August 2006 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for August 2006. 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.

Daily Moist Cough Most Useful for Determining Cough Cause

THURSDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Children who have a chronic moist cough provide clinicians with the best clues for diagnosing the cause of the cough, researchers report in the August issue of Thorax.

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Pneumoconiosis Found in Virginia Coal Miners

TUESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has identified 11 cases of severe pneumoconiosis among coal miners in Lee and Wise counties in Virginia, twice the number of cases that would be expected based on permissible levels of exposure to coal mine dust, according to a report published Aug. 25 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness Hikes Respiratory Disease Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In asymptomatic patients, bronchial hyperresponsiveness is associated with reduced airflow and an increased risk of developing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Thorax.

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Early Mycophenolate Mofetil Treatment Improves Alveolitis

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Early treatment with mycophenolate mofetil coupled with low-dose corticosteroids may be a safe and effective alternative to cyclophosphamide in patients with recently diagnosed diffuse scleroderma-associated alveolitis, according to a study published in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Childhood Allergies More Prevalent Worldwide

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of childhood allergies has increased worldwide since 1991, especially in children ages 6 to 7, according to a study published in the Aug. 26 issue of The Lancet.

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FDA Proposes Electronic Registration of All U.S. Drugs

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In its ongoing drive to modernize health data management, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a new rule on Aug. 23 that would require drug companies to register themselves and their products electronically.

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CDC Colloboration Makes Flu Data Available Worldwide

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its database of genetic blueprints for over 650 genes of influenza viruses isolated in the United States to make them available to international researchers. This is the first collaborative action between CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

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No Better Survival With Early Lung Cancer Radiotherapy

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to some previous findings, the timing of thoracic radiotherapy (TRT) does not seem to impart a survival advantage among patients with limited disease small-cell lung cancer, according to findings in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Mortality Linked to BMI in Two National Cohort Studies

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Two trials, one involving more than 500,000 Americans and the other over one million Koreans, suggest that even modest amounts of excess weight in middle age is associated with a higher risk of mortality. Results of both studies are published in the Aug. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Snoring Associated With Nocturnal Enuresis in Children

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Children who snore more than three nights per week are nearly four times as likely to have nocturnal enuresis as those who do not habitually snore, according to a study published in the August issue of Urology.

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Two Anti-Clotting Regimens Have Similar Effectiveness

TUESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute venous thromboembolism, fixed-dose subcutaneous unfractionated heparin is as effective and safe as subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin, but is far less costly, according to a study in the Aug. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hyperbaric Oxygen Improves Nerve Damage Recovery

MONDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Hyperbaric oxygenation may improve recovery of peripheral nerves after traumatic damage and microsurgical repair, according to a study in animals published in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Two Florida Melioidosis Cases Imported from Honduras

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Slow identification and poor laboratory procedures, including sniffing or unsafely handling patient cultures, exposed nine Florida laboratory workers to Burkholderia pseudomallei in 2005, after two patients infected in Honduras traveled to the state, according to a report in the Aug. 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Transmitted by inhalation or inoculation, the bacteria cause melioidosis, usually pneumonia, but can provoke abscesses of the skin, soft tissues and internal organs.

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All Forms of Tobacco Raise Myocardial Infarction Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- All forms of tobacco consumption, not just smoking, substantially raise the risk of myocardial infarction, according to the results of a global study published in the Aug. 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Chinese Women At Risk from Husbands' Smoking

FRIDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Chinese women are often exposed to secondhand smoke, primarily from their husbands, which increases their risk of death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 19 issue of BMJ.

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Infusion Reduces Alcoholics' Postoperative Pneumonia Risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In long-term alcoholics, an infusion of low-dose ethanol, morphine or ketoconazole begun prior to cancer surgery of the aerodigestive tract may significantly reduce the risk of postoperative pneumonia, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Smoking Cessation Drug Has Gone Unnoticed in West

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine receptor agonist cytisine, a drug that has been used for the past 40 years in Eastern Europe as an aid to smoking cessation, has been largely ignored by the English-language journals, according to a review and meta-analysis in the Aug. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Varenicline Tartrate Helps Smokers Kick the Habit

THURSDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Varenicline tartrate (Chantix) can help smokers kick the habit, according to two studies in the Aug. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved varenicline in May 2006.

