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October 21, 2008, 9:22 PM CT

Hope to emphysema patients

Hope to emphysema patients
Normal vs. diseased emphysema lung.

Credit: Broncus Technologies

Patients in the Valley with emphysema might soon be breathing a little easier thanks to a new airway bypass study called the Exhale Airways Stents for Emphysema (EASE) trial. The trial principal is Dr. Karl Van Gundy aided by researchers Drs. Michael Peterson, Jose Joseph, Timothy Evans and Kathryn Bilello all pulmonologists at UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. The study is a multi-center, international trial that is designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this new and innovative procedure. There are only two other sites administering the trial in California besides UCSF Fresno UC Davis Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

A form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema is a progressive lung disease that keeps air trapped inside the lungs (not allowing it to escape) resulting in shortness of breath. Since the disease develops gradually over a number of years, symptoms of emphysema might not occur until irreversible damage has already happened.

"COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and a significant cause of disability in the world," said Dr. Peterson, who also is chief of medicine at UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. "Very few new therapys have become available for this disease." .........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


July 31, 2008, 11:29 PM CT

Sleep apnea linked to increased risk of death

Sleep apnea linked to increased risk of death
Sleep-disordered breathing (also known as sleep apnea) is linked to an increased risk of death, as per new results from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort, an 18-year observational study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Scientists observed that adults (ages 30 to 60) with sleep-disordered breathing at the start of the study were two to three times more likely to die from any cause in comparison to those who did not have sleep-disordered breathing. The risk of death was associated with the severity of sleep-disordered breathing and was not attributable to age, gender, body mass index (an indicator of overweight or obesity), or cardiovascular health status.

"Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Mortality: Eighteen-Year Follow-Up of the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort," is published August 1 in the journal Sleep.

Scientists followed 1522 generally healthy men and women for an average of 13.8 years after testing them for sleep-disordered breathing using a standard overnight sleep test. Participants with severe sleep-disordered breathing were three times more likely to die during the study than those without breathing problems that may occur during sleep. Those who were not treated were at even greater risk. Participants with untreated severe sleep-disordered breathing were four times more likely to die from any cause and five times more likely to die from cardiovascular conditions.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 18, 2008, 9:09 PM CT

Men at increased risk of death from pneumonia

Men at increased risk of death from pneumonia
Men who come to the hospital with pneumonia generally are sicker than women and have a higher risk of dying over the next year, despite aggressive medical care, as per a research studybeing presented Tuesday, May 20, at the 104th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society. Scientific sessions are scheduled May 16 to 21 in Toronto.

It is well known that women live longer than men. We have always assumed that these differences occur because men engage in riskier behaviors and have a greater burden of chronic diseases, said Sachin Yende, M.D., co-author of study and assistant professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Our study showed that men were more likely to die up to a year after pneumonia, despite adjusting for health behaviors and chronic conditions. Further, our findings indicate this may be associated with differences in immune response.

The University of Pittsburgh scientists reviewed data from 1,136 men and 1,047 women with symptoms of pneumonia who were treated at 28 hospital emergency departments in the United States.

On average, men arrived at the emergency departments with poorer vital signs, were more likely to be smokers and had a greater variety of complicating health conditions. After hospitalization, men received timely antibiotic therapys more often than women and were twice as likely to be admitted immediately to intensive-care units.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 18, 2008, 9:03 PM CT

Personalized therapy for asthma and COPD

Personalized therapy for asthma and COPD
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have defined a new type of immune response that is activated in patients with severe asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Their discovery could dramatically improve diagnosis and therapy of patients with chronic inflammatory lung disease.

"We've cracked the first part of the molecular code that links a viral infection to the later development of chronic inflammatory diseases like asthma and COPD," says senior author Michael Holtzman, M.D., the Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine, director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and a pulmonary specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "With this information, we can more precisely diagnose and monitor these types of diseases and then better target our therapy to specific abnormalities. That's a big step forward from simply monitoring breathing status".

