In the Doctor's Lounge - Hips, weight, heart, blood pressure, psoriasis | St. Louis Public Radio

In the Doctor's Lounge - Hips, weight, heart, blood pressure, psoriasis

Jul 16, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 16, 2008 - Psoriasis Patients Often Under-treated

As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, and a significant portion of those afflicted may not be getting adequate treatment. "There remains a gap in treatment for about 40 percent of patients with severe disease," the authors of a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology write.

Part of the issue is that doctors need to become better informed about available psoriasis treatments, especially in patients with severe disease. "Awareness-raising efforts regarding these treatment patterns among dermatologists may close this gap in treatment," the authors conclude.

And patients need to feel as though they can speak up. Skin health matters; don't suffer in silence. If you have psoriasis that is causing you distress, talk to your doctor about the treatments that may be available and appropriate for you.

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For more on Psoriasis Treatment:

https://www.psoriasis.org/treatment/

Hypertension Treatment Beneficial in Very Elderly

Now that 80 could be the new 60, it's never too late to get your blood pressure under control.

Treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) in very elderly patients may slightly lower the risk of dementia and is clearly beneficial in reducing the risk of strokes and death, according to research published online July 8 in The Lancet Neurology.

"Short-term antihypertensive treatment is beneficial for stroke and total mortality among the very elderly; therefore, the detection and treatment of hypertension in elderly people, irrespective of whether it prevents dementia, is important because it might prevent cardiovascular disease," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

Make it your goal this summer to reach the blood pressure your doctor recommends for you. The gains are plentiful.

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For more on Your Guide for Lowering Blood Pressure:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/

Continuing Drug Reduces Death After Heart Failure

Speaking of blood pressure, beta-blockers are medications commonly and successfully used in treating hypertension. Doctors also know that these drugs are very beneficial for those who have suffered heart attacks. More recently, it has become increasingly clear that these meds are also good for those suffering from heart failure.

To add to this body of evidence is a report in the July 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study authors report that patients hospitalized for heart failure who continue to receive beta-blocker therapy after being released from the hospital enjoy a reduced risk of death. "In contrast, withdrawal of beta-blocker therapy is associated with worse risk and propensity-adjusted mortality," they conclude.

Beta-blockers may indeed be a part of a recipe for heart failure success, although they are not right for everyone. Ask your doctor what is best for you or your loved ones.

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For more on Medications Commonly Used in Heart Failure

https://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=118

Weight Loss Trial Has Good Results At Six-month Mark

Keep a food diary, and you may be able to lose double the weight. So say the researchers in a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The patients in this study achieved significant weight reduction in a weight loss program that included eating 500 fewer calories a day within a healthful eating program, exercising at least 30 minutes a day, and keeping a food diary.

The "behavioral intervention successfully achieved clinically significant short-term weight loss in a diverse population of high-risk patients," with an average total loss of about 13 pounds after 20 weeks. And the researchers found that keeping a consistent food record predicted success.

The secret to this food diary success? Keeping a food diary holds you accountable for your eating actions and often helps uncover unhealthy eating patterns that can be corrected once identified.

What you need to know

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For more on Weight Loss/Dieting:

http://health.nih.gov/topic/WeightLossDieting

Early Hip-fracture Surgery Improves Patient Outcomes

The hip bone's connected to the ... fracture-surgery outcome.

Hip-fracture patients who have surgery within 24 hours after admission to the hospital are much less likely to endure long hospital stays and are more likely to return to independent living than those who undergo later surgery, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

"Early compared with late operative treatment of patients with a hip fracture is associated with an improved ability to return to independent living, a reduced risk for the development of pressure ulcers, and a shortened hospital stay," the authors conclude.

Time is of the essence, and never more so in those with a broken hip -- a very serious injury. And prevention is always better than the treatment. Get your bone density checked, ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet, quit smoking and stop drinking to excess. Also, think about making your environment more "fall-safe": remove loose rugs, install stair treads and grab rails in the bathroom. And review your medications with your doctor; some may put you at risk for balance problems.

What you need to know

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For more on Hip Fracture:

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00417

This column by HealthDay's Dr. Cynthia Haines, managing editor of the Physician's Briefing news service, will run each week in the St. Louis Beacon.