A new online tool from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Genetic Testing Registry (GTR), aims to help health care providers and researchers navigate the landscape of genetic tests.
GTR provides a central location for voluntary submission of genetic test information by providers. In addition to basic facts, GTR offers detailed information on analytic validity, clinical validity, and how likely the test is to improve patient outcomes.
NIH offers FAQs about the development of the registry and detailed instructions on how to use it.
The incidence, mortality, and medical care costs of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a common and sometimes fatal health care-associated infection, are all at historic highs, according to a report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report shows that C. difficile is not just a problem in hospitals—it is a patient safety issue in all types of medical facilities, including nursing homes, physician offices, and outpatient facilities.
C. difficile causes diarrhea linked to 14,000 American deaths each year. Almost half of the infections occur in people younger than 65, but more than 90% of deaths occur in people 65 and older. About 25% of C. difficile infections first show symptoms in hospital patients; 75% first show in nursing home patients or in people recently cared for in physician offices and clinics.
To help reduce the spread of C. difficile, CDC provides guidelines and tools to the health care community, including a podcast on 6 steps to prevention for clinicians, in addition to information for patients. CDC notes that hospitals that follow infection control recommendations have lowered C. difficile infection rates by 20% in less than 2 years.
In January, APTA attended the launch of the Joining Forces Initiative (JFI), a national effort that partners the health care community with federal agencies to develop resources and educational materials to fully engage providers in meeting the needs of the nation's service members with traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, and postcombat depression. Once developed, practitioners across the country will be able to access the provider-specific information, publications, and toolkits from 1 central location. Eventually, every organization involved will seek to have its own member-specific site to disperse information that helps soldiers return to the battlefield or start their new lives.
As part of its involvement, APTA has made 5 commitments to JFI related to educating members, including 1 commitment to partner with other therapy associations to share educational and training resources. Hear more about these commitments in this prerecorded podcast.
In light of its unprecedented growth over the past few years, APTA's Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) will be held January 21-24, 2013, at the San Diego Convention Center. The meeting had been set for Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.
Last month's CSM in Chicago drew nearly 13,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, students, and exhibitors—a more than 50% increase in attendance in the last 4 years. With record-breaking attendance year after year, it's clear that CSM is important to members. APTA has worked diligently to find a location that will allow the association to provide a positive experience for as many participants as possible. APTA is looking forward to a great CSM in San Diego for physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, students, and exhibitors.
Watch for more details on CSM 2013 in upcoming issues of News Now.
A new study shows that having diabetes for 10 years or more triples the risk of stroke, according to the American Heart Association. The findings emphasize the chronic nature of diabetes and the need to educate young people about the disease and how to prevent it.
As part of the Northern Manhattan Study, researchers followed 3,298 people (average age 69) who had never had a stroke. Nearly 22% of participants had diabetes at the start of the study. After an average 9 years of follow-up, an additional 10% developed diabetes. Compared with participants without diabetes, those with the disease were at increased risk. Specifically, the authors found the risk increases 3% each year, and triples with diabetes at 10 years.
Some of the reasons for increased stroke risk may include an association between longer diabetes duration and thicker plaque in neck arteries and the higher prevalence of hypertension, accelerated vascular complications, and clotting abnormalities in people with diabetes.
The onset of diabetes may be 4 to 7 years earlier than diagnosis, the authors say. Among the nearly 26 million Americans with diabetes, more than half are younger than 65, and the age of diagnosis is "getting younger and younger because of the obesity problem among young people."
"If how long a person has diabetes matters, young people with a long history of diabetes are more likely to develop complications earlier in life," says Mitchell S. V. Elkind, MD, MS, the study's senior author. "It's possible that people with diabetes may start having strokes at a younger age."
Full text of the study is published online ahead of print in Stroke.
APTA offers members physical fitness pocket guides for survivors of stroke and people with type 2 diabetes.