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March 2012 Briefing - Pulmonology

Last Updated: April 02, 2012.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for March 2012. 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.

Stigma Affects Depression Among Lung Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with lung cancer, perceived stigma is significantly associated with depressive symptomatology, according to a study published in the March issue of Psycho-Oncology.

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Secondhand Smoke Exposure, Lung Function Link Explored

THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to secondhand smoke during early childhood is associated with decreased lung function, and allergic sensitization affects this association, particularly among girls, according to a study published online March 21 in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.

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Pay for Performance Does Not Improve Mortality Rates

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in the Medicare Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (Premier HQID) program does not lead to lower 30-day mortality rates, according to a study published online March 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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National Survey Describes Cancer-Related Deaths in India

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Most cancer-related deaths in India occur in those aged 30 to 69 years, with tobacco-related cancers accounting for a considerable proportion of cancer-related deaths, according to a study published online March 28 in The Lancet.

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Cost Sharing Reduces Use of Asthma Medication

TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Higher out-of-pocket expenses are tied to a slight reduction in use of asthma medications in children aged 5 years or older, which results in increased hospitalizations, according to a study published in the March 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Quality of Life Linked to Overall Survival in NSCLC

TUESDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), quality of life (QOL) assessments at the time of diagnosis are associated with overall survival (OS); and genetic variations are linked to QOL measures, according to two studies published online March 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Guidelines Issued for Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- As the majority of rhinosinusitis cases are viral, antimicrobial therapy should be initiated after establishment of a clinical diagnosis of bacterial rhinosinusitis, and β-lactam agents are recommended for initial therapy, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America's first rhinosinusitis guidelines published online March 20 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Health Care Team Members Key for Antimicrobial Stewardship

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) that use health care epidemiologists (HEs) and infection preventionists (IPs) have a crucial role to play in the effort to combat health care-associated infections (HAIs), including those caused by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America position paper published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Alternative Medicine Alleviates Symptoms of Rhinosinusitis

THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- An integrative East-West medicine (IEWM) approach in addition to standard medical treatment improves symptoms and quality of life (QOL) for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), according to a pilot study published in the March issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

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Dexmedetomidine Non Inferior for Maintaining Sedation

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- The α2-agonist dexmedetomidine is not inferior to the standard sedatives midazolam or propofol in its ability to maintain light-to-moderate sedation during mechanical ventilation, according to research published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Childhood Ups COPD Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) during childhood is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among adult women, and is a significant risk factor for respiratory symptoms in men, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Respirology.

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Survey Describes Docs' Online Professionalism Violations

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical licensing authorities receive and act upon reports of physicians' online professionalism violations, according to a research letter published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship Saves Millions of Dollars

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Antimicrobial stewardship programs save hospitals millions of dollars, according to a study published in the April issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Nurse-Initiated Steroids Improve Pediatric Asthma Care

TUESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Nurse initiation of oral corticosteroids before physician assessment of pediatric patients with asthma improves quality and efficiency of care provided in the pediatric emergency department, according to a study published online March 19 in Pediatrics.

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Statin Use May Reduce Pneumonia Incidence

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with statins, such as rosuvastatin, is associated with a modest reduction in the incidence of pneumonia, according to a study published online March 19 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Exercise Training Ups Post-Transplant Functional Recovery

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in supervised exercise training for three months following hospital discharge for lung transplantation significantly improves physical functions and cardiovascular morbidity for patients during the first year of recovery, according to a study published online March 5 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Less Than Half of Potential Lung Cancer Deaths Averted

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the positive impact of changes in smoking behavior on the number of lung cancer deaths in the United States, many additional cases could potentially have been averted by complete tobacco control, according to research published online March 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Poorer Health Literacy Linked to Increased Mortality

FRIDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of older adults in England have medium or low health literacy, which is associated with increased mortality, according to a study published online March 15 in BMJ.

