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Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for June 19, 2012, online issue
Date:6/18/2012

1. Hospitalization Often Catastrophic for Alzheimer Patients

Hospitalization of patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) often leads to complications such as delirium, loss of independence, institutionalization, and death. Researchers theorized that AD patients who suffer an episode of delirium during hospitalization are at increased risk for adverse outcomes. In a prospective study, researchers reviewed 15 years of medical records for a cohort of 771 patients aged 65 or older with a clinical diagnosis of AD to determine which patients, and under what circumstances, had hospitalization, delirium, death, and/or institutionalization. The records showed that 48 percent of the study patients were hospitalized and 25 percent developed delirium during their stay. While hospitalized patients without delirium had a substantially increased risk for death and institutionalization, those with delirium had an even higher risk. Further research is needed to understand whether delirium is only a signal that precedes decline for patients with AD or if preventing it can reduce adverse outcomes.


2. Osteoarthritis Treatment, Flavocoxid, Linked to Significant Liver Injury

Osteoarthritis is a common and potentially debilitating joint disorder caused by aging and regular wear and tear. Painkillers prescribed for osteoarthritis offer limited pain relief and are associated with adverse events. Flavocoxid is a proprietary medical food that is marketed to treat osteoarthritis. A medical food is a specially formulated supplement used to manage diseases with specific nutritional requirements that cannot be met through normal diet. Unlike drug treatments, medical foods can be marketed without clinical trials proving safety and efficacy. In this case series, the authors describe characteristics of patients with acute liver injury that is suspected to have been caused by flavocoxid. Among 877 patients enrolled in the Drug-Induced Liver I
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Contact: Abbey Anderson
aanderson@acponline.org
215-351-2656
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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