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May 2009 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for May 2009. 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.

Cancer Physicians Often Do Not Take Part in Bereavement

FRIDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Many cancer physicians do not routinely participate in the bereavement process after patients die, and terminally ill lung cancer patients often have not discussed hospice with their health care providers, according to a pair of studies in the May 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Computerized Prescription Order Errors a Risk for Patients

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Computerized provider order entry systems are prone to input errors that may put patients at risk, according to a study published in the May 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Focus on Meaningful Work Protects Doctors From Burnout

THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Academic faculty physicians who focus on what they find most meaningful are less likely to experience burnout, according to a study published in the May 25 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Cancer Deaths Reported Down Between 1990 and 2005

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- A 19.2 percent drop in cancer deaths in men and an 11.4 percent drop in women avoided about 650,000 cancer deaths between 1990 and 2005, according to the American Cancer Society's annual report of cancer statistics in CA, A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Thermal Printer Chemical Can Provoke Asthma Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- A job printing lottery tickets with a thermal printer in a tiny kiosk paid off in acute asthma symptoms for a 62-year-old woman, according to a case report in the May 28 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Acid Suppressors Linked to Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Among inpatients, treatment with acid-suppressive medication -- particularly proton-pump inhibitors -- may significantly increase the risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia, according to a study published in the May 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Drug-Resistant Pneumonia Emerging in Healthy People

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Community-acquired meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an emerging cause of pneumonia in otherwise healthy individuals, according to a case report and review in the June issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Democrats Set Ambitious Goal for Health Care Reform

THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Congressional Democrats face formidable challenges in their efforts to pass health care reform legislation by July 31, but physicians can take the lead to ensure changes are enacted, according to two perspectives published online May 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sticking to Work Hours Limits Very Costly

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to the 2003 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) limits on work hours, and other measures aimed at reducing fatigue among residents, would be costly with no proven benefits, according to an article published in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Early Angiography Benefits High-Risk Coronary Patients

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- For high-risk patients with acute coronary syndrome, coronary angiography within hours after presentation can reduce the chance of subsequent death, heart attack and stroke, according to a study in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Antihypertensive Drugs Also Benefit Non-Hypertensives

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- In everyone at risk for heart attack or stroke -- including those with normal blood pressure -- antihypertensive treatment significantly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease events and stroke, according to a study published online May 19 in BMJ.

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Door-to-Balloon Delays Increase Risk of Death

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- In patients admitted with ST elevation myocardial infarction, any delay in primary percutaneous coronary intervention is associated with an increased risk of death, according to a study published online May 19 in BMJ.

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Device, Surgery Both Found Effective in Sleep Apnea

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The mandibular advancement device (MAD) is effective in the treatment of most obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), while surgery should be reserved for patients in whom conservative treatments have failed, according to studies reported in the May issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery.

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Findings Support Clopidogrel Guideline Recommendations

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The use of clopidogrel in patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE-ACS) is associated with suitable ischemic reduction and bleeding outcomes to support its use before cardiac catheterization, even if patients should need coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), according to research published in the May 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Elderly Patients Use Multiple Strategies to Combat Dyspnea

MONDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease use a variety of techniques and strategies to cope with the dyspnea associated with their condition, according to a study published in the May issue of Applied Nursing Research.

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CDC: Thousands Sickened by Pool Chemical Exposures

MONDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Thousands of people have sought treatment at hospital emergency departments or poison centers in recent years as a result of exposure to swimming pool chemicals, according to a study published in the May 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Speech Therapy Exercises Relieve Sleep Apnea

FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- The specialized exercises used in speech therapy can be adapted and used to reduce the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), according to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Maintaining Airway Pressure Benefits Post-Op Patients

FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Maintaining positive airway pressure in patients after cardiac surgery can improve arterial oxygenation and reduce pulmonary complications, according to a study published in the May issue of Chest.

