Briefs

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Byram acquires hospital patient base

MILFORD, Conn. - Byram Healthcare Centers recently completed a patient base acquisition, further boosting its growth as a leading provider of medical supplies for patients in he home. Byram picked up the ostomy, diabetes and urological business of a hospital system in the Philadelphia and southern New Jersey area. Byram’s vice president of acquisitions explained the deal as a win-win for the company and providers because “for most HME-companies, disposable medical supplies are very difficult to manage profitably,” he said.
New surgery effective for OSA

TAIWAN - A new, less invasive throat surgery appears to be more effective than traditional procedures used to treat sleep apnea, Taiwanese researchers reported. While the study involved only 55 patients, findings showed an 82% success rate for the new procedure, compared to the historical rate of less than 50% found with earlier, more invasive surgeries, said the report. The modified surgery technique, called extended uvulopalatal flap surgery, removes fatty tissues, soft glands and the tonsils to increase airway space but spares muscle tissue. Patients for whom the limited surgery worked reported they snored less, were less sleepy during the day and had higher blood oxygen levels. The report did not explain why the limited technique worked better.
Diabetes leads to loss of hearing, mental function

WASHINGTON - Preliminary findings of a new study have determined that diabetes may lead to the premature aging of the body’s auditory system. The study found increased hearing loss among diabetic participants aged 60 and younger compared to those of the same age without diabetes. However, in those over 60, hearing loss was similar between diabetic and non-diabetic participants. A second study of the disease warned that women with diabetes have worse mental function and suffer greater cognitive decline than women without the disease. These findings suggest that prevention and control of type 2 diabetes in women could have critically important public health consequences, said researchers.

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