In a small preliminary study supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI), researchers have found that children who wore bifocal eyeglasses had a slightly slower progression of myopia, or nearsightedness, than children who wore traditional single-vision eyeglasses. These findings appear in the August 2000 issue of Optometry and Vision Science.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a summary of an evidence report on the prediction of risk for patients with unstable angina. AHRQ's UCSF-Stanford Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) was asked to conduct a systematic review of the current literature on unstable angina, including studies of the prognostic value of patient history, physical exam, electrocardiogram and other diagnostic tests such as troponin to identify a patient's risk for unstable angina. This Vidyya contains an easy-to-read summary from the AHRQ.
In other heart disease news, it's known that about half of the 1.1 million heart attack victims in the United States each year come to hospital emergency departments (EDs). A New England Journal Of Medicine study shows that ED doctors miss diagnosing 2 percent of ED patients with heart attack (acute myocardial infarction, AMI) or unstable angina, whom they mistakenly send home. These misdiagnosed patients usually have atypical symptoms that make diagnosis more difficult. These patients have nearly twice the likelihood of dying from their heart problems than similar patients who are hospitalized.
If you're in Pakistan, you might want to find an alternative to motor-vehicle transportation. A study exploring the impact of motor vehicle injuries in Pakistan has found that as many as 61 percent to 86 percent of such injuries may go uncounted in official police statistics, causing public health officials in Pakistan to underestimate the problem's seriousness. The investigation shows that the total number of motor vehicle crashes increased 14-fold between 1956 and 1996. The scientists also discovered that buses and public vehicles are involved in over 60 percent of motor vehicle crashes and 90 percent of deaths due to crashes.
Finally, non-English speaking patients are getting help courtesy of the US government. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued written policy guidance to assist health and social services providers in ensuring that persons with limited English skills can effectively access critical health and social services. The guidance, published in the Federal Register by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), lays out and explains more fully OCR's existing policies. It outlines the legal responsibilities of providers who receive federal financial assistance from HHS -- such as hospitals, HMOs and human service agencies -- to assist people with limited English skills. It also provides a flexible road map to the range of options available to providers in meeting the language needs of the nation's increasingly diverse populations.
The articles in today's Vidyya are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.