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  • May 26, 2017 11:49 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    Women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appear to be at greater risk for serious pregnancy complications, longer hospital stays and even admission to the ICU than mothers without the condition, according to a new study of more than 1.5 million pregnancies presented at the ATS 2017 International Conference.

    The researchers analyzed the medical records of 1,577,636 pregnant women in the U.S. National Perinatal Information Center database from 2010 and 2014. Of those women, 0.12 percent had been formally diagnosed with OSA. Those with the diagnosis were typically older and more likely to be African American and smokers. They were also more likely to have pre-pregnancy hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease.

    After adjusting for obesity and many other potential confounders, the researchers found that the risk of ICU admission was 174 percent higher in pregnant women with OSA compared to those without OSA and total hospital length of stay was significantly higher (5 days in women with OSA compared to 3 days in women without OSA).

    There was also an increased risk of rare but severe complications such as hysterectomy (126 percent), cardiomyopathy (259 percent), congestive heart failure (263 percent) and pulmonary edema (406 percent) associated with a diagnosis of OSA.

    In addition, OSA in pregnancy resulted in an increased risk of pregnancy-related complications, including hypertensive disorders such as preeclampsia (122 percent) and eclampsia (195 percent), a severe form of preeclampsia that can lead to seizures. OSA also resulted in an increased risk of gestational diabetes (52 percent).

    "Given that pregnancy is a 'window' into future cardiovascular and metabolic health, OSA is a diagnosis worthy of investigation in pregnancy," said lead study author Ghada Bourjeily, MD, associate professor of medicine at Brown University. "Early intervention in these women, as well as in their children, may represent a great opportunity to offer treatment strategies that may offer long-term health benefits."

    In addition to the large sample size, Dr. Bourjeily said, study strengths included the diversity of the population and participating hospitals that enabled the researchers to identify a sample that is representative of the U.S. population. "This allowed us to demonstrate associations with rare medical outcomes, including hysterectomy and ICU admission, pulmonary edema, cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure that would have been more difficult to prove with prospective studies," she said.

    To the researchers' knowledge, no other study has reported on the association of OSA in pregnancy with hysterectomy and ICU admission.

    Study limitations include not having information about whether OSA was being treated or not. Lack of this information, along with the under-diagnosis of OSA generally, likely led to underestimating the association between OSA and other health problems, Dr. Bourjeily added.

    The authors are now analyzing the association between OSA and birth outcomes and neonatal health and examining biological mechanisms underlying the association of OSA in pregnancy with adverse outcomes, as well as physiologic mechanisms that lead to the development of OSA in pregnancy.​


  • May 26, 2017 11:45 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    HealthDay News) — New research supports the recent U.S. recommendation for 2, rather than 3, doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect against genital warts in preteens and teens. The report was published in the June issue of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

    The new study assessed the prevalence of warts among 387,906 girls. The researchers determined whether they'd been vaccinated against HPV, and if so, how many doses they had received. 

    Beyond the conclusion that 2 doses were just as protective as 3, the researchers found that both dose regimens offered much more protection against genital warts than a single dose or no vaccine at all.

    "This study validates the new recommendations, and allows us to confidently move forward with the two-dose schedule for the prevention of genital warts," lead author Rebecca Perkins, MD, of the Boston University Medical Center, said in a center news release.

    Vaccination may help prevent oral HPV infections linked to oral cancers, researcher says

    HealthDay News — Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination appears to confer a high degree of protection from oral HPV infections, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to be held from June 2 to 6 in Chicago.

    Data from 2,627 Americans, aged 18 to 33, were analyzed to assess the effect of self-reported receipt of at least one dose of an HPV vaccine on oral HPV infection (vaccine types 16/18/6/11) prevalence.

    The researchers found that the population-weighted prevalence of oral HPV16/18/6/11 infections was significantly lower in vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals (0.11 versus 1.61%; P=0.008), which corresponded to an estimated 88.2% reduction in prevalence. For 33 non-vaccine HPV types, prevalence rates were similar (3.98 versus 4.74%; P=0.24). 

