Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 17 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 17-Jan-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 18-Jan-2004-Jan-2004
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New study estimates potential savings gained by expanding use of beta blockers in heart failure patients health
Using a decision model, researchers estimate that Medicare costs would decrease if the use of beta blocker drugs were more widespread, according to a new study sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study, "Economic Effects of Beta Blocker Therapy in Patients with Heart Failure," is published in the January issue of American Journal of Medicine. more

MMWR Reprint: Medical expenditures attributable to injuries --- United States, 2000
In the United States, injuries (i.e., unintentional and intentional) are the leading cause of death among persons aged < 35 years and the fourth leading cause of death among persons of all ages. more

Anastrozole may benefit some women more than tamoxifen
In early results from an Italian study, postmenopausalwomen with breast cancer who were switched from tamoxifen to a newer drug, anastrozole (Arimidex®), were less likely to die or to have a relapse of their disease than women who continued to take tamoxifen. These results are too preliminary, however, to support a conclusion that anastrozole is superior to tamoxifen at preventing breast cancer recurrence.  more


Prescribing information: Arimidex (anastrozole)
Arimidex is approved for adjuvant treatment (treatment following surgery with or without radiation) of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive early breast cancer.

Approval was based on study results from patients taking Arimidex as adjuvant treatment for a median of 2 1/2 years. In this ongoing study, further follow-up of patients will be required to determine long-term results, including side effects and survival.  more

CDC health update: Third possible SARS case reported in China; Influenza A(H5N1) Infections Reported in Vietnam
This advisory provides updated information and recommendations following recent reports of cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Guangdong Province, China, and human cases of influenza A(H5N1) virus infections in Vietnam. No travel alerts or advisories to these regions have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but increased vigilance is advised for ill persons traveling to the United States from Guangdong Province and Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea. more

Researchers conclude that CT scans for calcium can play a role in predicting cardiac deaths
In an article published in the January 14 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers conclude that there is evidence that CT scans for calcium can play a significant role in predicting cardiac deaths and may assist physicians in making treatment decisions for the millions of people in the middle-range of coronary risk.  more

Influenza vaccine effectiveness studies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention routinely conducts studies to estimate the effectiveness of vaccines for the diseases they are designed to protect against. The early onset of the 2003-2004 flu season and the presence of a new, or “drifted” influenza A strain caused CDC to pursue a series of studies to answer questions about how effective this year’s influenza vaccine is against the circulating viruses. The first study in the series was designed to obtain a rapid estimate of the effectiveness of the vaccine against influenza like illness while the flu season was still underway. Assessing influenza vaccine effectiveness presents unique challenges because circulating influenza viruses and influenza vaccine vary from year to year.  more

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