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American Thoracic Society, May 19-24

Last Updated: May 25, 2017.

The American Thoracic Society's 2017 International Conference

The annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society was held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C., and attracted more than 14,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in pulmonary disease. The conference highlighted recent advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of pulmonary conditions as well as provided insight into critical care medicine and sleep disorders.

In one study, Heather Giannini, M.D., of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues used a machine-learning algorithm and clinical and administrative data from their local health system to create a predictive alert that detects septic shock more than 12 hours prior to onset in their hospitalized non-intensive care unit, non-emergency department patients.

"We implemented this alert at our three urban hospitals for a two-month period to evaluate the alert's test characteristics (i.e., sensitivity/specificity) and to better understand who the algorithm is detecting within our patient population," Giannini said.

Machine learning allowed the investigators to integrate a significant amount of patient data (greater than 500 variables) into a predictive alert.

"The alert was able to identify patients at risk for septic shock, with a positive likelihood ratio for septic shock of 13, meaning patients who received an alert were 13 times more likely to experience septic shock than not," Giannini said. "Machine learning may represent an opportunity to capitalize on the wealth of data from electronic health records to affect critical care outcomes."

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In another study, Ken Kunisaki, M.D., of the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System, and colleagues found that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appear to be especially vulnerable to events like sudden death, myocardial infarction, and stroke following COPD exacerbations.

"Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is very common in persons with COPD," Kunisaki said. "We hypothesized that exacerbations of COPD would be associated with an increased risk for CVD after the exacerbation. We tested this hypothesis in a study of over 16,000 persons with COPD and with cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors. The study included blinded adjudication of cardiovascular events, which is the major advance over the few previous studies addressing this question."

The investigators found that exacerbations were followed by an increased risk of cardiovascular disease events, particularly in the first 30 days after the exacerbation and especially in those who were hospitalized.

"Clinicians and patients should be vigilant for CVD following COPD exacerbations," Kunisaki said.

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ATS: Mortality Down for Patients Hospitalized With COPD in U.S.

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- While the number of Americans hospitalized each year for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appears to be holding steady, the number of patients dying in the hospital over the past decade has decreased, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: Bronchial Thermoplasty Has Lasting Benefits for Asthma

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Bronchial thermoplasty (BT), which uses three radio-frequency treatments to open the airways of adults with asthma, is beneficial up to two years for patients with inadequately controlled asthma, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: Cancer-Related Suicide Risk Highest for Lung Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with lung cancer have a strikingly higher-than-normal risk of suicide, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: Online Pulmonary Rehab Non-Inferior for COPD

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A novel online pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program is non-inferior to conventional face-to-face PR for patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: Angiotensin II Improves BP in Vasodilatory Shock

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with vasodilatory shock that does not respond to high-dose vasopressors, angiotensin II increases blood pressure, according to a study published online May 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: Lower ARDS Mortality at High-Volume Intensive Care Units

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), mortality is lower in high-volume intensive care units (ICUs), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: Sleep Apnea, Insomnia in Blacks Often Go Undiagnosed

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Most black people in the United States with sleep apnea or insomnia don't get their sleep disorder diagnosed, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: Benralizumab Reduces Glucocorticoid Doses in Asthma

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Benralizumab is associated with a significant reduction in glucocorticoid doses among adults with severe asthma, according to a study published online May 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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ATS: First Abx Rx Doesn't Work for ~25% of Pneumonia Cases

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- The first prescription of an antibiotic that the average U.S. adult with pneumonia receives is now ineffective in about a quarter of cases, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 19 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

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