Early valve surgery for S. aureus endocarditis doesn't reduce mortality

By Lorraine L. Janeczko

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with Staph aureus endocarditis who have early valve surgery are not less likely to die in the next year, new research suggests.

"Early valve surgery was not associated with reduced one-year mortality in Staphylococcus aureus prosthetic valve infective endocarditis (SA PVIE)," the study authors reported online November 10 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Thrombectomy offers better outcomes for stroke patients

By Gene Emery

(Reuters Health) - Going into the blocked artery of someone who is having a stroke to remove the clot is more likely to produce a good recovery than treatment with just clot-busting drugs, according to a study of 500 patients in the Netherlands.

Women need doctors to ask about incontinence

By Ronnie Cohen

(Reuters Health) - When doctors asked older women about urinary incontinence and offered to treat it, the women were two to three times more likely to have a reduction in symptoms than when doctors ignored the condition until patients complained.

"It's very sad because most women don't ask for help because they think there is no help for them," lead researcher Dr. Els Visser told Reuters Health.

A general practitioner, Visser was a doctoral student at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands when she did the research.

Emphysema-like changes on cardiac CT linked to increased mortality

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Emphysema-like changes on cardiac CT are linked to an increase in all-cause mortality in patients not diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).

REFILE-Decisions, delays keep patients from timely stroke treatment

(Corrects spelling of source's last name in para 12)

By Shereen Lehman

(Reuters Health) - Better public awareness of the signs of stroke and the importance of seeking immediate emergency care are needed, a new study confirms.

"We knew from earlier research that people who have a stroke can take a long time to get to hospital and wanted to understand why that was," said Ruth Mellor, who led the study, in email to Reuters Health.

Psychological intervention improves long-term mental health of carers of persons with dementia

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A standardized psychological intervention called START improves mental health and quality of life for family carers of people with dementia for up to two years, researchers from the UK report.

Oxygen therapy may ease breathlessness in mild COPD

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Some chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who are currently not eligible for home oxygen may benefit from oxygen therapy for reducing breathlessness, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis.

Fractures are major cause of older women's hospitalizations

By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) - For U.S. women age 55 or older, bone fractures due to osteoporosis lead to more hospitalizations and greater healthcare costs than heart attack, stroke or breast cancer, according to a new study.

"What we saw and what those of us in the bone heath field have known is that the burden of major osteoporotic factors is huge," said lead author Dr. Andrea Singer of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC, and clinical director at the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Decisions, delays keep patients from timely stroke treatment

By Shereen Lehman

(Reuters Health) - Better public awareness of the signs of stroke and the importance of seeking immediate emergency care are needed, a new study confirms.

"We knew from earlier research that people who have a stroke can take a long time to get to hospital and wanted to understand why that was," said Ruth Mellor, who led the study, in email to Reuters Health.

Anticoagulation benefits appear to persist in elderly despite extra bleeding risk

By Lorraine L Janeczko

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Anticoagulation therapy is associated with lower mortality in elderly patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) despite their extra bleeding risk, a new study shows.

"Elderly patients with AF should not be denied effective stroke prevention on basis of age alone," lead author Dr. Gregory Y. H. Lip from the University of Birmingham in the UK told Reuters Health by email.