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June 2006 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for June 2006. 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.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

FDA Warns of Ketek-Associated Liver Problems

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FRIDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to health care professionals and patients to be aware of the potential of rare, but serious risks of liver injury with the antibiotic Ketek (telithromycin).

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Chest X-Rays May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

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WEDNESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women with inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes may be at greater risk of developing breast cancer after exposure to chest X-rays compared with BRCA1/BRCA2 carriers who aren't exposed to X-rays, according to a report published online June 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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U.S. Surgeon General Issues Report on Secondhand Smoke

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TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Secondhand smoke exposure increases non-smokers' heart disease and lung cancer risk and causes early death in non-smoking children and adults, according to a new scientific report issued June 27 by U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D.

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Viagra Helps Cyclists' Exercise Performance at High Altitude

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TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Sildenafil (Viagra) may improve exercise performance in men cycling at conditions similar to those found at high altitudes, but does not affect performance at sea level, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Possible Mechanism of Asbestos Carcinogenesis Found

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FRIDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a cellular signaling pathway triggered by asbestos that allows mesothelial cells to escape death and possibly become cancerous, according to a study published online June 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Adherence to COPD Treatment Guidelines Varies by Hospital

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FRIDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the presence of evidence-based, well-accepted guidelines for acute care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, treatment adherence varies by hospital and is often low, according to a report in the June 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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New Tumor Suppressor ID'd in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

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WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- The DnaJ-like heat shock protein (HLJ1) previously associated with tumor invasion has now been identified as a tumor suppressor in non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC), according to a report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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FDA and Novartis Issue Recall of Triaminic Vapor Patch

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WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Novartis Consumer Health of Parsippany, N.J., have issued a voluntary recall of the Triaminic Vapor Patch, a cough suppressant that is applied to the throat or chest but which has been accidentally ingested by some children. In one case in Canada, a child had a seizure after removing the patch and chewing it.

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Milk Thistle Flavanone Cuts Lung Tumor Growth in Mice

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WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Silibinin, a flavanone from milk thistle, reduces the size and number of lung tumors as well as the density of blood vessels feeding the tumors when given to mice as part of their diets, according to a study in the June 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Company-Sponsored Trials Affect Physician Choice of Meds

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TUESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians participating in a company-sponsored clinical trial are not likely to stray from recommended treatment guidelines but they do tend to prescribe more of the company's drugs, according to a report in the June 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Natural History of Adult Asthma Follows Predictable Pattern

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TUESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The evolution of asthma severity in adults is somewhat predictable, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Cats, Ragweed Exposures Up Airway Hyperresponsiveness

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MONDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- At-risk children exposed to cat, dust mite, cockroach and ragweed have a greater chance of lung airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), according to a report in the June issue of Chest.

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Brief CPAP Does Not Ease Hypertension in Sleep Apnea

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MONDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) does not significantly alleviate high blood pressure in patients with arterial hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, according to a report in the June issue of Chest.

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Odor Intolerance May Be Sign of Airway Hyperreactivity

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FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with self-reported intolerance to odors are more likely to be sensitive to inhaled capsaicin and may have a condition known as airway sensory hyperreactivity, Swedish researchers report in the June issue of Chest.

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CDC Reports Mild Flu Season, But Virus Still Circulating

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FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although the United States had a mild influenza season in 2005-2006, the flu virus remains active, and the so-called avian flu (H5N1) virus is still spreading across other parts of the world, according to a report in the June 16 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Chlorhexidine Reduces Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

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FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) can be reduced by topical application of chlorhexidine into the buccal cavity instead of antibiotics, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Only One in Three COPD Patients Use Spirometry

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FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although spirometry is recommended for diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in two international guidelines, the breathing test designed to diagnose and monitor lung problems is used inconsistently, according to a review of Veterans Administration records published in the June issue of Chest.

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CF Patients Can Safely Stop Using Inhaled Corticosteroids

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FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled corticosteroids, which have been used as an anti-inflammatory agent in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) despite a lack of supporting evidence, can safely be withdrawn, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Asthmatic Kids More Sensitive to Small Particulate Matter

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FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Asthmatic children show increased sensitivity to particulate air pollutants compared with healthy children as measured by the percentage of eosinophils in their nasal fluid, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Smokers with Wrinkles Have Higher Risk of COPD

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THURSDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers and ex-smokers with facial wrinkling are at higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published online on June 14 in Thorax.

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Radiotherapy Helps Survival in Some with Lung Cancer

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TUESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stage II or stage III non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and N2 nodal disease treated with post-operative radiation therapy have better survival rates than those who undergo surgery alone, according to a study published online June 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Folic Acid May Slow or Stop Premalignant Lesions

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MONDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Folic acid supplementation may slow progression and reduce the size of precancerous laryngeal lesions, according to a study published online June 12 in Cancer.

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Short Antibiotic Course Effectively Treats Pneumonia

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FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Three days of intravenous antibiotic treatment are as effective as seven to 10 days of intravenous and oral antibiotic treatment for patients with community-acquired pneumonia who respond to the intravenous treatment, according to a study published in the June 10 issue of BMJ.

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Long-Acting ß-Agonists Raise Risk of Fatal Asthma Attacks

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FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- The use of long-acting ß-agonists increases the risk of severe, life-threatening and fatal exacerbations of asthma, according to a review published online June 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Repeat Prenatal Corticosteroids May Be Safe for Infants

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FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Repeat injections of corticosteroids as opposed to a single injection given to a woman at risk of preterm delivery can reduce an infant's risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and seem to be safe, although more study is needed to determine the long-term impact on the child's neurological development, according to a report in the June 10 issue of The Lancet.

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Hantavirus Cases on the Rise in Western United States

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FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials are calling for stepped-up public awareness and precautions against Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) after more human cases of the potentially fatal illness surfaced in five western states during the first three months of 2006 than in the same time period in 2005, according to a report in the June 9 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Lung Cancer Screening May Cause Overdiagnosis

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THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer screening could be responsible for more diagnoses than actual cases of the disease, according to a long-term follow-up of the Mayo Lung Project published in the June 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Breathing Techniques Can Cut Over-Use of Inhaler

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THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with asthma who use breathing techniques or upper-body exercises can reduce their use of reliever inhalers by up to 80 percent, according to a study published online June 5 in Thorax.

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Treating Pneumonia in Nursing Homes Reduces Costs

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TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Treating pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections using a clinical pathway in the nursing home can be effective, while reducing hospitalizations and saving costs, according to a study in the June 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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COPD Patients Benefit From Inhaled Corticosteroids

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MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience fewer exacerbations when treated with inhaled corticosteroids compared with placebo, according to a meta-analysis reported in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Zinc Supplements Do Not Help Children with Pneumonia

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FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children treated with zinc for severe pneumonia fare no better than children treated with a placebo, researchers report in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Pulmonary Resection Helps in Small Cell Lung Cancer

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THURSDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with early small cell lung cancer who have pulmonary resection surgery with a curative intent have a better median survival rate than those with a palliative procedure, and the surgery has a low morbidity and mortality for those with stage I or II cancer, according to a study published in the May issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Urban Air Pollution Linked to Stroke Admissions

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THURSDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Environmental ozone and carbon monoxide levels are associated with emergency department admissions for cerebrovascular disease, according to a study conducted in Taipei, Taiwan, and published in the May issue of the European Heart Journal.

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