Nursing News

NICE: Breast cancer drug everolimus not cost-effective


London, UK, (August 29, 2013) - The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has found that a breast cancer treatment should not be recommended for use by the NHS because it is not a good use of limited NHS money. The new guidance advises that the drug everolimus (also called Afinitor and manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals) should not be routinely provided as a treatment for postmenopausal women[1] with HER2 negative, hormone-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer[2].



New kidney guideline to save thousands of lives


London, UK (August 28, 2013) - The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new guideline which promises to save thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of pounds each year. The new guideline will help prevent, detect and treat acute kidney injury (AKI), a condition that affects one in six people who are admitted to hospital and although it is completely preventable, can lead to death in one in four of those.


Study examines risk of severe blood sugar swings among diabetics taking fluoroquinolones


Arlington, VA, USA (August 15, 2013) - Diabetic patients taking oral fluoroquinolones, a frequently prescribed class of antibiotics, were found to have a higher risk of severe blood sugar-related problems than diabetic patients taking other kinds of antibiotics, according to a recent study from Taiwan published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The increased risk was low—hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) related to the drugs occurred in fewer than one in 100 patients studied—but clinicians should consider the higher risk when treating diabetic patients with fluoroquinolones, especially moxifloxacin, and prescribe them cautiously, the study's authors concluded.


Without restful sleep, health of spouses of osteoarthritis patients may be at risk

Does chronic pain affect a spouse's sleep?


Philadelphia, PA, USA (August 15, 2013) – Research suggests that a patient's chronic pain affects a spouse's emotional well-being and marital satisfaction. In a novel study of behavioral health outcomes published in the journal PAIN®, researchers examined the effects of patients' daily knee osteoarthritis pain on their spouses' nightly sleep. They determined that couples who expressed a high degree of closeness in their marriage experienced a stronger association between pain levels and the spouse's ability to sleep restfully. Findings further illustrated that chronic pain may place the spouse's health at risk and suggest an important therapeutic target for couples.


Specialist nurses as good as doctors in managing rheumatoid arthritis patients


Leeds,  UK (August 15, 2013) - The results of the multi-centre trial at the University of Leeds, funded by Arthritis Research UK, showed that there may be some clinical benefit to people with rheumatoid arthritis, whose condition is managed in clinics run by rheumatology clinical nurse specialists, especially with respect to their disease activity, pain control, physical function and general satisfaction with their care.


Hitting the treadmill today won't help you sleep tonight; it takes 4 months to kick in

Exercise is no quick cure for insomnia


CHICAGO, ILL, USA (August 15, 2013) -  Exercise is a common prescription for insomnia. But spending 45 minutes on the treadmill one day won't translate into better sleep that night, according to new Northwestern Medicine® research.

"If you have insomnia you won't exercise yourself into sleep right away," said lead study author Kelly Glazer Baron, a clinical psychologist and director of the behavioral sleep program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "It's a long-term relationship. You have to keep at it and not get discouraged."


Women of childbearing age, Asian patients may require alternative medications

Many neurologists unaware of safety risks related to anti-epilepsy drugs


Baltimore, Maryland, USA (August 14, 2013) - A study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that a fifth of U.S. neurologists appear unaware of serious drug safety risks associated with various anti-epilepsy drugs, potentially jeopardizing the health of patients who could be just as effectively treated with safer alternative medications.


Who benefits from vitamin D?


Kuopio, Finland (August 13, 2013) - Studying the expression of genes that are dependent on vitamin D makes it possible to identify individuals who will benefit from vitamin D supplementation, shows a University of Eastern Finland study published recently in PLoS One.


Quick survey to assess risk for disturbances in mental cognition

New tool helps detect delirium in hospital patients


San Francisco, Cal., USA (August 7, 2013) - UC San Francisco researchers have developed a two-minute assessment tool to help hospital staff predict a patient’s risk of delirium, a change in mental cognition characterized by severe confusion and disorientation that can prolong hospital stays. The condition, which occurs in as many as one in five hospitalized patients, tends to develop rapidly and can lead to higher death rates and increased health care costs. The new tool is designed to be simple, efficient and accurate in helping to assess and treat patients at risk of developing delirium, the scientists said. The tool also can be used to identify patients who might be most suitable for new targeted interventions to prevent delirium, the authors reported.


Recommendations consider new drugs and tests

New federal guidelines for managing occupational exposures to HIV


CHICAGO, ILL, USA (August 6, 2013) – New guidelines from the United States Public Health Service update the recommendations for the management of healthcare personnel (HCP) with occupational exposure to HIV and use of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). The guidelines, published online today in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), emphasize the immediate use of a PEP regimen containing three or more antiretroviral drugs after any occupational exposure to HIV.


