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August 2008 Briefing - Pulmonology

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

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Rapid Prison Growth Linked to Tuberculosis Spread

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The rapid growth in the prison population in former Soviet Union countries accounts for the increased levels of tuberculosis (TB) infection since 1990, according to a report published online Aug. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Low-Risk Group May Safely Discontinue Anticoagulation

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women taking oral anticoagulants for five to seven months after an unprovoked venous thromboembolism may discontinue therapy if they have one or fewer risk factors for recurrent venous thromboembolism, according to a report published in the Aug. 26 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Burning Incense Linked to Respiratory Tract Carcinoma

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term incense use may raise the risk of respiratory tract squamous cell carcinoma, according to research published online Aug. 25 in Cancer.

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Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Can Be Managed

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- An aggressive treatment strategy can manage patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, a disease often portrayed in the popular press as incurable, according to a report published online Aug. 25 in The Lancet.

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Cystic Fibrosis Drug Effective for Some Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- An oral drug that corrects the underlying genetic defect in some patients with cystic fibrosis can reduce the associated electrophysiological abnormalities, according to research published online Aug. 21 in The Lancet.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Imaging Characterizes Airway Inflammation in Mice

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Proton MRI was useful in assessing allergen-induced airway inflammation in mice, which was characterized by an early edematous response, followed by a later response featuring mucus, according to research published in the September issue of Radiology.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Silver-Coated Tubes Reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Silver-coated endotracheal tubes can reduce the occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in patients requiring mechanical ventilation, according to a report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gender Differences Identified in Asthma Pathogenesis

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Postpubertal females with asthma have more severe airway responsiveness compared with males and the responsiveness is associated with gender-specific factors, researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Improved Oxygen Systems Effective in Childhood Pneumonia

MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In developing countries, improved oxygen systems with pulse oximetry and oxygen concentrators can significantly reduce the death rate for children with pneumonia and are cost-effective compared to other public health interventions, according to a report published online Aug. 18 in The Lancet.

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Study Sheds Light on Air Pollution-Related Health Risks

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing the levels of air pollution is one strategy for decreasing its harmful effects, but identifying and regulating specific causal agents linked to air pollution-related health problems could lead to less cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, according to a report in the Aug. 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drugs Can Slow Lung Function Decline in Pulmonary Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Salmeterol and fluticasone propionate can slow the rate of decline in lung function in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Studies Show Stroke Risk from Abdominal Fat, Smoking

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal fat and smoking are strongly associated with an increased risk of stroke, according to the results of two case-control studies published online Aug. 14 in the journal Stroke.

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Chemotherapy Regimen for Lung Cancer Effective in Study

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A combination treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer can help control the disease with acceptable toxicity and is a possible alternative to platinum-based chemotherapy, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Child's Coughing Can Lead to Many Doctor Visits

THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric chronic cough was associated with repeated doctor visits and parental stress, though parental worries decreased when children ceased coughing, researchers report in the August issue of Chest.

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Russians Would Like More Tobacco Control

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many Russians would like to see more tobacco control and think that tobacco companies probably unduly influence politicians, but many also underestimate the dangers of smoking, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Tobacco Control.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Obese People May Have Specific Phenotype of Asthma

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma control among obese patients is poorer than that among non-obese patients, and the inflammatory characteristics and pattern of pulmonary function changes imply that there may be a different phenotype for asthma among obese patients, according to research published in the August issue of Chest.

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Extensively Drug-Resistant TB Tackled in Outpatients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis can be successfully treated in an outpatient setting, if they are HIV-negative, according to a report published in the Aug. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Exercise Link to Depression and Anxiety Examined

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is an association between regular exercise and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, exercise is not a causal factor, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Sleep Apnea Linked to Higher Death Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with moderate-to-severe sleep apnea or severe sleep-disordered breathing have a higher risk of death than those without sleeping problems, according to two studies published in the Aug. 1 issue of Sleep.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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