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Public Health

Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids May Damage the Heart and Arteries

Use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) is associated with compromised heart pumping and atherosclerotic plaque. Clinicians should inquire about AAS use when young or middle-aged men present with left ventricular dysfunction or coronary artery disease.

Public Health

Substance Use Disorders Are Associated With Major Medical Illnesses and Mortality Risk in a Large Integrated Health Care System

Strong associations exist between substance use disorder diagnoses and 19 major medical illnesses among patients in a large, integrated health care system. The study indicates that these associations may persist even in health care systems that provide specialized treatment for substance use disorders and have capacity to integrate behavioral and medical care.

Basic Science

Gene Variants Reduce Opioid Risks

Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.

Treatment

HIV Infection Accelerates Hepatitis C–Related Liver Fibrosis

Study patients with HIV­­–hepatitis C coinfection progressed to successive degrees of severity of liver fibrosis 9 years sooner than those infected with HCV alone. Further findings from the study suggest that suppressing HIV with antiretroviral medications may slow HCV-related liver fibrosis.

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