A study in Pediatrics found breastfeeding infants for at least six months reduced the risk they would be hyperactive as toddlers, when compared with not breastfeeding. Researchers said, however, breastfeeding was not associated with improved cognitive outcomes in children.
A study in JAMA Internal Medicine found the incidence of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection may be reduced if people stopped taking unnecessary gastric acid suppressants. Researchers said there was a 22.1% risk of recurrent CDI in patients on gastric acid suppressants, compared with a 17.3% risk for those who were not taking them.
A study found higher levels of mindfulness among pregnant women at 22 weeks gestation were associated with better mood and less depression, along with a 12% lower risk of having an underweight baby. The study had pregnant women fill out questionnaires on mindfulness and mood at 22 and 32 weeks during pregnancy and at one week after birth.
Researchers examined 2004 to 2013 data involving 1,826 ambulance-treated asthma attacks among youths ages 5 to 18 in Houston and found that most cases were among blacks. The findings in the Journal of School Health also showed a twofold, threefold and fivefold higher likelihood of ambulance-treated asthma attacks in high-rate high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, respectively, compared with other school zones.
Students at seven schools in a Washington state school district now have access to after-school meals. The free suppers are intended to help curb hunger among students who stay after school and those who may not receive an evening meal at home.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that use of proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers for heartburn was associated with 50% greater likelihood of developing recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. Lead researcher Dr. Sahil Khanna said the gastric acid suppressors may affect patients' gut bacteria, and he said the best way to prevent infection is to ensure appropriate use of the drugs.
While legislation overhauling health care policy has been shelved, HHS Secretary Tom Price still has authority to enact significant changes that may loosen regulations under the Affordable Care Act. Experts say that Price can replace state-defined benchmarks for implementation of essential health benefits with a single national standard with fewer requirements, and he could allow insurers greater flexibility under the medical loss ratio.
Patients with depression whose resting-state functional MRI scans showed positive connectivity between the subcallosal cingulate cortex and three other brain regions had significantly higher odds of remission with cognitive behavioral therapy, while those whose scans showed negative or no connectivity were more likely to benefit from antidepressant medication, Emory University researchers reported in The American Journal of Psychiatry. Another study in The American Journal of Psychiatry also showed a weak link between patient preference and depression treatment outcomes, suggesting that fMRI may be better in personalizing treatment for those with depression.
The New Jersey Hospital Association reported its participation in the CMS' Partnership for Patient quality improvement program resulted in health care cost savings of more than $641 million from 2012 to 2016. The report found the initiative prevented more than 66,000 cases of potential patient harm and reduced 30-day hospital readmission rates by 30%.
Sharp HealthCare's pre-hospice Transitions program, which provides in-home care for elderly patients near the end of life to keep them out of the hospital, saved more than $4,200 per month in spending on cancer patients and almost $3,500 on those with heart failure, according to a 2016 study. Transitions is part of a growing palliative care trend in the US, and health care consultant Kathleen Keer says physicians, hospitals and insurers are seeing value in these programs and are looking for ways to pay for them.