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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Research Activities

December 2009, No. 352


About Research Activities

Feature Story

High blood pressure medicines show promise for treating heart disease

Chronic Disease

Lifestyle changes are needed in addition to drugs to prevent heart attacks
Best time to start statins in patients with diabetes depends on the cardiovascular risk model used
Care is poor for diabetic patients without insurance and no regular care provider

Patient Safety and Quality

Specimens from multiple body sites are needed to accurately test for MRSA
Using trigger tools to review medical charts helps identify adverse drug events among older adults

Pharmaceutical Research

Common attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder drugs have similar risk for emergency visits for cardiac problems
More antipsychotic medications are being prescribed for youth and nursing home residents, despite lack of evidence
Long-Term use of beta blockers is associated with reduced mortality in patients with heart failure

Disparities/Minority Health

High blood pressure control is often elusive for blacks and Mexican Americans, despite adherence to treatment and lifestyle changes
Better educational materials are needed to boost the health literacy of individuals who are deaf

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Severity of small blood vessel damage predicts clinical outcome after stroke
Public reporting of hospital antibiotic timing for patients with pneumonia is not linked to antibiotic overuse or overdiagnosis
Mysterious skin infection is linked to World War II bomb craters

Men's Health

Vigorous physical activity may reduce risk of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding among men
Men with prostate cancer who receive androgen deprivation therapy are at elevated risk of bone fractures, cardiovascular mortality, and diabetes

Women's Health

Women in Michigan who suffer miscarriages may not be receiving patient-centered care

Child/Adolescent Health

New guidelines issued for nephrotic syndrome in children

Emergency Medicine

Telemedicine reduces children's emergency department visits for nonemergency problems
Laptop test in an emergency department can help detect subtle cognitive deficits following concussions

Health Information Technology

Electronic patient-provider messaging is linked to good diabetes control
Certain types of hospitals are more likely to use computerized physician order entry
Staff willingness to change and adapt is important when implementing electronic pharmacy systems

Public Health Preparedness

A substantial number of adults stockpiled drugs for the avian flu outbreak in 2005

Primary Care

Majority of primary care physicians now recommend colonoscopy
Primary care physicians do not always discuss the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening with patients
More than half of primary care physicians report stressful working conditions

HIV/AIDS Research

Smoking is particularly hazardous for individuals with HIV infection
Observing patients swallowing one HIV drug on weekdays has little impact on drug adherence

Agency News and Notes

Care costs for middle-aged Americans have doubled in the past decade
Patient deaths in hospitals cost nearly $20 billion
Georgians and Ohioans pay less for dental care than the national average


AHRQ awarded $17 million to fund projects to fight health care-associated infections
AHRQ introduces new Pharmacy Health Literacy Center

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Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

AHRQ Publication No. 10-RA003
Current as of December 2009

Internet Citation:

Research Activities Newsletter. December 2009, No. 352. AHRQ Publication No. 10-RA003. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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