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July 2007 Briefing - Pulmonology

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

Marijuana Joint Obstructs Airflow More Than Tobacco

TUESDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- One marijuana joint obstructs airflow in the lungs as much as five tobacco cigarettes, according to a study published online July 31 in Thorax.

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Nasopharyngeal Aspiration Helps Pediatric TB Diagnosis

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Nasopharyngeal aspiration (NPA) is a simple and safe method for confirming pulmonary tuberculosis in young children who have difficulty expectorating sputum, reports a study published in the August issue of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Nursing, Other Occupations Linked to Adult Asthma

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial number of adult asthma cases are due to occupational exposure, particularly in nursing, or inhalation accidents such as fire or chemical spills, according to a study in the July 28 issue of The Lancet.

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Air Pollution Plus LDL May Spur Atherosclerosis

THURSDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Diesel exhaust particles may work in conjunction with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to cause atherosclerosis, suggests a study in cells and mice published online July 26 in Genome Biology.

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ICU Pneumonia Risk Rises with Decline in Nursing Staff

WEDNESDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Lower nurse-to-patient ratios are associated with increased likelihood of ventilator-associated pneumonia in the intensive care unit, according to a report published July 19 in the journal Critical Care.

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Pulmonary Artery Catheterizations Fall Sharply

TUESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Since 1993, pulmonary artery catheterization has dramatically declined in hospitals within the United States in response to a growing body of evidence that the procedure does not benefit and may even harm patients, according to a report published in the July 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Nasal Cannula Relieves Sleep Apnea Symptoms

TUESDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- A relatively non-invasive cannula that delivers warm, humidified air to nasal passages can reduce sleep apnea symptoms and may be more acceptable to patients than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, according to a report in the July issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Patient compliance to CPAP is only 50 percent to 60 percent due to side effects such as nasal irritation, claustrophobia and skin breakdown, the authors note.

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Prophylactic Anticoagulation Reduces Clots, Not Deaths

MONDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Routine prophylactic anticoagulation in hospitalized patients can reduce venous thromboembolic risks compared to placebo, but not mortality, according to study findings published in the July 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Risk of Pneumonia Increases in Lung Patients on Steroids

FRIDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who use inhaled corticosteroids may face an increased risk of developing severe pneumonia and dying from it, according to a new study in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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C-Reactive Protein Linked to Cognition in Child Sleep Apnea

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children with obstructive sleep apnea who have cognitive impairment are more likely to have increased levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) than children who do not exhibit cognitive impairment, according to study findings published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Suppressing Cytokines Won't Protect Against Avian Flu

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Chemical suppression of the 'cytokine storm' that occurs after infection with the Avian influenza virus does not prevent death, according to the results of a study in mice published online July 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Leflunomide Effective at Preventing Wegener's Relapse

WEDNESDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Leflunomide can prevent relapse of Wegener's granulomatosis, but with a high incidence of adverse events compared to methotrexate, according to the results of a randomized trial published in the July issue of Rheumatology. However, the high relapse rate associated with methotrexate caused that arm of the study to be halted early.

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Living Near Major Roads May Speed Atherosclerosis

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- People who live near heavily traveled roads are exposed to high amounts of pollution, which may accelerate the development and progression of atherosclerosis, researchers report in the July 31 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Bird Exposure Linked to Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis

THURSDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Common causes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis include exposure to birds and exposure to bird contaminated hot-tub water, according to study findings published in the July issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Performance-Related Pay Works Best with Quality Focus

THURSDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric care, pay-for-performance programs work best if they are combined with other collaborative efforts to improve the quality of care, according to the results of a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Diet Linked to Respiratory Function in Adolescents

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents with low dietary intake of fruit and certain fatty acids are at higher risk of poor respiratory function, researchers report in the July issue of Chest.

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Higher Cabin Pressure May Cut Air Travel Discomfort

MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Barometric pressures experienced during commercial air travel are insufficient to induce acute mountain sickness but still cause a significant amount of discomfort in unacclimatized passengers, researchers report in the July 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Increasing cabin pressure may help reduce this discomfort, the authors suggest.

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Exemptions in Smoke-Free Cities May Put Workers at Risk

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Employees of restaurants and bars that are exempt from local no-smoking laws may be more at risk from exposure to secondhand smoke than their colleagues in establishments that ban smoking, according to study findings published online June 28 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Merck Recalls Three Lots of Invanz Due to Glass Shards

FRIDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Three lots of Invanz (ertapenem sodium) were recalled this week due to two incidents in which pieces of broken glass were found in the reconstituted solution for injection. Merck & Co., Inc., of Whitehouse Station, N.J., issued a letter to health care professionals noting that it is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to inform its direct customers of the recall.

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Obese Elderly At Lower Risk of Active TB Than Non-Obese

WEDNESDAY, July 4 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is associated with a lower risk of active tuberculosis in elderly patients with the lung infection, according to the results of a study conducted in Hong Kong and published in the June 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Thiazolidinediones Appear OK for Heart Failure Patients

WEDNESDAY, July 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of thiazolidinediones (TZDs) is not associated with an increased risk for mortality or even hospitalization in patients with diabetes confounded by heart failure, according to a report in the July 3 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Universal Tuberculosis Screening Not Cost Effective

TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Both universal screening and targeted tuberculin skin testing of kindergartners to prevent tuberculosis are not cost-effective unless the prevalence of positive tuberculin skin tests is high, according to a study in the July issue of Pediatrics.

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Lung Lesion Probes Allow Minimally Invasive Biopsies

TUESDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- The combined use of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) and electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) is safe and effective for improving the diagnostic yield of flexible bronchoscopy in peripheral lung lesions without surgery, according to a report published in the July issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Impaired Lung Function Linked to Systemic Inflammation

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- In young adults, reduced lung capacity is independently associated with a high level of systemic inflammation, which could increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a report published online June 29 in Thorax.

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Papworth Method Benefits Adults with Mild Asthma

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- The Papworth method -- a series of integrated breathing and relaxation exercises developed in the 1960s -- may help improve symptoms, dysfunctional breathing and mood in adults with mild asthma, according to study findings published online June 29 in Thorax.

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Adult Atopy Intensified by Cat Allergen

MONDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Having a cat in the house can exacerbate bronchial responsiveness of adults with asthma or allergies even if the person tests negative for sensitivity to feline allergen, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing
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