ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Several large clinical trials conducted over the past decade have shown that pharmacologic interventions can dramatically reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure. These trials have modified and enhanced the therapeutic paradigm for heart failure and extended treatment goals beyond limiting congestive symptoms of volume overload. Part II of this two-part article presents treatment recommendations for patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction. The authors recommend that, if tolerated and not contraindicated, the following agents be used in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction: an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in all patients; a beta blocker in all patients except those who have symptoms at rest; and spironolactone in patients who have symptoms at rest or who have had such symptoms within the past six months. Diuretics and digoxin should be reserved, as needed, for symptomatic management of heart failure. Other treatments or treatment programs may be necessary in individual patients.
ABSTRACT: Obesity is a complex, multifactorial condition in which excess body fat may put a person at health risk. National data indicate that the prevalence of obesity in the United States is increasing in children and adults. Reversing these trends requires changes in individual behavior and the elimination of societal barriers to healthy lifestyle choices. Basic treatment of overweight and obese patients requires a comprehensive approach involving diet and nutrition, regular physical activity, and behavioral change, with an emphasis on long-term weight management rather than short-term extreme weight reduction. Physicians and other health professionals have an important role in promoting preventive measures and encouraging positive lifestyle behaviors, as well as identifying and treating obesity-related comorbidities. Health professionals also have a role in counseling patients about safe and effective weight loss and weight maintenance programs. Recent evidence-based guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, as well as recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology, American Obesity Association, U.S. Clinical Preventive Services Task Force, Institute of Medicine, and World Health Organization can be consulted for information and guidance on the identification and management of overweight and obese patients.
ABSTRACT: Cirrhosis is a diffuse process characterized by fibrosis and the conversion of normal liver architecture into structurally abnormal nodules. The modified Child-Pugh score, which ranks the severity of cirrhosis based on signs and liver function test results, has been shown to predict survival. Strategies have been established to prevent complications in patients with cirrhosis. Esophageal varices can be identified by endoscopy; if large varices are present, prophylactic nonselective beta blocker therapy should be administered. Alpha-fetoprotein testing and ultrasonography can be effective in screening for hepatocellular carcinoma. Vaccines should be administered to prevent secondary infections. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided, and patients should maintain a balanced diet containing 1 to 1.5 g of protein per kg per day. An extensive assessment should be performed before patients with cirrhosis undergo elective surgery. Before advanced liver decompensation occurs, patients should be referred for liver transplantation evaluation. If advanced cirrhosis is present and transplantation is not feasible, survival is between one and two years.
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of nutritional iron deficiency anemia in infants and toddlers has declined dramatically since 1960. However, satisfaction with this achievement must be tempered because iron deficiency anemia in infants and toddlers is associated with long-lasting diminished mental, motor, and behavioral functioning. Additionally, the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in one- to three-year-old children seems to be increasing. The exact relationship between iron deficiency anemia and the developmental effects is not well understood, but these effects do not occur until iron deficiency becomes severe and chronic enough to produce anemia. At that point, treatment with iron can reverse the anemia and restore iron sufficiency, yet the poorer developmental functioning appears to persist. Therefore, intervention should focus on the primary prevention of iron deficiency. In the first year of life, measures to prevent iron deficiency include completely avoiding cow's milk, starting iron supplementation at four to six months of age in breastfed infants, and using iron-fortified formula when not breastfeeding. Low-iron formula should not be used. In the second year of life, iron deficiency can be prevented by use of a diversified diet that is rich in sources of iron and vitamin C, limiting cow's milk consumption to less than 24 oz per day, and providing a daily iron-fortified vitamin. All infants and toddlers who did not receive primary prevention should be screened for iron deficiency. Screening is performed at nine to 12 months, six months later, and at 24 months of age. The hemoglobin/hematocrit level alone detects only patients with enough iron deficiency to be anemic. Screening by erythrocyte protoporphyrin or red-cell distribution width identifies earlier stages of iron deficiency. A positive screening test is an indication for a therapeutic trial of iron, which remains the definitive method of establishing a diagnosis of iron deficiency.
