Debbie Rigby rounds up the latest in research news 

Pain as a disease: an overview

This article analyses the notion of pain as a disease through an historical overview of its several conceptualizations, debating that pain should be recognised as a disease, not just a symptom. The authors advocate for improving the definition of pain as a disease which might result in a primary pain diagnosis and an adequate classification of its clinical forms.

Journal of Pain Research 2017:10 2003–2008.

 

Optimizing medication appropriateness in older adults: a randomized clinical interventional trial to decrease anticholinergic burden

A small RCT resulted in improvement in anticholinergic medication appropriateness and reduced the use of inappropriate anticholinergic medications in older patients. Participants met with a pharmacist–clinician team that conducted the targeted intervention. The study pharmacist provided a revised medication plan based on the drug review, recommending discontinuation or replacement of any potentially inappropriate drug with anticholinergic properties, with safer drug alternatives (i.e., with less or no anticholinergic activity).

Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy 2017;9:36.

 

Rivaroxaban with or without Aspirin in Stable Cardiovascular Disease

Results from the COMPASS study suggest that low dose rivaroxaban (2.5mg twice daily) plus aspirin (100mg once daily) yields better cardiovascular outcomes and more major bleeding events than those assigned to aspirin alone in patients with stable atherosclerotic vascular disease. Rivaroxaban (5 mg twice daily) alone did not result in better cardiovascular outcomes than aspirin alone and resulted in more major bleeding events.

New Engl J Med 2017.
Medscape summary Editorial

 

Screening for Osteoporosis in Older Men

The Osteoporosis Self-Assessment Tool (OST) has been shown to perform better than FRAX in selecting older men for BMD testing to screen for osteoporosis. This score is calculated by subtracting the age of the patient in years from the weight in kilograms and multiplying the result by 0.2. An  OST cutoff of <2 can be used to select men for BMD testing.

J Gen Intern Med. Published online August 16, 2017.

Medscape summary