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asthma

The following articles have the tag asthma

Stunted growth caused by inhaled asthma steroids

Stunted growth caused by inhaled asthma steroids

ASTHMA inhalers can stunt the growth of children, UK research suggests.

Some GPs not recommending flu vax to pregnant patients

Some GPs not recommending flu vax to pregnant patients

ONE-third of GPs do not consider influenza during pregnancy to pose a serious risk to the mother or her baby, an Australian study has found.

Many GPs not recommending flu vax to pregnant patients

Many GPs not recommending flu vax to pregnant patients

ONE-third of GPs do not consider influenza during pregnancy to pose a serious risk to the mother or her baby, an Australian study has found.

Inhaler technique key to good control

Inhaler technique key to good control

Question: Why is correct inhaler technique important?

The evidence for Echinacea

The evidence for Echinacea

Is Echinacea effective for the common cold in children?

Harder to breathe

Harder to breathe

When should surgery be considered after primary spontaneous pneumothorax?

Chronic disease ups multimorbidity

Chronic disease ups multimorbidity

PATIENTS with a single chronic disease are at increased risk of multimorbidity, according to Australian research.

Preserve equality, don’t compromise

Preserve equality, don’t compromise

Since the announcement of a no-exceptions $7 co-payment for general practice attendances, with a corresponding $5 cut in the current Medicare rebate, there has been much confusion.

Digital Clubbing in Children

Digital Clubbing in Children

This Update discusses the respiratory and other causes of digital clubbing in children. This important clinical sign may present as early as several months of age.

Common sense view of asthma backed by fact

As a GP, common sense tells me that someone who maintains a good lifestyle — healthy diet, regular exercise and appropriate body weight — is likely to cope with their asthma better than someone who eats junk food, doesn't exercise and is obese.

Using Wikipedia? Research reveals how wrong it gets health

IT IS among the most popular sources of healthcare information for both patients and doctors, but now a US study has found what proportion of Wikipedia articles covering common health conditions contain factual errors.

Zoster risk linked to chronic conditions

Zoster risk linked to chronic conditions

SOME chronic conditions may put patients at increased risk of developing herpes zoster at younger ages than the general population, a study suggests.

Asthma drugs in kids may be restricted

Asthma drugs in kids may be restricted

THE Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee will consider recommendations to restrict fixed dose combination (FDC) inhalers for children with asthma to certain age groups in an effort to bring prescribing patterns in line with national guidelines.

Combine or find a cheaper alternative?

Combine or find a cheaper alternative?

COMBINATION therapies, particularly in respiratory medicine, are a recipe for confusion as well as cost blowouts.

Vitamin D no help in asthma

VITAMIN D supplements may have little benefit in improving symptoms in asthmatics, research has found.

'Healer' unrepentant about child's cancer death

A MOTHER who fled Perth with her 10-year-old daughter to prevent her having chemotherapy has told a coronial inquest it was not a mistake to treat her cancer with natural remedies.

Data dilemma

Data dilemma

A COCHRANE review finds neuraminidase inhibitors fail to prevent flu complications, but it’s clearly not the final word.

FactCheck: does the average Australian go to the doctor 11 times a year?

FactCheck: does the average Australian go to the doctor 11 times a year?

NO matter how you count it, on investigation Tony Shepherd’s Audit report claim doesn’t add up.

Coffee to fix your health?

Coffee to fix your health?

RESEARCH on the effects of caffeine can appear contradictory, so what is the best advice for health?

Recurrent lower respiratory tract infections in children

Recurrent lower respiratory tract infections in children

THIS Update discusses in detail conditions causing recurrent lower respiratory tract infection. A system for the evaluation of this condition is outlined.

Ringtones improve med adherence

ELECTRONIC reminders substantially improve medication adherence in people with poor asthma control.

Smoking higher in people with asthma

Smoking higher in people with asthma

SMOKING rates are slightly higher among people with asthma than in the general population, research suggests.

Chronic cough in children

Chronic cough in children

THIS Update highlights the key points in the evaluation of chronic cough in children. It emphasises the need to identify the aetiology and describes the various treatment modalities.

