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October 2006 Briefing - Pulmonology

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

New Strain of Avian Flu Found in Southern China

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A new strain of avian influenza has been found in market poultry in southern China in the last year, which has already spread throughout Southeast Asia and is responsible for some recent cases of human infection in China, according to a study published Oct. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. The researchers suggest that this variant may be responsible for a third wave of avian flu.

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Subpollen Particles May Be Cause of Seasonal Asthma

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Subpollen particles of breathable size released by ragweed contain allergenic proteins and induce allergic airway inflammation in a mouse model of asthma, possibly explaining some severe symptoms of seasonal asthma, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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One in Four Long-Term Smokers Will Develop COPD

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term smokers have a one in four chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a study published in the November issue of Thorax.

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Preterm Infants at Higher Risk of Asthma

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A meta-analysis of published studies suggests that infants born prematurely are at higher risk than full-term infants of developing asthma later in life, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Pneumococcal Vaccine Still Effective with Fewer Doses

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccination of pediatric patients with two or three doses of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is just as effective at preventing pneumococcal disease as the currently recommended schedule of four doses, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 28 issue of The Lancet.

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U.S. Decline in Smoking May Be Stalled

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Data from a 2005 survey indicates that 20.9 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, a finding that could mean the number of adult smokers in the United States has not declined for the first time in eight years, according to a report in the Oct. 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Spiral CT Scans Can Detect Lung Cancer While Still Curable

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Yearly spiral computed tomography (CT) screening exams of at-risk individuals can detect lung cancer at a point when it may still be curable, according to a report in the Oct. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sensitivity to Ladybug Allergen More Common Than Thought

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Ladybug allergies are apparently more common than once thought, according to three reports in the October issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology that describe adults and children with high sensitivity for ladybug allergens.

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FDA Approves Omnaris for Hay Fever

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the nasal spray Omnaris (ciclesonide) for the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis among adults and children aged 12 and older.

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Anxiety Disorders Associated with Physical Conditions

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Anxiety disorders are linked with many serious physical conditions, a co-morbidity that increases the risk of disability and a poor quality of life, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Measles Vaccine Response Same in Asthmatic Children

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma seem to respond to the measles vaccine just as those without asthma, according to a report in the October issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Previous work has suggested that children with a TH2-predominant condition such as asthma may have a weaker response to the vaccine and may predispose these children to measles outbreaks.

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High-Dose Fluticasone Impairs Adrenal Function in Children

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children prescribed more than the maximum recommended daily dose of inhaled fluticasone proprionate are more likely to experience adrenal insufficiency, according to a report in the October issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Celiac Disease Increases Susceptibility to Active TB

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of developing active tuberculosis is four times higher among those with celiac disease than those with no gluten intolerance, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in Thorax.

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Obesity Boosts Complications of Sleep Apnea Surgery

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing surgery to relieve sleep apnea are at higher risk of serious complications if they have other medical conditions, are undergoing concurrent non-nasal procedures, have more severe sleep apnea, or have a high body mass index, according to a study in the October issue of Archives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery.

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Visible Mold Increases Wheezing Risk in Infants

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Visible mold but not house dust mite allergen appears to increase the risk of wheezing in high-risk infants by at least twofold, according to a study in the October issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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Infant Lung Function May Predict Childhood Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns with reduced lung function may have an increased risk of developing asthma by age 10, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Breathing Exercises Reduce Pneumonia Risk After Bypass

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are at high risk of pneumonia or other pulmonary complications after coronary artery bypass graft surgery are less likely to experience problems if they undergo preoperative inspiratory muscle training (IMT), according to study results published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Delivery of Pediatric Flu Shots Delayed in U.S.

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement warning parents in the United States that delivery of influenza vaccines will be delayed until at least November. The delay affects children aged 6 months to 3 years.

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Heme Oxygenase-1 May Cut Lung Injury from Silicosis

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The oxidative damage to lung associated with chronic exposure to silica can be suppressed by upregulation of the antioxidant heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and may suggest a novel strategy for treatment of the disease, according to a report in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Respiratory Distress Survivors Have Lower Quality of Life

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome have a lower quality of life and are at higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although this risk is reduced by social support, according to the results of a study published Oct. 15 in Critical Care.

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U.S. Hospital Mortality Rates Improve, But Quality Varies

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although mortality rates at U.S. hospitals are generally improving, the quality varies widely, with a typical Medicare patient having a 69 percent lower chance of dying in the best hospitals compared with the worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 16 by HealthGrades, an independent health care rating group.

