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November 2006 Briefing - Pulmonology

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

Atopy a Risk Factor for Ocular Herpes Disease

THURSDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Atopic disease -- and especially severe atopy -- is a risk factor for ocular herpes simplex virus disease, according to a report in the November issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Cutting Smoking in Half Doesn't Impact Early Death

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing cigarette consumption by more than 50 percent does not significantly lower the risk for all-cause mortality, death due to cardiovascular disease or smoking-related cancer for men and women, according to a report in the December issue of Tobacco Control.

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FDA Issues Warning About Methadone

TUESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a public health advisory warning to health care professionals prescribing methadone hydrochloride (Dolophine). Death and life-threatening side effects, such as severe respiratory problems and cardiac arrhythmias, have occurred in patients prescribed the drug for new pain, or who are being switched from other narcotic pain relievers.

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Smoking During Pregnancy May Impact Children's Smoking

TUESDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are more likely to smoke regularly themselves and to start smoking before age 14 than children whose mothers never smoked or who smoked at other times, according to study findings published online Nov. 28 in Tobacco Control.

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Avian Flu Clusters Found in Turkey and Indonesia

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Clusters of human H5N1 virus infection have been identified in Turkey and Indonesia, although the diagnoses in Turkey were at first difficult to make, according to two studies published in the Nov. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Four Botulism Cases Due to Unlicensed Botulinum Toxin

TUESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Four cases of botulism occurred when a suspended clinician used an unlicensed preparation of botulinum toxin A for cosmetic purposes, with some patients receiving doses more than 40 times the estimated lethal dose in humans, according to the Nov. 22/29 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Parental Leave Policies Vary Across Specialty Boards

TUESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Restrictions on how long residents can take parental-leave breaks from training and still qualify for specialty board certification are not uniform, and current policies lack the flexibility working parents need, according to a report in the November issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Retinoic Acid Does Not Benefit Emphysema Patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Retinoic acid treatment does not improve pulmonary function or quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, according to the results of a study published in the November issue of Chest.

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Central Venous O2 Linked to Postop Complications

FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Low central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO2) during high-risk surgery is linked to postoperative complications, according to a report published Nov. 13 online in the peer-reviewed open access journal Critical Care.

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Perceived Asthma Control Reduces Emergency Visits

FRIDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma patients who feel more in control of their asthma have better health and quality of life and are less likely to visit the emergency department or be hospitalized for asthma, according to study findings published in the November issue of Chest.

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Greater Risk of COPD in HIV-Positive Men

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- HIV-positive men have a 50 percent to 60 percent higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than HIV-negative men, according to a study in the November issue of Chest.

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Regular Smoking in Childhood Linked to Asthma

THURSDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Children and adolescents who report regular smoking have a nearly fourfold risk for developing asthma, according to a report in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Environmental Tobacco Linked to Respiratory Symptoms

THURSDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Bronchial hyperresponsiveness may put people exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at greater risk for respiratory symptoms, researchers report in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Midlife Self-Care Extends Men's Life Span into 80s, 90s

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged men who avoid common risk factors for chronic disease have a better chance of achieving an "exceptional" survival, defined as living to age 85 and beyond without physical or mental impairment, according to a study published in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Google Useful to Help Doctors Diagnose Difficult Cases

FRIDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing availability of Internet access on hospital wards and in outpatient clinics is enabling more and more doctors to access the Web and use the search engine Google to help diagnose difficult cases, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in BMJ.

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Asthma Ups Acute Chest Syndrome, Pain in Sickle Cell

FRIDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Children with sickle cell anemia who also have asthma have a higher incidence of acute chest syndrome and pain than those without asthma, researchers report in the Nov. 1 issue of Blood.

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High B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels Up Women's Death Risk

THURSDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) blood levels are associated with a higher mortality risk for women with heart failure than for men, researchers report in the Nov. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Persistent Dermatitis Related to Egg Sensitivity

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- While most children eventually outgrow atopic dermatitis, children with an early sensitivity to eggs are more likely to have persistent atopic dermatitis than those with other types of allergy, researchers report in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. What's more, such children are also at greater risk of developing asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis by adolescence or young adulthood.

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Inhaled Insulin Safe and Effective Alternative to Shots

TUESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled insulin is a safe and effective alternative to injections for pre-meal insulin administration, according to a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials published in the Nov. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Flu-Related Costs in Children Underestimated

MONDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The cost of influenza-related hospitalizations in children may be higher than previously estimated, according to a report in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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Multiple Organ Failure Causes Most ICU Deaths

FRIDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple organ failure is responsible for about half of deaths of critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), while malignant tumor disease and chronic cardiovascular disease were the most frequent causes of death after ICU discharge, according to the results of a study published online Nov. 3 in Critical Care.

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Youth Anti-Smoking Ads Can Have Opposite Effect

THURSDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Tobacco company-funded ads aimed at curbing youth smoking do not seem to work, and when directed at parents, such ads may actually increase the risk of smoking among teens, according to a study published online Oct. 31 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Stop-Smoking Program Effective in Psychotic Patients

THURSDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A stop-smoking program is effective for smoking cessation and smoking reduction in individuals with a psychotic disorder, according to the results of a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Test Good Predictor of Survival in Pulmonary Hypertension

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), a non-invasive echo-derived test, is a powerful measure of right heart function that predicts survival in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to an article in the November issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Sildenafil Stops Rebound Hypertension in Children

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Single-dose, prophylactic sildenafil prevents rebound pulmonary arterial hypertension in children after weaning from inhaled nitric oxide, and decreases mechanical ventilation duration, according to research published in the November issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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