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February 2009 Briefing - Allergy

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Allergy for February 2009. 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.

Tacrolimus, Corticosteroid Regimen May Improve Dermatitis

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A sequential regimen of tacrolimus ointment and tapered use of topical corticosteroids in children may provide control of atopic dermatitis while limiting exposure to corticosteroids, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Early Exposure to Fungi Raises Risk of Wheezing

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to spores and pollen in the first three months of life affects children's risk of early wheezing, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Thorax.

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Insurance Essential for Good Health, Well-Being

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Having health insurance is vital for health and well-being, and when rates of uninsurance are high, even insured people are more likely to struggle to obtain necessary care, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine released online Feb. 24.

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US Health Spending May Have Hit $2.4 Trillion in 2008

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Health spending in the United States was estimated to be $2.4 trillion last year, and is expected to account for an unprecedented share of the economy this year, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Health Affairs.

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Hormone Reverses Asthma Changes in Mouse Model

MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The antifibrotic peptide hormone relaxin reverses lung fibrosis and airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of asthma, according to the results of a study published online Feb. 12 in Endocrinology.

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Proposed Changes to Health Care Would Reduce Costs

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Simultaneous gains in universal health coverage, improved health outcomes and slowed spending growth would have a major impact on the development of public policy, according to a perspective published in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Transparency, Globalization Growing in Clinical Research

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- All clinical trial data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database should be publicly available, and global clinical research should be conducted in relevant populations for potential applications of the intervention, according to two articles published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Abstract - Glickman
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Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Ads Featuring 'Drug Facts Box' Help Educate Consumers

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing the brief summary in direct-to-consumer ads with a "drug facts box" may result in improved consumer knowledge and judgment about medication benefits and side effects, according to study findings released online Feb. 17 in advance of publication in the Apr. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Chinese Remedies May Offer Benefits in Treating Allergies

MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Several types of herbal therapies from traditional Chinese medicine may hold promise for treating asthma and food allergies, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Care Coordination Programs Don't Benefit Medicare Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses, most care coordination programs have little impact on reducing hospitalizations and costs or improving quality of care, according to a report published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Medication Safety Alerts Frequently Ignored

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Medication safety alerts, which are part of the decision support mechanism of electronic prescribing systems, are frequently overridden by clinicians and may not adequately protect patients, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Corticosteroid Use Associated with Pneumonia in COPD

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term inhaled corticosteroid use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia, though without a significantly higher risk of pneumonia-related death, according to a review article published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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CDC Analyzes Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread outbreaks of Salmonella infections that hospitalized 116 patients and may have contributed to the deaths of eight people were traced to peanut butter and peanut paste used in other products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America at its factory in Blakely, Ga., according to a report published in the Feb. 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Asthma Not Linked to More School Absences in Study

THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In a Texas school district, children with and without asthma missed similar amounts of school, according to research published in the February issue of Chest.

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Early Childhood Stress Linked to Weakened Immune System

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A stressful early childhood impairs the long-term function of the immune system, according to research published online Feb. 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Asthma Lung Changes Relatively Constant with Time

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The degree and extent of focal airway narrowing and their regional distribution are relatively constant over time in asthma patients, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Physician's Briefing
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