NICE sets new standards to improve care for people with psoriasis


London, UK (August 6, 2013) - The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NICE, has today set new standards for the quality of care for people with psoriasis - an irritable skin condition characterised by red, flaky crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. More than 1.3 million people in the UK are living with psoriasis, which mainly develops in people who are under 35 years old. Although incurable, psoriasis can be managed.


Antibiotic resistance among hospital-acquired infections is much greater than prior CDC estimates


  • FDA 'reboot' of antibiotic development rules falls short


LOS ANGELES, CA, USA – (August 1, 2013) – The rise of antibiotic resistance among hospital-acquired infections is greater than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in its 2008 analysis, according to an ahead-of-print article in the journal, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. The article also finds that the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) promise to "reboot" antibiotic development rules a year ago to combat the rise in resistance has fallen short.


Exercise May be the Best Medicine for Alzheimer's


COLLEGE PARK, Md., USA (July 30, 2013) – New research out of the University of Maryland School of Public Health shows that exercise may improve cognitive function in those at risk for Alzheimer’s by improving the efficiency of brain activity associated with memory. Memory loss leading to Alzheimer’s disease is one of the greatest fears among older Americans. While some memory loss is normal and to be expected as we age, a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, signals more substantial memory loss and a greater risk for Alzheimer’s, for which there currently is no cure. 


Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 22-25 July 2013


London, UK (July 26, 2013) - This page provides an overview of the opinions adopted at the July 2013 meeting of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) and other important outcomes. At its July meeting, the CHMP welcomed Ivana Mikačić as the Croatian member of the Committee following the accession of Croatia to the European Union on 1 July 2013. Ana Dugonjić has been appointed as the Croatian alternate. This addition brings the total number of CHMP members to 33.


European Medicines Agency recommends changes to the use of metoclopramide


  • Changes aim mainly to reduce the risk of neurological side effects


London, UK (July 26, 2013) - The European Medicines Agency’s Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended changes to the use of metoclopramide-containing medicines in the European Union (EU), including restricting the dose and duration of use of the medicine to minimise the known risks of potentially serious neurological (brain and nerve) side effects.


Benefit of oral ketoconazole does not outweigh risk of liver injury in fungal infections

European Medicines Agency recommends suspension of marketing authorisations for oral ketoconazole


London, UK (July 26, 2013) - The European Medicines Agency’s Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended that the marketing authorisations of oral ketoconazole-containing medicines should be suspended throughout the European Union (EU). The CHMP concluded that the risk of liver injury is greater than the benefits in treating fungal infections.


FDA permits marketing of first test labeled for simultaneous detection of tuberculosis bacteria and resistance to the antibiotic rifampin


Silver Spring, MD, USA (July 25, 2013) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing of the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay, the first FDA-reviewed test that can simultaneously detect bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB) and determine if the bacteria contain genetic markers that makes them resistant to rifampin, an important antibiotic for the treatment of TB. 


Study shows women’s pricy purchases can keep rivals away from their mate

Luxury products' role in relationships


MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL, MN, USA (July 24, 2013) — Purchasing designer handbags and shoes is a means for women to express their style, boost self-esteem, or even signal status. New University of Minnesota research suggests some women also seek these luxury items to prevent other women from stealing their man.


Cannabis constituent has no effect on MS progression


  • But there may be some benefit to those at the lower end of the disability scale


Plymouth, UK (July 23, 2013) - The first large non-commercial clinical study to investigate whether the main active constituent of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) is effective in slowing the course of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), shows that there is no evidence to suggest this; although benefits were noted for those at the lower end of the disability scale. The study is published in The Lancet Neurology.


Integrative medicine interventions found to significantly reduce pain, improve quality of life


  • New study points to sustainable effects of patient-centered care


Durham, NC, USA (July 22, 2013) - An integrative approach to treating chronic pain significantly reduces pain severity while improving mood and quality of life, according to a new study from the Bravewell Practice-Based Research Network (BraveNet) published last month in BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal. Researchers found a reduction in pain severity of more than 20 percent and a drop in pain interference of nearly 30 percent in patients after 24 weeks of integrative care. Significant improvements in mood, stress, quality of life, fatigue, sleep and well-being were also observed.