    "When we compared the prevalence in vaccinated men to non-vaccinated men, we didn't detect any infections in vaccinated men. The data suggest that the vaccine may be reducing the prevalence of those infections by as high as 100%," study author Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, a professor of thoracic/head and neck medical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said in a center news release. "But, unfortunately, because of low uptake of the vaccine, the burden of infection had only been reduced by 17% overall, and only 7% in men."

    Gillison disclosed financial ties to several pharmaceutical companies.

    Press Release
    More Information

  • May 11, 2017 10:13 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)
    Doubling in number of women with past or present HCV infection in NNDSS from 2006 to 2014

    WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The number of reproductive-aged women with past or present hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is increasing, according to a study published online May 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Kathleen N. Ly, M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the characteristics of reproductive-aged women with HCV infection and their offspring, using data from the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS) from 2006 to 2014 and the Quest Diagnostics Health Trends national database from 2011 to 2014. Data were included for 171,801 women and 1,859 children with HCV infection reported to the NNDSS and for 2.1 million women and 56,684 children who underwent HCV testing by Quest Diagnostics.

    The researchers found that there was a doubling in the number of reproductive-aged women with acute and past or present HCV infection in NNDSS, from 15,550 in 2006 to 31,039 in 2014. Overall, 0.73 percent of the 581,255 pregnant women tested by Quest had HVC infection from 2011 to 2014; 0.76 percent of the children had HCV infection, with the percentages of 1.62 among those aged 2 to 3 years and 0.50 among those aged 12 to 13 years. The estimated average was 29,000 women with HCV infection giving birth to 1,700 infants with infection each year, based on application of the Quest HCV infection rate to annual live births from 2011 to 2014.

    "These data suggest a recent increase in HCV infection among reproductive-aged women and may inform deliberations regarding a role for routine HCV screening during pregnancy," the authors write.

    One author is an employee of Quest Diagnostics.

    Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
    Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

    Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • May 08, 2017 9:38 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)


    Around half of women who have been treated for locally advanced cervical cancer suffer from symptoms of insomnia, fatigue or hot flushes at some point, according to new research presented at the ESTRO 36 conference.

    Cervical  affects more than 500,000 women around the world each year, with an average age at diagnosis of 50. Survival rates, even in women where the cancer has begun to spread to nearby tissue, have increased meaning women are living with side-effects for longer.

    Dr Stéphanie Smet, a resident in  at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, who presented the research, says that these symptoms may have a substantial impact on ' daily lives and they need to be better recognised and treated when necessary.

    The study involved 1,176 patients with locally advanced cervical cancer, treated at 22 centres around the world between 2008 and 2015. All received the gold-standard  of radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy, followed by brachytherapy, where an MRI scanner is used to guide a radioactive implant to the site of the cancer to deliver a high dose of radiotherapy. Patients were followed up for an average of 27 months.

    They were assessed for symptoms by their doctors and filled in questionnaires themselves. The results show that 64% of women were experiencing fatigue to some degree at least once during their regular follow-up examinations in the years after treatment. For insomnia, the figure was 43% and for hot flushes it was 50%. These symptoms were mainly in the mild to moderate range. Severe or disabling symptoms were rare at 4%, 3% and 2% respectively.

    Patients were on average 49 years old, ranging from 22 to 91, and the results show that younger women were more likely to experience these symptoms.

    Dr Smet told the congress: "Our study shows that around half of women with locally advanced cervical cancer are, at some point, suffering from mild to moderate fatigue, insomnia and hot flushes. These symptoms could have a serious impact on patients' daily life, possibly influencing how they feel in their professional, social and family life.

    "More and more  diagnosed with this type of cancer are surviving for longer, thanks to advances in radiotherapy. This is a relatively young group of patients, so many will possibly face decades of coping with their symptoms.

    "It is important to realise that these symptoms can already exist before patients start the treatment, sometimes even before they are diagnosed with cancer. It is difficult to distinguish whether and to what extent these symptoms are caused by the cancer itself, by the treatment or by other factors. In most cases, it is probably a combination."