GP sued for failing to detect pregnancy

A WOMAN who was 48 when she gave birth to a boy with Down syndrome has successfully sued her GP for not detecting her pregnancy.

Homeopathy studies untrustworthy: NHMRC

Homeopathy studies untrustworthy: NHMRC

STUDIES that claim to show homeopathy works just can’t be trusted, according to Australia’s peak medical research body.

Asthma attacks sparked by junk food

Asthma attacks sparked by junk food

INFLAMMATORY foods such as saturated fats and refined sugars may be a trigger for asthma attacks, according to Australian research.

Rare diseases masquerading as asthma

A NATIONAL registry of rare lung diseases has identified multiple conditions that can masquerade as asthma, and researchers are pushing for increased awareness of them in an effort to prevent misdiagnosis and delayed treatment.

Flu season to hit adults hardest

Flu season to hit adults hardest

AUSTRALIAN experts warn that adults aged 24–64 will be hardest hit by seasonal influenza this year, which has already led to a record number of hospitalisations among younger patients around the world.

Preventer best for asthma control

REGULAR use of preventer inhalers to control flare-ups and improve lung function is among the recommendations in the latest edition of the online Australian Asthma Handbook.

Travel health for GPs

Travel health for GPs

THIS Update outlines a stepwise plan to assist GPs with the evaluation of patients planning to travel and will guide the GP through the evaluation and referral process.

Lethal scombroid reaction rare

Lethal scombroid reaction rare

THE scombroid poisoning that killed Queensland’s Noelene and Yvana Bischoff is among the more common forms of illness from seafood, according to a food safety microbiologist, however the effects are usually so mild it does not warrant reporting.

Rare poisoning kills Queensland pair

AUSTRALIANS are more at risk of the food poisoning that killed a Queensland mother and daughter if they're travelling overseas, doctors say.

Premature birth ‘hikes asthma risk’

Premature birth ‘hikes asthma risk’

BEING born prematurely may triple a baby's risk of developing childhood asthma, research has shown.

Premature birth 'hikes asthma risk'

Premature birth 'hikes asthma risk'

BEING born prematurely can triple a baby's risk of developing childhood asthma, research has shown.

Ultramarathons have risks but also benefits

Ultramarathons have risks but also benefits

THE health benefits of regular exercise have long been understood, but little is known about the impact of intense forms of physical activity designed to mentally and physically push the body’s upper endurance limits.

Drug-taking GP has won deregistration review

A RURAL GP who defended her cannabis and painkiller abuse by asking “isn’t a doctor who poses a serious risk to patients better than no doctor at all?” will be allowed to have her registration suspension reviewed.

’Tis the season for sneezing

THE holiday season is fast approaching and with it comes gatherings and gifts, but party hosts have been warned of the perils of unwittingly giving allergy-prone guests more than they bargained for.

Top issues of 2013

YEAR in review – we chart the highs and lows.

Researchers find gene for severe recurrent asthma

Researchers find gene for severe recurrent asthma

A CRUCIAL gene for development of asthma in early life has been identified by an international research team, paving the way for future development of tailored therapy, experts say.

Manipulate or investigate?

Manipulate or investigate?

WILL the tide turn against chiropractic treatment of children?

Over 600,000 ED presentations avoidable

Over 600,000 ED presentations avoidable

MORE than 635,000 hospital visits — 7% of all presentations — are avoidable.

600k ED presentations avoidable: report

MORE than 635,000 hospital visits – 7% of all presentations – are avoidable. And people in some rural areas are almost three times as likely to go to hospital when they could go to a GP instead, according to a new report.

Uncontrolled asthma linked to job exposure

Uncontrolled asthma linked to job exposure

OCCUPATIONAL exposure to asthma triggers for the past 10 years is associated with adult-onset uncontrolled asthma, a population-based study has found.

Fire response help from GPs

Fire response help from GPs

GPs from bushfire affected regions of NSW have been heavily involved in the response effort, manning evacuation centres to treat minor injuries and ensuring vital medications remain available to patients.

Bushfires cause asthma spike

THE NSW bushfires have caused a spike in asthma cases, with more than double the usual number treated at Sydney hospitals on Monday 21 October when air quality was at its worst, NSW Health data shows.

