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Early Intervention Lowers Asthma in Pregnant Women
In an original study at Monash University, Australia, for Multidisciplinary Approach to Management of Maternal Asthma (MAMMA), it was found that early intervention to better manage the asthmatic condition in a pregnant women can statistically and clinically control their asthma.
 
Intervening through monthly asthma education, monitoring, feedback, and follow-up helped yield better asthma control results after 6-months of care.  
 
“With one in eight pregnant women suffering from asthma, this research is telling us we need to improve management during pregnancy by finding new strategies to improve education and awareness,” says lead investigator Angelina Lim of the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety at Monash University. ”Poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy is hazardous for the health of the mother and the baby and has been associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and pre-eclampsia.
 
“Proper asthma management among pregnant women should be regarded as a leading priority in antenatal care. This is a simple intervention that could be easily implemented in antenatal settings with minimal additional resources.”
 
In the intervention group, no asthma-related oral steroid use, hospital admissions, emergency visits, or days off work were reported during the trial.  The findings of this study are detailed and published in the journal Chest.
 
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Spirometry is Good Business
Spirometry is the gold standard for the diagnosis and management of both Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).  The earlier you detect the disease and its state; the easier and faster you can treat your patients.
 
Spirometry is good medicine.  The patients you see every day in your office can be correctly diagnosed and treated more accurately and effectively in the convenience of your office.
 
Spirometry is easy.  Unless the equipment is easy-to-use, it will not be fully embraced and utilized by your staff.  All MD Spiro spirometers are menu-driven via a large, graphic display and testing takes less than five minutes to perform.  The easy-to-read reports, quality checks, and built-in interpretation assist you for an accurate diagnosis.
 
Spirometry is good business. Office spirometry is third-party reimbursable with an average reimbursement of $33.00 for a simple five-minute non-invasive test.  The average primary care physician tests ten patients per week and pays for their equipment in three months or less then generates over $20,000 per year in additional revenue.
 
Facts about Asthma:
  • Asthma accounts for one-quarter of all emergency room visits in the US each year
  • With 2 million emergency room visits, asthma is the number one cause of school absenteeism among children accounting for more than 14M total missed school days.
  • An estimated 26 million Americans suffer from asthma, which equates to 1 in 15 Americans according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
 
Facts about COPD:
  • COPD is the third leading cause of death in the US
  • An individual dies of COPD every 4 minutes in the US
  • The single, best test for detecting early COPD is spirometry
  • Treatment for COPD is more effective if given before symptoms occur
For more information about how MD Spiro can help add spirometry into your practice, visit: www.mdspiro.com. 
 
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Early Diagnosis of COPD Can Make a Huge Difference
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are diagnosed with COPD, but experts believe that the actual number of people affected with this disease is double the official figure reported. 
 
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a serious lung disease that blocks the airway and can cause extensive damage to the organ. 
 
Most people that are over 40 years old are unaware of COPD but early detection can make a  long-term improvement on the health. The following symptoms are common among COPD patients:
  • Regular cough that often comes with phlegm
  • Simple chores that leaves you short and out of breath
  • Wheezing at night or when you overexert yourself with physical activities
  • Colds that lasts longer and doesn't seem to get treated easily 
Spirometry is a painless and short test, where your patients have to breathe into a machine that measures your lung capacity.  Early diagnosis of COPD can help improve the health of your patients and avoid complications.
 
For more information about how MD Spiro can help add Spirometry into your practice, visit: www.mdspiro.com
 
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Safe Exercises for the Asthmatic Patient
Safe Exercises for the Asthmatic Patient
 
One of the goals of asthma treatment is to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Getting your body in shape and keeping it that way can happen even if you are an asthmatic.  It is important that your patients are getting the right amount and type of exercise to help them to strengthen their hearts and lungs.  A few exercise that can be good to refer your patients to do are:
 
  • Swimming
  • Intermittent Team Sports
  • Weight Training
  • Martial Arts
  • Yoga
  • Biking
  • Walking
  • Hiking
“As an asthmatic, I find that the best exercises that help me stay healthy is yoga and power walking,” says Lyndsay Johnson, asthma patient. “It helps me to strengthen my heart, lungs, and doesn’t make me feel like I am overexerting myself which reduces my stress causing me to not be ‘worried’ about an attack coming on.”
 
