Category: Pain/Palliative

Clinical Correlations

Age Is Just a Number: Combating Muscle Loss in The Elderly

By Carl Preiksaitis

Peer Reviewed

The term “sarcopenia” was introduced in 1989 to characterize the loss of muscle mass that occurs as a consequence of advancing age.1 Use of the term has since grown to include the loss of muscular function experienced in older adults.[1] The prevalence of sarcopenia is estimated to be approximately 29% in community-dwelling older adults and 33% in individuals living in long-term care institutions.[2] Sarcopenia is linked to increased morbidity and mortality from physical disability, increased falls and fractures, decreased quality of life, and higher incidence of depression and hospitalizations.[2] This condition contributes to a significant financial burden on the US healthcare system, with estimated costs in the year 2000 exceeding $18.5 billion.[3] Furthermore, the decline in physical fitness seen in sarcopenic patients has been associated with increased all-cause mortality.[4]

Given that current census estimates project a more-than doubling of the US population over the age of 65 by 2060, physicians will need to become adept at diagnosing and treating sarcopenia.[5] What strategies are currently available for the diagnosis and treatment of this condition in the primary care setting?…

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Cancer Survivors – Who are they, what are their needs, and how can medical providers meet these needs?

By Maria Garcia-Jimenez, MD/MHS, Abinav Baweja, MD, and Nicole LaNatra, MD

Peer Reviewed

Clinical vignette

A 65-year old woman with history of invasive breast cancer presents to her primary care provider for regular follow up. She was diagnosed with breast cancer over 10 years ago and received chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapy with aromatase inhibitors.…

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Balancing patient information with our professional and relational duties to patients and families without appealing to paternalism.

Doctor_examines_patientA commentary by Antonella Surbone, MD PhD FACP, Ethics Editor on  yesterday’s article “Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Information?”

The insighftul and challenging piece Is there such a thing as too much information? by Mariya Rozenblit addresses a key issue in today’s medicine: how much information do we need to provide to our patients to enable them to make autonomous informed choices about their health, illnesses and treatments.…

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Breaking News: Federal Advisory Panel Recommends Ban on Vicodin and Percocet

tylenolAalok Turakhia MD

In an attempt to err on the side of safety, an advisory panel to the Federal Food and Drug Administration narrowly voted yesterday to ban the popular prescription pain medications Percocet and Vicodin, in a 20-17 vote.[1 ]Both medications are a combination of a narcotic and acetaminophen, and according to the New York Times, it was a growing concern over the safety of acetaminophen that prompted the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee to assemble in Adelphi, Maryland early this week.[2]

Acetaminophen is one of the most popular pain medications in the world [2], and though highly effective in reducing fevers and treating headaches, there has always been great concern for hepatotoxicity.…

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