Bushfires double asthma cases treated in hospital

Bushfires double asthma cases treated in hospital

THE NSW bushfires caused a spike in asthma cases, with more than double the usual number treated in Sydney hospitals on Monday when air quality was at its worst, NSW health data shows.

Warning on hazardous air quality

Warning on hazardous air quality

DOCTORS are urging people to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid exercising outside as heavy smoke rises above bushfire-hit NSW.

Promoting change to contain our health costs

HEALTHCARE’S cost debate often tends to focus on elective surgery lists and more hospital beds.

Vacuum cleaners overlooked for harmful bacteria

Vacuum cleaners overlooked for harmful bacteria

HOUSEHOLD vacuum cleaners may be an overlooked source of exposure to bacteria and moulds with the potential to cause human disease, Australian researchers say.

Asthma in pregnancy concern

Asthma in pregnancy concern

REGULAR monitoring of pregnant women with asthma dramatically reduces the risk of bronchiolitis in their babies, research from the Hunter Medical Research Institute has found.

Less letters, same degree, still doctors

Less letters, same degree, still doctors

WHEN the University of New South Wales confers its first Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees later this year the medical profession may be asking what’s in a name?

Asthma control in pregnancy reduces bronchiolitis risk

Asthma control in pregnancy reduces bronchiolitis risk

REGULAR monitoring of pregnant women with asthma dramatically reduces the risk of bronchiolitis in their babies, research from the Hunter Medical Research Institute has found.

Musculoskeletal pain often coexists with other illness

Musculoskeletal pain often coexists with other illness

A LARGE proportion of patients with musculoskeletal problems have comorbidities, which may sometimes be prioritised for management ahead of their pain issues, researchers suggest.

Call to expand pneumo vax in asthma care

Call to expand pneumo vax in asthma care

RESEARCH linking asthma with an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease has prompted calls for more people to be offered routine vaccination.

Curious parasitic worm

Curious parasitic worm

BE ALERT to variable signs of Strongyloides.

Conflict of interest widespread

THE majority of expert members of panels that decide definitions and diagnosis criteria for common conditions have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, an analysis of US publications has found.

Asthma prediction with simple score

A SIMPLE tool consisting of 10 questions can predict which preschool children with wheeze and cough will develop asthma, a UK study shows.

Asthma in pregnancy disease link

Asthma in pregnancy disease link

NEW research shows children whose mothers had asthma during pregnancy have a high risk of several diseases, but an expert has warned that treatment should not be stopped as a result of the finding.

Almost a third of Australian babies may develop eczema

Almost a third of Australian babies may develop eczema

NEARLY one in three babies in Australia develops eczema in the first year of life, with offspring of East Asian parents having the highest chance of developing the condition.

Asthma inhalers may benefit from new breakthrough

A NEW method of making ultrafine particles could be adapted to improve drug delivery in asthma inhalers, according to Australian scientists.

Record fine and ban for cardiologist’s misconduct

Record fine and ban for cardiologist’s misconduct

A FORMER AMA president has received the biggest fine in the Medical Board of Australia’s history and been banned from performing angiograms, angioplasty and stenting for five years.

When it’s hard to breathe

When it’s hard to breathe

CONSIDER stress in the evaluation of dysfunctional breathing.

Call to remove inhaler restrictions

GP representatives want PBS restrictions on fixed-dose combination inhalers for children with asthma relaxed, despite a groundswell of opinion towards tighter controls.

Finding the root of pelvic pain

Finding the root of pelvic pain

PELVIC pain is very common but is not recognised as a national health priority.

Dummies cleaned by parent sucking aids kids’ immunity

Dummies cleaned by parent sucking aids kids’ immunity

PARENTS who ‘clean’ their baby’s dummy by sucking on it may be contributing to the child’s protection against allergy, research suggests.

Complementary complexities

Complementary complexities

COMPLEMENTARY medicine figures prominently in the healthcare regimen of many Australians.

Asthma InfoLine has real benefits

AN INNOVATIVE health management initiative that links patients to support and education from asthma experts is showing real benefits, according to GPs.

