Cover Article New
Approaches Combat Anthrax's Deadly Effects
Our nation's recent experience with anthrax spread via mail demonstrates
only too well the limitations of currently available treatments for
advanced stages of this infection. Novel therapies are on the horizon,
however. Although these approaches have been tested only in animal
models, they may lead to new tools for battling anthrax's toxic action.
Cover Article Smooth
Muscle Constriction a Vital Asthma Component
to understand and treat asthma have often focused on its inflammatory aspects.
Two new studies, however, highlight the importance of airway smooth muscle constriction
in the disease.
Cover Article Lung
Dysfunction Linked to Vascular, Heart Disease
A strong association exists between reduced lung function and two serious
cardiovascular conditions, new French and Swedish studies have shown. One study
found a link between diminished peak expiratory flow and carotid atherosclerosis;
the other established an association between decreased forced expiratory volume
in one second and ventricular arrhythmias.
Cover Article ß-Agonists
as Monotherapy for Persistant Asthma?
Two randomized studies show that long-acting ß-agonists should be used
in combination with inhaled corticosteroids and not as monotherapy for mild to
moderate persistent asthma. Our finds provide the first evidence-based support
for this recommendation, said Stephen C. Lazarus, MD, who participated in
Cover Article Wildfires
Threaten Respiratory Health
burned either in wildfires or in the household for cooking or
heating can significantly contribute to respiratory disease. However,
certain strategies may make it possible to mitigate smokes
effects on respiratory health.
Cover Article COPD
Guidelines Go Global
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause
of death worldwide, yet it remains underdiagnosed and is often
inappropriately treated. In an international effort to raise awareness
of COPD and improve its management, the National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute and World Health Organization have undertaken
the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.
Cover Article Guidelines: Avoid
Treating Most URIs With Antibiotics
To help quell the antibiotic-resistance
problem, the American College of PhysiciansAmerican Society of Internal Medicine
has created guidelines for the management of upper respiratory tract infections
(URIs). And the College wants to drive home this message: Antibiotics are usually
unnecessary for URIs in otherwise healthy adults.
Cover Article Study: Fewer Cars
Equal Fewer Asthma Exacerbations
The 1996 Summer Olympic Games
in Atlanta provided researchers with a rare opportunity to observe the positive
impact that decreased automobile traffic can have on pediatric asthma. Because
of citywide efforts to reduce such traffic during the games, the rate of childhood
asthma episodes requiring acute care fell dramatically.
Cover Article New Asthma Therapies
Fall Short of Expectations
Investigators are disappointed
with the clinical trial results of two promising allergic asthma therapies that
suppress eosinophilic inflammation. Neither an interleukin 5 monoclonal antibody
nor recombinant human interleukin 12 significantly altered airway hyperresponsiveness
or the late asthmatic response.
Cover Article New Approaches
to Smoking Cessation Show Promise
Two new interventions for
tobacco dependence are being investigated, and preliminary findings look promising.
One is a pill that blocks nicotine metabolism; the other is a vaccine that prevents
nicotine from reaching the brain.
Cover Article Early Discharge Is
Safe for Some COPD Patients
Many patients with acute COPD
exacerbations can be safely discharged from the hospital earlier than is commonly
thought--as long as treatment is continued at home under supervision.
Cover Article Auto Crashes
Linked to Delays in Sleep Disorder Diagnosis
Drivers who are habitually
sleepy have a 13-fold higher risk of having a car accident than do well-rested
drivers. And among patients with obstructive sleep apnea, a disproportionate number
of car accidents (and other adverse events) occur during the waiting period between
referral to a sleep disorders center and performance of nocturnal polysomnography.