Items in AFP with MESH term: Risk Factors
ABSTRACT: Primary and secondary prevention trials have shown that use of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (also known as statins) to lower an elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level can substantially reduce coronary events and death from coronary heart disease. In 1987 and 1993, the National Cholesterol Education Program promulgated guidelines for cholesterol screening and treatment. Thus far, however, primary care physicians have inadequately adopted these guidelines in clinical practice. A 1991 study found that cholesterol screening was performed in only 23 percent of patients. Consequently, many patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein levels and a high risk of primary or recurrent ischemic events remain unidentified and untreated. A study published in 1998 found that fewer than 15 percent of patients with known coronary heart disease have low-density lipoprotein levels at the recommended level of below 100 mg per dL (2.60 mmol per L). By identifying patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein levels and instituting appropriate lipid-lowering therapy, family physicians could help prevent cardiovascular events and death in many of their patients.
Management of Suspected Fetal Macrosomia - Article
ABSTRACT: Fetal macrosomia, arbitrarily defined as a birth weight of more than 4,000 g (8 lb, 13 oz) complicates more than 10 percent of all pregnancies in the United States. It is associated with increased risks of cesarean section and trauma to the birth canal and the fetus. Fetal macrosomia is difficult to predict, and clinical and ultrasonographic estimates of fetal weight are prone to error. Elective cesarean section for suspected macrosomia results in a high number of unnecessary procedures, and early induction of labor to limit fetal growth may result in a substantial increase in the cesarean section rate because of failed inductions. Pregnancies complicated by fetal macrosomia are best managed expectantly. When labor fails to progress as expected, the possibility of fetopelvic disproportion should be considered within the context of the best estimate of the fetal weight.
ABSTRACT: The simple request for a sick note can disguise important medical, psychologic or social issues. Disability may be influenced by social and cultural factors as well as by patient expectations. Assessment of impairment and subsequent disability is best made on the basis of objective data by use of a biopsychosocial model to ensure that the expression of disability does not mask other unaddressed psychologic or social issues. Enabling prolonged disability in such a situation can be a dysfunctional physician response to a maladaptive process. The physician's role is to treat the condition, to fulfill the appropriate role of patient advocate, to facilitate health (including resumption of activity), to offer proactive advice on the basis of prognosis, to be familiar with the patient's social obligations and resources and to provide education about the therapeutic benefits of returning to optimal function. This factual, medical-based approach offers an effective preventive strategy that will save many patients from unnecessary disability and morbidity.
ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis afflicts 75 million persons in the United States, Europe and Japan and results in more than 1.3 million fractures annually in the United States. Because osteoporosis is usually asymptomatic until a fracture occurs, family physicians must identify the appropriate timing and methods for screening those at risk. Prevention is the most important step, and women of all ages should be encouraged to take 1,000 to 1,500 mg of supplemental calcium daily, participate in regular weight-bearing exercise, avoid medications known to compromise bone density, institute hormone replacement therapy at menopause unless contraindicated and avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol intake. All postmenopausal women who present with fractures as well as younger women who have risk factors should be evaluated for the disease. Physicians should recommend bone mineral density testing to younger women at risk and postmenopausal women younger than 65 years who have risk factors for osteoporosis other than being postmenopausal. Bone mineral density testing should be recommended to all women 65 years and older regardless of additional risk factors. Bone mineral density screening should be used as an adjunct to clinical judgment only if the results would influence the choice of therapy or convince the patient to take appropriate preventive measures.
Insulin Resistance Syndrome - Article
ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance can be linked to diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease and other abnormalities. These abnormalities constitute the insulin resistance syndrome. Because resistance usually develops long before these diseases appear, identifying and treating insulin-resistant patients has potentially great preventive value. Insulin resistance should be suspected in patients with a history of diabetes in first-degree relatives; patients with a personal history of gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome or impaired glucose tolerance; and obese patients, particularly those with abdominal obesity. Present treatment consists of sensible lifestyle changes, including weight loss to attain healthy body weight, 30 minutes of accumulated moderate-intensity physical activity per day and increased dietary fiber intake. Pharmacotherapy is not currently recommended for patients with isolated insulin resistance.
ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, as well as an important cause of disability, although many women and their physicians underestimate the risk. Exercise, hypertension treatment, smoking cessation and aspirin therapy are effective measures for the primary prevention of coronary artery disease in women. The roles of lipid-lowering agents and hormone replacement therapy in primary prevention are not well established. In secondary prevention, hormone replacement therapy has not been effective in lowering the risk of recurrent myocardial infarction, but several lipid-lowering agents have been shown to reduce this risk and to lower mortality rates in women with known coronary artery disease. Other secondary prevention measures, including aspirin, beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, revascularization and rehabilitation, have proven benefits in women but are underused, especially in minority women. Family physicians should emphasize the use of proven treatments, with particular attention given to underserved populations.
ABSTRACT: The incidence of malignant melanoma has increased in recent years more than that of any other cancer in the United States. About one in 70 people will develop melanoma during their lifetime. Family physicians should be aware that a patient with a changing mole, an atypical mole or multiple nevi is at considerable risk for developing melanoma. Any mole that is suggestive of melanoma requires an excisional biopsy, primarily because prognosis and treatment are based on tumor thickness. Staging is based on tumor thickness (Breslow's measurement) and histologic level of invasion (Clark level). The current recommendations for excisional removal of confirmed melanomas include 1-cm margins for lesions measuring 1.0 mm or less in thickness and 2-cm margins for lesions from 1.0 mm to 4.0 mm in thickness or Clark's level IV of any thickness. No evidence currently shows that wider margins improve survival in patients with lesions more than 4.0 mm thick. Clinically positive nodes are typically managed by completely removing lymph nodes in the area. Elective lymph node dissection is recommended only for patients who are younger than 60 years with lesions between 1.5 mm and 4.0 mm in thickness. In the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Trial, interferon alfa-2b was shown to improve disease-free and overall survival, but in many other trials it has not been shown to be effective at prolonging overall survival. Vaccine therapy is currently being used to stimulate the immune system of melanoma patients with metastatic disease.
Bicycle-Related Injuries - Article
ABSTRACT: Bicycle riding is a popular form of recreation among persons of all ages, and related injuries cause significant morbidity and mortality. Most injuries occur in males and are associated with riding at high speed; most serious injuries and fatalities result from collisions with motor vehicles. Although superficial soft tissue injuries and musculoskeletal trauma are the most common injuries, head injuries are responsible for most fatalities and long-term disabilities. Overuse injuries may contribute to a variety of musculoskeletal complaints, compression neuropathies, perineal and genital complaints. Physicians treating such patients should consider medical factors, as well as suggest adjusting various components of the bicycle, such as the seat height and handlebars. Encouraging bicycle riders to wear helmets is key to preventing injuries; protective clothing and equipment, and general safety advice also may offer some protection.
ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae causes approximately 3,300 cases of meningitis, 100,000 to 135,000 cases of pneumonia requiring hospitalization and 6 million cases of otitis media annually in the United States. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, approved in 2000 for use in the United States, was designed to cover the seven serotypes that account for about 80 percent of invasive infections in children younger than six years. This vaccine demonstrated 100 percent efficacy against invasive pneumococcal disease in the primary analysis of a large randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. In the follow-up analysis, performed eight months after the trial ended, efficacy against invasive disease was found to be 94 percent for the included serotypes. When initiated during infancy, the four-dose vaccination schedule is set at two, four, six and 12 to 15 months of age. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends routine vaccination of infants, catch-up vaccination of children younger than 24 months and catch-up vaccination of children 24 to 59 months of age with high-risk medical conditions such as sickle cell disease and congenital heart disease.
ABSTRACT: Pain, which is often inadequately treated, accompanies the more than 23 million surgical procedures performed each year and may persist long after tissue heals. Preemptive analgesia, an evolving clinical concept, involves the introduction of an analgesic regimen before the onset of noxious stimuli, with the goal of preventing sensitization of the nervous system to subsequent stimuli that could amplify pain. Surgery offers the most promising setting for preemptive analgesia because the timing of noxious stimuli is known. When adequate drug doses are administered to appropriately selected patients before surgery, intravenous opiates, local anesthetic infiltration, nerve block, subarachnoid block and epidural block offer benefits that can be observed as long as one year after surgery. The most effective preemptive analgesic regimens are those that are capable of limiting sensitization of the nervous system throughout the entire perioperative period.