Modern medicine meets jungle life

Modern medicine meets jungle life

FORMER Ecuadorian political refugee, now Cairns GP, Patricio Gordillo returns to his homeland.

Laryngopharyngeal reflux

Laryngopharyngeal reflux

This Update looks at current concepts in the diagnosis and management of laryngopharyngeal reflux.

Bariatric surgery saves on drug costs

SAVINGS on pharmaceuticals are greatest for diabetes medications after bariatric surgery, Australian data shows.

Call for national flu and pneumococcal vaccination register

Call for national flu and pneumococcal vaccination register

LOW flu and pneumococcal vaccination rates among at-risk populations have incited a call for the establishment of a national vaccination register.

Cleaning linked to asthma

Cleaning linked to asthma

CLEANERS and other people who work with cleaning products are at an elevated risk of developing adult onset asthma, according to a large longitudinal study.

Fast food linked to higher risk of asthma in children

Fast food linked to higher risk of asthma in children

CHILDREN and teenagers who eat more than three servings of fast food a week are at increased risk of severe asthma, eczema and rhinoconjunctivitis, according to a large international study.

Nine-fold increased risk of PE for patients with severe asthma

SEVERE asthma poses a nine-fold increased risk of suffering a pulmonary embolism (PE), European research suggests.

Inhaled steroids suppress HPA axis

ALMOST two-thirds of children being treated with corticosteroids may have a degree of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, researchers suggest.

Symptom based ICS effective for asthma

PATIENTS with mild to moderate persistent asthma may not need inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) daily according to trial findings, which may herald a future method of management, experts say.

Fast Forward - 11 September 2012

Fast Forward - 11 September 2012

MO looks back 10 years, casting a fresh eye over what made news in 2002. Then we hit the fast forward button to see what’s changed.

Nurse consults benefit asthmatics

DEVELOPING a guide for young people to help them participate more in their own consultation with primary care nurses is beneficial, UK researchers say.

Patients miss asthma meds due to high cost

PATIENTS with asthma are skipping vital preventer medication, and even relievers, due to cost, the Asthma Foundation of NSW warns.

Worrying spike in child asthma deaths

Asthma deaths in children double

ASTHMA deaths among children have more than doubled since 2006, raising concerns that parents may have become complacent about monitoring their child’s illness.

Inhaled corticosteroids may be overprescribed

ONE in six patients prescribed corticosteroid inhalers probably do not need them, Australian research suggests.

Pregnant women neglect asthma meds

Pregnant women neglect asthma meds

MANY Australian women opt to not take their asthma medication during pregnancy despite a worsening of their symptoms, a study has found.

Treating asthma in pregnancy can be daunting

Treating asthma in pregnancy can be daunting

THERE is a good understanding by GPs of asthma medication safety in pregnancy but some lack confidence in managing patients whose symptom control deteriorates, an Australian study suggests.

Asthma now more strongly linked to poverty

ASTHMA rates among children and young adults are falling but a gap is opening up between the rich and poor. The latest report card on asthma in Australia, released today, found the prevalence of the condition among five- to 34-year-olds dropped by a quarter between 2001 and 2007–08 and remained stable among older adults. However, people from poorer backgrounds were increasingly more likely to have the illness than those in wealthier areas. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report, Asthma in Australia 2011 , said the finding ...

Prenatal pets protective for allergies

PRENATAL pet-exposure may protect children against developing asthma and allergies, a study suggests. In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers found levels of IgE antibodies were 28% lower in babies whose mothers kept a cat or dog in the house while pregnant in comparison to those born into pet-free homes. The research, carried out by the Public Health Sciences Department at Henry Ford Health System, in Michigan, US, also found that this protective effect was even stronger statistically when comparing children born vaginally to those born through ...

Influenza vaccination in kids

Should we routinely immunise preschoolers against influenza?

Bushfire smoke toxicity rivals urban air pollution: survey

BUSHFIRE smoke is at least as toxic as urban air pollution and increases the risk of respiratory morbidity, Australian research suggests. Analysis of 27 Australian and international studies investigating the health impact of bushfire seasons found tiny particulate matter (PM10) from bushfire smoke moderately increased the number of hospital presentations for respiratory diseases, including asthma, compared with non-bushfire periods. One Australian study revealed an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory problems of 1.2% for each 10 µg/m3 increase in PM10 from bushfire smoke.  “Bushfires are expected to increase in the future as a result of climate ...

