Journal: Annals of internal medicine
The Massachusetts 2006 health care reform has been called a model for the Affordable Care Act. The law attained near-universal insurance coverage and increased access to care. Its effect on population health is less clear.
Few remedies effectively treat long-term pain and disability from knee osteoarthritis. Studies suggest that Tai Chi alleviates symptoms, but no trials have directly compared Tai Chi with standard therapies for osteoarthritis.
Low-carbohydrate diets are popular for weight loss, but their cardiovascular effects have not been well-studied, particularly in diverse populations.
The multifactorial mechanisms associated with radical reductions in HIV-1 reservoirs after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT), including a case of HIV cure, are not fully understood.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) jointly developed this guideline to present the evidence and provide clinical recommendations based on the benefits and harms of higher versus lower blood pressure targets for the treatment of hypertension in adults aged 60 years or older.
Although consumption of tea at high-temperatures has been suggested as a risk factor for esophageal cancer, an association has not been observed consistently, and whether any relationship is independent of alcohol and tobacco exposure has not been evaluated.
Given the rapid increase in the popularity of e-cigarettes and the paucity of associated longitudinal health-related data, the need to assess the potential risks of long-term use is essential.
BACKGROUND: Suboptimum medication adherence is common in the United States and leads to serious negative health consequences but may respond to intervention. PURPOSE: To assess the comparative effectiveness of patient, provider, systems, and policy interventions that aim to improve medication adherence for chronic health conditions in the United States. DATA SOURCES: Eligible peer-reviewed publications from MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library indexed through 4 June 2012 and additional studies from reference lists and technical experts. STUDY SELECTION: Randomized, controlled trials of patient, provider, or systems interventions to improve adherence to long-term medications and nonrandomized studies of policy interventions to improve medication adherence. DATA EXTRACTION: Two investigators independently selected, extracted data from, and rated the risk of bias of relevant studies. DATA SYNTHESIS: The evidence was synthesized separately for each clinical condition; within each condition, the type of intervention was synthesized. Two reviewers graded the strength of evidence by using established criteria. From 4124 eligible abstracts, 62 trials of patient-, provider-, or systems-level interventions evaluated 18 types of interventions; another 4 observational studies and 1 trial of policy interventions evaluated the effect of reduced medication copayments or improved prescription drug coverage. Clinical conditions amenable to multiple approaches to improving adherence include hypertension, heart failure, depression, and asthma. Interventions that improve adherence across multiple clinical conditions include policy interventions to reduce copayments or improve prescription drug coverage, systems interventions to offer case management, and patient-level educational interventions with behavioral support. LIMITATIONS: Studies were limited to adults with chronic conditions (excluding HIV, AIDS, severe mental illness, and substance abuse) in the United States. Clinical and methodological heterogeneity hindered quantitative data pooling. CONCLUSION: Reduced out-of-pocket expenses, case management, and patient education with behavioral support all improved medication adherence for more than 1 condition. Evidence is limited on whether these approaches are broadly applicable or affect long-term medication adherence and health outcomes. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
About 28 million Americans are currently uninsured, and millions more could lose coverage under policy reforms proposed in Congress. At the same time, a growing number of policy leaders have called for going beyond the Affordable Care Act to a single-payer national health insurance system that would cover every American. These policy debates lend particular salience to studies evaluating the health effects of insurance coverage. In 2002, an Institute of Medicine review concluded that lack of insurance increases mortality, but several relevant studies have appeared since that time. This article summarizes current evidence concerning the relationship of insurance and mortality. The evidence strengthens confidence in the Institute of Medicine’s conclusion that health insurance saves lives: The odds of dying among the insured relative to the uninsured is 0.71 to 0.97.