September 2007 Briefing - Pulmonology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for September 2007. 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.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Improves Atherosclerosis

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) improves early markers of atherosclerosis, suggesting that sleep apnea contributes to the development of atherosclerosis, according to research published in the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine in October.

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FDA Suggests Barring Chlorofluorocarbons in Inhalers

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Citing the health of Earth's ozone layer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed changing its rules to ban chlorofluorocarbon use in epinephrine metered-dose inhalers. The inhalers temporarily ease mild asthma symptoms.

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Gas Trapping Linked to Wheezing Among Preemies

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In very prematurely born infants, wheezing at age 1 is associated with gas trapping and could be due to abnormalities of the small airways, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Family Life Associated with Biological Impact on Asthma

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The severity of asthma symptoms experienced by young people is affected physiologically by their family environment and behaviorally by their community environment, researchers report in the October issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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One Thrombosis Develops for Every 4,500 Long Flights

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Flights lasting more than four hours moderately increase the likelihood of venous thromboembolism, with a risk of roughly one event for every 4,500 flights, according to a report published in the September issue of PLOS Medicine.

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Review Questions Influenza Vaccine Benefits for Seniors

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults may have reaped significantly fewer survival benefits from influenza vaccination than is commonly believed, according to a review article published in the October issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Familiar Doctor Linked to More Satisfaction for Urgent Care

TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive urgent medical care from family physicians or after-hours clinics affiliated with their physicians are more likely to be satisfied with the encounter than patients who use other sources of urgent care, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Racial Disparities Seen in Emergency Asthma Care Needs

MONDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Among those with asthma, black patients are significantly more likely than white patients to visit the emergency department or be hospitalized regardless of disease severity, according to a report in the Sept. 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Flu Vaccine Rates Dropping in United States

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination rates for Americans dropped during the 2005-2006 flu season to levels below those prior to the 2004 flu vaccine shortfall, according to a report in the Sept. 21 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Gene Variation Linked to Greater Risk of Scleroderma

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The G-945C polymorphism in the connective-tissue growth factor gene is strongly associated with systemic sclerosis, making it a candidate gene for scleroderma, according to study findings published in the Sept. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Approves FluMist for Use in 2- to 5-Year-Olds

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the FluMist intranasal influenza vaccine for children ages 2 to 5. The vaccine should not be given to any patient with asthma or children under 5 with wheezing as it may increase the risk of wheeze.

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Medical Schools Vary in Approach to Case Reports

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical school institutional review boards (IRBs) don't treat individual case reports as "research," as it's defined by the United States Government Code of Federal Regulations, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pulmonary Hypertension Worsens in Placebo Groups

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension who receive a placebo during a clinical trial instead of an active treatment are almost twice as likely to have their condition worsen, according to a meta-analysis in the September issue of Chest. The findings suggest that clinical trials should compare treatment groups, rather than use a placebo.

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Asthma Medication May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with asthma taking montelukast and low-dose theophylline have lower serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers and lipids than those who do not, suggesting that these medications may lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report published in the September issue of Chest.

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Oil Spill Clean-Up Associated with Respiratory Problems

MONDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women who worked to clean up coastal contamination from an oil spill were at increased risk of having respiratory problems up to two years after the event, although the association appeared to weaken over time, according to the results of a large cross-sectional study published in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Risk of Childhood Asthma Higher in Affluent Countries

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children with atopic sensitization for asthma who live in affluent countries are more likely to develop symptoms of the disease, according to the results of a large cross-sectional study published in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Chlorine in Pools Can Pose Chemical Poisoning Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A 6-year-old boy was severely poisoned by over-exposure to chloramines in a motel indoor swimming pool in 2006, highlighting the danger posed by pools with poor ventilation and inadequate water chemistry management, according to a report in the Sept. 14 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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New Guidelines for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

FRIDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic obstructive lung disease is a "preventable" health problem that can and should be treated, according to the newly revised standards of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). An executive summary of the updated guidelines is published in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Breastfeeding Does Not Reduce Allergy, Asthma Risk

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Neither extended nor exclusive breast-feeding have an impact on the risk of allergy and asthma development in children, according to research published online Sept. 11 in BMJ.

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Gene Variants Associated with Smoking Response

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Certain variants of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene are associated with a greater sensitivity to smoking, including heart pounding, dizziness and experiencing a "rush" or "high," according to a report in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. In addition, patients with such variants may respond better to faster-acting types of smoking cessation treatments, such as nicotine sprays.

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Exercise-Induced Asthma Common in College Athletes

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 40 percent of a cohort of college athletes at a single institution had documented evidence of exercise-induced bronchospasm, researchers report in the September issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Furthermore, the presence or absence of symptoms did not reliably predict which athletes had bronchospasm.

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Vitamin E May Protect Women Against Blood Clots

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin E may protect women from the risk of venous thromboembolism, particularly those with a history of emboli or a genetic susceptibility, according to study findings published online Sept. 10 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Asthma Management Poor Among Youths and Adults

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Among youths and adults with asthma, self-management of the disease is sub-optimal due to inadequate asthma management education, according to a report published in the Sept. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Airway Function in Infancy Predicts Obstruction in Adults

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Poor airway function in infancy is associated with an increased risk of childhood respiratory infections and impaired airflow in young adulthood, according to a report in the Sept. 1 issue of The Lancet.

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One in 10 Adults Worldwide Has Obstructive Lung Disease

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The worldwide prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is higher than previously reported, and although smoking and age are strong risk factors, they do not fully explain disease prevalence, researchers report in the Sept. 1 issue of The Lancet.

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Parents' Concerns About Asthma Meds May Lower Use

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with asthma have concerns about the medications their children take, although they feel those medications are necessary, and their degree of concern is associated with the consistency with which they administer those medications, according to a cross-sectional survey published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

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When Ambulances Travel Farther, Deaths Increase

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Longer ambulance trips to the hospital are associated with greater risk of mortality among severely ill patients, researchers report in the September issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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Physician's Briefing