Treatment of Cholesterol Abnormalities - Article
ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease and its subset coronary heart disease are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. In general, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Reducing dietary fat can improve total cholesterol levels, but consequent reductions in cardiovascular outcomes are not well documented. The Mediterranean diet is the only dietary intervention associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality. Treatment with cholesterol-lowering medications decreases the rate of cardiovascular events, but a reduction in all-cause mortality with these agents has been found only in patients with pre-existing coronary heart disease. Drug treatment in patients with a history of heart disease and average-to-high cholesterol levels can decrease the risk for stroke. In patients with peripheral vascular disease, treatment of elevated cholesterol levels may slow disease progression.
ABSTRACT: Nephrolithiasis is a common condition affecting nearly 5 percent of U.S. men and women during their lifetimes. Recurrent calculi can be prevented in most patients by the use of a simplified evaluation, reasonable dietary and fluid recommendations, and directed pharmacologic intervention. Serum studies and 24-hour urine collections are the mainstays of metabolic investigation and usually are warranted in patients with recurrent calculi. Although some stones are the result of inherited conditions, most result from a complex interaction between diet, fluid habits, and genetic predisposition. Calcium-sparing diuretics such as thiazides often are used to treat hypercalciuria. Citrate medications increase levels of this naturally occurring stone inhibitor. Allopurinol can be helpful in patients with hyperuricosuria, and urease inhibitors can help break the cycle of infectious calculi. Aggressive fluid intake and moderated intake of salt, calcium, and meat are recommended for most patients.
ABSTRACT: In 2004, the National Guidelines Clearinghouse placed eight guidelines from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council on its Web site. Seven of the guidelines are on specific disease processes and one is on general care. In addition to straightforward clinical decision making, the guidelines contain medical information specific to patients who are homeless. These guidelines have been endorsed by dozens of physicians who spend a large part of their clinical time caring for some of the millions of adults and children who find themselves homeless each year in the United States. In one guideline, physicians are prompted to keep in mind that someone living on the street does not always have access to water for taking medication. Another guideline points out the difficulty of eating a special diet when the patient depends on what the local shelter serves. As the number of homeless families and individuals increases, family physicians need to become aware of medically related information specific to this population. This can help ensure that physicians continue to offer patient-centered care with minimal adherence barriers.
Management of Hypertriglyceridemia - Article
ABSTRACT: Hypertriglyceridemia is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and acute pancreatitis. Along with lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lowering triglyceride levels in high-risk patients (e.g., those with cardiovascular disease or diabetes) has been associated with decreased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Although the management of mixed dyslipidemia is controversial, treatment should focus primarily on lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Secondary goals should include lowering non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (calculated by subtracting high-density lipoprotein cholesterol from total cholesterol). If serum triglyceride levels are high, lowering these levels can be effective at reaching non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol goals. Initially, patients with hypertriglyceridemia should be counseled about therapeutic lifestyle changes (e.g., healthy diet, regular exercise, tobacco-use cessation). Patients also should be screened for metabolic syndrome and other acquired or secondary causes. Patients with borderline-high serum triglyceride levels (i.e., 150 to 199 mg per dL [1.70 to 2.25 mmol per L]) and high serum triglyceride levels (i.e., 200 to 499 mg per dL [2.26 to 5.64 mmol per L]) require an overall cardiac risk assessment. Treatment of very high triglyceride levels (i.e., 500 mg per dL [5.65 mmol per L] or higher) is aimed at reducing the risk of acute pancreatitis. Statins, fibrates, niacin, and fish oil (alone or in various combinations) are effective when pharmacotherapy is indicated.
ABSTRACT: There are more than one half million cancer deaths in the United States each year, and one third of these deaths are attributed to suboptimal diet and physical activity practices. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active throughout life, and consuming a healthy diet can substantially reduce the lifetime risk of developing cancer, as well as influence overall health and survival after a cancer diagnosis. The American Cancer Society's Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines serve as a source document for communication, policy, and community strategies to improve dietary and physical activity patterns among Americans. In 2006, they published updated guidelines for the primary prevention of cancer and guidelines for improving outcomes among cancer survivors through tertiary prevention. These two sets of guidelines have similar recommendations, including: achievement and maintenance of a healthy weight; regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes per day and at least five days per week; a plant-based diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in saturated fats and red meats; and moderate alcohol consumption, if at all. Physicians are encouraged to find teachable moments to impart appropriate nutrition, physical activity, and weight management guidance to their patients, and to support policies and programs that can improve these factors in the community to reduce cancer risk and improve outcomes after cancer.