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April 2008 Briefing - Allergy

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Allergy for April 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Physicians Lack Feedback on Accuracy of Diagnoses

TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical diagnosis is a largely open-loop system in which there is no systematic way for clinicians to obtain feedback on the outcome of their diagnoses, according to an article published in a supplement to the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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Palliative Care Can Improve Patient Care Most, Poll Finds

MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In an international poll conducted by BMJ to determine which area of health care would enable doctors to make the greatest difference to patients, palliative care for non-malignant disease received the most votes, the BMJ Group announced at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care in Paris this week.

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Heparin Contaminant Activates Contact System

THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The serious allergic-type reactions recently reported in patients receiving intravenous heparin appear to be due to the presence of a contaminant, oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, which leads to activation of the contact system and release of vasoactive mediators, according to an article first published online April 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Respiratory Retraining May Help Lung Disease Patients

THURSDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- A program of exercise training plus ventilation-feedback training to modify the respiratory pattern resulted in improved exercise tolerance in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to research published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Individualized Health Care Budgets Improve Care

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K.'s National Health Service should allow patients individual control of their health care budgets, an approach that has been shown in pilot studies to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in a cost-effective manner, according to an analysis published April 12 in BMJ.

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Consider Health Literacy Level When Writing for Patients

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Giving patients clearly written educational materials that convey key messages without resorting to jargon is an important part of engaging patient compliance with treatment and can contribute to health literacy, according to an article published in the April issue of Chest.

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Susceptibility Gene for Asthma Identified

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a gene conferring susceptibility to asthma in populations of European descent, according to research published online April 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Doctors Vote on the Ways to Make Biggest Difference

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The BMJ has begun accepting votes on which areas of health care allow doctors to make the biggest difference to patient care, with a shortlist of six areas each being championed by eminent doctors and researchers. The winning topic will gain special coverage in the BMJ and the BMJ Group's 24 other specialist journals and online education products.

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