NEJM Editorial Advises Against Extended-Release Niacin

By now you’ve heard that niacin is no longer recommended for reducing heart attacks and strokes. After 50 years of being a mainstay cholesterol therapy, niacin should no longer be prescribed for most patients due to potential increased risk of death, dangerous side effects and no benefit in reducing heart attacks and strokes, writes Northwestern Medicine® preventive cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., in a New England Journal of Medicine editorial published July 16. The study is no doubt controversial among physicians who rely on niacin for cardiovascular patients. Read the slideshow for a review of the study.

Inadvertent Stereotyping Leads to Healthcare Disparities

Going to the doctor’s office is a stress-inducing event for many people But for blacks, it can be particularly terrifying, because of something called negative racial stereotyping. And while racial stereotyping may not be intentional, it can seep into a patient’s psyche in ways you might not realize. A first-of-its-kind study by researchers at USC and Loyola Marymount University (LMU) has found evidence that the persistent health disparities across race may, in part, be related to anxiety about being confronted by negative racial stereotypes while receiving healthcare. Black women who strongly identified with their race were more likely to feel anxious in a healthcare setting – particularly if that setting included messaging that promoted negative racial stereotypes, even if inadvertently. Posters can be one source of this negative stereotyping. In light of this research, Today’s Practitioner tracked down some positive messaging on aging that you can download for your office (high-resolution downloads available free for Today’s Practitioner’s registered users). By Cleopatra M Abdou and Adam W Fingerhut, published in the American Psychological Association journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, July 21, 2014, Vol. 20.