The findings, published online May 18, 2008, in Nature Medicine, promise a way to determine whether a patient's asthma or COPD is the result of a chronic immune response that can be turned on by a respiratory viral infection. Guided by these new findings, this type of immune response could be detected by monitoring specific types of inflammatory cells or molecules in the lung or potentially in the bloodstream, giving physicians a more precise approach to diagnosis and therapy of lung disease.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 7, 2008, 10:45 PM CT

Asthma and Smoker's Lung

Asthma and Smoker's Lung
Dry airways may not only play a central role in the development of the in-herited lung disease cystic fibrosis, but also in much more common ac-quired chronic lung diseases such as asthma and smoker's lung, the ciga-rette smoke-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This is the conclusion reached by researchers at Heidelberg University Hospital under the direction of Assistant Professor Dr. Marcus Mall from the Department of Pediatrics at Heidelberg University Hospital and Professor Dr. Richard Boucher of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In ani-mal studies, they observed that insufficient hydration of the airway surfaces leads to pathologies typical of chronic obstructive lung diseases in humans.

Thus, these findings point to a new approach for the therapy of these diseases, which are listed by the World Health Organization WHO as the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. There are currently no causal therapies available for treating these diseases; only the symptoms such as shortness of breath and oxygen deficiency can be treated. The results of the study have now been reported in the "American Journal of Respira-tory and Critical Care Medicine".

Cystic fibrosis gene causes airways to dry out and thickens mucus.

In the hereditary disease cystic fibrosis, which affects about 8,000 people in Gera number of (about 80,000 people in the Western world), a defective gene causes a change in the transport of salt and water across the mucosal sur-faces in the lungs, the intestine and other organs, and thus produce a change in the composition of the secretions.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


April 1, 2008, 8:31 PM CT

Smokers With Lung Disease Need More

Smokers With Lung Disease Need More
OHSU Smoking Cessation Center scientists outline key steps for developing and implementing clinic-based systems to provide smoking cessation therapy tailored to smokers with respiratory disorders.

Smokers with lung disease require more than brief smoking cessation interventions to successfully quit, scientists in the Oregon Health & Science University Smoking Cessation Center report.

Their recommendations will be published Tuesday, April 1, in the online edition of Pulmonary and Critical Care Update, a publication of the American College of Physicians.

Eventhough effective therapys for smoking cessation exist, and research has shown that patients who receive smoking cessation therapy are twice as likely to quit -- limited insurance coverage, poor adherence to practice guidelines, lack of physician training in smoking cessation, time constraints and inadequate clinic systems to easily identify and treat smokers have limited the availability and quality of smoking cessation therapy.

"Most clinicians who treat their patients for smoking cessation provide only brief interventions, often just three short steps: asking about tobacco at every visit, advising all smokers to quit and referring them to other resources, such as quit lines for assistance and follow-up," said David Gonzales, Ph.D., lead author and co-director of the OHSU Smoking Cessation Center in the OHSU School of Medicine. "When we evaluated the data, we observed that brief intervention is often insufficient for the more dependent, high-risk patients with pulmonary disease".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


March 13, 2008, 9:16 PM CT

Artificial butter chemical harmful to lungs

Artificial butter chemical harmful to lungs
A new study shows that exposure to a chemical called diacetyl, a component of artificial butter flavoring, can be harmful to the nose and airways of mice. Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, conducted the study because diacetyl has been implicated in causing obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) in humans. OB is a debilitating but rare lung disease, which has been detected recently in workers who inhale significant concentrations of the flavoring in microwave popcorn packaging plants.

When laboratory mice inhaled diacetyl vapors for three months, they developed lymphocytic bronchiolitis - a potential precursor of OB. None of the mice, however, were diagnosed with OB.

This is one of the first studies to evaluate the respiratory toxicity of diacetyl at levels relevant to human health. Mice were exposed to diacetyl at concentrations and durations comparable to what may be inhaled at some microwave popcorn packaging plants, said Daniel L. Morgan, Ph.D., head of the Respiratory Toxicology Group at the NIEHS and co-author on the paper that appears online in the journal, Toxicological Sciences. The study was done in collaboration with Duke University researchers.

