Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for August 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.
Predictive Tools May Be Useful in COPD
FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an updated BODE index and a new ADO index may be more accurate predictors of mortality and a better guide to clinical practice than the standard BODE index, according to a study published in the Aug. 29 special issue of The Lancet focusing on COPD.
Tiotropium Trial Supports Earlier Treatment for COPD
FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treatment with tiotropium may reduce the rate of decline in lung function and increase the time to exacerbations, suggesting that treatment should begin at an early stage of the disease, according to a study published online Aug. 28 to coincide with the Aug. 29 special issue of The Lancet focusing on COPD.
Quality of Care Unchanged Under New Payment System
FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of a fixed-price, payment-by-results system for hospitals in the United Kingdom, beginning in 2002, has reduced the length of hospital stays and increased day case (outpatient) admissions, but has had no measurable effect on quality of care, according to a study published Aug. 27 in BMJ.
Roflumilast Proven Effective in Chronic Pulmonary Disease
FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In high-risk patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), treatment with the oral anti-inflammatory drug roflumilast -- a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor -- may improve lung function and reduce the risk of exacerbations, according to two studies published in the Aug. 29 special issue of The Lancet focusing on COPD.
Budesonide May Not Increase Pneumonia Risk in COPD
FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide is not associated with an increased risk of pneumonia, according to a study contradicting previous research findings in the Aug. 29 special issue of The Lancet focusing on COPD.
Excess Weight Associated With Adult-Onset Asthma
THURSDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In adult women, overweight, obesity and abdominal obesity, regardless of body mass index, are independently associated with adult-onset asthma, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in Thorax.
Department Issues New HIPAA Notification Regulations
TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new regulations on Aug. 19 requiring entities covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to notify individuals after their health information has been breached.
Relentless Spread of HIV and TB Afflict South Africa
TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The dual epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis continue to spread relentlessly in South Africa, and require an urgent scaling up of public health services to bring them under control, according to an article published online Aug. 25 in a special edition of The Lancet focusing on health in South Africa.
Smokers' Vehicles Contain High Nicotine Concentrations
TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Motor vehicles operated by smokers have higher concentrations of nicotine than those found even in restaurants and bars, according to a pilot study published online Aug. 24 in Tobacco Control.
Car Seat Confinement Reduces Oxygen in Newborns' Blood
TUESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A young infant's blood oxygen saturation level is lower when he or she is placed in a car seat or car bed compared to lying in a crib, according to a study published online Aug. 24 in Pediatrics.
Current Smoking Linked to Active Tuberculosis
MONDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In Taiwan, smokers have a doubled risk of tuberculosis compared to non-smokers, according to a study published in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Panel Relaxes Restrictions on Liquids During Labor
MONDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women in normal labor can safely drink modest amounts of clear liquids, and those undergoing cesarean delivery can do so for up to two hours before they are given anesthesia, according to a new opinion released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Obstetric Practice and published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Sleep-Disordered Breathing May Raise Mortality Risk
FRIDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep-disordered breathing may be associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular-related mortality in middle-aged and older people, particularly men, according to research published online Aug. 18 in PLoS Medicine.
U.S. Life Expectancy Reaches 77.9 Years
THURSDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Life expectancy in the United States has increased again, from 77.7 to 77.9 years -- a new record -- according to statistics released Aug.19 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Genetic Screening of Lung Cancers Aids Targeted Therapy
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Screening lung cancer patients for the presence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations can help identify those who will benefit most from treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Gefitinib Outperforms Combo Therapy in Lung Cancer Trial
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In a phase III clinical trial, gefitinib was superior to carboplatin-paclitaxel in extending survival for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, particularly those patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
FDA Launches New Center for Tobacco Products
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the launch of its Center for Tobacco Products, an agency armed with the mission of developing and implementing public health strategies to reduce the burden of illnesses and deaths caused by tobacco products nationwide.
Palliative Care Intervention Beneficial in Advanced Cancer
TUESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of a nurse-led palliative care intervention and oncology care results in improved quality of life and mood for advanced cancer patients, according to a study published in the Aug. 19 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Alarm Symptoms Often Do Not Result in Timely Diagnosis
FRIDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients who present with certain alarm symptoms, including hematuria and rectal bleeding, do not receive a diagnosis in a reasonable amount of time, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in BMJ.
Physician Role in End-of-Life Decisions Up to Family
THURSDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians for incapacitated, critically ill patients should offer to make recommendations to family members acting as surrogate decision-makers on life support issues, understanding that their advice may or may not be desired, according to a study in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Fluoroquinolone Use Spikes Risk of Resistant TB Strain
THURSDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The overall prevalence of fluoroquinolone-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) is low, but the risk of having it is greatly elevated for TB patients who were exposed to the common antibiotic for more than 10 days, especially if the exposure occurred two or more months prior to their diagnosis, according to a study in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Noninvasive Ventilation Can Be Effective After Extubation
THURSDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic respiratory disorders and hypercapnia who are given early noninvasive ventilation after extubation have a lower risk of respiratory failure and death than those given normal oxygen therapy, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in The Lancet.
FDA Aims to Ease Access to Investigational Drugs
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published two new rules to help seriously ill patients gain access to investigational drugs and biologics, according to an Aug. 12 release issued by the agency.
Hospitalist's Effect on Quality of Care Measured
TUESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that have hospitalists provide higher-quality care for a number of conditions and dimensions of care, according to a study in the Aug. 10/24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Antivirals May Not Affect Children's Flu Complications
MONDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) may have little or no effect on various complications in children with seasonal influenza, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in BMJ.
More Research Links Alcohol Intake to Cancer Risk
MONDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Men who drink moderate or high amounts of alcohol over their lifetime may face a higher risk of several types of cancer, according to research published in the current issue of Cancer Detection and Prevention.
HHS Releases Reports on Health Insurance Reform
FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a series of state-by-state reports that outline its conclusions on the effects health insurance reform would have on health care for Americans, according to an Aug. 7 release issued by the agency.
High Hopes for Tuberculosis Drugs, Tools in Pipeline
THURSDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- New drug regimens, vaccines, and diagnostic tools currently in development for tuberculosis have the potential to radically change the incidence of the disease worldwide, according to findings published online Aug. 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Nurse Home Visit Can Benefit Children With Asthma
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Children with problematic asthma can better manage their condition and avoid stronger medications with the help of a home visit by an asthma nurse who can identify conditions leading to exacerbations, according to a study published online June 21 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Prolonged Breath Holding Elevates Brain Damage Marker
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Divers who hold their breath for several minutes have elevated levels of the protein S100B, which is a marker of brain damage, according to a study published online July 2 in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Pulmonary Hypertension May Be Reversible With Viagra
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pulmonary hypertension and heart failure have stiffer arteries and reduced sensitivity to vasodilators compared with patients without hypertension, which can be reversed by sildenafil (Viagra), according to a study in the Aug. 11 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
More Asthma Diagnoses After September 11 Attacks
TUESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Many adults exposed to the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks developed asthma or post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms, according to a study in the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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