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Casalino et al found that physicians frequently fail to inform patients of important abnormal test results. They reviewed outpatient medical records of 5434 patients in 23 medical practices and found apparent failures to inform for 7.1% of important abnormal results; the failure rate ranged from 0% in 3 practices to 26% in 1 practice. Practices that used 5 simple processes to manage test results, such as having the physician sign off on all results, had significantly lower failure-to-inform rates.
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As life expectancy of persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased, cancers have become an important cause of morbidity in this population. Crum-Cianflone et al studied the incidence rates and factors associated with cutaneous malignancies among 4490 HIV-infected persons. Six percent (n = 254) of patients with HIV developed a cutaneous malignancy during a mean of 7.5 years of follow-up. Since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), non–AIDS-defining cancers, basal cell carcinoma in particular, are now the most common cutaneous malignancies among HIV-infected persons, surpassing AIDS-defining cancers such as Kaposi sarcoma. In the authors' multivariate analyses, the development of cutaneous non–AIDS-defining cancers among HIV-infected persons was associated with the traditional risk factors of aging and skin color but was not related to immune function or HAART use.
In This Issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(12):1094. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.142
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