Paracetamol link to asthma in kids remains controversial

AUSTRALIAN experts have challenged findings from a New Zealand birth cohort study linking paracetamol use with the development of asthma and atopy. In the study, children administered paracetamol before the age of 15 months were more than three times more likely to be sensitised to allergens as children who had no paracetamol, said Professor Julian Crane and colleagues from the University of Otago. Data from the study of 1400 children also showed those who took paracetamol more than 10 times between five and six years of age had double the risk of asthma compared to those not ...

Paracetamol linked to asthma and atopy in kids

NEW evidence backs a link between frequent paracetamol use in early childhood and development of asthma and atopy, researchers say. A New Zealand research group says findings from a birth cohort study of 500 children suggested paracetamol exposure before the age of 15 months is associated with atopy at six years. And among a further 900 children aged five to six years, paracetamol exposure was linked to wheeze, but not atopy, in a dose-dependent way. The children had double the risk of asthma if they had taken paracetamol more than 10 times in their life, the ...

Study clarifies effective inhalation via spacer

TWO or three tidal breaths are sufficient to deliver asthma medication to young children using a spacer, research suggests. Working with children aged two to seven, respiratory physicians from Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth have discovered youngsters tend to take much larger breaths than normal when using a spacer or valved holding chamber device. Experimenting with two small-volume devices – Funhaler and AeroChamber Plus – the researchers found no significant difference in drug delivery between two tidal breaths and nine tidal breaths (39% vs 38%). With larger-volume devices, a Volumatic and a modified 500 ...

Asthmatics warned to be vigilant as thunderstorm season begins

THUNDERSTORM season has begun, kicking off with a spike in hospital attendances for acute asthma across NSW. The state’s health department recently issued a warning after recording 126 emergency department visits for asthma on one day, compared to the usual 68 or so. Doctors are urged to ensure all asthma patients have a personalised action plan and awareness of what to do if their condition worsens. Patients are also advised to carry their prescribed medications at all times and to stay indoors during thunderstorms. The phenomenon is caused by a downdraft from the thunderstorm, disturbing pollen ...

Respiratory diseases linked to diabetes

COPD and asthma may be independently associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, new research indicates. From a US prospective cohort study of 38,570 women aged 45 years or older without diabetes at baseline, those who had asthma alone had a 37% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes after 12 years’ follow-up. Those who had COPD had a 38% increased risk. These associations were not significantly modified by age, smoking status, BMI, menopausal status or other confounders. The authors said the findings supported a hypothesis that chronic airway inflammation might increase diabetes ...

Paracetamol link with teen asthma

DESPITE growing evidence of a possible association between adolescent use of paracetamol and prevalence of asthma, an expert believes it is too early to advise against use of paracetamol by this age group. An international research team found that among 322,959 adolescents aged 13 to 14, high self-reported paracetamol use was associated with a 2.5 times greater risk of current asthma symptoms compared to no use.  It was also associated with an exposure-dependent increased risk of symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema.  However, Associate Professor Frank Thien, of the department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at ...

Probiotic supplement in pregnancy halves eczema in children

THE prevalence of eczema can be almost halved if women drink milk with a probiotic supplement during and after pregnancy, a study suggests. Norwegian researchers randomised 415 women to receive either probiotic milk or placebo from 36 weeks’ gestation to three months postnatally during breastfeeding.  Children whose mothers were in the probiotic group had a 49% lower rate of eczema than the placebo group at two years of age.  However, probiotic supplementation had no significant effect on the incidence of asthma or atopic sensitisation in children. The study was “the first to show that certain ...

Doubts raised over spirometry benefits

REGULAR use of spirometry in general practice fails to improve quality of life, symptoms or emergency medical visits in patients with asthma and COPD. Australian researchers saidthe findings of their study of 305 patients from 31 Melbourne general practices made it difficult to recommend more widespread spirometry use in primary care.  Patients were randomised to three-monthly spirometry and regular medical review, spirometry at baseline and trial’s end only, or a control group receiving usual medical care with no spirometry.  The primary outcome, quality of life, did not improve significantly in the intervention group and there was no ...