The authors conclude that these findings suggest that workplace exposure to diacetyl contributes to the development of OB in humans, but more studies are needed.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


July 30, 2007, 9:57 PM CT

One cannabis joint equal to up to 5 cigarettes

One cannabis joint equal to up to 5 cigarettes
A single cannabis joint has the same effect on the lungs as smoking up to five cigarettes in one go, indicates research published ahead of print in the journal Thorax.

The scientists base their findings on 339 adults up to the age of 70, selected from a research study that's ongoing of respiratory health, and categorised into four different groups.

These comprised those who smoked only cannabis, equivalent to at least one joint a day for five years; those who smoked tobacco only, equivalent to a pack of cigarettes a day for at least a year; those who smoked both; and those who did not smoke either cannabis or tobacco.

All the participants had high definition x-ray scans (computed tomography) taken of their lungs and they took special breathing tests designed to assess how well their lungs worked.

They were also questioned about their smoking habits.

Seventy five people smoked only cannabis, and 91 smoked both. Eighty one people did not smoke either, and 92 smoked only tobacco.

Combined smokers tended to use less tobacco, the findings showed.

Cannabis smokers complained of wheeze, cough, chest tightness and phlegm. But emphysema, the progressive and crippling lung disease, was only seen in those who smoked tobacco, either alone or in combination.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 12:14 AM CT

'Healthy' children with smoking parents aren't really so healthy

'Healthy' children with smoking parents aren't really so healthy
Children of smokers who dont show any signs of respiratory problems may still be experiencing damaging changes in their airways that could lead to lung disease during the later part of life, as per a new study presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

"Everyone knows that children of smokers have more respiratory problemsmore puffing, wheezing, cases of pneumoniabut until now we havent known if lung function is impaired in children of smokers who dont have any respiratory complaints or diagnosed lung problems," says researcher Bert Arets, M.D., Ph.D., of University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.

The study included 244 children ages 4 to 12 without any history of lung or airway disease. They were divided into four groups as per the smoking pattern of their parents: never smokers, smoking after birth but not during pregnancy, during pregnancy but not after birth, and both before and after birth.

The scientists observed that children of smoking parents had significantly reduced lung function similar to that seen in smokers. Smoking after birth appeared to be more harmful than smoking during pregnancy alone. The scientists have now expanded their study to include 2,000 healthy children of smokers.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 21, 2007, 11:41 AM CT

Sleep Apnea Patients And Risk Of Car Crashes

Sleep Apnea Patients And Risk Of Car Crashes
People with obstructive sleep apnea have a markedly increased risk of severe motor vehicle crashes involving personal injury, as per a research studypresented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Sunday, May 20.

The study of 800 people with sleep apnea and 800 without the nighttime breathing disorder observed that patients with sleep apnea were twice as likely as people without sleep apnea to have a car crash, and three to five times as likely to have a serious crash involving personal injury. Overall, the sleep apnea group had a total of 250 crashes over three years, compared with 123 crashes in the group without sleep apnea.

While a number of prior studies have shown that sleep apnea patients are at increased risk of car crashes, this study is the first to look at the severity of those crashes. We were surprised not only about how a number of of the sleep apnea patients crashes involved personal injury, but that some patients had fairly mild sleep apnea and were still having serious crashes, says Alan Mulgrew, M.D., of the UBC Sleep Disorders Program in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Patients self-reported feeling of sleepiness was not found to be linked with an increased risk of car crashes, suggesting that patients are unaware of their driving hazard, Dr. Mulgrew says. Even patients with fairly mild sleep apnea were at increased risk of car crashes. Based on these findings, I now consider driving risk when deciding on therapy for patients with mild sleep apnea, he says.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
The use of a nighttime air pump is the preferred therapy for sleep apnea because of questions about the safety and effectiveness of surgery, according to a new review of previous studies.The reviewers, led by Supriya Sunduram of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in England, conclude that despite widespread use of surgery as a means of improving sleep quality, it should not be recommended because of "uncertainty surrounding its safety, continued effectiveness and inconsistent" results.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of lung news blog

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