Nearly One In Five US Adults Deals With Mental Illness Or A Substance Abuse Problem Each Year

HealthDay (7/21, Preidt) reported, “Nearly one in five American adults deals with a mental illness or substance abuse problem each year,” research from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggests. The study found that “overall, almost 44 million Americans 18 or older had a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder in the past year, researchers” found after reviewing “national surveys on drug use and health.”

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— “Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. Adults Has Mental Illness or Drug Problem,”Robert Preidt , HealthDay, July 20, 2017.

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— “,” , , July , 2017. (7/20, Szabo) reports that people who are “hospitalized for heart attack or chest pain” are approximately “four times” more likely to “develop major depression” than the general population, according to the American Heart Association. The article adds that more health systems are trying “collaborative care,” where “care managers” work with primary care physicians to address physical and mental health conditions together. The article quotes Dr. Anita Everett, president of the American Psychiatric Association, as praising care managers for their ability to reach out to patients and not allow them to “stay at home and get depressed.”

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— “Depression in heart attack survivors is common, often untreated,” Liz Szabo, Kaiser Health News, July 20, 2017.

Integrating Psychiatric And Pain Care May Lower Overall Healthcare Costs In High-Utilizer Pain Patients

MedPage Today (7/19, Fiore) reported, “An intensive, personalized approach to high-utilizer pain patients that integrated psychiatric and pain care lowered overall healthcare costs at one health system,” investigators found. In fact, “referral to Duke University’s Medical Pain Service saved the system about $9,000 per patient per year,” the 31-patient study revealed. The findings were presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s annual meeting.

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— “Integrated Pain-Psych Management Program Saves Dollars,” Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today, July19 , 2017.

Study Explores Possible Link Between Antidepressant Use In Pregnant Women, Autism In Children

ABC World News Tonight (7/19, story 10, 0:25, Muir) reported that a Swedish study is “exploring the possible link between pregnant women using antidepressants and autism.” Investigators found that “mothers taking antidepressants may have a slightly greater risk of having a child with autism.” Nevertheless, the study authors “call that risk very small and say stopping treatments during pregnancy may cause a worse risk in other ways to both mother and baby.”

AFP (7/19) reports that “just over four percent of the children exposed to mood-enhancing medications were diagnosed with autism, while just under three percent of children not exposed to antidepressants – and whose mothers had a history of psychiatric troubles – were found to be on the spectrum.” The findings were published online July 19 in the BMJ.

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— “Antidepressants during pregnancy linked to autism in kids: study,” AFP, July 19, 2017.

Nearly One-Third Of Dementia Cases Preventable Based On Lifestyle Factors

The Washington Post (7/20, Bahrampour) reports a study presented on Thursday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London found that nearly one-third of the world’s dementia cases are preventable through managing “factors such as education, hypertension, diet, hearing loss and depression over the course of a person’s lifetime.” Researchers found that controlling the factors could reduce one’s risk of developing dementia by 35 percent.

Reuters (7/20, Kelland) reports the “wide-ranging analysis” detected nine “particularly important” risk factors, namely “staying in education beyond age 15, reducing high blood pressure, obesity and hearing loss in mid-life, and reducing smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation and diabetes in later life.”

The Guardian (UK) (7/20, Davis) also reports.

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— “Healthier living could reduce worldwide dementia by a third, report says,” Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, July 20, 2017.

Raising Patient Co-Pays To Save Money On Mental Healthcare May End Up Adding To Costs Of Treating Bipolar And Psychiatric Disorders

Reuters (7/19, Emery) reports, “An effort by the Netherlands to save money on mental health care by raising patient co-pays produced $15 million in short-term savings, but ended up adding $29 million to the costs of treating bipolar and psychotic disorders,” researchers found. What’s more, “the increase in patient cost-sharing led to fewer people seeking regular mental treatment and a simultaneous rise in acute care and involuntary commitments,” the analysis of “1.4 million treatment records” revealed. The findings were published online July 19 in JAMA Psychiatry.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (7/19, Sapatkin) reports on the Netherlands’ 2012 attempt to reduce healthcare costs by implementing “mandatory copayments for mental health care on adults but not children,” reasoning that patients would not “seek unnecessary services” if they had more “skin in the game.” The article says the change caused “adults’ use of regular mental health services” to plummet “13.4 percent for both severe and mild disorders,” with an even starker drop among the poor, but “no appreciable change” for children, “who had no copay.”

Healio (7/19, Oldt) reports the author of an invited commentary wrote, “Without careful planning and oversight, mental health care cost-sharing programs may exact a steep price.”

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— “Mental health coverage cuts result in extra costs,” Gene Emery, Reuters, July 19, 2017.

Almost Three Dozen Alzheimer’s Medications To Begin Clinical Trials In Next Five Years

HealthDay (7/18, Preidt) reports that almost three dozen experimental Alzheimer’s medicines are expected to begin clinical trials over the next five years, according to an analysis scheduled for presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. No medications have been approved to treat Alzheimer’s in the US since 2003.

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— “Dozens of Potential Alzheimer’s Meds in the Pipeline,” Robert Preidt, HealthDay, July 18, 2017.

Patients With IBS May Show Higher Levels Of Depression, Anxiety

Healio Gastroenterology (7/18, Leitenberger) reports, “Patients with irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], regardless of subtype, show higher levels of depression and anxiety compared with healthy controls,” researchers found after reviewing 27 studies involving “2,293 IBS patients and 4,951 healthy controls.” The review’s findings were published online July 1 in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility.

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— “Depression, anxiety levels higher in all IBS subtypes,” Lee C, et al., Healio Gastroenterology, July 18, 2017.

No Apparent Association Found Between Lyme Disease, Depression

Healio (7/18, Viguers) reports that investigators “who set out to clarify whether there is an association between Lyme disease and depression found that the prevalence of depressive symptoms was similar among infected and noninfected patients who sought care at a tertiary Lyme center.” Included in the study were “1,454 patients.” The study authors “said their findings suggest that depressive symptoms should not be used to help diagnose Lyme borreliosis (LB) in this setting.” The findings were published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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— “Study shows no link between Lyme disease and depression,” Tizza P. Zomer, MSc, Healio, July 18, 2017.

Access To Outpatient Behavioral Healthcare Was Limited In Denver Metropolitan Area After Implementation Of ACA

Healio (7/17, Miller) reports, “Access to outpatient behavioral health care in at least one metropolitan area was limited after implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” researchers found. For the study, investigators “posed as potential patients with mild-to-moderate depression and used a secret shopper methodology to contact all the behavioral health” professionals “in the Denver Colorado metropolitan area networked through several large insurance companies about the next available appointment date.”

All in all, the study authors “made 1,932 calls from 2014 to 2015.” The study revealed that “a patient in the Denver area would need to call seven to 10 psychiatrists, depending on the insurance company, to find an available appointment.” The findings were published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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— “Behavioral health access restricted under Affordable Care Act,” Williams MO, Healio, July 17, 2017.