “used four federal data sets — the National Health Interview Survey, the National Hospital Discharge Survey, the United States Renal Data System, and Vital Statistics — over a 20-year period to give a comprehensive picture of diabetes outcomes.” Results showed that the risk of heart attack and death due to high blood sugar decreased by over 60% and that rates of stroke and amputations of the lower extremities decreased by nearly half between 1990 and 2010. “Researchers said the declines were the fruit of years of efforts to improve the health of patients with Type 2 diabetes.”

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the study in NEJM.

Improving Food Safety

origamiwolf/Flickr

A new post from Futurity reports that “Treating food products with select bacteriophages—viruses that target and kill bacteria—could significantly reduce concentrations of E. coli, a new study shows.” Researchers found that “an injection of bacteriophages—also known informally as “phages”—nearly eradicated a toxin-producing strain of E. coli in contaminated spinach and ground beef, in some cases decreasing E. coli concentrations by about 99 percent. The research suggests that bacteriophage treatment could be an effective tool to help ensure the safety of food products.”

Read it in Futurity.

Read the study in the Journal of Animal Science.

Prescription Drugs

Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times reports on a study published in JAMA that has found that free samples given by pharmaceutical companies may have a large impact on the types of drugs that dermatologists prescribe. Researchers collected data from the National Disease and Therapeutic Index and found that physicians, particularly dermatologists, “were still enamored with free samples.” “Very often, the drugs that were most frequently prescribed with a free sample were also the most frequently prescribed overall,” and that these were the most expensive drugs. Researchers also compared prescribing behavior of dermatologists at an academic medical center that had a policy against freebies. “In this group, nine of the 10 most popular acne drugs were low-cost generics (which don’t come with free samples).”

Read it in the Los Angeles Times.

Read the study in JAMA.