“You are what you eat” is an adage that is supported by research. Eating healthy foods can lead to a healthier body, while not having such foods can lead to problems such as nutrient and vitamin deficiencies, unintended weight loss, or obesity. In the elderly population, nutritional issues are of particular importance, as the aging body becomes more susceptible to chronic and acute disease states.
Primary Care: The Heart of Medicine. Where is primary care today? We seem to have veered far from the country doc approach. Or maybe we haven’t veered as far as we think.
Just like in the old days, we still have the opportunity to affect lives, help patients create change, and be there for people in their times of need. Family Physicians, Internists and Pediatricians are the front line of care.
It has been estimated that in our lifetime most of us, clinicians as well as our primary care patients will have been exposed personally to at least one life threatening event.  Use of primary care services by those exposed to disasters in the immediate aftermath is often for injury or acute illness related to the event, or for exacerbation of chronic conditions because of the disruption of ongoing care.
Collaborative Care for Managing the Geriatric Patient. A collaborative relationship is central to managing geriatric patients. This involves the development of trust, as well as the ability to listen. When my patients feel that they can trust me, and believe that I am listening to and not just hearing their needs, they are more likely to be open in discussing the details of their health with me. According to Osterberg and Blaschke, studies have shown that “poor provider relationships may lead to greater medication nonadherence.”
Hepatitis C in Primary Care: A Toolkit for the Clinician. Clinicians in primary care face a challenge to recognize, diagnose, monitor, and assist in treatment decisions for a large population of patients, many of whom may be asymptomatic but at risk for chronic liver disease and primary liver cancer.
Primary Care and the Obesity Epidemic. The economic burden and toll that excess weight takes on health and well-being indicates that individuals and their clinicians must do more to reduce the prevalence of obesity.
Rethinking the Utility of Beta-blockers. It may be time to rethink the long-term use of beta-blockers in your patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. Among patients who have: 1) risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD), 2) have suffered a prior heart attack, or 3) who have CAD without heart attack, the use of beta-blockers was not associated with a lower risk of a composite of cardiovascular events, according to a new study published in JAMA.
Bone Fragility Treatment. Since we first started using bisphosphonates like alendronate (Fosamax) to treat bone loss in women, our tendency has been to over treat younger women with milder bone loss and under treat older women who are at much higher risk of fracture, or in some cases recurrent fracture.
Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Calls Attention to the Role of Health Professionals in Medication Safety. A multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis associated with epidural spinal injection of a contaminated corticosteroid solution has focused public attention on the practice of compounding pharmacy in the United States.
Suicide Prevention in Primary Care Practice. Over one third of those who commit suicide have seen a primary care practitioner in the previous month, and many of those the previous week, before death. We need to assess risk in every patient we see, screen those at increased risk, and refer those with active suicidal behavior.
From the AAP: Cutting-edge Evidence about Circumcision. New scientific evidence suggests that while the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks of the procedure, the benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all newborn boys, according to an updated policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Gout is one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis, affecting nearly 4% of adult Americans. Newly approved guidelines that educate patients in effective methods to prevent gout attacks and provide primary care providers with recommended therapies for long-term management of this painful disease were recently published in Arthritis Care & Research.
Mandatory Influenza Vaccination for Healthcare Workers: A Health Policy Brief. The CDC estimates that up to 20% of Americans are affected with influenza yearly and 226,000 people are hospitalized with flu-related complications or die as a result. Yet the rate of flu vaccinations for healthcare workers remains constant, less than 50%, even though many of their patients, especially the young and elderly, suffer from the flu.