Embargoed news from Nov. 5, 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet

November 04, 2013

1. Women who adhere to Mediterranean-type diet in midlife have greater physical and mental function in old age

Women who follow a healthy diet during middle age have approximately 40 percent greater odds of surviving past the age of 70 with no chronic illnesses and no physical or cognitive impairment, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. As life expectancy increases, maintaining health and well-being into older age becomes a major challenge. Habits in midlife may affect how people age. Researchers reviewed dietary data ascertained by survey for 10,670 women who were in their late 50s and early 60s at the time of the questionnaire. The same women provided information on health approximately 15 years later. The researchers found that women who adhered to a Mediterranean or similar type diet had greater health and well-being in older age. Healthy agers ate more plant foods, whole grains, and fish or long-chain Omega-3 PUFAs; limited alcohol intake; and ate less red and processed meats. Healthy agers were differentiated from usual agers by four specific health domains. The healthy agers were free from 11 chronic diseases, had no impairment in cognition, no physical disabilities, and had intact mental health.

Note: The link to this article will go live at 5:00 p.m. on November 4. For an embargoed PDF, please contact Megan Hanks or Angela Collom. Dr. Cecilia Samieri can be reached directly via email at nhces@channing.harvard.edu.


2. Home test for strep could save hundreds of thousands of doctor visits a year

A new home score for calculating a patient's risk for strep throat is nearly as accurate as lab tests and could make doctor's visits for sore throat unnecessary, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Most cases of sore throat are caused by a virus rather than bacteria, and therefore will resolve on their own without antibiotics and without causing further problems. It is recommended that patients who visit their physician for sore throat have a lab test to determine whether the infection is viral or bacterial. However, patients at low risk for strep may not need a lab test. Researchers developed a scoring system to identify low-risk patients who would not need a doctor visit. The score was based on the patient's personal health information and an assessment of recent strep incidence in the local population. Researchers found that their new scoring system was accurate, and could help clinicians and patients estimate the likelihood of disease before a clinical encounter and help steer these patients to timely, appropriate care when needed. The author of an accompanying editorial cautions that this home score algorithm has several shortcomings. Among them, the age range is too broad (strep is rare in persons over the age of 50) and it assumes even prevalence of strep across communities. The author of a second editorial doubts the cost-savings potential of the new algorithm. The editorialist points out that a clinical evaluation that eliminates testing for patients at low risk, and the use of generic antibiotics for those who need them, could improve treatment and decrease costs.

Note: The link to the patient summary for this article will go live at 5:00 p.m. on November 4. For an embargoed PDF, please contact Megan Hanks or Angela Collom. To interview the lead author, please contact Tom Ulrich at thomas.ulrich@childrens.harvard.edu or 617-919-3196.


3. Opioid overdose prevention programs could save lives of recently released prisoners

Drug interventions specifically targeted to recently released prisoners could help prevent opioid overdose deaths, especially among women, according to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine. Studies have shown that former prisoners are at increased risk for death from drug overdose during the postrelease period. Over the past decade, efforts have been made to improve prisoner reentry. During the same timeframe, opioid prescriptions have reached an all-time high. Currently, opioids are the most commonly prescribed class of medications in the United States and overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death. Researchers studied records for 76,208 persons released from prison in Washington State from 1999 to 2009 to see how the rising trend in opioid use and abuse has affected postrelease mortality. They found that overdose was the leading cause of death among former prisoners and that opioids were involved in approximately 15 percent of all deaths. Compared to their male counterparts, women were at higher risk for overdose and death due to opioids. The researchers suggest that efforts to reduce drug overdose, including that from pharmaceutical opioids, should involve interventions for released prisoners.

Note: The URL for this study will go live at 5:00 p.m. on November 4. For an embargoed PDF, please contact Megan Hanks or Angela Collom. To interview the lead author, contact Jackie Brinkman at jackie.brinkman@ucdenver.edu or 303-724-1525.
-end-


American College of Physicians

Related Opioids Articles from Brightsurf:

One in 10 older dental patients inappropriately prescribed opioids
A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh suggests that a significant proportion of older patients receiving opioids at dental visits also use psychotropic medications -- a potentially harmful combination.

Look beyond opioids to solve national substance use epidemic, study suggests
A new study published reveals that three-quarters of participants in an inpatient addiction intervention program at Oregon Health & Science University came into the hospital using more than one substance.

Placenta can indicate how body responds to opioids during pregnancy
Scientists at the University of Missouri have discovered possible biological markers that they hope could one day help identify the presence of an opioid use disorder during human pregnancy.

Research Finds Women Often Overprescribed Opioids After Childbirth
Excessive opioid prescriptions following childbirth may lead to higher rates of addiction within communities, according to a new report in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Women significantly more likely to be prescribed opioids, study shows
Women are significantly more likely to receive prescriptions of opioid analgesics.

Opioids for chronic non-cancer pain doubled in quarter century
A review of 24 years of global research has shown opioid prescribing doubled between 1991-2015, with demand most common for chronic conditions such as chronic lower back pain, finds University of Sydney-led research.

Cancer screening among women prescribed opioids
US women who take prescription opioids are no less likely to receive key cancer screenings when compared to women who are not prescribed opioids.

Parents: Turkey makes great leftovers -- opioids do not
Leftover prescription opioids pose big risks to kids, yet most parents keep their own and their child's unused painkillers even after they're no longer medically necessary for pain.

Co-addiction of meth and opioids hinders treatment
A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that methamphetamine use was associated with more than twice the risk for dropping out of treatment for opioid-use disorder.

Computer game may help to predict reuse of opioids
A computer betting game can help predict the likelihood that someone recovering from opioid addiction will reuse the pain-relieving drugs, a new study shows.

Read More: Opioids News and Opioids Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.