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No Cardiovascular Risk Seen in Younger Pot Smokers

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In young adults, marijuana use is not independently associated with increased body mass index and other cardiovascular risk factors. But it is strongly associated with other unhealthy behaviors, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Disordered Sleep Impairs Truck Drivers' Performance

TUESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Severe sleep apnea or sleeping less than five hours a night may significantly impair commercial truck drivers' on-the-job performance and could be major factors in truck crashes that kill 5,600 people in the United States each year, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Fetal Pulmonary Artery Diameter Predicts Morbidity

MONDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Antenatal pulmonary artery diameter measurements may be useful as predictors of respiratory morbidity in infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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'Funnel Chest' Surgery Improves Heart Function

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to suggestions that the repair of the pectus excavatum -- or "funnel chest" -- should be considered cosmetic surgery that results in minimal physiologic improvement, the procedure significantly improves cardiovascular function, according to a report in the August issue of Chest.

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FDA Orders Three Firms to Halt Unapproved Inhaled Drugs

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned three firms to cease manufacture and distribution of unapproved inhalation drugs, which it says are not subject to FDA review for safety and effectiveness, and do not fit the traditional definition of the practice of pharmacy compounding.

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Clinicians May Under-Diagnose Occupational Asthma

FRIDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In assessing newly diagnosed adult asthma, clinicians are likely to take incomplete occupational histories, which may result in an under-diagnosis of occupational asthma, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Chest.

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CPR Knowledge is Lacking in Seriously Ill Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Seriously ill hospitalized patients lack information about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and more than one-third of them do not wish to discuss end-of-life preferences with their physician, according to study results published in the August issue of Chest.

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Hospitalization Varies Among Asthmatic Minority Children

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to asthmatic black children, asthmatic Puerto Rican children have more severe disease and higher rates of outpatient clinic visits. But they spend only one-third as many days in the hospital for asthma exacerbations, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Chest.

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Cytokines May Be Linked to Cancer-Associated Cachexia

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The cytokines TNF-α and interleukin-6 (IL-6) may be linked to weight loss associated with anorexia-cachexia syndrome in patients with non-small cell lung cancer, according to a report in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Chronic Coughing Itself Can Cause Airway Inflammation

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The airway inflammation associated with chronic cough can be caused by the coughing trauma itself, according to a study published in the August issue of Chest.

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Cigarette Smoke Saturates Brain Acetylcholine Receptors

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Typical daily smokers show nearly complete saturation of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α4β2 nAChR) in the brain throughout the day, according to a study in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Allergic Rhinitis, Inflammation Linked to Parkinson Disease

THURSDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A tendency toward inflammation, such as that associated with allergic rhinitis, may also be linked to developing Parkinson disease later in life, according to a report from the Mayo Clinic in the Aug. 8 issue of Neurology.

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Metagene Model Predicts Recurrence in Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The lung metagene profiling model demonstrates up to 79 percent accuracy in predicting recurrence in early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a report in the Aug. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The test might be used to assess a patient's risk and to tailor the adjuvant chemotherapy regimen.

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Pollution Linked to Infant Respiratory Death, SIDS

MONDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are associated with a higher rate of infant respiratory death and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a report in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Low Vaccine Rates Among Amish Linked to Pertussis

MONDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis still occur in populations where vaccine rates are low, especially isolated communities such as the Amish, according to a report in the Aug. 4 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Approves Next Season's Influenza Vaccine

FRIDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved this year's seasonal influenza vaccines. The vaccines include the new strains of virus judged likely to cause flu in the Northern Hemisphere in 2006-2007.

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HIV-1 Treatment Successful But Rise in AIDS Events Seen

FRIDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has improved the virological response to HIV-1 in the last decade in Europe and North America, there has been a rise in AIDS events that may be due to an increased incidence of tuberculosis, according to a report in the Aug. 5 issue of The Lancet.

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Metallo-β-Lactamase-Producing P. Aeruginosa More Deadly

THURSDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital-acquired pneumonia's already high mortality rate is doubled by metallo-β-lactamase (MβL) production from the causative organism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, according to a paper published in the August issue of Critical Care.

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Cold Oxygen May Block Recovery of Comatose Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Giving oxygen to intubated, comatose patients at temperatures significantly below body temperature may block their recovery due to prolonged cooling of the brain, so heated nebulizers should be used, according to a case report in the August issue of Medical Science Monitor.

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Lack of Weight Gain May Predict Tuberculosis Relapse

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Underweight tuberculosis patients who regain less than 5 percent of their weight during the first two months of intensive therapy are significantly more likely to relapse, according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Steep Lung Function Decline Seen in Ground Zero Workers

TUESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- During the first year after the collapse of the World Trade Center, pulmonary function decreased by an equivalent of 12 years of normal aging among Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) rescue workers who were exposed to its dust, according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing