January 2008 Briefing - Pulmonology

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

Secondhand Smoke Lowers Lung Function in Cystic Fibrosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with cystic fibrosis, exposure to secondhand smoke adversely affects lung function, and its effects may be especially detrimental in patients with variations in the causative gene (CFTR) and the cystic fibrosis modifier gene (TGFβ1), according to research published in the Jan. 30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Intraclot Alteplase Tested in Deep Vein Thrombosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT), direct injection, or "lacing," of the clot with alteplase may be an effective alternative to continuous-infusion thrombolytic regimens, while minimizing patient exposure to systemic thrombolytics, according to an article published in Radiology in February.

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Snoring Associated with Chronic Bronchitis

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Snoring may play a role in the development of chronic bronchitis, according to study findings published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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PJ-34 Treatment Reduces Lung Injury in Ventilated Rats

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Inhibition of poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP) by intravenous administration of PJ-34 can reduce ventilator-induced lung injury and protect kidney function in rats, researchers report in the February issue of Anesthesiology.

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Virulence Factors of Ebola, Anthrax Elucidated

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Anthrax bacteria require production of their own nitric oxide (NO) to be virulent, one group of researchers has found, while another research group has generated a modified Ebola virus that can be safely handled outside a biosafety level-4 facility, according to two studies published online Jan. 22 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Nasal Wash Benefits Children with Colds and Flu

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In school-age children, the regular use of a saline nasal wash may help reduce cold and flu symptoms and may also help prevent future upper respiratory tract infections, researchers report in the January issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Lengthy Exposure to Maternal Distress Ups Asthma Risk

MONDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Children exposed to maternal distress - particularly after the postpartum period - face an increased risk of developing asthma, according to research published in the Jan. 15 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Tighter Air Regulations May Lead to Decreased Mortality

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Using current particulate data for 26 European cities, members of the Apheis network hypothesized that the greater the reduction of concentration of fine particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) in air in European cities, the greater the decrease in mortality among people 30 years of age and up, according to study findings published in the February issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Smoking's Link to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Examined

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Although current smokers have a lower mortality from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) than former smokers -- in accordance with the literature -- survival is higher in lifelong non-smokers than former smokers or current and former smokers together, according to research published in the Jan. 15 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Maternal Mediterranean Diet Reduces Childhood Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Women who adhere to a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy are less likely to have children who suffer from wheeze and atopy, according to a report published online Jan. 15 in Thorax.

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Documenting Smoking Status Only Modestly Beneficial

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Primary-care practices that document patient smoking status during vital-signs assessments are somewhat more likely to offer simple advice to quit. But the intervention does not lead to more intensive counseling, researchers report in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Protein Linked to Airway Change in Chronic Asthma

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Pin1 protein contributes to lung fibrosis and airway remodeling in chronic asthma by regulating activated eosinophils' production of transforming growth factor-beta-1 (TGF-β1), according to research published online Jan. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Race Affects Indicator of Lung Inflammation in Children

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In children, race is a factor that affects the fractional concentration of exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) -- an indicator of airway inflammation in people with asthma -- according to research published in the January issue of Chest.

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Changes to Childhood Vaccination Schedule

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has published its annual update on recommendations for childhood immunization in the Jan. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Daily Stopping of Sedation in ICU Patients Promising

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Among mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients, a daily period of interruption of sedation paired with a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) leads to fewer days spent on the ventilator, shorter intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays, and reduced mortality compared to patients treated with daily SBTs alone, reports an article published in the Jan. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Editorial

Flu Shots Don't Cut Pulmonary Disease Exacerbations

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although a large percentage of people with α1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) were vaccinated against influenza during a recent flu season, it didn't reduce their exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a report published in the January issue of Chest.

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Smokers Show Changes in Skeletal Muscles

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Changes in skeletal muscle in smokers indicate that tobacco smoke may impair the normal process of nitric oxide generation, according to research published in the January issue of the journal Chest.

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Comorbidities Associated with Poor Lung Cancer Survival

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of chronic medical conditions but not older age is associated with poorer survival in patients receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension in Children Studied

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Use of inhaled iloprost in children with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) reduces pulmonary artery pressure equivalent to nitric oxide and leads to functional improvement in over one-third of children, according to an article published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Lower Drug Copayments Improve Patient Adherence

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing drug copayments increased patients' adherence to medications, according to a report published in the January/February issue of Health Affairs.

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Sleep Apnea Inhibits Heart Rate Recovery After Exercise

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may have attenuated heart rate recovery after exercise, researchers report in the January issue of Sleep.

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Movie Smoking May Influence Both Children and Adolescents

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to smoking in movies significantly increases the risk that elementary school children will begin smoking, according to a report published in the January issue of Pediatrics. A second report finds that European adolescents are more likely to try smoking after being exposed to smoking in American movies.

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Farm Pesticides Linked to Adult-Onset Asthma

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In farm women, exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of adult-onset atopic asthma but not non-atopic asthma, according to a report published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Salmeterol/Fluticasone Benefits COPD Patients

MONDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the exacerbation rate is similar in those prescribed either salmeterol/fluticasone propionate or tiotropium. But those treated with salmeterol/fluticasone propionate may have a higher overall health status and a reduced risk of death, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Surgery Not First Choice to Treat Sleep Apnea

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that surgery is becoming widespread in some countries as the first line of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, this is not supported by research findings and should only be done as part of a clinical trial, in which patients are fully informed of the risks, according to an article published in the Jan. 5 issue of BMJ.

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Agreement on Lung CT Scans Leaves Room for Improvement

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Experienced radiologists who interpreted low-dose computed tomographic (CT) screening examinations for lung cancer had moderate to substantial interobserver agreement, though their results offered room for considerable improvement, according to research published in the January issue of Radiology.

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Lung Cancer Surgery Has Big Impact on Quality of Life

TUESDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery for early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer has a big impact on subsequent health-related quality of life, according to a report published in the Jan. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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