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American Thoracic Society May 16-21

The American Thoracic Society's 2014 International Conference

The annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society was held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego 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, as well as provided insight into critical care medicine and sleep disorders.

In one study, Charles W. Atwood Jr., M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues found that home sleep apnea testing and initiation of continuous positive airway pressure in the home setting costs less to perform than laboratory testing and initiation of treatment for sleep apnea. The investigators found that the difference was $564, which was statistically significant. There were no other differences between the groups in the other cost categories (hospital, laboratory, pharmacy, and other) and patient outcomes.

"We found the same outcomes for lower costs. This supports the use of the home sleep apnea testing and treatment approach," said Atwood. "In the United States, insurance companies are already steering patients toward home management programs. These results suggest that this is likely to be a cost-saving approach."

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In another study, Corinne Hanson, Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and colleagues found that patients who recently consumed foods associated with a healthful diet, including fish, fruit, tea, and dairy products, had higher levels of lung function, less emphysema, greater six-minute walk distance, and less progression of emphysema.

"These findings suggest a role for a diet high in fruit, fish, dairy products, and tea in the prevention of lung disease and the maintenance of lung function and health. Diet may be a modifiable risk factor in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," said Hanson.

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Jose Diego Caceres, M.D., of the Jacobi Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues found lower mortality at one year in patients who carried the diagnosis of severe pulmonary hypertension with a high body mass index (BMI), compared with patients with only overweight or normal BMI.

"Although there are some limitations to our study, such as inadequate categorization of pulmonary hypertension based on World Health Organization categories and diagnosed solely on echocardiography (right-sided catheterization was not available), the trend towards better survival was surprising," said Caceres. "These data suggest that the obesity paradox phenomenon may occur in patients with pulmonary hypertension. Some physiological and biochemical mechanisms probably play an important role in the survival benefit of these patients, but further studies are needed to elucidate them."

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ATS: Stroke Risk Equal for Women, Men With Sleep Apnea

WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at equally increased risk of ischemic stroke, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: Vitamin D3 Doesn't Benefit Symptomatic Asthma

WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with vitamin D3 does not reduce the rate of first treatment failure or exacerbation in adults with persistent asthma and vitamin D deficiency, according to a study published online May 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: AMG 157 Offers Relief for Allergen-Induced Asthma

WEDNESDAY, May 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Twelve weeks of the novel AMG 157 antibody treatment may benefit patients with poorly controlled asthma, according to a study published online May 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine. This research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: Vitamin C Improves Lung Function in Offspring of Smokers

TUESDAY, May 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For pregnant smokers, vitamin C supplementation correlates with improved lung function in offspring through age 1 year, according to a study published online May 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: Sepsis Accounts for Large Proportion of Inpatient Deaths

TUESDAY, May 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Sepsis accounts for a large proportion of inpatient mortality, according to a study published online May 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: Exposure to Polluted Air In Utero May Up Asthma Risk

TUESDAY, May 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to particulate air pollution during the second trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk of development of asthma in children, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: PTSD Symptoms Common in ICU Survivors

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- One-quarter to one-third of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms up to one year after ICU stay, according to a meta-analysis presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: Studies Examine Tx for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Pirfenidone and nintedanib, but not acetylcysteine, correlate with improvements in forced vital capacity (FVC) in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. These three studies have been published online May 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: Heart Failure More Prevalent in Patients With COPD

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with the general population, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a greater prevalence of heart failure, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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ATS: Urine Test May Be Able to Detect Blood Clots

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A simple urine test for fibrinopeptide B (FPB) can detect the presence of venous thromboembolism, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 16 to 21 in San Diego.

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