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American Thoracic Society, May 15-20

The American Thoracic Society's 2015 International Conference

The annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society was held from May 15 to 20 in Denver and attracted more than 14,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in pulmonary disease. The conference highlighted recent advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of pulmonary conditions and provided insight into critical care medicine and sleep disorders.

In one study, Michael Durheim, M.D., of the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., and colleagues assessed the association between comorbid chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and clinical outcomes among patients with atrial fibrillation who were enrolled in a randomized trial of apixaban versus warfarin. The investigators aimed to compare the risk of stroke and mortality in patients with and without COPD, after controlling for other risk factors.

"COPD was associated with higher risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and non-cardiovascular mortality among patients with atrial fibrillation, independent of other cardiovascular comorbidities such as coronary artery disease or heart failure, and independent of shared risk factors such as smoking history. COPD was not independently associated with risk of stroke," Durheim said. "Future studies should investigate the biological mechanisms by which COPD is associated with poor outcomes in patients with atrial fibrillation."

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Another study indicates that many children who have asthma have a sensitivity to peanuts, but do not know it. Robert C. Cohn, M.D., M.B.A., of Dayton Children's Hospital in Ohio, and colleagues found that of 1,517 children evaluated in a pulmonary clinic for asthma, about 11 percent knew that they had a peanut allergy, either by symptoms or by skin testing done by an allergist.

"As part of their asthma work-up, many of the children who came to the clinic had a blood test to screen them for sensitivities. Twenty two percent of those tested had a positive blood test for peanuts and, of that 22 percent group, about one-half never suspected the result," Cohn said. "Parents of children with asthma should understand that there may be asthma medicines that are not advised in children with peanut allergies. Since any allergy can act as a trigger for an asthma attack, it might be helpful to have the child screened for a peanut sensitivity if they have been diagnosed with asthma."

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Samjot Dhillon, M.D., of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., and colleagues closely monitored 192 survivors of lung cancer for an extended amount of time with computed tomography chest and autofluorescence bronchoscopy surveillance. The investigators found that these patients continue to be at significant risk of recurrent lung cancer or second primary lung tumor even after several years, with 72 of these 192 patients (37 percent) developing lung cancer during surveillance. This risk can remain elevated up to 18 years after initial diagnosis.

"This study reemphasizes the fact that lung cancer survivors need close surveillance for a very long time," Dhillon said. "It is also important to study risk factors for developing lung cancer recurrence or a second primary tumor."

The investigators further analyzed this cohort to identify risk factors for lung cancer recurrence and found that increased pack-years (dose-dependent curve), development of other cancers, detection of any lung nodules, and at least three metaplasia on autofluorescence bronchoscopy were risk factors for recurrence.

"With the implementation of lung cancer screening, it is expected that lung cancer be detected in early stages and we will have a significant higher number of survivors. These survivors will need long-term surveillance as they are at high risk of recurrence or second primary tumors," Dhillon said. "We identified some risk factors in our study, including pack-year of smoking (which suggests that aggressive smoking cessation strategies are needed in this group), but also suggest that additional efforts are needed to study risks such as genomic factors."

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ATS: Risk of Pneumonia Up With Inhaled Corticosteroids in COPD

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) is associated with increased risk of pneumonia, but may reduce the risk of pneumonia-associated and all-cause mortality, according to research findings presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 15 to 20 in Denver.

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ATS: Music Beneficial in Weaning From Mechanical Ventilation

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Listening to music has beneficial effects for patients being weaned from prolonged mechanical ventilation, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 15 to 20 in Denver.

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ATS: Sleep Apnea May Boost Depression Risk in Men

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Men with obstructive sleep apnea appear to have a higher risk of depression, new research suggests. The findings were scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 15 to 20 in Denver.

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ATS: Aspirin Use Linked to Slower Progression of Emphysema

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin use is associated with slower progression of percent emphysema on computed tomography (CT), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 15 to 20 in Denver.

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ATS: SB010 Cuts Early, Late Response in Allergic Asthma

MONDAY, May 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with allergic asthma, a novel DNA enzyme that is able to cleave and inactivate GATA3 mRNA, SB010, attenuates early and late asthmatic responses, according to a study published online May 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 15 to 20 in Denver.

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ATS: E-Cig Smoking Linked to Drop in Cough Reflex Sensitivity

MONDAY, May 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarette (e-cig) smoking is associated with a transient decrease in cough reflex sensitivity, and exposure to some flavors of e-cigs correlates with adverse effects on cells, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 15 to 20 in Denver.

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