    Until now, research in this area of radiotherapy has primarily focused on symptoms related to nearby organs at risk such as the bladder, bowel, rectum or vagina. Dr Smet continued: "We hope that by presenting our report we will create more awareness for these under-recognised symptoms.

    "There has been a great deal of research on treating cancer-related fatigue and insomnia, and include drugs, physical exercise and psychological counselling. Hormone replacement therapy can be a safe and effective treatment for hot flushes, if it administered as soon as the menopause begins and for a period of four to five years."

    Dr Smet told the congress that more work is needed to decipher which patients are most at risk of developing these symptoms and to tailor support accordingly.

    She also said that the study could help understand the symptoms experienced by other cancer patients who are treated with pelvic radiotherapy. This includes other gynaecological cancers as well as rectal and prostate cancer.

    President of ESTRO, Professor Yolande Lievens, head of the department of radiation oncology at Ghent University Hospital, Belgium, said: "Thanks to advances in treatment, cancer survival is improving, which makes us aware of the fact that besides the loco-regional side effects we are typically focusing on, we should also be vigilant for more general side effects. These results highlight how important it is to follow cancer survivors in the long term. Medical teams who look after patients treated for cancer of the cervix, and by extension other gynaecologic and pelvic cancers, need to be aware of symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia and , and be able to advise on management and treatment options."

    More information: Abstract no: OC-0051, "Fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes (CTCAE) after definitive RCHT+IGABT for cervical cancer (EMBRACE)", in the "Joint clinical - GEC ESTRO on cervix cancer" proffered papers session, 10:30-11.30 hrs (CEST) on Saturday, 6 May, Auditorium. 

  • April 27, 2017 11:25 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on screening for preeclampsia. The Task Force recommends screening for preeclampsia in pregnant women with blood pressure measurements throughout pregnancy. To view the recommendation and the evidence on which it is based, please go to The final recommendation statement can also be found in the April 25 online issue of JAMA.

  • April 27, 2017 11:22 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    Washington Post

    For many women this college graduation season, the primary reason to see a doctor soon after graduation may be to get birth control.

    They may want to stick with whatever they’ve been using, whether that’s the pill or the patch or the vaginal ring. Or they may want to consider a broad menu of options that vary with regard to ease of use, side effects and duration of protection.

    The most popular kind of birth control on campus is condoms, with 61 percent of women reporting that they used that method the last time they had sex. The pill came in a close second, with 58 percent, followed by withdrawal at 33 percent, according to a 2016 report by the American College Health Association from a survey of 80,129 undergraduate students. (Survey respondents often reported more than one method used.)

    And yet, these commonly used contraceptive methods have failure rates that may give one pause. For 100 women over the course of a year, there would be nine pregnancies with the pill, 18 with condom use and 22 with the withdrawal method.

    The top two birth control options in terms of effectiveness are intrauterine devices (IUDs) and progestin implants. With these methods, the failure rate is less than one pregnancy per 100 women in a year.

    These two methods have another advantage for users, which earns them the moniker long-acting reversible contraceptives, or LARCs. After a one-time procedure, women are protected from getting pregnant for at least three years or up to 10 years, depending on the product.

    There are fewer or milder side effects with these long-acting methods, compared with birth control pills. Copper IUDs such as Paragard can increase menstrual pain and flow, especially in the first year of use. Hormone-releasing IUDs, such as Mirena and Skyla, can cause spotting or irregular bleeding, especially in the first six months of use.

    The hormones released by IUDs stay locally in the uterus, says Kristyn Brandi, an OB/GYN at Boston University. “So you don’t get the same side effects as taking the pill, such as changes in mood and breast tenderness,” she says.

    A birth control implant can cause spotting throughout the monthly cycle. And its slowly released hormone distributes through the whole body, so hormonal side effects can occur, but “less so than the pill,” Brandi says.

    With implants and hormonal IUDs, often menstrual periods become much lighter and in some women disappear altogether — a side effect that many view as a benefit.

    Why don’t more young women use these long-acting, super-effective methods? In that survey of college students, IUDs were reported to be used by 9 percent of females and implants by 6 percent.

