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August 2007 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for August 2007. 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.

Researchers Find Gene Anomalies in Smokers' Lungs

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A new technique -- spectral karyotyping -- revealed that chromosomal abnormalities are common in benign bronchial cells of smokers at high risk of lung cancer, even before they develop carcinoma, according to a report in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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High Indoor Particulate Matter Linked to Worse Lung Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, who live in homes with high levels of particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (PM2.5) tend to have poorer health, according to study findings published in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Flavoring Ingredient Linked to Workers' Lung Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Following recent studies linking lung disease to exposure to food-processing flavorings, researchers in the Netherlands have found an association between an agent used in the production of diacetyl -- used for butter flavoring -- and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. The research is published in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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High-Intensity Workouts May Deter Exercisers

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- People who exercise report that shorter, high-intensity workouts are less pleasurable than longer, moderate-intensity ones, even though they involve the same total work and calories burned, researchers report in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Pollen, House Mites Have Different Effects on Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- House dust mites and pollens are associated with different effects on disease of the airways, according to a report published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Immunodeficiency Often Goes Undiagnosed

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with symptoms of primary immunodeficiency often go undiagnosed, which denies them the opportunity to receive appropriate specialist care, researchers report in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Asthma Risk Linked to Gene Variants and Auto Pollution

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Proximity to major roads is associated with substantially greater risk of asthma in children who are genetically susceptible to the disease, according to a report published online Aug. 21 in the journal Thorax.

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Resident Duty-Hour Cuts Curb Surgeon Job Satisfaction

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reforms limiting resident duty hours are increasing surgeons' workloads and may be negatively affecting patient care, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Air Pollution Affects Young Adults' Cardiovascular Health

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to air pollution is associated with a variety of simultaneous cardiovascular effects in healthy adults, including systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, blood coagulation and autonomic dysfunction, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Chronic Sinusitis Linked to Smell Impairment

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Several illnesses, including chronic sinusitis, are significantly associated with smell disturbance in managed care patients, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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In COPD, Men More Likely to Have Severe Emphysema

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), men are more likely than women to have more extensive computed tomography emphysema at all stages of severity, according to research published in the August issue of Chest.

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Adjuvant Could Stretch Avian Flu Vaccine in Pandemic

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Low doses of an H5N1 avian influenza vaccine are still effective when combined with a new type of adjuvant, researchers report in the Aug. 18 issue of The Lancet. This type of antigen sparing could boost production capacity in the event of a pandemic and could potentially be used before a pandemic strikes, the study found.

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Second-Line Antibiotics More Effective in Acute Bronchitis

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, second-line antibiotics may be more effective than first-line antibiotics, according to study findings published in the August issue of Chest.

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Portable Oxygen May Not Benefit Some with COPD

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term ambulatory oxygen therapy may not help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) function better in terms of their activities of daily living, according to a report in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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FDA Issues Advisory for Pediatric Cough, Cold Remedies

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will meet in October to discuss the safety and efficacy of over-the-counter pediatric cough and cold medicines in light of reports of serious adverse events due to misuse. The FDA also issued a public health advisory recommending that children under 2 years of age not be given any cough and cold products unless prescribed by a health care provider, in addition to other recommendations.

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Prophylactic Brain Irradiation Helps in Small-Cell Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylactic cranial irradiation in patients with extensive small-cell lung cancer reduces the incidence of symptomatic brain metastases and prolongs overall survival, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial published in the Aug. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Diuretics Improve Sleep Apnea in Patients with Heart Failure

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with obstructive sleep apnea and diastolic heart failure who are treated with diuretics have improvements in disordered breathing, increases in oropharyngeal junction area and improved airflow rates, according to a report published in the August issue of Chest. These findings suggest that upper airway edema contributes to sleep-disordered breathing.

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Childhood Asthma Associated with Cytokine Response

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Production of interleukin-5 (IL-5) T-cell cytokines in response to the house dust mite, the most common local inhalant allergen, is associated with the development of asthma in 5-year-old children, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Air Pollution May Diminish Lung Growth in Children

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Prolonged exposure to ozone, nitrogen dioxide and microscopic particulates can slow the rate of lung growth in school-age children, according to a report published Aug. 15 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Family History, Home Factors Boost Child's Risk of Wheezing

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children from families with a history of asthma have a higher risk of developing respiratory symptoms if they are also exposed to parental smoking or dust mite antigen, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Spirometry Under-Used in Both Men and Women with COPD

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to one recent report, women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not less likely than their male counterparts to undergo spirometry. But only about one-third of all newly diagnosed patients undergo the diagnostic procedure, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Chest.

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Allergic Rhinitis Puts Students at Disadvantage on Tests

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers with allergic rhinitis symptoms are more likely to drop a grade on their exams during peak allergy season compared to winter exams, and more likely to score worse if they are taking sedating antihistamines, according to a report in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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U.S. Flu Season Milder Than in Previous Seasons

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza activity in the 2006-2007 season peaked in the United States in February this year, and was characterized by milder infections with lower rates of mortality and pediatric hospitalizations compared with the previous three seasons, according to a report published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. As for avian influenza A (H5N1), there were 319 cases in Asia and Africa, of which 60 percent were fatal.

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Crohn's Risk Lower in Children Exposed to Farm Animals

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Contact with farm animals during infancy, which is thought to protect against childhood allergies, may have a similar effect on juvenile Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis, researchers report in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Medical Residents Lack Tuberculosis Knowledge

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Many medical residents in the United States are unclear about how to diagnose and treat tuberculosis, particularly cases of latent tuberculosis, according to a report published Aug. 2 in BMC Infectious Diseases.

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Tobacco Additives May Be Harmful to Public Health

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The tobacco industry has experimented with hundreds of additives in cigarettes that should require regulatory oversight, including 100 that may enhance the addictive effects of nicotine, sweeten the taste of tobacco, and mask the odor of secondhand smoke, according to a study published in the August issue of American Journal of Public Health.

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Nitric Oxide for Adjusting Asthma Drugs Not Superior

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The use of exhaled nitric oxide to determine corticosteroid therapy for asthma exacerbations was no better than traditional management, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Low Levels of Air Pollution Can Boost Respiratory Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Even relatively low levels of air pollutants such as black smoke and sulfur dioxide can increase the risk of respiratory mortality, according to a study published online July 31 in Thorax.

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U.S. Death Rates for Pulmonary Fibrosis Rising

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Pulmonary fibrosis-related deaths increased in the United States between 1992 and 2003, rising 41.3 percent in women and 28.4 percent in men, according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Gender Difference Seen in Severe COPD

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease differ from men with the disease in several key ways, including having smaller airway lumens, thicker airway walls, greater dyspnea as well as a greater likelihood of depression, according to a study in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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