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Computer Program Helps Wean Mechanical Ventilation

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A computer-based weaning program can reduce the time critical patients spend on mechanical ventilation and, in turn, help shorten their stay in the intensive care unit, according to a report in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Monoclonal Promising to Prevent, Treat Avian Influenza

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Humanized monoclonal antibodies against avian influenza virus H5N1 can prevent infection in mice when given before lethal challenge and are an effective treatment after infection with the virus, according to a report published online Oct. 14 in Respiratory Research.

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Living Close to Heavy Industry May Raise Lung Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term residence close to heavy industry areas may cause a modest increase in the risk of females developing lung cancer, according to a study published online Oct. 13 in Thorax.

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Intranasal Flu Vaccine May Help Patients with COPD

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A combination of an intranasal influenza vaccine and a conventional intramuscular flu shot may improve airflow obstruction and functional status in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who develop acute respiratory illness during flu season, according to a study in the October issue of Chest.

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Race, Sex, Age Impact Level-I Trauma Center Transfers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Even after controlling for injury severity, non-clinical factors such as race, gender, age and insurance status significantly impact a patient's risk for hospital transfer to level-I trauma centers, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Gastroesophageal Reflux May Worsen COPD

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have twice the rate of COPD exacerbations as patients with COPD alone, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Chest.

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Family History of Lung Cancer Increases Lung Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Having a family history of lung cancer increases the risk of developing lung cancer, particularly for women and non-smokers, researchers report in the October issue of Chest.

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Sputum Test Quick, Accurate for Drug-Resistant TB

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A single microscopic-observation drug-susceptibility (MODS) assay of a sputum sample provides more sensitive and faster detection of tuberculosis and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis than conventional methods, according to study findings published in the Oct. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Acrolein from Cigarettes Causes Cancer-Specific p53 Mutations

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Acrolein, an abundant aldehyde found in cigarette smoke, may be a major etiological agent for cigarette smoke-related lung cancer because of its ability to cause mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene and prevent DNA repair, according to a report published online Oct. 9 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Granzyme B Release by Basophils May Play Role in Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Basophils rapidly produce, package and secrete granzyme B after stimulation by the cytokine interleukin-3, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of Blood. This unsuspected role of granzyme B in allergic inflammation might be involved in other Th2-type immune responses as well, the authors note.

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Vaccination Exemptions Linked to Pertussis Infections

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- States that allow exemptions from school immunizations too easily, or that allow exemptions for personal beliefs, have about a 50 percent higher rate of pertussis infection, according to a report in the Oct. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Health of Bar Workers Improves After Smoking Ban

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Since Scotland banned smoking in public places, bar workers have shown improvements in respiratory function and inflammation, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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New Tuberculosis Strain Identified in South Asians

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a strain of tuberculosis with a large deletion that affects the immune response to the bacteria, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. The strain appears to target patients who are ethnic South Asians.

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Too Few Americans Receive Annual Flu Shots

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccinations for the 2004-2005 season almost doubled for children up to 2 years of age but declined in those 65 years and older, according to two reports in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Oct. 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The number of older Americans receiving recommended influenza vaccines falls far short of the Healthy People 2010 goal of 90 percent.

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FDA Approves Fifth U.S. Flu Vaccine

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to another influenza vaccine for use during the 2006-2007 flu season. The vaccine, FluLaval, will be distributed by GlaxoSmithKline and is the fifth flu vaccine to be approved for use in the United States.

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Ragweed Vaccine Shows Promise for Allergic Rhinitis

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A pilot study of a ragweed pollen vaccine has shown promising long-term results for treatment of allergic rhinitis, according to a report in the Oct. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Blood Tests for TB More Accurate Than Skin Test

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Two new blood tests for latent tuberculosis infection, called T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold, may be more accurate and allow for better detection in immunosuppressed persons than the tuberculin skin test, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Small-Cell Lung Cancer Rates Fall; Survival Rates Modest

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although the incidence of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) has fallen in the past 30 years, survival rates have improved only modestly, according to a report in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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One-Third of U.S. Adolescents Physically Unfit

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one-third of teenagers in the United States do not meet the recommended standard of cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Bronchiolitis Diagnosis Requires Full Medical History

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The diagnosis and treatment of bronchiolitis in children younger than 2 years of age should include a complete history and detailed physical examination before physicians order tests or drugs, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guideline published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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Infliximab Cuts Asthma Attacks in Small Study

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with moderate asthma who received infliximab, a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, had fewer disease exacerbations than those taking placebo, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing