Important News for the Informed Primary Care Physician

medical news

It’s possible that no industry generates as much news as healthcare. Primary care physicians have to stay abreast of it all to ensure that they are able to deliver the best possible care and options to their patients, who present with conditions ranging from routine to rare. 

Here is a look at important news that every primary care physician needs to know about. 

Statins not as harmful as reported

For years, physicians have been warned of the dangers of statins. Physicians were told that the cholesterol-lowering drugs taken by an estimated 25 million Americans could cause serious liver injury, cognitive impairment, raised blood sugar levels and muscle damage. 

Not so fast.

A new large-scale review published in The Lancet indicates that the risks have been significantly overstated, and that the benefits of statin therapy by far outweigh the risks. 

That’s good news for every primary care physician who prescribes the drugs as well as the patients who take them. 

Read more about the study’s findings

Nasal spray flu vaccine shouldn’t be used

It wasn’t that long ago that local and national media outlets hailed nasal spray as a safe and effective alternative to shots for delivering the flu vaccine. 

It was effective, it didn’t hurt, it only took a few seconds to administer and families would be more likely to have their children vaccinated if the process didn’t include needles, the reports said. 

They were 75 percent correct–but the 25 percent they whiffed on matters the most. 

While nearly every primary care physician across the country was deluged by families wanting the spray flu vaccine for their children, there was a major problem with the product: it was not effective. 

This is according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control. Both made their recommendations after analyzing data gathered from the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network that revealed that the spray vaccine offered just a 3 percent protection rate against any flu virus for children aged 2-17 during the 2015-16 flu season.  

Read more about the recommendations

Another possible antibiotic risk revealed

Every primary care physician has likely prescribed antibiotics to children. At the same time, every primary care physician has likely heard about the potential risks of over-prescribing antibiotics to young people, drug-resistant germs being chief among them. 

Now there’s another possible adverse side effect: food allergies. 

New research conducted at the University of South Carolina shows that early antibiotic exposure could increase a child’s risk of food allergies, a condition that has increased by 50 percent among children in recent years. 

According to the study, children who were prescribed antibiotics in the first year of life were more likely to later be diagnosed with a food allergy compared to children where received no antibiotics. 

Read more about the study.  

Women with hearing loss more likely to give birth to preterm babies

If you are primary care physician who is treating a pregnant patient who suffers from hearing loss, you are going to want to be aware of a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that show that your hearing-impaired patient is more likely to give birth prematurely or have a low-birth-rate baby. 

To make matters worse, the study found women with hearing loss were less likely to have private insurance than those without hearing loss. 

The study results led researchers to develop a perinatal health framework that identifies a number of individual and mediating risk factors for poor birth outcomes among patients living with physical disabilities, including those living with hearing loss. 

Did you find these stories interesting? We routinely write about medical news that is relevant to providers. Please subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on news and much more.

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