Hundreds of procedures qualify as "high-risk" for older patients

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - By virtue of their inpatient mortality of at least 1%, 227 procedures qualify as "high-risk" for patients aged 65 years and older, researchers report.

Increased sleep duration tied to increased stroke risk

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Middle-aged and older people who sleep for more than eight hours a night, or have a significant increase in their sleep duration, are at increased risk of stroke, according to new findings published online February 25 in Neurology.

Actavis' superbug antibiotic gets U.S. approval

By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved Actavis Plc's antibiotic Avycaz (ceftazidime-avibactam) to treat two infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria.

The decision comes after a panel advising the agency recommended approval of the drug in December.

The FDA approved Avycaz to treat adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI), in combination with metronidazole, and complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI), including kidney infections (pyelonephritis), who have limited or no alternative treatment options.

Daily tasks predict hospitalization, death for heart failure patients

By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) - Heart failure patients who struggle with daily tasks like bathing or dressing are more likely to be hospitalized and tend to die sooner than those who are more independent, according to a new study.

More than five million people in the U.S. have heart failure and about half die within five years of diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatments include medications, a low-salt diet, and daily physical activity.

Simple tool helps track memory, will aid AD trials

By Megan Brooks

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Researchers with the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) have developed a simple tool to track early changes in cognitive function in older adults without cognitive impairment at the outset.

In a longitudinal study, they found that subjective self and partner report of change in cognitive function on the Cognitive Function Instrument (CFI) was associated with traditional measures of cognitive decline; greater subjective report of memory concerns was associated with worse memory performance over time.

Skin bopsies may help ID patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

By Bridgett Novak

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Skin biopsies may provide an alternative to brain biopsies for detecting abnormal protein levels that are present in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, according to a new study scheduled for presentation at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April.

Exclusive: U.S. health officials push for stricter 'superbug' defense

By Sharon Begley

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. government is close to finalizing instructions to prevent medical devices responsible for transmitting "superbugs" from spreading the potentially fatal pathogens between patients, the scientist leading the effort said.

The new protocol for reusable duodenoscopes is being developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose disease detectives have investigated duodenoscope-transmitted infections since 2013.

Clopidogrel with PPIs: no increased risk of stroke

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Users of clopidogrel and concomitant proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are not at increased risk of ischemic stroke, according to researchers.

Recommendations aimed at reducing neurologic risk from injections

By Will Boggs MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Recommendations proposed by a multidisciplinary working group, facilitated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), aim to reduce neurologic complications after epidural steroid injections.

Even light activity may help the hearts of older people

By Andrew M. Seaman

(Reuters Health) - For older people who have some trouble getting around, even light activity like household chores may be better for the heart than no activity, according to a new U.S. study.

Researchers profiled seniors' risk of heart disease complications - including heart attack - over a 10-year period and found their risk rose along with the amount of time they were inactive each day. Conversely, the more active time they had - regardless of intensity - the lower their risk.