December 2012 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for December 2012. 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.

High Risk of Pulmonary Embolism Seen in Severe Asthma

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with asthma are at higher risk of pulmonary embolism, particularly if the asthma is severe or they take oral corticosteroids, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in the European Respiratory Journal.

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Good Long-Term Outcomes With CPAP for Extreme Preemies

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For very premature infants there is no significant difference in death or neurodevelopmental impairment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) versus surfactant; however, lower oxygen-saturation targets cannot be recommended as mortality is still lower with higher oxygen saturation, according to a study published in the Dec. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Motor Vehicle Incidents Common in Medical Residents

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- During training, internal medicine residents commonly experience motor vehicle incidents, including crashes and near misses, but less commonly experience blood and body fluid (BBF) exposures, according to research published in the December issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Secondhand Smoke Affects Many Living in Multiunit Housing

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Many residents of multiunit housing (MUH) experience secondhand smoke (SHS) infiltration, despite having smoke-free home rules, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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Amoxicillin of Little Benefit in Lower-Respiratory Infection

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In cases of lower-respiratory-tract infection when pneumonia is not suspected, amoxicillin provides little symptomatic benefit, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Childhood Abuse Tied to Adult-Onset Asthma in Black Women

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- There is a positive association between adult-onset asthma and physical abuse in childhood among African-American women, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Many Docs Use Social Media to Find, Share Medical Data

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians use social media on at least a weekly basis, and report that it improves the quality of patient care they deliver, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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Length-of-Stay, Readmissions Down in VA Hospitals

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Over a 14-year period (1997 to 2010), the risk-adjusted hospital length of stay (LOS) and hospital readmission rates decreased throughout Veterans Affairs hospitals, according to a study published in the Dec. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Significant, Complex Link ID'd Between Sleepiness, Vitamin D

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant correlation between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and sleepiness, which is affected by race for individuals with vitamin D deficiency (VitDd; defined as 25(OH)D <20 ng/mL), according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Health Care Satisfaction Rated As High by Unacculturated Hispanics

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic patients, particularly unacculturated Hispanics, rate their health care experience more highly than do other patient groups, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

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FDA: Chantix May Raise Risk for Cardiovascular Events

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- People who take the smoking cessation drug Chantix may be at increased risk for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), according to a Dec. 12 Drug Safety Coummnication bulletin posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Current Health Costs Pushing Docs to Make Urgent Choices

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The current growth in health care's share of the gross domestic product (GDP) and need to implement learning health systems is forcing physicians to make important choices, according to a perspective piece published online Dec. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Any Amount of Smoking Ups Sudden Cardiac Death in Women

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For women without coronary heart disease (CHD) at baseline, smoking, even in small quantities, is associated with a significantly increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), according to research published online Dec. 11 in Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

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Benzodiazepines Linked to Higher Risk of Pneumonia

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of developing pneumonia as well as increased mortality following pneumonia, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in Thorax.

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Number of Independent Physicians Continues to Decline

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Physician business models are transforming, with a sustained shift away from independent practice, according to report released by the consulting firm Accenture.

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Risk of Asthma Up for Children Born After Fertility Treatment

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to subfertile parents are more likely to have asthma, with the likelihood further increased for children born after the use of assisted reproduction technologies (ARTs), according to a study published online Dec. 5 in Human Reproduction.

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Anticompetitive Market Power Common in Managed Care Plans

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For each of the three most popular types of managed care plans in the United States (point-of-service plan [POS], health maintenance organization [HMO], and preferred provider organization [PPO]), anticompetitive market power is widespread, according to a Nov. 28 news release from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Obese Patients Require More Operating Room Time

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Heavier patients undergoing lobectomy for lung cancer require more time in the operating room, regardless of a hospital's volume of obese patients or lobectomies, according to a study published in the December issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Extended Sleep Time Linked to Reduced Pain Sensitivity

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Extending bedtime for sleepy healthy adults reduces daytime sleepiness and correlates with reduced pain sensitivity, according to a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of SLEEP.

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Five-Hour Protected Sleep Feasible for Medical Interns

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a five-hour period of protected sleep is feasible for medical interns on long shifts, resulting in interns getting more uninterrupted sleep and feeling more alert the next day, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Few Internal Medicine Residents Choosing Primary Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Only about one in five graduating internal medicine residents in the United States plan to enter general internal medicine (GIM), which is more common among graduates of primary care programs, women, and U.S. medical graduates, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sequential CT Screening Can Identify Indolent Lung Cancers

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Changes in size on sequential low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screenings, expressed as volume doubling time (VDT), indicate that about 25 percent of progressive lung cancers are slow growing or indolent, with higher lung cancer-specific mortality for new versus slow-growing or indolent cancers, according to a study published in the Dec. 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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CDC: Flu Season Has Started and Hitting Hard

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Flu season descended on the United States early and hard this year, with significant increases in flu activity observed in just the past two weeks, according to a Nov. 30 weekly surveillance report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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United States at Tipping Point in Helping Smokers Quit

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The United States stands poised on the brink of implementing health insurance coverage requirements that will help smokers quit, but the federal government and many states now offer too little help, according to a report issued Dec. 3 by the American Lung Association.

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Increasing Number of Workers in Self-Insured Health Plans

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a recent increase in the percentage of workers in the private sector who are enrolled in self-insured health plans, in which the employer assumes the financial risk related to health insurance (unlike a fully-insured plan, where the insurance company assumes the risk), according to research published in the November issue of the Employee Benefit Research Institute's Notes.

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Physician's Briefing