Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for June 2010. 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.
End-of-Life Hospital Care Has Room for Improvement
TUESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- In U.S. hospitals, the care of patients at end of life nearly always includes close attention to pain management and efforts to ease breathing, but there are other areas of care that need improvement, according to research published in the June 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Doctors Agree Malpractice Fears Drive Overuse of Tests
MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- A large majority of physicians agree that the practice of defensive medicine -- stemming from malpractice concerns -- is responsible for an overuse of medical tests and procedures, according to a research letter in the June 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
AHA Releases Guide for Cardiopulmonary Exercise Tests
MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- In response to the increasing clinical value of cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX), the American Heart Association has developed the Clinician's Guide to Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Adults to complement existing exercise testing guidelines with details on CPX. The new guide is being released as a scientific statement and published online June 28 in Circulation.
Venous Thromboembolism Risk Factors Vary by Race
MONDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans with venous thromboembolism (VTE) are less likely to have commonly recognized transient risk factors for the condition, are more likely to have cardiovascular disease risk factors, and are more likely to progress to pulmonary embolism than are white Americans, according to research published in the July issue of the American Journal of Hematology.
Moldy Homes Linked to Higher Risk of Severe Asthma Attacks
FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- High mold exposure in the home may lead to an increased risk of severe asthma attacks among children with variants in the chitinase gene CHIT1, according to research published online June 10 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Dulera Inhaler Approved for Asthma
THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Merck & Co.'s Dulera inhaler has been approved for people 12 and older whose asthma isn't controlled with other medication, the company said Thursday in a news release.
Diabetes May Complicate COPD Hospital Admissions
THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients admitted to the hospital with an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) who have comorbid diabetes mellitus (DM) have trends toward longer hospital length of stay and an increased risk of death compared with those without DM, according to research published online June 4 in Respirology.
Gefitinib Extends Life in Lung Cancer Patients With Mutation
WEDNESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Gefitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), is more effective than standard chemotherapy in extending life for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have EGFR mutations, according to a study published in the June 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Rescue Antenatal Steroids Beneficial for Preterm Infants
MONDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- If it has been at least 14 days since an initial dose of antenatal steroids, an additional course of rescue antenatal steroids administered to pregnant women at continued risk of premature delivery can improve their infants' postnatal respiratory function, according to research published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Interest by Physicians Can Play Role in Medication Adherence
FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients whose doctors actively review their medication use and prescribing information are more likely to use inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for asthma control as prescribed, according to research published online May 31 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Questionnaire Poorly Predicts Sleep Apnea in Pregnancy
FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- The Berlin questionnaire performs poorly in predicting obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in pregnant women compared to polysomnography, according to research published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Payment Cut for Chemo Linked to Higher Treatment Rate
THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, which steeply reduced payment rates for chemotherapy drugs given on an outpatient basis starting in January 2005, has resulted in an increased likelihood that Medicare recipients with lung cancer will receive chemotherapy, according to research published online June 17 in Health Affairs.
New Method Gives Better Local Start Date for RSV Prophylaxis
THURSDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Using five years of local laboratory surveillance data to predict likely respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) outbreak timing is a viable method for recommending optimal immunoprophylaxis dates, according to research published online June 14 in Pediatrics.
Computed Tomography Angiography May Be Avoidable
WEDNESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of a computed tomography (CT) angiogram being positive for pulmonary embolism (PE) is unlikely among patients who do not present with thromboembolic risk factors, suggesting that CT angiography is unnecessary in many patients, according to research published online June 15 in Radiology.
MRSA Linked to Higher Mortality in Cystic Fibrosis
TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection have worse survival rates than CF patients without the infection, according to a study in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In COPD, Oral, Intravenous Steroids Bring Same Outcomes
TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations treated with low-dose oral corticosteroids have outcomes similar to those treated with more costly and invasive high-dose intravenous corticosteroid therapy, according to research published in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Vitamin B6, Methionine Linked to Lower Lung Cancer Risk
TUESDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin B6 and methionine levels are associated with lower risk of lung cancer, and factors associated with the decision to not undergo surgery for newly diagnosed lung cancer include black race and negative perceptions of doctor-patient communication and prognosis, according to two studies published in the June 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Vaccination Ends Disparities in Pneumococcal Disease
MONDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- The vaccination of young children with seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in recent years has eliminated disparities in risk for vaccine-type invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) associated with race and group child care attendance, according to a case-control study published online June 14 in Pediatrics.
Private Insurance Linked to Lower Hospital Mortality
FRIDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with private insurance who are hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke or pneumonia have significantly lower in-hospital mortality than patients who are uninsured or have Medicaid, according to research published online June 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Fatal Medication Errors Rise in July at Teaching Hospitals
TUESDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- In July there is a significant increase in fatal medication errors at medical institutions, and this spike is at least partly due to the arrival of new medical residents, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Racial Differences Exist in Asthma Prevalence and Care
MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and ethnic differences exist in the prevalence, treatment and outcomes of asthma among children with equal access to medical care, according to a study published online June 7 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Many Hospital Patients Readmitted Within Two Years
MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 25 percent of hospital patients were readmitted to the hospital within a two-year period for the same conditions that prompted their initial admission, according to a recent report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Non-Married at Greater Risk of Hospitalization for Sepsis
FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Single, separated, and widowed adults have a higher risk of hospitalization for sepsis than do their married peers, and some face higher mortality rates as well, according to research published in the June issue of Chest.
Smoking History, Not Symptoms, Predictive of COPD
FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Even though about half of all cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are undiagnosed, selecting symptomatic people for spirometric screening adds little to the strategy of screening older smokers, according to research published in the June issue of Chest.
Mediterranean Diet May Lower Childhood Asthma Risk
FRIDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Diet appears to be associated with asthma and wheeze in children, and eating a "Mediterranean diet" rich in fruit, vegetables and fish seems to reduce a child's risk of developing asthma and wheeze, according to an international study published in the June issue of Thorax.
Asthma May Be More Severe in Obese Individuals
THURSDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Obese individuals with asthma are more likely to experience decreased lung function and additional comorbidities compared to their normal-weight counterparts, and they are also more likely to be misdiagnosed with asthma when making urgent visits for respiratory symptoms, according to a study in the June issue of Chest.
Early Heparin Beneficial in Pulmonary Embolism
THURSDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE), starting heparin early, while the patient is still in the emergency department, is associated with decreased mortality, according to research published in the June issue of Chest.
U.S. Cigarette Brands May Contain Higher Carcinogen Levels
WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers of certain U.S. cigarette brands take in higher levels of cancer-causing tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) than smokers of some foreign cigarette brands tested in a study published online May 25 in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.
Ventilation Strategies Result in Similar Outcomes
TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV), in which the lungs are continuously inflated and oscillate at a high rate through use of small volume changes, appears to be no better and no worse than conventional ventilation in preterm infants, according to research published online June 1 in The Lancet.
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