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April 2008 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology 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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FDA Approves Drug for Opioid-Induced Constipation

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that it has approved Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide) to help restore bowel function in patients with late-stage, advanced illness requiring chronic opioids for pain control.

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Mouse Model Sheds Light on Scleroderma Lung Damage

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Transforming growth factor β may play a key role in determining fibrosis after epithelial lung injury, and lung fibroblasts may regulate the response of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) to injury, offering insight into factors underlying scleroderma-associated pulmonary fibrosis (SSc-PF), according to research in the April Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Elderly on Antipsychotics Face Higher Pneumonia Risk

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- The use of antipsychotic medications is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia in elderly patients, particularly shortly after they begin treatment, according to research published in the April Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Causes and Mechanism of Chronic Cough Explored

MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic cough, defined as a cough lasting eight weeks or longer, is common in the community and can be caused by environmental exposures to such things as cigarette smoke and pollution as well as by a number of common and rare diseases, according to an article published April 19 in The Lancet.

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Two Methods Equal for Pulmonary Embolism Exclusion

FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with suspected pulmonary embolism, D-dimer measurement and multislice computed tomography (MSCT) is as effective as D-dimer measurement, venous compression ultrasonography of the leg and MSCT for exclusion of pulmonary embolism, researchers report in the April 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Respiratory Retraining May Help Lung Disease Patients

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

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Road Transport Pollution Linked to Excess Deaths

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of air pollution caused by road transport are associated with increased rates of death from cancer and other diseases, particularly pneumonia, according to study findings published in the May issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Exercise Helps Elders Maintain Independence

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly people who stick to a regimen of regular aerobic exercise are more likely to retain functional independence and can reduce their biological age by 10 years or more, according to study results published online April 10 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Mucosal Anthrax Vaccine Protective in Mice

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Detoxified anthrax lethal toxin elicits strong antibody responses and completely protects mice against anthrax, according to research published in the April issue of Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

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Individualized Health Care Budgets Improve Care

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) 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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No Effect of High-Dose Chemo on Lung Cancer Survival

THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Raising the chemotherapy dose intensity in patients with small cell lung cancer does not improve survival and has substantial toxicity, researchers report in the April 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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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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Possible Person-to-Person Transmission of Bird Flu

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Person-to-person transmission of bird flu may have taken place between a father and son in China in late 2007, according to a study published online April 8 in The Lancet.

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Factors Affecting Respiratory Distress Risk Identified

TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- A number of factors increase the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients on mechanical ventilation, including high airway pressures, positive fluid balance, plasma transfusion, sepsis and tidal volume, according to research published in the April issue of the journal Chest.

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Symptoms of Unexplained Dyspnea Identified

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Symptoms that can be used to discriminate between patients with medically unexplained dyspnea and patients with cardiopulmonary diseases have been identified, researchers report in the April issue of the journal Chest.

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Benefit of Lung Transplant for Cystic Fibrosis Affirmed

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Lung transplantation should continue to be offered as a treatment option for children with cystic fibrosis, the authors of an article published in the March issue of Pediatric Transplantation maintain, directly challenging another recent study that questions the benefit of lung transplantation in this population.

Abstract - Sweet
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Abstract - Liou

FDA: Safety Warning Issued for Influenza Drug Relenza

THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The maker of the antiviral drug Relenza (zanamivir) informed health care professionals this week of a potential risk of behavioral changes and delirium associated with the drug's use. Relenza is approved for the treatment of influenza A and B.

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Assay Helps Diagnose Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis

WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- New diagnostic methods are effective for more quickly diagnosing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and for distinguishing Mycobacterium avium-complex pulmonary disease (MAC-PD) from pulmonary tuberculosis, according to two studies in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Abstract - Barnard
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Abstract - Kitada
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Hands-Only Compressions Beneficial in Sudden Heart Attack

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Bystanders who witness an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and want to help need only perform continuous compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not need to have mouth-to-mouth contact, according to an article published online March 31 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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