Researchers found that veterans who had a traumatic brain injury and were positive for apolipoprotein epsilon-4 genetic polymorphism, which is linked to Alzheimer's disease, were significantly more likely to develop anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, compared with those with a normal genetic profile, but similar neuropsychiatric symptom risk was found between those with and without the APOE e4 allele who didn't have TBI. The findings in the Journal of Neurotrauma may improve understanding of the association between genetics and clinical recovery after TBI and aid in the development of better treatments, said researcher Lisa Delano-Wood.
The FDA accepted for review AcelRx Pharmaceuticals' Dsuvia, or sufentanil sublingual tablet, 30 mcg, with a PDUFA date of Nov. 3. Dsuvia is being developed for adult patients to manage moderate-to-severe pain under medically supervised settings.
A study in a radiology journal showed that only 23.1% of all radiologists in the US were women, compared with 46.6% of nonradiologists participating in Medicare, with the Washington, D.C., and Wyoming regions having the highest and lowest percentages of female radiologists, respectively. Researchers also found higher female representation among academic radiologists and those in states with greater female-to-male relative earnings.
Four House lawmakers have introduced a bill that would postpone the Affordable Care Act's tax on health insurance -- already on hold in 2019 -- until 2021. AHIP praised the move, noting the suspension "will help to lower premiums for everyone, whether they get coverage through their jobs, buy their own coverage, or enroll in Medicare Advantage or Medicaid."
A Congressional Budget Office report estimates that the federal government will spend approximately $705 billion on health insurance assistance this year, which translates to $2,582 per American under 65. Of the total, $82 billion will go to people under 65 who qualify for Medicare, $49 billion will go to the Affordable Care Act premium tax credit program and $4 billion will go to ACA's Basic Health Program.
A study in Diabetic Medicine, based on follow-up from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study, found that young adults with type 2 diabetes tend to have worse glycemic control and would benefit from personalized programs and policies to help them transition from pediatric to adult care. "Reasonable developmentally appropriate goals and engagement of other care providers who can support the young adult during this difficult time in their life is a key strategy to ensuring the patient continues optimal diabetes care and control," said study author Dr. Shivani Agarwal.
A World Cancer Research Fund report showed an association between obesity and an increased risk of 12 cancers, including breast, esophagus, gallbladder, kidney and liver cancers. The report also recommends being physically active; limiting consumption of fast food, high-fat products, red and processed meats, alcohol and sugar; and eating a diet rich in beans, fruit, whole grains and vegetables to reduce cancer risks.
Anthem's plans to purchase Aspire Health, a Tennessee-based palliative care provider that uses "predictive clinical and claims-based patient algorithms" to help patients with serious conditions, continues a trend of convergence in the health care industry bringing together health insurers and health care providers. Aspire CEO Brad Smith said studies demonstrate the importance of advanced care for patient satisfaction, lower rates of hospitalization and lower spending.
An ingestible device bearing genetically modified bacteria may one day enable diagnosis of gastrointestinal problems by converting the bacterial response to the human gut into a smartphone-readable wireless signal. The "bacteria-on-a-chip" technology was tested in mice and pigs, and it was found to correctly detect the presence of blood in the stomach, researchers reported in the journal Science.
The FDA granted approval to Biomarin Pharmaceutical's Palynziq, or pegvaliase-pqpz, for use in reducing blood phenylalanine concentrations in adult patients with phenylketonuria, whose blood Phe concentrations is higher than 600 micromo/L and is uncontrolled. The decision was supported by data from a late-stage trial in which the drug reduced blood Phe levels of patients versus placebo use.