October 2009 Briefing - Pulmonology
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for October 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.
Swine Flu Radiographic and CT Imaging Patterns Studied
FRIDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ground-glass opacities (GGOs) in one or both lungs with consolidation are the most common computed radiographic (CR) and computed tomography (CT) images of patients with swine-origin influenza A (S-OIV), according to a study to be published in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Additional Recommendations for Imaging on the Rise
THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations for additional imaging in radiology reports at one institution increased steeply in recent years, and from 1980 to 2006, radiologic and nuclear medicine procedures increased roughly 10-fold and 2.5 fold, respectively, according to two studies the November issue of Radiology.
Overweight Patients May Have Effect on Doctor's Attitude
THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have lower respect for patients with high body mass index (BMI), which may have an impact on patient care and outcomes, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Medical School Enrollment Continues to Expand
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 18,400 students enrolled in medical school in the United States in 2009, a 2 percent increase over the previous year, but even more expansion is needed to meet future demand, according to an Oct. 20 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Protein Linked to Development of Some Lung Cancers
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancers with alterations in two genes may be susceptible to inhibitors that target a protein important in cellular processes such as inflammation and fighting infection, according to an animal study published online Oct. 21 in Nature.
H1N1 Can Be Particular Threat to Transplant Recipients
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiothoracic surgeons should be vigilant for signs of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus among their patients as the flu season approaches, and aggressively treat any cases, according to an article published online Oct. 26 in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation.
Far Fewer H1N1 Vaccine Doses Than Expected Are Available
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because of production delays, far fewer than the goal of 40 million doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine will be available in the United States by the end of October, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for the investigational antiviral drug peramivir intravenous in certain patients with suspected or confirmed H1N1 infection.
Steroid Adherence in Difficult Asthma Cases Examined
MONDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with difficult-to-control asthma, a significant proportion are non-adherent to inhaled and oral corticosteroid therapy, according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Broad Asthma Screening May Offer Minimal Health Gains
FRIDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The potential health benefits from asthma screenings in children seem to be smaller than previously expected, according to research published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.
Some Hospital Staff Predicted to Be Infection Superspreaders
THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital staff such as therapists and radiologists who are in contact with all patients have the potential to be superspreaders of infection if they fail to wash their hands regularly, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Pulmonary Embolism Found to Be Often Unrelated to DVT
THURSDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with pulmonary embolism, only a few have deep venous thrombosis (DVT) of the pelvic or proximal lower extremity veins, suggesting that pulmonary embolism originates in the lungs, according to a study in the October issue of the Archives of Surgery.
Most H1N1 Hospitalizations Are in Young Patients
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of hospitalizations for H1N1 influenza are occurring in people younger than 25 years of age, and very few are occurring in the elderly, according to information presented at the Oct. 20 press briefing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sources Find Different Numbers of Active Physicians
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Estimates from U.S. Census Bureau surveys find fewer older physicians remaining active compared with the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile data, according to research published in the Oct. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Secondhand Smoke Linked to Harm in Young Smokers
TUESDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Secondhand smoke brings increased risk of respiratory symptoms even in adolescents who smoke, and secondhand smoke exposure outside the home has dropped substantially for children since the early 1990s, according to two studies published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.
Smoking Linked to Sperm Harm in Men With Varicocele
MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In men with varicocele, smoking more than 10 cigarettes daily was associated with a harmful effect on sperm motility and morphology, according to research published in the October issue of Urology.
Health Effects of Air Pollution on Obese People Studied
MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The health impact of fine particulate matter appears to be worse for obese people than their normal-weight counterparts, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Paracetamol May Not Be Best for Infant Vaccinations
FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Routine use of paracetamol to reduce febrile reactions due to vaccination of infants may not be an optimal approach, as the drug can also reduce the antibody response to several vaccine antigens, according to two consecutive randomized, controlled, open-label studies completed in the Czech Republic and published in the Oct. 17 issue of The Lancet.
FDA Launches Drug Disposal Advice Web Page
FRIDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new Web page for consumers to educate them on the safe disposal of certain medicines that can be dangerous or even fatal if they end up in the wrong hands.
Excess Weight's Role in Sleep-Disordered Breathing Studied
THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Excess body weight may serve as a potentially important predictor of oxygen desaturation severity during sleep disturbances caused by apneas or hypopneas, according to a study in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Smoking Bans May Reduce Heart Attacks in Nonsmokers
THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking bans may effectively reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks attributable to secondhand smoke, according to a report released Oct. 15 by the Institute of Medicine.
Study Links Text Messages and E-mails to Smoking Cessation
THURSDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- While short-term text message mobile phone interventions have been effective, further research needs to be completed to determine whether messages sent over mobile phones can help individuals with smoking cessation over the long term, according to research published online Oct. 7 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Second-Line Diuretics in Hypertension Reviewed
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of diuretics as a second-line approach to another anti-hypertensive agent further lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure, providing the same effect as when used as first-line monotherapy, according to a review published online Oct. 7 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
No Reduction Noted in Surgical Infection After High Oxygen
TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Administering high levels of oxygen during and after abdominal surgery does not reduce the rate of infection or other complications, according to a study in the Oct. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Triple Therapy Beneficial in Chronic Pulmonary Disease
TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), triple therapy with budesonide/formoterol added to tiotropium significantly improves lung function and reduces severe exacerbations compared to monotherapy with tiotropium, according to a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Study Evaluates Hospital Quality and Mortality Rates
TUESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital mortality rates in the United States have improved, although major differences in quality still exist between the best and worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 13 by HealthGrades.