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Smokers' Lower Body Weight Linked to Airway Gene

FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- The lower body weight in chronic smokers compared to nonsmokers may be caused by the increased expression of a gene in the airways that stimulates fat depletion, according to a study in the May issue of Chest.

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Activity Helps Intensive Care Patients' Functional Outcomes

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) return to normal functioning faster when their sedation is interrupted daily by periods of physical activity, according to a study in the May 14 issue of The Lancet.

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Combined Treatment May Offer Bronchiolitis Benefit

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The use of nebulized epinephrine and oral dexamethasone in infants presenting to emergency departments with bronchiolitis might reduce later hospital admission, according to research published in the May 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Number of Swine Flu Cases in U.S. Exceeds 2,500

MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has surpassed Mexico to become the nation with the most confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu, according to figures released May 11 by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Low Intake of Vitamins A and C May Increase Risk of Asthma

FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Low dietary intake of vitamins A and C is associated with higher odds of asthma, according to a study published online on April 30 in Thorax which contradicts the findings of a large study published last year.

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Triple-Reassortant Swine Virus Seen Since 2005 in US

THURSDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Eleven cases of infection similar to the swine flu outbreak currently under way -- triple-reassortant swine influenza A (H1) viruses -- have been documented since 2005 in the United States, according to a study led by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and released May 7 by the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was accompanied by another study, two editorials, and three perspectives focused on the swine flu outbreak.

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Little Evidence to Support Some H1N1 Flu Measures

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Some of the interventions that have been introduced in the wake of the outbreak of H1N1 flu have little or no evidence to support them, according to an editorial published online May 5 in The Lancet, while a report in the same journal asks whether or not the international response to the outbreak was fast enough.

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CDC Confirms Over 400 H1N1 Flu Cases

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- As of May 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 403 cases of H1N1 flu nationally in 38 states, with over 700 additional probable cases which, if confirmed, will mean the disease has spread across 44 states. The CDC continues to urge the public to rigorously observe preventive measures.

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High Urine Albumin Linked to Venous Thromboembolism

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Already a recognized risk factor for arterial thromboembolism, microalbuminuria also is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Heart Arrhythmias Increase Mortality in Catheterizations

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation (VT/VF) during and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is associated with higher death rates within 90 days, according to a study published in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Medical Center Press Releases Often Lacking Key Details

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Press releases from academic medical centers may often overstate the importance of research findings while failing to acknowledge relevant limitations of the studies, according to research published in the May 5 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Chronic Kidney Disease Linked to Higher Risk of Cancer

MONDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate chronic kidney disease may raise older men's risk of cancer by nearly 40 percent, according to research published online April 30 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Chemical Explains Problems After External Circulation

MONDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Cyclohexanone, a compound used to make intravenous bags and extracorporeal circulation equipment, can leach into the contained fluids and cause cardiovascular morbidities similar to those observed after extracorporeal circulation, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

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Cetuximab May Improve Survival in Advanced Lung Cancer

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer treated with chemotherapy and cetuximab (Erbitux) survived significantly longer than patients treated with chemotherapy alone, according to a multinational study reported in the May 2 issue of The Lancet.

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Folate Levels Linked to Markers of Asthma

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- High blood folate levels are associated with lower levels of markers of allergy, according to a study published online May 1 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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H1N1 Flu Poses Major Surveillance Challenge

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Containment of the influenza A strain H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak is probably impossible because cases are already geographically widespread and countries with fragile health systems lack the ability to properly conduct surveillance and containment activities, according to an editorial published online April 30 in BMJ.

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More Americans Reporting Disability

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- The number of Americans reporting disabilities rose by 7.7 percent from 44.1 million in 1999 to 47.5 million in 2005, according to a report in the May 1 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC: More Than 100 H1N1 Flu Infections in US

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- As of Thursday, April 30, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 109 cases of influenza A strain H1N1, or swine flu, in the United States, with 50 cases in New York, 26 in Texas, 14 in California, 10 in South Carolina, and the rest in seven other states. So far, only one death has been recorded.

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Physician's Briefing