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Category: Pulmonology | Monthly Briefing

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April 2009 Briefing - Pulmonology

Last Updated: May 01, 2009.

 

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

Cancer Society Issues Health Disparities Policy Statement

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is launching an all-out campaign to eliminate cancer health disparities among Hispanics, blacks, Native Americans, and other minorities, who together will account for more than half of the United States' population by the year 2050, according to a policy statement released during a media telebriefing and published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Web-based Information Source to Support UK Clinicians

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced the launch of NHS Evidence, a Web-based evidence resource for clinicians, public health professionals of the National Health Service, and others involved in making patient care decisions. The announcement came in the April 30 issue of The Lancet.

NICE home page
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Aging, Changing Nation Will Affect New Cancer Diagnoses

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Demographic changes in which older adults and minorities account for an increasing share of the population are expected to result in a soaring number of cancer cases in the next 20 years, according to a study released during a media telebriefing and published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Smoking, Hypertension Judged the Leading US Death Risks

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking and high blood pressure are the leading risk factors contributing to death in the United States, according to a study reported April 28 in PLOS Medicine.

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NEJM Commends New Conflict of Interest Proposal

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new proposal to control conflict of interest is notable for its breadth and variety of recommended solutions, according to a Perspective article published online April 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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WHO Rasies Influenza Epidemic Alert Level From 4 to 5

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that the United States has had its first fatality as a result of swine flu. The case was a 23-month-old Mexican boy who was in Houston for medical treatment. Also, on April 29, the World Health Organization raised the influenza epidemic alert level from 4 to 5, meaning a pandemic is imminent.

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Critically Ill Patients May Often Be Vitamin D Deficient

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- High percentages of critically ill patients in intensive care may be vitamin D deficient, potentially worsening outcomes, according to an article published in the April 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Requires OTC Pain Relievers to Display Warnings

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Popular over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and fever medications containing acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will be required to display prominent warnings about the risks of liver damage and internal bleeding, under a new rule announced April 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Dietary Acrylamide Link to Lung Cancer Studied

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Higher intake of dietary acrylamide, a probable carcinogen found in heat-treated foods, may be associated with a lower risk of lung cancer in women, according to research published online April 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Specialist Centers Key to Treating Cystic Fibrosis

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Earlier diagnosis and more aggressive treatment at specialized centers has improved the outlook for cystic fibrosis patients, and the disease's underlying molecular-biological origins are now well understood, according to an article published online on April 28 in The Lancet.

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CDC Confirms 64 Swine Flu Cases in United States

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 64 cases of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus in the United States as of April 28, including five cases requiring hospitalization. The cases have occurred across five states, including 45 in New York, 10 in California, six in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio, according to a dispatch on April 28 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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H1N1 Swine Flu Susceptible to Oseltamivir and Zanamivir

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The swine-origin influenza A virus H1N1 is susceptible to both neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir, but is resistant to the M2 ion channel blockers amantadine and rimantadine, according to a dispatch on April 28 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pharmacist Involvement May Decrease Medication Errors

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adding a pharmacist to health care teams may significantly decrease patients' risk of adverse drug events and medication errors, according to a report published in the April 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. A second study indicates that an interdisciplinary medication reconciliation intervention can also reduce unintentional medication discrepancies with potential for harm.

Abstract - Murray
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Abstract - Schnipper
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Women Found to Have Less Access to Cardiologists

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women with coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure have less access to consultations with cardiologists compared with men, according to study findings published online April 27 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Gene Variant Linked to Worse Outcomes in Pneumonia

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients hospitalized with severe pneumonia have a higher risk of death and spend a longer time on mechanical ventilation if they have a variant of the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) gene, according to a study in the May issue of Anesthesiology.

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Computed Tomography May Help Early Chest Pain Triage

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Early use of coronary computed tomography angiography in the early triage of patients presenting with acute chest pain can play an important role in improving emergency department patient management, according to a study published in the May 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Steep Copayments Increase Risk of Non-Adherence

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who are newly diagnosed with a chronic disease, higher out-of-pocket costs for medications are associated with an increased likelihood of non-treatment, according to a study published in the April 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Number of US Swine Flu Cases Rises, CDC Reports

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- At least 40 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the United States, prompting a wide range of governmental actions to counter what could become a worldwide pandemic, according to Richard Besser, M.D., acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Vitamin D Linked to Asthma Severity in Children

MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D insufficiency is present in about one-third of Costa Rican children with asthma and correlates with asthma severity, researchers report in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Editorial

Mesothelioma Deaths Expected to Peak in 2010

MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- After decades on the increase, the number of U.S. deaths from malignant mesothelioma should peak next year, according to a statistical analysis published in the April 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Swine Flu Declared Public Health Emergency in US

MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Two recent cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in Southern California raised the possibility that the virus can be transmitted by human-to-human contact, according to a report published in the April 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Subsequently, the number of U.S. cases continues to rise and U.S. officials have declared it a public health emergency.

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Having Health Insurance May Not Improve Mortality Risk

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- People without health insurance have about the same mortality rate as people with health insurance, according to an observational study published online April 21 in Health Services Research.

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Stretches Without Health Insurance More Common

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Periods of uninsurance have become more common in recent decades, particularly among those with less education, according to research published in the April 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Continuity of Care Declining for Medicare Beneficiaries

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare beneficiaries in the hospital in 2006 were much less likely to be seen there by a familiar physician than those in the hospital a decade earlier, according to a study reported in the April 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Defibrillator Implant Success Varies by Specialty

TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) are more apt to get the most appropriate device and are less likely to suffer complications if an electrophysiologist performs the procedure, according to a study reported in the April 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Merchant Compliance Linked to Reduced Teen Smoking

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Greater merchant compliance with laws restricting the sale of tobacco to underage consumers has helped reduce smoking among adolescents, according to a study published online April 17 in BMC Public Health.