    One reason is lingering myths about their safety in young women. “It’s a myth that you can’t have an IUD if you haven’t had a child,” says Krishna Upadhya, a Johns Hopkins pediatrician who specializes in adolescent health.

    Older versions of IUDs were thought to be too large for some young women, but that’s no longer a concern, says Joanne Brown, a nurse practitioner at the University of Kentucky’s health service. “The newer IUDs are very small.”

    Another reason more young women don’t use IUDs or implants is access, particularly on campus. Whereas 98 percent of campus health services provide birth control pills, only 40 percent provide the implant or IUDs. “It can depend on the size of a college, how many providers or what level of services they have,” says Brown, who works with the American College Health Association on sexual health issues.

    Implants and IUDs require a procedure, not just a consultation and a prescription.

    Cost can be a barrier, as well. The Affordable Care Act required health insurers to cover birth control, but that doesn’t mean that every plan covers every birth control method. Getting an IUD can cost several hundred dollars and as high as $1,000, including a medical exam and insertion.

    Even if you’re paying some of the cost, IUDs are the most cost-effective birth control method, Brandi says. The non-hormonal IUD Paragard is good for 10 years and cost-wise beats paying $20 per month for birth control pills.

    A relatively new IUD called Liletta is made by a nonprofit company with the aim of making them cost-friendly. “It costs $50 for a clinic to use,” Brandi says.

    Birth control implants, which last three years, are generally cheaper than IUDs, at a couple of hundred dollars, but can run as high as $800, including insertion.

    Upadhya, who sees patients up to age 25, says she helps them explore all the options -- not just effectiveness and side effects, but how a particular option fits in with their lives. Comfort level can play a role, she says. “The pill is the thing that everyone has heard of. People are very comfortable with the idea of it.”

    As Brandi puts it: “The most effective form of birth control is the one people practice. Some people are good pill takers.”

    The bottom line is there are a lot of options: the LARCs, the pill, the patch, the ring and the shot. “Even if you’ve had a problem with other kinds of birth control, Brandi advises, “talk to you doctor; she’ll help you figure out how to find something that will work.”

  • April 13, 2017 3:37 PM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    Thank you to all who nominated their colleagues for an APAOG Award. It was a very competitive year! We are proud to announce the 2017 Award winners who will be recognized at the APAOG Banquet and Reception at the 2017 AAPA Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  

    • Outstanding PA in Women's Health - Jacquetta Melvin, PA-C, MPH, North Carolina State University - Student Health Services, Raleign, NC
    • Preceptor Award - Melinda Balzar, MHS, PA-C, Department of Community & Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
    • Student Award - Christina Saldanha, PA-S, High Point University, High Point, NC 

    Congratulations to our 2017 award winners! View the APAOG award's page for the full announcement

  • April 13, 2017 9:42 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    Now Open – Apply Below

    Over the years, the PA Foundation has awarded more than $2.25 million in scholarships to PA students, benefitting more than 1,400 future PAs. Scholarships are awarded based on the availability of funds provided through contributions from AAPA members, other individuals, and corporate partners.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Scholarship applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

    • Be a student member of AAPA
    • Attend an ARC-PA-accredited PA program
    • Have successfully completed at least one term of PA studies (semester or quarter) and be in good academic standing
    • Be enrolled in PA school at the time the application period closes (May 31, 2017)

    2017 PA Student Scholarship Cycle

    The 2017 scholarship cycle is now open! The following scholarships will be awarded for the 2017 cycle (click on the link under each to apply):

    PLEASE NOTE: You must click on the application link under the name/description of each scholarship in order to apply for that award. You will be prompted to create an account when you begin your first application, and will sign into that same account when completing the others; however, you still must click on each individual link on this page to apply for each award.

    View the applicant instructional guide here.

    Questions? Contact Caroline Pierce at or 571-319-4510.

    Additional Financial Aid Resources

    Information about additional financial aid resources for PA students is available in the Student Academy section of the AAPA website.

