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Stroke Prevention, Heart Disease and Women, and More


In the news: stroke prevention, heart disease and women, migraine and depression, cholinesterase inhibitors and dementia, multivitamins and cataract risk.

Cardiac rhythm monitoring probably detects occult nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) in patients with recent cryptogenic stroke, according to revised guidelines on preventing stroke in the face of NVAF. The guidelines, which take the new oral anticoagulants into account, were issued by the American Academy of Neurology.

Also in the news:

• Heart Disease and Women. More research about how gender impacts the health of women is desperately needed, especially when it comes to cardiovascular disease, according to a new report, “Sex Specific Medical Research: Why Women’s Health Can’t Wait.” Only one-third of participants in cardiovascular clinical trials are women, and fewer than 31% of trials with women report outcomes by gender, the report noted. Although many Americans think that heart disease is a man’s disease, it is cited as the leading killer of women.

• Migraine, Depression, Suicide. The risk of depression and suicidal ideation is twice as high in persons who experience migraine than in the general population, according to study data from University of Toronto researchers. Screening for depression is already recommended for patients with migraine. This research helps identify those who may require more immediate attention.

• Cholinesterase Inhibitors and Dementia. Do not prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors for dementia without conducting periodic assessment for perceived cognitive benefits and adverse GI effects. This recommendation is included in a new American Geriatrics Society list of tests and treatments that older adults and their healthcare providers might question and discuss.

• Multivitamins and Cataract Risk. Men who take daily multivitamin supplements can reduce their risk of cataracts, according to a long-term study of nearly 15,000 male physicians conducted as part of the Physicians’ Health Study II. Even a modest reduction in risk of cataract has the potential to improve public health outcomes.

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