Vaccinating boys plays key role in HPV prevention


  • A look at factors associated with vaccine’s low rate of adoption


TORONTO, ON Canada (July 22, 2013) – Improving vaccination rates against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in boys aged 11 to 21 is key to protecting both men and women, says new research from University of Toronto Professor Peter A. Newman from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

HPV has been linked to anal, penile and certain types of throat cancers in men. Since the virus is also responsible for various cancers in women, vaccinating boys will play a crucial role in reducing cancer rates across the sexes.


A new NICE guideline aims to improve the outcomes for people who have suffered the most severe type of heart attack

NICE publishes guideline for treating people with acute heart attack


London, UK (July 10, 2013) - If you've had or are having a heart attack, time is of the essence.

Professor Huon Gray, Consultant Cardiologist and National Clinical Director for Heart Disease, NHS England, who chaired the independent guideline development that produced NICE's guideline on treating people who have had a heart attack, said: “Time is muscle. Nearly half of potentially salvageable heart muscle is lost within one hour of the coronary artery being blocked, and two-thirds is lost within three hours. The more heart muscle that is lost, the poorer the outcome for the patient. Apart from resuscitation if your heart stops, restoring blood flow to the heart as quickly as possible is the most important priority.”


H7N9 influenza

History of similar viruses gives cause for concern


Washington, DC, USA (July 9, 2013) - The H7N9 avian flu strain that emerged in China earlier this year has subsided for now, but it would be a mistake to be reassured by this apparent lull in infections. The virus has several highly unusual traits that paint a disquieting picture of a pathogen that may yet lead to a pandemic, according to lead scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. David Morens, Jeffery Taubenberger, and Anthony Fauci, in a paper published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, describe the history of H7 viruses in animal and human disease and point out that H7 influenza has a tendency to become established in bird, horse, and swine populations and may spillover repeatedly into humans.


Brain-training and brainpower

Placebo effect largely ignored in psychological intervention studies


CHAMPAIGN, Ill., USA (July 9, 2013) — Many brain-training companies tout the scientific backing of their products – the laboratory studies that reveal how their programs improve your brainpower. But according to a new report, most intervention studies like these have a critical flaw: They do not adequately account for the placebo effect. The new analysis appears in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.


Nurse practitioners provide more primary care in states with least restrictive regulations


Galveston, TX, (July 8, 2013) - Facing a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians, some states in recent years have eased up on regulations that create barriers for nurse practitioners who want to work as primary care providers. That easing of rules has had the intended effect. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, those states with the fewest restrictions on nurse practitioners' scope of practice had two-and-a-half times more patients receiving primary care from nurse practitioners than did the most restrictive states.


Previous efforts to improve care for bone health after one of these fractures have had limited success

Patients who are engaged in their own care are more likely to reduce the risk of future fractures


TORONTO, Canada (July 8, 2013) - People over the age of 50 who have suffered a fracture because of a slip or trip play a central role in making sure they get proper care to prevent a future fracture, a new study has found. The findings are important because previous efforts to improve care for bone health after one of these fractures have had limited success.


Study found those with clinical depression were more likely to set abstract goals that were difficult to achieve

People with depression tend to pursue generalised goals


Liverpool, UK (July 8, 2013) - Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that people with depression have more generalised personal goals than non-depressed people. A study conducted by Dr Joanne Dickson, in the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, analysed the lists of personal goals made by people who suffered with depression and those who didn’t.

More than a quarter of over 70s with type 2 diabetes could benefit simply from improving communication and education in the clinic, new research has revealed

Tailoring diabetes treatment to older patients yields dramatic results


Exeter, UK (July 8,2013) - More than a quarter of over 70s with type 2 diabetes could benefit simply from improving communication and education in the clinic, new research has revealed. A study led by the University of Exeter Medical School and published in The Lancet found that 27 percent achieved better glycaemic control through individualised care alone.



Breast cancer drug not cost effective for NHS, says draft NICE guidance


London, UK (July 8, 2013) - The cancer drug everolimus (also called Afinitor and manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals) is not recommended as an NHS-funded treatment for a type of advanced breast cancer because it is not good value for money, says latest draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).


Demographic change is predicted to increase emergency hospital admissions and length of emergency visits

The aging population and emergency departments


Boston, NE, USA (July 8, 2013) – As the population gets older, and the baby boomers begin to enter their 60's and 70's, one might assume that the number of trips to the emergency department will also increase. This is contradicted by new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), which shows that population aging will not cause the number of emergency department (ED) visits to increase between now and 2050. However, visits will become longer and hospitalizations will become more frequent. This research will appear in the July issue of Health Affairs.