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Drug-Resistant TB Remains a Worldwide Threat

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious worldwide problem with the median prevalence of multidrug-resistant strains of TB as high as one in five new cases in some hot spots, according to the results of a survey by the World Health Organization reported in the April 16 online edition of The Lancet.

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Valsartan Not Linked to Fewer Atrial Fibrillation Recurrences

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The use of valsartan was not associated with a decrease in recurrences of atrial fibrillation in patients with underlying cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or left atrial enlargement, according to research published in the April 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Study Finds Smoking Marijuana Not Linked to Risk of COPD

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Though smoking only marijuana wasn't linked to higher risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), smoking tobacco or both marijuana and tobacco was associated with higher risk, according to research published in the April 14 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Heart Screening of Diabetics May Not Improve Outcomes

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Screening type 2 diabetes patients for asymptomatic coronary artery disease does not significantly reduce the number of heart attacks or improve outcomes compared to unscreened patients, according to a study in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Researchers Describe Epidemiology of Heart Failure

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Among older Americans, heart failure is a common condition that disproportionately affects blacks. But many cases could be prevented if risk factors were modified, according to a study published in the April 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Fungal Infection Still Stalks Tennessee Mountain Region

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Appalachian Mountains of northeastern Tennessee around Johnson City remain a hotspot for the fungal infection blastomycosis, according to study findings published in the April issue of the journal Chest.

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Avoiding Tobacco Smoke Helps Manage Childhood Asthma

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Avoidance of environmental tobacco smoke can significantly reduce hospitalizations, emergency department visits and episodes of poor asthma control in children with the disease, according to research reported in the April issue of the journal Chest.

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Cigarette Smoke Alters Lungs' Inflammatory Response

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to cigarette smoke exacerbates and skews the respiratory system's inflammatory response to bacteria in mice, which may shed light on smoking's role in the development of inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in humans, researchers report in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Blacks Less Likely to Receive Lung Cancer Treatment

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), racial disparities in treatment did not significantly narrow during a recent 12-year period, according to an article published online April 13 in Cancer.

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Pain Requires Meticulous Attention in Intensive Care Units

MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- In intensive care units, the evaluation and management of pain is a significant clinical challenge, according to two Contemporary Reviews in Critical Care Medicine published in the April issue of the journal Chest.

Abstract - Puntillo
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Financial Rewards for Healthy Behavior Can Be Effective

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although paying people to engage in healthy behaviors or successfully tackle unhealthy ones can be effective, it may carry unintended consequences, according to an editorial published online April 9 in BMJ.

Editorial

New Vaccine Successfully Tested in Latent TB Infection

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new vaccine for tuberculosis produced immunogenic response without immunopathology in patients with latent tuberculosis infection, according to the results of a study published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Air Pollution May Adversely Affect Fetal Growth

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Fetal growth may be adversely affected by exposure to ambient air pollution, especially in women living near high-traffic roadways, according to research published online April 8 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Cardiac Outcomes of Sleep Apnea Studied in Rats

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The endothelin system, a potent vasoconstrictor and promoter of vascular growth, plays a major role in the cardiovascular consequences of obstructive sleep apnea in a rat model of the condition, researchers report in the April 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Gastric Drug Does Not Improve Asthma Control

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Treating asymptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease with a proton-pump inhibitor in patients with poorly controlled asthma does not improve asthma control, researchers report in the April 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Socioeconomic Status a Risk Factor in Child Heart Transplant

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children from lower socioeconomic groups are at greater risk for graft failure following a heart transplant than children from higher socioeconomic groups, according to a study published online April 7 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Exercise Modestly Benefits Patients With Heart Failure

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with heart failure have modest reductions in mortality and hospitalization, as well as improvements in self-reported health status, after implementation of an aerobic exercise program, according to two studies published in the April 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - O'Connor
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Abstract - Flynn
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Economic Status a Prime Factor in Sleep Device Rejection

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Socioeconomic status is a leading factor in the rejection of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment in adults with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, according to a report in the April 1 issue of Sleep.

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Nicotine Replacement Can Help Smokers Quit Gradually

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers who are unwilling or unable to quit abruptly may still find nicotine replacement therapy useful as a means to gradually stop smoking, according to a study published online April 2 in BMJ.

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Moxifloxacin May Accelerate Tuberculosis Cure by Months

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The standard first-line tuberculosis treatment regimen enhanced with the fluoroquinolone moxifloxacin can cure the disease three times faster than standard treatment alone, researchers report in the April 4 issue of The Lancet.

Abstract
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Biomarker Predicts Outcomes in Pulmonary Hypertension

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- High blood levels of a marker of inflammation and tissue damage, C-reactive protein (CRP), are associated with disease severity and survival in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), according to a report in the April 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Electronic Prescribing Online-Learning Tools Launched

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. physicians will be able to better evaluate electronic prescribing systems thanks to a new online learning center on ePrescribing launched April 1 by the American Medical Association.

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Survey Looks at Smokers and Health Care Providers

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable number of smokers have never discussed smoking with a health care provider, according to the results of a survey from the American Legacy Foundation that was released on April 1.

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Changes Needed in New-Drug Evaluation Process

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- The evaluation process for new drugs is overdue for an overhaul, which could provide benefits for the public and the pharmaceutical industry, according to a point-counterpoint commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.

Abstract - Garattini
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Abstract - Tremblay
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New Health Program Leads to Questions in the UK

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new British program to improve patient choices and competition in the health care marketplace may lead to excess capacity in some areas and instability in others, according to a commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.

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