Factors associated with bariatric surgery are explored in several articles
in this issue of JAMA. First, in a retrospective
cohort study, Flum and colleaguesArticle evaluated
the risk of early mortality among Medicare beneficiaries having bariatric
surgery in 1997-2002. They found that 30-day, 90-day, and 1-year mortality
rates were 2.0%, 2.8%, and 4.6%, respectively, and were associated with male
sex, advancing age, and lower surgeon volume. In a second article, Santry
and colleaguesArticle detail results of their analyses
of national data from 1998 to 2003 on bariatric surgical procedures, patient
characteristics, and in-hospital complications. They found the number of procedures
increased from 13 365 in 1998 to 102 177 in 2003, more than 80%
of the patients were women, and the rate of in-hospital complications was
stable during the period of study. In a third article, Zingmond and colleaguesArticle analyzed California hospitalization rates and indications
before and after a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) procedure. They found that
the hospitalization rate more than doubled in the year after compared with
the year before RYGB. Hospitalizations prior to RYGB were commonly for complications
of obesity, whereas hospitalizations after RYGB were for RYGB-related complications.
In an editorial, Wolfe and MortonArticle discuss morbid
obesity and the benefits and risks of surgical treatment. In a commentary,
Courcoulas and FlumArticle discuss challenges in conducting
bariatric surgical research.
BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations,
found in many families with multiple cases of breast and ovarian cancer, have
received little study in ethnically diverse women. Nanda and colleagues assessed
the frequency of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, and the utility of the BRCAPRO statistical model for predicting
the likelihood of a mutation, in white, Ashkenazi Jewish, and African American
women with 2 or more familial cases of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both.
Among their findings were the presence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in 28% of the women of African descent,
with different mutations seen in African Americans than in women of European
ancestry. BRCAPRO identification of mutation carriers was comparable in the
3 groups studied.
Atypical antipsychotic medications are often prescribed to treat aggression
and other neuropsychiatric symptoms in elderly patients with dementia. However,
they have been associated with an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular
events and mortality. Schneider and colleaguesArticle conducted
a meta-analysis of data from clinical trials that compared atypical antipsychotics
with placebo in the treatment of dementia to assess the mortality risk. They
found a small increased risk of death in patients randomly assigned to an
atypical antipsychotic compared with patients assigned to placebo. In an editorial,
Rabins and LyketsosArticle review antipsychotic drug
risks and urge postmarketing mortality assessment to ensure patient safety.
“Reliance on God and faithful acceptance of His decree is a central
concept in the Islamic tradition. Rather than a call for complacency, it serves
as a source of strength in seemingly hopeless conditions.” From “Tie
It and Trust.”
Although scientists and others are enthusiastic about nanotechnology’s
potential uses in medicine and other fields, more research is needed to assess
the possible health risks associated with the technology.
Usefulness of history, symptoms and signs, and diagnostic studies to
distinguish heart failure from other causes of dyspnea in patients receiving
care in emergency departments.
For your patients: Information about bariatric surgery.
“Early Mortality Among Medicare Beneficiaries Undergoing Bariatric
Surgical Procedures,” published in the October 19, 2005, issue of JAMA, will be discussed for Author in the Room on November
16, 2005. Register for the conference and learn more at http://www.ihi.org/authorintheroom.
This Week in JAMA . JAMA. 2005;294(15):1861. doi:10.1001/jama.294.15.1861