H1N1 Has Made Many Young Adult Patients Critically Ill
MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 influenza A(H1N1) outbreak has put many young adult patients in intensive care with severe respiratory disease, leading to a high fatality rate, according to three studies published online Oct. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Atypical β-Blocker May Improve Endothelial Function
MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Nebivolol, a third generation β-blocker that has recently become available in the United States, offers a treatment alternative for hypertension, coronary artery disease and heart failure that goes beyond simple adrenergic blocking with direct vasodilation and stimulatory effects to improve arterial endothelial function, according to a paper in the Oct. 13 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Exhalation From Ventilation Masks May Pose Infection Risk
MONDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Leakage of exhaled air from the face masks used for noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NPPV) in patients with pneumonia poses a risk of infection for health care workers, according to a study in the Oct. 1 issue of Chest.
Evidence Scant on Effects of Exercise After Stroke
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise training that involves walking may improve walking ability in individuals following a stroke, but the effects of cardiorespiratory fitness training on death and disability remain unclear, according to research published online Oct. 7 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
Health Care Disparities Among States Found to Be Widening
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing health care costs and growing disparities in coverage among U.S. states point to the urgent need for national health care reform, according to an Oct. 8 state-by-state report card from the Commonwealth Fund Commission, a private foundation supporting research on the health care system.
Impact of Maternal Depression and Abuse on Children Studied
FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- When mothers have mental health problems or are victims of family abuse, it negatively impacts the care and health of their children, according to a pair of studies in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Effect of H1N1 on Southern Hemisphere ICUs Assessed
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- During the winter of 2009 in Australia and New Zealand, the H1N1 flu virus had a significant effect on hospital intensive care units, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
ACS Education May Not Reduce Prehospital Delay
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In patients at high risk for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), educational and counseling intervention may not lead to decreased hospital arrival times or increased emergency medical services (EMS) use after the onset of symptoms, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Survey Finds Asthma Control Poorer in Minority Children
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- African-American and Hispanic children were found to have more poorly controlled asthma than Caucasian children in a four-state sample from a national asthma survey, according to an analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the October issue of Chest.
Seasonal Flu Vaccine Protects Somewhat Against A/H1N1
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- There are early signs that the 2008/2009 trivalent inactivated seasonal flu vaccination offers some protection against influenza A/H1N1, particularly in its most severe forms, but this should not be taken to mean that vaccination against swine flu is superfluous, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in BMJ.
COPD Combination Therapy Compared to Monotherapy
THURSDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in combination with long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) did not improve mortality and had more adverse effects than LABA alone in the treatment of severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a meta-analysis in the October issue of Chest.
Roundtable Discussion Tackles Health Care Reform
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The health care payment system, the role of consumers in responsible health care spending, and the use of comparative-effectiveness research were topics covered in a roundtable discussion with several health economics experts published in the Oct. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Study Reports Lacking Benefit of ICD Early After Heart Attack
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) does not reduce the risk of death when given to high-risk patients within a month after a heart attack, according to a study in the Oct. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Medical Students Want More Practice of Medicine Training
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students in the United States perceive that they are not getting enough training in the practice of medicine, particularly in medical economics, according to a study in the September issue of Academic Medicine.
Effectiveness and Cost Help to Make Coverage Decisions
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Countries using evidence-based cost-effectiveness and effectiveness to help make drug coverage decisions show how these factors can successfully support decision making and can also be adapted to the specific conditions of other countries, according to a study in the Oct. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Non-Cardiac Incidental Results Rarely Clinically Significant
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Non-cardiac findings found by cardiac computed tomography (CT) are usually not clinically significant and have no impact on death rates, but can lead to complications and add to health care costs, according to a study in the Oct. 13 Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Untreated Sleep Disorder Can Impair Driving Ability
TUESDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients are more prone to the effects of alcohol consumption and sleep restriction on driving performance than healthy individuals, according to a study in the Oct. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Report Finds Invasive MRSA Infections on the Rise in Iowa
MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Invasive community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is an increasing public health threat in Iowa, according to a study in the October issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Nicotine Replacement in Pregnant Smokers Likely Safe
MONDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Nicotine replacement therapy does not increase the risk of adverse events in pregnant smokers, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Weight Loss Tied to Improved Sleep Apnea in Diabetics
FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A decrease in apnea and hypopnea events in obese diabetic adults assigned to an intensive weight loss intervention provides further evidence that weight loss leads to significant improvements in obstructive sleep apnea, according to research published in the Sept. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Smoking Cessation Drug Likely Doesn't Raise Self-Harm Odds
FRIDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The smoking cessation drug varenicline is likely not associated with increased risk of self-harm, although a two-fold increased risk cannot be ruled out, according to a study published Oct. 2 in BMJ.
Surgical Masks Found to Be Non-Inferior to Respirators
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical masks may be no less effective than N95 respirators in preventing influenza in health care workers, according to a study published online Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
CDC Says States Not Meeting Fruit and Veggie Objectives
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In a Sept. 29 press release, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says no U.S. state is currently meeting the national Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption.
Physicians May Fail to Act on Electronic Alerts Quickly
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians using a system with electronic medical records and computerized alerts may not acknowledge or act upon critical imaging results in a timely manner, according to research published in the Sept. 28 Archives of Internal Medicine.