Items in AFP with MESH term: Chronic Disease

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Acute and Chronic Paronychia - Article

ABSTRACT: Paronychia is one of the most common infections of the hand. Clinically, paronychia presents as an acute or a chronic condition. It is a localized, superficial infection or abscess of the paronychial tissues of the hands or, less commonly, the feet. Any disruption of the seal between the proximal nail fold and the nail plate can cause acute infections of the eponychial space by providing a portal of entry for bacteria. Treatment options for acute paronychias include warm-water soaks, oral antibiotic therapy and surgical drainage. In cases of chronic paronychia, it is important that the patient avoid possible irritants. Treatment options include the use of topical antifungal agents and steroids, and surgical intervention. Patients with chronic paronychias that are unresponsive to therapy should be checked for unusual causes, such as malignancy.


Prealbumin: A Marker for Nutritional Evaluation - Article

ABSTRACT: Determining the level of prealbumin, a hepatic protein, is a sensitive and cost-effective method of assessing the severity of illness resulting from malnutrition in patients who are critically ill or have a chronic disease. Prealbumin levels have been shown to correlate with patient outcomes and are an accurate predictor of patient recovery. In high-risk patients, prealbumin levels determined twice weekly during hospitalization can alert the physician to declining nutritional status, improve patient outcome, and shorten hospitalization in an increasingly cost-conscious economy.


Chronic Illness and Sexual Functioning - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic illness and its treatments can have a negative impact on sexual functioning. The mechanism of interference may be neurologic, vascular, endocrinologic, musculoskeletal, or psychologic. Patients may mistakenly perceive a medical prohibition to the resumption of sexual activity, or they may need advice on changes in sexual activity to allow satisfactory sexual functioning. Family physicians must be proactive in diagnosing and managing the alterations in sexual functioning that can occur with chronic illness. Patient education and reassurance are essential. Before sexual activity is resumed, patients with cardiovascular disease should be stratified according to risk. Patients with musculoskeletal disease should be educated about positional changes that may improve comfort during sexual activity. Psychosocial concerns should be addressed in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. In patients with cancer, it is important to discuss sexual problems that may arise because of negative body image and the effects of chemotherapy. Patients who have disabilities can benefit from the use of muscle relaxants, technical adaptations, and expansion of their sexual repertoire.


COPD: Management of Acute Exacerbations and Chronic Stable Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are treated with oxygen (in hypoxemic patients), inhaled beta2 agonists, inhaled anticholinergics, antibiotics and systemic corticosteroids. Methylxanthine therapy may be considered in patients who do not respond to other bronchodilators. Antibiotic therapy is directed at the most common pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Mild to moderate exacerbations of COPD are usually treated with older broad-spectrum antibiotics such as doxycycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium. Treatment with augmented penicillins, fluoroquinolones, third-generation cephalosporins or aminoglycosides may be considered in patients with more severe exacerbations. The management of chronic stable COPD always includes smoking cessation and oxygen therapy. Inhaled beta2 agonists, inhaled anticholinergics and systemic corticosteroids provide short-term benefits in patients with chronic stable disease. Inhaled corticosteroids decrease airway reactivity and reduce the use of health care services for management of respiratory symptoms. Preventing acute exacerbations helps to reduce long-term complications. Long-term oxygen therapy, regular monitoring of pulmonary function and referral for pulmonary rehabilitation are often indicated. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines should be given. Patients who do not respond to standard therapies may benefit from surgery.


Preconception Health Care - Article

ABSTRACT: Appropriate preconception health care improves pregnancy outcomes. When started at least one month before conception, folic acid supplements can prevent neural tube defects. Targeted genetic screening and counseling should be offered on the basis of age, ethnic background, or family history. Before conception, women should be screened for human immunodeficiency virus and syphilis infection and begin treatment to prevent the transmission of disease to the fetus. Immunizations against hepatitis B, rubella, and varicella should be completed, if needed. Women should be counseled on ways to prevent infection with toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, and parvovirus B19. Environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke, alcohol, and street drugs, and chemicals such as solvents and pesticides should be avoided. In women with diabetes, it is important to optimize disease control through intensive management before pregnancy. Medications for hypertension, epilepsy, thromboembolism, depression, and anxiety should be reviewed and changed, if necessary, before the patient becomes pregnant. Counseling about exercise, obesity, nutritional deficiencies, and the overuse of vitamins A and D is beneficial. Physicians may also choose to discuss occupational and financial issues related to pregnancy and to screen patients for domestic violence.


Tension-Type Headache - Article

ABSTRACT: Tension-type headache typically causes pain that radiates in a band-like fashion bilaterally from the forehead to the occiput. Pain often radiates to the neck muscles and is described as tightness, pressure, or dull ache. Migraine-type features (unilateral, throbbing pain, nausea, photophobia) are not present All patients with frequent or severe headaches need careful evaluation to exclude any occult serious condition that may be causing the headache. Neuroimaging is not needed in patients who have no worrisome findings on examination. Treatment of tension-type headache typically involves the use of over-the-counter analgesics. Use of pain relievers more than twice weekly places patients at risk for progression to chronic daily headache. Sedating antihistamines or antiemetics can potentiate the pain-relieving effects of standard analgesics. Analgesics combined with butalbital or opiates are often useful for tension-type pain but have an increased risk of causing chronic daily headache. Amitriptyline is the most widely researched prophylactic agent for frequent headaches. No large trials with rigorous methodologies have been conducted for most non-medication therapies. Among the commonly employed modalities are biofeedback, relaxation training, self-hypnosis, and cognitive therapy.


Preoperative Care of Patients with Kidney Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic kidney disease often require surgical interventions for vascular access and for medical problems related to comorbid conditions. Perioperative morbidity and mortality rates are increased in these patients. Preoperative attention to common medical problems that occur in patients with impaired renal function can lower some surgical risks. Hyperkalemia can be temporarily improved by the intravenous administration of an insulin-dextrose combination or bicarbonate, and polystyrene binding resins or dialysis can remove excess stores of potassium. Increased bleeding related to uremic platelet dysfunction can be managed by the administration of desmopressin, cryoprecipitate, or estrogens, and by avoiding the use of medications with antiplatelet effects close to the time of surgery. Transfusions of red blood cells should be reserved for use in patients with clinically significant anemia, because antibody formation may decrease the likelihood of successful renal transplantation in the future. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in patients with renal disease. Patients with chronic kidney disease may have hypertension and hypoglycemia in the perioperative period. Preoperative testing may be necessary in patients with cardiac risk factors. If future vascular access grafting is contemplated, intravenous line placement and blood draws should be avoided in a patient's nondominant arm.


Hepatitis B - Article

ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. More than 400 million persons, including 1.25 million Americans, have chronic hepatitis B. In the United States, chronic hepatitis B virus infection is responsible for about 5,000 annual deaths from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis B virus is found in body fluids and secretions; in developed countries, the virus is most commonly transmitted sexually or via intravenous drug use. Occupational exposure and perinatal transmission do occur but are rare in the United States. Effective vaccines for hepatitis B virus have been available since 1982; infant and childhood vaccination programs introduced in the 1990s have resulted in a marked decrease in new infections. Risk factors for progression to chronic infection include age at the time of infection and impaired immunity. From 15 to 30 percent of patients with acute hepatitis B infection progress to chronic infection. Medical therapies for chronic hepatitis B include interferon alfa-2b, lamivudine, and the nucleotide analog adefovir dipivoxil.


Evaluation of the Patient with Chronic Cough - Article

ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic cough should avoid exposure to irritants that can trigger cough, and those who smoke should stop smoking. Patients who develop chronic cough in association with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy should be switched to an agent from another drug class. If cough persists, a chest radiograph should be ordered to rule out malignancy and other serious conditions. Postnasal drip syndrome, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease are the most likely causes of chronic cough in adults. If postnasal drip syndrome is suspected, a trial of a decongestant and a first-generation antihistamine is warranted. Pulmonary function testing with a methacholine challenge is the preferred test for confirming the diagnosis of asthma. Gastroesophageal reflux disease usually is diagnosed based on the symptoms and after a trial of therapy. If the cause of chronic cough remains unclear, high-resolution computed tomographic scanning of the chest, bronchoscopy, and referral to a pulmonary specialist may be indicated. The approach to diagnosing chronic cough in immunocompromised patients and children is similar to the approach in immunocompetent adults. However, a CD4+ cell count can help determine the potential for opportunistic infections in immunocompromised patients. Respiratory tract infections, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease are the most common causes of chronic cough in children. Foreign body aspiration should be considered in young children. Congenital conditions, cystic fibrosis, and immune disorders are possible diagnoses in children with chronic cough and recurrent infection.


Clinical Practice Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease in Adults: Part 1. Definition, Disease Stages, Evaluation, Treatment, and Risk Factors - Article

ABSTRACT: In February 2002, the Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative of the National Kidney Foundation published clinical practice guidelines on chronic kidney disease. The first six of the 15 guidelines are of the greatest relevance to family physicians. Part I of this two-part article reviews guidelines 1, 2, and 3. Chronic kidney disease is defined by the presence of a marker of kidney damage, such as proteinuria (ratio of greater than 30 mg of albumin to 1 g of creatinine on untimed [spot] urine testing), or a decreased glomerular filtration rate for three or more months. Disease staging is based on the glomerular filtration rate. Evaluation should be directed at determining the type and severity of chronic kidney disease. Treatment goals include preventing disease progression and complications. The guidelines place special emphasis on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include diabetes mellitus, hypertension, family history of chronic kidney disease, age older than 60 years, and U.S. racial or ethnic minority status. The guidelines recommend testing for proteinuria and estimating the glomerular filtration rate in patients at risk for chronic kidney disease. Family physicians should weigh the value of the National Kidney Foundation guidelines for their clinical practice based on the strength of evidence and perceived cost-effectiveness until additional evidence becomes available on the usefulness of the recommended quality indicators.


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