Ethical quandary about vaccinations sparked by tension between parental rights and protecting public health


NEW YORK, NY, USA (July 8, 2013) – Increased concerns about the perceived risk of vaccination, inconvenience, or religious tenets are leading more U.S. parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children. Parents are increasingly able to do so in states that have relatively simple procedures for immunization exemption, report researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center in the July issue of Health Affairs. Some states, fearing a public health crisis, have responded by putting in place more burdensome procedures for parents of school-aged children to opt-out. All this adds up to an ethical quagmire, say the researchers.


New study reveals important role of insulin in making breast milk


Cincinnati, Ohio, USA (July 5, 2013) - Why do so many mothers have difficulty making enough milk to breastfeed? A new study by scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of California Davis adds to their previous research implicating insulin's role in lactation success.


NICE consults on advice to help care homes support mental wellbeing of vulnerable older people


London, UK (July 5, 2013) - With the UK's population getting increasingly older and stories relating to care home neglect in the news, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is developing advice for care homes to help them promote the mental wellbeing of older people by supporting and empowering those they look after.


First method for directly measuring the extent to which drugs reach their targets in the cell

Technological breakthrough paves the way for better drugs


Stockholm, Sweden (July 4, 2013) - Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have developed the first method for directly measuring the extent to which drugs reach their targets in the cell. The method, which is described in the scientific journal Science, could make a significant contribution to the development of new, improved drug substances.


Increased risk of heart attack or stroke associated with many arthritis drugs may be avoidable

New research could pave the way to safer treatments for arthritis


London, UK (July 4, 2013) - The increased risk of heart attack or stroke associated with many arthritis drugs may be avoidable, according to a new international study co-authored by researchers at Imperial College London. Drugs such as Vioxx, diclofenac, ibuprofen and Celebrex operate by blocking an enzyme known as COX-2, whose presence in blood vessels has up until now been held responsible for these side effects. New research carried out on mice has revealed that COX-2 is largely absent from the major blood vessels and instead found in the brain, gut, and kidney as well as the thymus gland in the chest.


EULAR issues updated rheumatoid arthritis management recommendations


  • Recommendations address use of synthetic and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs


Kilchberg, Switzerland (July 3, 2013) - The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has released updated recommendations for the management of RA. According to this latest guidance, treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) should be initiated as soon as a diagnosis of RA is made, with the aim of reaching a target of remission or low disease activity in every patient.


National clinical trial demonstrates the 3-gene signature test, developed at Weill Cornell Medical College, will improve care of kidney transplant patients

Urine biomarker test can diagnose as well as predict rejection of transplanted kidneys


NEW YORK, USA (July 3, 2013) - A breakthrough non-invasive test can detect whether transplanted kidneys are in the process of being rejected, as well as identify patients at risk for rejection weeks to months before they show symptoms, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

By measuring just three genetic molecules in a urine sample, the test accurately diagnoses acute rejection of kidney transplants, the most frequent and serious complication of kidney transplants, says the study's lead author, Dr. Manikkam Suthanthiran, the Stanton Griffis Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of transplantation medicine, nephrology and hypertension at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.



Does being a bookworm boost your brainpower in old age?


MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA (July 3, 2013) – New research suggests that reading books, writing and participating in brain-stimulating activities at any age may preserve memory. The study is published in the July 3, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. "Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person's lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age," said study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

CDC study shows emergency department visits also on the rise among women

Deaths from Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Rise Sharply Among Women


Atlanta, GA, USA (July 2, 2013) - The number of prescription painkiller overdose deaths increased five fold among women between 1999 and 2010, according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While men are more likely to die of a prescription painkiller overdose, since 1999 the percentage increase in deaths was greater among women (400 percent in women compared to 265 percent in men). Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 48,000 women between 1999 and 2010.



Single Men, Smokers at Higher Risk for Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection, Moffitt Cancer Center Study Shows


TAMPA, FL, USA (July 2, 2013) – Smokers and single men are more likely to acquire cancer-causing oral human papillomavirus (HPV), according to new results from the HPV Infection in Men (HIM) Study. Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute, Mexico and Brazil also report that newly acquired oral HPV infections in healthy men are rare and when present, usually resolve within one year. The study results appeared in the July issue of The Lancet.

FDA approves the first non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes associated with menopause


Silver Spring, MD, USA (June 28, 2013) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Brisdelle (paroxetine)to treat moderate to severe hot flashes (vasomotor symptoms) associated with menopause. Brisdelle, which contains the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor paroxetine mesylate, is currently the only non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes approved by the FDA.