ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
Making a Difference with Patients Who Drink Too Much - Editorials
ABSTRACT: Excessive alcohol consumption is a leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, but few heavy drinkers receive treatment. Primary care physicians are in a position to address heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders with patients, and can do so quickly and effectively. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has published a guide for physicians that offers an evidence-based approach to screening, assessing, and treating alcohol use disorders in general health care settings. Screening can be performed by asking patients how many heavy drinking days they have per week. Assessing patients' willingness to change their drinking behaviors can guide treatment. Treatment recommendations should be presented in a clear, nonjudgmental way. Patients who are not alcohol-dependent may opt to reduce drinking to lower risk levels. Patients with alcohol dependence should receive pharmacotherapy and brief behavioral support, as well as disease management for chronic relapsing dependence. All patients with alcohol dependence should be encouraged to participate in community support groups
ABSTRACT: Smoking rates among persons with a history of alcohol abuse are triple that of the general public. Strong evidence indicates that the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease is higher in recovering alcoholics than in peers who smoke, but do not drink alcohol. Yet these persons often receive less than optimal tobacco counseling out of fear that attempts at smoking cessation will jeopardize their sobriety. Recent research, however, does not support this belief; rather, it suggests that smoking cessation may actually enhance alcohol abstinence. A model for more effective counseling of smokers in recovery is presented, including an algorithm for assessing stages of readiness to change, with activities tailored for each stage. Specific motivational counseling techniques may be useful in encouraging recovering alcoholics to progress to the point that they are ready to change their smoking behavior.
ABSTRACT: Early identification of alcohol-related problems is important because these problems are prevalent, pose serious health risks to patients and their families, and are amenable to intervention. Physicians may be able to help patients change their drinking behaviors. The most effective tool for screening is a thorough history of the patient's drinking behavior, designed to identify patterns of alcohol-related difficulties with physical and mental health, family life, legal authorities and employment. Alcohol drinkers can be categorized as at-risk, problem or alcohol dependent, according to a protocol developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The severity of the alcohol problem and the patient's readiness to change should determine the intervention selected by the family physician.
Health Screening in Older Women - Article
ABSTRACT: Health screening is an important aspect of health promotion and disease prevention in women over 65 years of age. Screening efforts should address conditions that cause significant morbidity and mortality in this age group. In addition to screening for cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer, primary care physicians should identify risk factors unique to an aging population. These factors include hearing and vision loss, dysmobility or functional impairment, osteoporosis, cognitive and affective disorders, urinary incontinence and domestic violence. Although screening for many conditions cannot be proved to merit an "A" recommendation (indicating conclusive proof of benefit), special attention to these factors can decrease morbidity and improve quality of life in aging women.
Pathologic Gambling - Article
ABSTRACT: Pathologic gambling and problem gambling affect approximately 5 to 15 million Americans and are common in young people. The community-minded family physician is in a good position to identify and assist patients who have gambling-related problems and thereby prevent or treat the resultant personal, family and social disruptions. Provider and community education about the depth and breadth of this condition is crucial for the identification and treatment of a growing problem. As with many psychologic conditions, identification of the disorder and treatment of the patient by the family physician comprise the primary treatment. Screening tools, treatment programs and self-help groups provide additional resources for the family physician. An illustrative case report demonstrates the importance of heightened awareness of and screening for this common condition.
Alcoholism in the Elderly - Article
ABSTRACT: Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are common but underrecognized problems among older adults. One third of older alcoholic persons develop a problem with alcohol in later life, while the other two thirds grow older with the medical and psychosocial sequelae of early-onset alcoholism. The common definitions of alcohol abuse and dependence may not apply as readily to older persons who have retired or have few social contacts. Screening instruments can be used by family physicians to identify older patients who have problems related to alcohol. The effects of alcohol may be increased in elderly patients because of pharmacologic changes associated with aging. Interactions between alcohol and drugs, prescription and over-the-counter, may also be more serious in elderly persons. Physiologic changes related to aging can alter the presentation of medical complications of alcoholism. Management of alcohol withdrawal in elderly persons should be closely supervised by a health care professional. Alcohol treatment programs with an elder-specific focus may improve outcomes in some patients.
Effectiveness of Acamprosate in the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence - Cochrane for Clinicians
Opioid Antagonists for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence - Cochrane for Clinicians
The Adult Well Male Examination - Article
ABSTRACT: The adult well male examination should incorporate evidence-based guidance toward the promotion of optimal health and well-being, including screening tests shown to improve health outcomes. Nearly one-third of men report not having a primary care physician. The medical history should include substance use; risk factors for sexually transmitted infections; diet and exercise habits; and symptoms of depression. Physical examination should include blood pressure and body mass index screening. Men with sustained blood pressures greater than 135/80 mm Hg should be screened for diabetes mellitus. Lipid screening is warranted in all men 35 years and older, and in men 20 to 34 years of age who have cardiovascular risk factors. Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm should occur between 65 and 75 years of age in men who have ever smoked. There is insufficient evidence to recommend screening men for osteoporosis or skin cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has provisionally recommended against prostate-specific antigen–based screening for prostate cancer because the harms of testing and overtreatment outweigh potential benefits. Screening for colorectal cancer should begin at 50 years of age in men of average risk and continue until at least 75 years of age. Screening should be performed by high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing every year, flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years combined with annual fecal occult blood testing, or colonoscopy every 10 years. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against screening for testicular cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Immunizations should be recommended according to guidelines from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.