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February 2009

Welcome to Primary Care Connections

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to our fifth issue of Primary Care Connections. We hope these brief updates on the latest clinical advances help keep you informed and improve your practice and your patients' health and outcomes.

As primary care physicians, we are often a patient's first point of contact as well as the provider who helps manage chronic conditions. In this issue, we talk about the importance of regularly screening patients with diabetes for peripheral artery disease, which left untreated can lead to limb amputation. We also provide information on virtual colonoscopy, now available for colon cancer screening. While colon cancer is a largely preventable disease, studies suggest that only a third of those who should be screened are actually getting testing.

As a primary care sports medicine specialist, I'd like to mention the importance of educating patients about playing it safe during the winter sports season. Patients can take a few simple steps to prevent injuries, such as wearing the right well fitted equipment. One study found that helmet use by skiers and snowboarders could prevent or reduce the severity of nearly half of head injuries to adults and more than half of head injuries to children less than 15 years old.

We look forward to bringing you more relevant topics in upcoming issues. Thank you again for your interest.

Best regards,

Anthony Luke, M.D., M.P.H.
Primary Care Sports Medicine Specialist
UCSF Sports Medicine Center

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