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Thursday 01, Apr 2010

  Self-management education for COPD patients

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Self-management education for COPD patients  Hospital admissions can be reduced significantly among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) because of self-management education programs, as per report by researchers in a new systematic review of studies.

Lead author Tanja Effing, an institutional researcher in the department of pulmonary medicine at the Medisch Spectrum Twente, a hospital in Enschede, the Netherlands, said that the most important finding is that self-management education is associated with significant and is clinically relevant for reductions in hospital admissions.

The review appeared in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, which is an international organization examining medical research.

Monday 09, Nov 2009

  Steroids help in COPD

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Steroids help in COPDAnew study reports that steroids are not only beneficial to patients with asthma, but it is also beneficial to patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Dr. E. R. Sutherland, from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, and colleagues, conducted their analysis of the data results in eight studies in order to determine if steroids improve the breathing of patients with COPD. Each trial went on for 2 years and an estimated 4,000 patients participated in the study.

Results showed that COPD patients indeed benefitted on inhaled steroids, particularly in large doses. Inhaled steroids were found to retard the effects of COPD in patients. COPD patients usually experience a decrease in their ability to take in large volumes of air and their ability to exhale air is restricted.

COPD includes diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis. These two most common COPD condition is closely linked to cigarette smoking. It is reported to be the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Researchers concluded that a large dose of steroids is effective in slowing down the effects of COPD. However, further studies should be conducted to identify the ideal dose, time and other drugs that work best with steroids.


Tuesday 25, Aug 2009

  Call for caution in prescribing inhaled corticosteroids to COPD patients

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Call for caution in prescribing inhaled corticosteroids to COPD patients  According to lung disease experts at Johns Hopkins, there is a great need for caution by physicians in prescribing inhaled corticosteroids for patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This finding was revealed after it was found out that anti-inflammatory medications increase the risk of pneumonia by a full third.

It is presently estimated that more than 11 million Americans, most of them former or current smokers, are suffering from COPD that is characterized by the fatal and lung-diminishing conditions of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

From News-Medical.Net:

Senior study investigator and critical care specialist Eddy Fan, M.D., says the results of the analysis should not alarm patients or cause them to stop taking their medications but should spur physicians to screen and monitor their patients to find the lowest possible steroid dose that works, especially in the elderly, people with immune system problems, and people who have had multiple bouts of pneumonia and for whom repeat bacterial infection might be a life-threatening complication.

Inhaled corticosteroids are not of equal benefit to all, and what we are seeing is that the treatment may be more harmful and pose a greater risk of harm to some,” says Fan, an instructor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Physicians really need to strongly evaluate a patient’s individual characteristics before prescribing these steroid medications, and patients, in turn, should weigh the risks and benefits of taking the drugs, despite their proven record in providing symptomatic relief,” he says.

According to pulmonologist M. Brad Drummond, M.D., M.H.S., who led the study, “catching this bacterial infection can seriously disrupt quality of life, making it harder for COPD patients to breathe and possibly leading to hospitalization.”

Fan says that COPD is expected to become the third leading cause of death in the United States by 2020, behind heart ailments and cancer and ahead of stroke.

During the study, it was advised that physicians need to exercise a higher sense of caution than what is observed by them nowadays so that inhaled corticosteroids do not pose any danger to health of their patients. For this, patients and their families need to be made aware of the pros and cons of inhaled corticosteroid trearment.

Tuesday 04, Aug 2009

  Resistance of smoker’s lung to Steroid Treatment methodologies

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Resistance of smoker’s lung to Steroid Treatment methodologiesScientists from the Imperial College, London have claimed that they are just one the verge of finding an amicable solution to one of the most common and fatal diseases in the UK – smokers lung – in relation to difficulties in treating it with a steroid treatment. In this regard, clinical trials of a potential therapy have already begun.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – chronic bronchitis and emphysema, or ‘smoker’s lung’ – is responsible for affecting approximately 6 percent of UK’s population.

Professor Peter Barnes and his colleagues found that steroids act a ‘molecular bridge’ in the recruitment of HDAC2 to the concerned genes where it can possibly act to switch them off. It was further found that low doses of theophylline can raise the levels of HDAC2 and break the resistance of steroids.

Friday 03, Jul 2009

  Why Lungs of Smokers are resistant to Steroid Treatment?

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Why Lungs of Smokers are resistant to Steroid Treatment?Scientists from the Imperial College, London have found the reason why lungs of smokers are resistant to steroid treatment along with finding a solution to this resistance.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – ‘smoker’s lung’, or chronic bronchitis and emphysema – presently affects 6 percent population of the United Kingdom and is considered to be the fourth most common death cause in the land of the Queen.

It is seen that steroids are normally very effective in the treatment of inflammatory ailments such as COPD but some COPD patients do not respond as per expectations to steroid therapy.

Professor Peter Barnes and his colleagues found out that steroid are effective in playing an active role for acting as a molecular bridge in the recruitment of Histone Deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), an enzyme, to the relevant genes where it can switch them off.

They also discovered that levels of HDAC2 were very low compared to normal cells in the COPD patients. This means that the steroids are no longer potent enough to have any effect in switching off the activated inflammatory genes. In this direction, a new steroid has been found that can raise the levels of HDAC2 and break the resistance of steroids.