Mar 082011

Warfarin is the best drug for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. In people with a-fib for whom warfarin was unsuitable (unstable INR, unlikely adherence, etc, but excluding those with prior bleeding on warfarin), twice daily oral direct Xa inhibitor apixaban had a hazard ratio of 0.45 over aspirin for the primary outcome of stroke (absolute [… read more]

Mar 032011

Radiation risks from imaging; pharmacy and lactation; critical illness; interventional chest procedures; asthma; smoking; cystic fibrosis; pneumonia; infiltrative lung diseases; pulmonary embolism; pulmonary hypertension, and sleep-disordered breathing in pregnancy. Coming in just under 200 pages. Clinics in Chest Medicine 2011;32:1-198.

Mar 022011

In a rare encouraging positive study in the chronically critically ill, 71% of vent-dependent patients (~6 weeks on MV) who did multiple sets of daily inspirations backwards through a PEEP valve weaned from mechanical ventilation (defined as >72 hrs off the vent), vs. 47% receiving a sham treatment. MIP also improved by 10 cmH2O in [… read more]

Feb 282011

Chai-Coetzer et al designed and validated a predictive model for diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea without polysomnography in 157 general primary care patients considered at average risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Berlin/Epworth questionnaires, snoring, waist size, witnessed apneas and age were fit into an algorithm, followed by home oximetry in a sample of mostly high-Berlin-scoring patients. [… read more]

Feb 272011

Using Medicare records from more than 30,000 beneficiaries with congestive heart failure, Javaheri et al suggest in this observational epidemiologic study that sleep apnea may be woefully overlooked and undertreated in people with CHF. The 2% of the cohort who were tested and treated for sleep apnea had one-third the 2-year mortality of their risk-matched [… read more]

Feb 262011

MedPAC wants the next generation of MDs to be cost-conscious, evidence-minded, and amenable to standardization of care. To prod GME programs to train young MDs thusly, the influential government advisory body recommends allocating $3.5B of the $9.5B annual GME outlay as at-risk incentive payments. A proposed committee would have 3 years to design metrics for [… read more]

Feb 252011

DeMets & Califf give a historical play-by-play, lament the current state of affairs, and issue a call to arms for academics to leverage the current political climate favoring comparative-effectiveness and translational research, in order to build a new clinical trials edifice that favors the public’s health over profits. JAMA 2011;305:713-714.