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Smoking in Movies Increases Smoking Risk for Young Teens

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to smoking in movies in early adolescence is associated with established smoking among adolescents, according to a review published online March 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Personal Mobile Computers Improve Resident Efficiency

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of personal mobile computers (Apple iPads) by internal medicine residents improves efficiency, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Higher Spending by Hospitals Improves Outcomes

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that are part of the universal health care system in Canada that spend more on inpatient care have lower rates of deaths and hospital readmissions, according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Mortality Rates Dropped 60 Percent From 1935 to 2010

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- From 1935 to 2010, the death rate in the United States decreased considerably, although the single-year improvements in mortality were often small, according to a March data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Asymptomatic Often Sent for Lung Cancer Screening Tests

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- A majority of primary care physicians report ordering lung cancer screening tests for asymptomatic patients, according to research published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Neonatal Size Associated With Asthma Development

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Larger neonates born at term to mothers with a history of asthma are more likely to develop asthma by age 7, but are not more likely to have allergic sensitization or atopic dermatitis, according to research published online March 2 in Allergy.

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Flu Vaccine Up Among Medical Staff When They Believe It Works

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital health care workers (HCWs) are more likely to receive the seasonal influenza vaccination if they believe it works and are committed to preventing this highly contagious virus, according to research published in the April issue of Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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Common Products May Contain Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Many common products, including sunscreen and fragranced products, contain multiple endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) or asthma-related chemicals, which are often not listed on the label, according to a study published online March 8 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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One in Four Tuberculosis Cases Due to Recent Transmission

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- About one in four cases of tuberculosis in the United States can be attributed to recent transmission, with groups such as men and persons born in the United States at higher risk, according to a study published in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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Surrogates Tend to Misinterpret Poor Prognosis Information

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Surrogate decision makers for critically ill patients interpret prognostic statements expressing a low risk of death accurately, but interpret statements conveying poor prognosis optimistically, according to a study published in the March 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lung Adenocarcinoma Architecture Predicts Survival

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- A new method of classifying invasive pulmonary adenocarcinomas, based on the predominant architecture developed by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)/American Thoracic Society (ATS)/European Respiratory Society (ERS), is a stage-independent predictor of survival, according to research published online March 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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ENB-0040 Shows Promise for Hypophosphatasia in Children

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- For infants and children with hypophosphatasia, treatment with ENB-0040, a bone-targeted, recombinant human tissue-nonspecific isozyme of alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP), is associated with healing of rickets and improved pulmonary and physical function, according to an open-label study published in the March 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Buprenorphine Maintenance Therapy Not Recommended

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid substitution therapy with buprenorphine is not recommended for opioid-addicted health care professionals (HCPs), according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Drug Approved to Prevent Respiratory Distress Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Surfaxin (lucinactant) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent respiratory distress syndrome, a serious lung condition that affects infants born prematurely.

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Economic Stagnation May Have Increased Mortality Rate

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- From the late 1990s through 2005, mortality rates for Japanese men who worked as professionals or managers began to increase, coinciding with the country's period of economic stagnation, according to research published online March 6 in BMJ.

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Financial Burden of Medical Care Affects One in Three

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- In the first half of 2011, one in three individuals was in a family that experienced the financial burden of medical care in the United States, according to the results of the National Health Interview Survey published March 7 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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In Suspected PE, A-fib Doesn't Raise Odds of the Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- In general, the presence of atrial fibrillation (AF) does not increase the likelihood of pulmonary embolism (PE), according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Electronic Test Result Access Does Not Reduce Test Ordering

TUESDAY, March 6 (HealthDay News) -- For office-based physicians, electronic access to patient imaging and laboratory test results does not decrease -- and may actually increase -- the number of diagnostic tests ordered, according to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Children's Snoring May Predict Behavioral Problems

MONDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in children during the first years of life appears to be strongly associated with future behavioral problems, according to a study published online March 5 in Pediatrics.

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Sleep Quality Found to Actually Improve With Age

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to popular belief, sleep quality, as measured by sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue, actually improves with age, according to a study published in the March issue of SLEEP.

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Two Pancreatic-Enzyme Products Approved

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Two drugs that supplement the digestion-aiding actions of pancreatic enzymes have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency said Thursday in a news release.

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Vandetanib Doesn't Up Survival in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Vandetanib does not improve overall survival for patients who have received previous treatment for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published online Feb. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Reduced Lung Function Linked to Heart Failure Risk

THURSDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Lung function and obstructive airway diseases are strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of heart failure, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in the European Journal of Heart Failure.

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