Primary care utilization among patients with influenza during the 2009 pandemic. Does risk for severe influenza disease or prior contact with the general practitioner have any influence?

Background.Little is known about how patients belonging to risk groups for influenza used the primary care system during the influenza pandemic. Aims.To investigate the use of general practice and out-of-hours (OOH) services in patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) according to (i) risk for severe influenza disease and (ii) the number of regular general practitioner (GP) visits before the pandemic. Method.Observational study of all ILI patients during the 2009 pandemic. Data were recorded prospectively and collected after the pandemic. Patients at risk were identified during an 18-month period by diagnoses fromRead More

Nine medical reasons for putting on weight

Nine medical reasons for putting on weight Most people put on weight because they eat and drink more calories than they burn through everyday movement and body functions. But in some cases, your weight gain may be due to an underlying health condition. Here are nine medical reasons that can cause weight gain. Underactive thyroid An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) means that your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones, which play a central role in regulating your metabolism. Although an underactive thyroid can occur at any age and in either sex,Read More

Alternative diagnoses in patients in whom the GP considered the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism

Introduction. Pulmonary embolism (PE) often presents with nonspecific symptoms and may be an easily missed diagnosis. When the differential diagnosis includes PE, an empirical list of frequently occurring alternative diagnoses could support the GP in diagnostic decision making. Objectives. To identify common alternative diagnoses in patients in whom the GP suspected PE but in whom PE could be ruled out. To investigate how the Wells clinical decision rule for PE combined with a point-of-care d-dimer test is associated with these alternative diagnoses. Methods. Secondary analysis of the Amsterdam MaastrichtRead More

Absolute cardiovascular risk and GP decision making in TIA and minor stroke

Background. Transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) and minor strokes (TIAMS) have the same pathophysiological mechanism as stroke and carry a high risk of recurrent ischaemic events. Diagnosis of TIAMS can be challenging and often occurs in general practice. Absolute cardiovascular risk (ACVR) is recommended as the basis for vascular risk management. Consideration of cardiovascular risk in TIAMS diagnosis has been recommended but its utility is not established. Objectives. Firstly, to document the ACVR of patients with incident TIAMS and with TIAMS-mimics. Secondly, to evaluate the utility of ACVR calculation in informingRead More

‘Running helps manage my high blood pressure’

‘Running helps manage my high blood pressure’ Andrew Watson took up running after a routine medical check-up revealed he had high blood pressure. Overweight and with a family history of hypertension, the 49-year-old knew he needed to be more active. With a mainly deskbound job and a busy family life, the father-of-three from Devon was leading a largely sedentary lifestyle. However, the unexpected blood pressure readings were a wake-up call for Andrew and prompted him to take up running. Since graduating from Couch to 5K and progressing on to parkrun (free,Read More

Help if you’re feeling under the weather

Help if you’re feeling under the weather Minor illnesses like sore throats, coughs and colds are more common during the winter months. A minor health problem can sometimes get worse quickly if you’re over 60. If you or someone you care for is feeling under the weather it’s best to get early advice from your pharmacist. Why early advice is the best advice It’s best to get advice on your illness as soon as you can, because, being older, if a winter ailment becomes serious you’re more likely to need treatment in hospital. It’sRead More

Using a sperm donor: what you need to know

Using a sperm donor: what you need to know Around 1,300 babies are born each year in the UK from donated sperm. Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about starting a family with the help of a sperm donor. Donor sperm can be used to help couples and individuals become parents, regardless of whether you are heterosexual, lesbian, gay, single, married, divorced or co-habiting. But making the decision to use donated sperm can be difficult and there are many issues to consider. How to find donor spermRead More

%d bloggers like this: