News and Updates for Healthcare Professionals

Final Recommendation Statement: Screening for Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. The Task Force continues to recommend against screening in adults

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New Report on Costs of Low Health Literacy

Our health literacy skills and those of the people we serve can vary in different situations. For example, our health literacy skills can decline when we’re under stress, such as when we’re dealing with an illness or when we’ve been up all night with a crying baby.

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Living Systematic Review on Cannabis and Other Plant-Based Treatments for Chronic Pain

In an effort to address the opioid epidemic, a prominent goal of current research is to identify alternative treatments with equal or better benefits for pain while avoiding potential unintended consequences that could result in harms.

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Final Recommendation Statement: Interventions for Tobacco Smoking Cessation in Adults, Including Pregnant Persons

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on interventions for tobacco smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant persons. The Task Force recommends clinicians ask about tobacco use and connect people to proven, safe methods to help them quit. The evidence is unclear whether e-cigarettes help adults quit smoking. More research is needed on the benefits and harms of using medications to help pregnant people quit.

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Getting the Wrong Drug is Dangerous, So is Getting the Wrong Dose

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Final Recommendation Statement: Screening for Hepatitis B in Adolescents and Adults

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on screening for hepatitis B virus infection in adolescents and adults. The Task Force recommends screening people at increased risk for hepatitis B infection.

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ECRI Guidelines Trust Celebrates its 2nd Anniversary

Over the past two years, we have made tremendous progress in growing our network and disseminating current, evidence-based guidelines to users around the world. We are pleased to represent more than 1,800 guidelines from over 200 national and international guideline developer organizations. This year we launched a new offering, the Guideline Snapshot, a screening tool that succinctly outlines a guideline’s focus, patient population, and major interventions, as well as the Cultural Competence Corner, highlighting articles and guideline content which focus on underserved populations.

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New updates to federal guidelines revamp asthma management

Updates to six key areas of asthma care focus on improving diagnosis, management and treatment.

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Final Recommendation Statement: Behavioral Counseling to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle in Adults With Cardiovascular Risk Factors

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthy diet and physical activity for cardiovascular disease prevention in adults with cardiovascular risk factors.The Task Force recommends counseling for a healthy diet and physical activity to help people at risk for cardiovascular disease. The final recommendation statement can also be found in the November 24, 2020 online issue of JAMA.

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Rural and Urban Can Join Forces to Improve Health Literacy Skills

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Benzodiazepine Equivalency Chart

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Prevention, Diagnosis, and Management of Opioids, Opioid Misuse, and Opioid Use Disorder in Older Adults

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Diagnostic Safety in the COVID Era: Let’s Not Squander the Opportunity

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The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension

Nearly half of U.S. adults have hypertension, or high blood pressure, and only about 1 in 4 of those individuals has their hypertension under control.

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Top Chronic Diseases Behind Payer Spending And How to Prevent Them

Chronic diseases are a source of high payer spending, but payers can implement preventive care strategies to lower their expenses and maintain positive patient outcomes.

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Chronic Kidney Disease Prevalence Is Higher in Older Adults

Approximately 15% of adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Aging is associated with a decline in kidney function, as estimated by glomerular filtration rate (GFR), even in healthy individuals without CKD. Furthermore, declining kidney function with age occurs faster in people who smoke or have obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Lower GFR is associated with complications, such as heart disease and stroke, kidney failure, and early death.3 Thus, health care providers should pay special attention to a lower GFR when giving medicines (i.e., dosing) that are filtered through the kidneys to older individuals and CKD patients.

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New Guidelines Issued on Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain

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Delay or Avoidance of Medical Care Because of COVID-19–Related Concerns — United States, June 2020

Temporary disruptions in routine and nonemergency medical care access and delivery have been observed during periods of considerable community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, medical care delay or avoidance might increase morbidity and mortality risk associated with treatable and preventable health conditions and might contribute to reported excess deaths directly or indirectly related to COVID-19.

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The FDA’s Scientific and Regulatory Oversight of Vaccines is Vital to Public Health

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s mission is to protect and promote the public health, both in the U.S. and globally, by ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the products we regulate. Nowhere is this public health mission more evident than in the FDA’s role in the scientific and regulatory oversight of vaccines. One of the agency’s highest priorities is ensuring the quality, safety and effectiveness of vaccines. This deep and abiding commitment is something that we consider essential to engendering the public’s trust in vaccines.