    2016 PA Foundation Scholarship Recipients

    Congratulations to the 16 PA students who were awarded scholarships during the 2016 application cycle.

  • April 07, 2017 8:33 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    By Steven Reinberg
    HealthDay Reporter

    THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly half of American men and women under 60 are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), putting them at risk for certain cancers, federal health officials reported Thursday.

    More than 45 percent of men were infected with genital HPV in 2013-2014, while 25 percent were infected with high-risk genital HPV. At the same time, about 40 percent of women carried genital HPV, while almost 20 percent had high-risk genital HPV, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Some types of HPV can cause genital warts and are considered low risk, with a small chance for causing cancer, the CDC report said. Other types are believed to be high risk and can cause cancer in different parts of the body. Those areas include the cervix and vagina in women, the penis in men, and the anus and neck in both genders.

    However, the HPV vaccine has the potential to reverse the epidemic and prevent thousands of cancers in the United States each year, the CDC researchers said. In fact, it's already having an effect, said Geraldine McQuillan, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

    "After the introduction of the HPV vaccine in 2006, there has been a decrease in genital HPV in young adults -- this is a vaccine against cancer," she said.

    In teenage girls, HPV infection has dropped 60 percent, and in young women it has dropped 34 percent, McQuillan said.

    According to Fred Wyand, spokesman for the American Sexual Health Association, "These data are a further confirmation that HPV deserves its moniker as the 'common cold' of sexually transmitted infections."

    Experts believe that most sexually active people have HPV at some point. "Fortunately, most of these infections do no great harm and will clear naturally by the immune system," Wyand said.

    To estimate the prevalence of HPV infection among U.S. adults aged 18 to 59, the researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2011 to 2014.

    The investigators found that during that time period, the prevalence of oral HPV for adults of both genders stood at just over 7 percent, while 4 percent of men and women had high-risk oral HPV.

    The prevalence of oral HPV was lowest among Asian adults and highest among black adults. And more men than women were infected with oral HPV, the findings showed.

    As for genital HPV, Asians had the lowest rate of infection, while black adults had the highest rate.

    Although the HPV vaccine prevents about 70 percent of all cervical cancers, too few girls and boys are getting it, McQuillan said.

    According to a 2015 report, six out of 10 girls have started the HPV vaccine series, as have five of 10 boys. All girls and boys aged 11 or 12 should get the recommended two-dose series of HPV vaccine, the CDC advises.

    "The vaccine is targeted to very young kids because you have to catch them before they are sexually active," McQuillan explained.

    As more people are vaccinated, further declines in HPV and the cancers it causes will be seen, she said.

    Wyand added that "HPV immunization is a sparkling triumph of public health. It works very well and has been shown to block virtually all infections and diseases related to the HPV types it covers."

    Electra Paskett, a cancer control researcher at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, pointed out that there's still a lack of urgency among parents to get their children vaccinated.

    In addition, she said, "the vaccine is not strongly and routinely recommended by physicians."

    Paskett believes the vaccine should be a regular part of a child's vaccine program and not singled out as something special. It's up to doctors to include the vaccine in the usual vaccine schedule, she said.

    "The vaccine is a part of cancer prevention," Paskett said. "This vaccine has the potential to prevent 30,000 cases of cancer each year and is woefully underused."

    The report was published April 6 in the CDC's NCHS Data Brief.

    More information

    Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on the human papillomavirus.

    SOURCES: Geraldine McQuillan, Ph.D., epidemiologist, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Fred Wyand, spokesman, American Sexual Health Association; Electra Paskett, Ph.D., cancer control researcher, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus; April 6, 2017, CDC's National Center for Health Statistics NCHS Data Brief

    Last Updated: Apr 6, 2017

    Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • April 04, 2017 10:37 AM | Ashley Monson (Administrator)

    Surgical and LDRP Physician Assistant Opportunity

    April 04, 2017 10:28 AM | Ashley Monson
    Organization: Foundation Medical Partners
    Position: Surgical and LDRP Physician Assistant 
    Location: Nashua, NH
    Date Posted: 04/04/17

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