Doubts raised over spirometry benefits

REGULAR use of spirometry in general practice fails to improve quality of life, symptoms or emergency medical visits in patients with asthma and COPD. Australian researchers saidthe findings of their study of 305 patients from 31 Melbourne general practices made it difficult to recommend more widespread spirometry use in primary care.  Patients were randomised to three-monthly spirometry and regular medical review, spirometry at baseline and trial’s end only, or a control group receiving usual medical care with no spirometry.  The primary outcome, quality of life, did not improve significantly in the intervention group and there was no ...

Recent rise in asthma deaths remains unexplained

AN unexpected spike in asthma deaths, revealed in recent figures, has prompted calls for extra vigilance for signs of exacerbation in elderly patients. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found the number of deaths due to asthma in 2006 was unusually high, with signs the trend continued in 2007. More than 92% of the 402 asthma deaths in 2006 were aged 45 years and older, with many associated with co-morbidities such as COPD or acute respiratory infections. “The recent rise in deaths due to asthma after a sustained drop from 1995-2005 needs further study, ...

Hospital-in-the-home teams benefit from GP involvement

CLEAR and ongoing communication between GPs and other care providers is the key to successful shared care and hospital-in-the-home programs, medico-legal experts have argued.  Addressing the 19th Annual Medico-Legal Congress in Sydney, Avant medical adviser Dr Penny Browne said it was important to have GPs involved in such care programs whenever possible.  “Hospital-in-the-home teams may or may not have full awareness of all the patient issues. Communication with GPs may or may not occur, and this could lead to parallel or conflicting treatment,” she told delegates. “There can also be issues around clinical guidelines and how ...

Study rejects paracetamol-asthma link in children

AUSTRALIAN evidence has cast doubt on concerns that paracetamol use in childhood is linked to the development of asthma. The issue attracted attention 18 months ago when data from studies involving thousands of children worldwide linked paracetamol in the first year of life to an increased risk of asthma by age six ( MO , 26 September 2008). But Melbourne researchers say that analysis, published in The Lancet , failed to account for paracetamol use in respiratory infections, which may independently increase the risk of asthma. Allergy epidemiologist Dr Adrian Lowe (PhD) said his team ...

Asthma management program leads to better outcomes in kids

AUSTRALIAN research shows a new GP asthma management program can improve patient outcomes and doctor-patient communication skills. Sydney thoracic physician Professor Christine Jenkins said a randomised controlled trial of the Physician Asthma Communication and Education (PACE) program showed it produced real benefits for patients. Professor Jenkins, from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, said the trial, which involved 100 GPs and 200 families, boosted GP confidence in using specific communication strategies in consultations. The PACE program incorporates paediatric asthma management consistent with Australian guidelines and includes developing communication skills, case studies, device demonstrations and provision of ...

GP nurses help to drive care plan rise

A RISE in the number of diabetes and asthma care plans completed for patients has been linked to the efforts of practice nurses. The latest Productivity Commission report found patients with diabetes who received an annual cycle of care plan increased from 17% in 2004/5 to 19.8% in 2008/9. Written asthma care plans also went up from 17% in 2001 to 21% in 2007/8 and the proportion of children aged 0-14 years with asthma that had a plan rose from 24.7% in 2001 to 47.8% in 2007/8. Referring to the report, Professor Mark Harris, professor of ...

Asthma link to risk of preterm birth disputed

Asthma link to risk of preterm birth disputed

THE risk of preterm delivery is not increased in asthmatic mothers according to new Australian research that contrasts with previous study findings. However, male and female babies born to mothers with asthma responded differently in-utero, with differences in fetal growth identified in the study. Researchers analysed the outcomes of 17,440 singleton pregnancies over four years in the Newcastle region of NSW. Asthma was a complicating factor in 12% of pregnancies. The incidence of preterm delivery, which earlier studies had identified as a risk to mothers with asthma was not significantly higher in the cohort studied (13% ...

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