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AHRQ Evidence-Based Practice Update

Strategies for Patient, Family, and Caregiver Engagement

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NIH establishes Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced that it has awarded 11 grants with a total first-year value of approximately $17 million to establish the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID).

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Consensus Statement Outlines Recommendations for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support

A consensus statement published in Diabetes Care outlines the benefits and barriers associated with diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) in adults with type 2 diabetes.

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Are You Aware: Quick Facts About Kidney Disease

In the United States, it is estimated that about 37 million adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD).1 Generally, sleep problems have been associated with higher mortality risk, chronic diseases such as heart disease, and progression of CKD.2-4 As a considerable proportion of the US population has reported sleep problems, prevalence is generally higher in adults with CKD than adults without CKD.3

In the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, two in five (41.0%) adults with CKD stages 3 and 4 reported trouble sleeping compared with 29.2% in adults with CKD stages 1 and 2* and 27.1% in adults with no CKD. The percentage reporting sleep disorders was also higher in adults with CKD stages 3 and 4 (17.7%) and CKD stages 1 and 2 (13.6%) than in adults without CKD (9.6%). Nocturia (waking up during the night to urinate) was also more prevalent in adults with CKD—39.4% in CKD stages 3 and 4 and 38.7% in CKD stages 1 and 2—compared with 24.3% in adults with no CKD. On the other hand, inadequate sleep was similar among adults with and without CKD.

The higher burden of sleep problems among adults with CKD, especially with stages 3 and 4, highlights the importance for early detection and management of these symptoms in the primary and specialty care settings.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Kidney Disease Basics website.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sleep and Sleep Disorders website.
  3. Shieu M, Morgenstern H, Bragg-Gresham J, et al. US trends in prevalence of sleep problems and associations with chronic kidney disease and mortality. Kidney360. 2020;1(6):458–468. DOI:
  4. Molnar MZ, Mucsi I, Novak M, et al. Association of incident obstructive sleep apnea with outcomes in a large cohort of US veterans. Thorax. 2015;70(9):888–895. DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2015-206970.

First-ever research network tackles diabetic foot complications

Foot ulcers are the leading cause of lower limb amputations in the United States.

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EGT posts 600th Guideline Brief and Scorecard!

EGT has reached yet another milestone and has published its 600th Guideline Brief and Scorecard. This represents guidelines from 77 developer organizations and covers more than 52 clinical topics.

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Even a Few Days of Steroids May Be Risky

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Individually tailored falls prevention plan found no better than usual care for reducing serious injury

Large PCORI-, NIH-funded trial examined multipronged intervention in real-world settings.

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Cardiovascular Health and Prevention Remain Priorities During a Pandemic

Million Hearts® understands that hospitals and health systems are challenged, working hard, and adjusting to meet the needs of their patients, employees, and communities during the pandemic. Focusing on cardiovascular health has never been more important. The Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program recognizes institutions working systematically to improve the cardiovascular health of their communities through focus on Million Hearts® priority areas:

  1. Keeping People Healthy
  2. Optimizing Care
  3. Improving Outcomes for Priority Populations
  4. Innovating for Health

The application for recognition remains open to multihospital health systems, hospitals with and without ambulatory care, medical practices unaffiliated with hospitals, community health centers, and any clinical entity whose leaders consider it eligible. Even if an institution chooses not to apply, the application form itself offers a plethora of proven strategies for improving the cardiovascular health of patients and communities.

Apply now; our next review deadline in July 30, 2020. Achieve a Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems designation to showcase your institution’s commitment to both clinical quality and overall cardiovascular health.

My heart is with you in support.

Laurence Sperling, MD, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FASPC

Executive Director, Million Hearts®

Apply for the Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program

Final Recommendation Statement: Screening for Unhealthy Drug Use

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on screening for unhealthy drug use. That Task Force found that clinicians should ask adults about their drug use and connect people who have a problem to care. More research is needed to make a recommendation for teens. The final recommendation statement can also be found in the June 9, 2020 online issue of JAMA.

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Study identifies potential approach to treat severe respiratory distress in patients with COVID-19

These findings should not be considered clinical advice but are being shared to assist the public health response to COVID-19

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