Exercise helps build strength to the asthmatic, so living a sedentary life can worsen some asthmatics symptoms.  Work with your asthmatic patients on a healthy exercise plan to help control their asthma today and incorporate spirometry into your practice to diagnose, treat, and control.
 
For more information about how MD Spiro can help add spirometry into your practice, visit: www.mdspiro.com
 
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Study: Children & Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Study: Secondhand smoke exposure increases readmission of children with asthma to hospitals

A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, raises the possibility that measuring tobacco exposure could be used in the clinical practice to target smoking cessation efforts and reduce the likelihood of future hospital admissions.
 
Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Children’s Hospital measured cotinine in the blood and saliva of more than 600 children.  Cotinine is produced after that chemical nicotine enters the body.  Measuring cotinine in people’s blood is the most reliable way to determine exposure to nicotine for those exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
 
Measuring this exposure can be used to target interventions before discharge with caregivers, counseling, and contacting the primary care physician.  The study’s intent was to understand hospital readmission causes.  The scientific analysis of actual secondhand smoke demonstrated a readmission risk more than twice that of children who were not exposed.  
 
Certainly there could be a financial incentive for insurance companies to help caregivers to quit smoking, rather than pay the downstream costs of a future asthma readmission.  Help your patients to stop smoking in this New Year!  You can get paid for Smoking Cessation Counseling.  Call on our MD Spiro experts to learn more about how you can use CO breath testing in smoking cessation counseling in your practice or visit www.mdspiro.com. 
 
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Take Care of Your Asthma
When you have asthma, the flu and cold season is more worrisome than for those without suffering with asthma.  Viral illnesses can worsen asthma symptoms and the flu can also cause severe lower respiratory infections in asthmatics.  This is because people with asthma have swollen or sensitive airways, and influenza can cause further inflammation of the airways and lungs.  Influenza can lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases.  Asthma attacks can be caused by “triggers” such as airway infections, allergies, pets, smoke, mold, chemical irritants, and air pollution, amongst many others.
 
 “When someone with asthma breathes in a trigger, the insides of the airways make extra mucus and swell even more. This narrows the space for the air to move in and out of the lungs. The muscles that wrap around your airways can also tighten, making breathing even harder. When that happens, it’s called an asthma flare-up, asthma episode or asthma ‘attack,’” according to the American Lung Association.  There are other triggers as well.  Exercise is a key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  However, the type of exercise, location, and potential irritants in that location can worsen your asthma.   
 
People with exercise-induced asthma have airways that are overly sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and humidity, especially when breathing colder, drier air, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).
 
During strenuous activity, people tend to breathe through their mouths. Mouth breathing allows cold, dry air directly into the lungs, without benefit of the warmth and moisture that nose breathing supplies. As a result, air is moistened to only 60-70% relative humidity. Nose-breathing, meanwhile, warms and saturates air to about 80 to 90% humidity.
 
As practitioners, it is important for you to monitor the health of your patients, their exercise program, and ensure spirometry is part of your patient monitoring and diagnosis.  For more information on spirometry and asthma in your practice, visit www.mdspiro.com.
 
References:
 
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(HealthDay News) -- Taking medications as prescribed and avoiding triggers can help keep asthma under control, but you should look for warning signs that your asthma may be worsening.
 
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute mentions these potential signs that asthma is getting worse:
 
  • Your symptoms become more severe or occur more frequently. Or they affect you more at night and interfere with sleep.
  • Symptoms are causing you to restrict usual activities or miss school or work.
  • Your peak flow number has decreased from your personal best, or your results fluctuate significantly from day to day.
  • Asthma medications appear to become ineffective.
  • You're using a quick-relief inhaler more frequently.
  • You've visited the emergency room or doctor due to an asthma attack.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor without delay.
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Asthma exacerbations decreased by 87% in patients treated with an investigational agent that targets the interleukin-4 (IL-4) receptor, results of a placebo-controlled phase II trial showed.
 
Dupilumab was associated with an exacerbation rate of 6% compared with 44% in the placebo group.
 
Measures of lung function and asthma control also improved significantly in the dupilumab arm, and treatment with the monoclonal antibody was associated with a reduction in biomarkers of Th2-driven inflammation.
 
The drug was generally well tolerated; the most common adverse events were injection-site reactions, nasopharyngitis, nausea, and headache, as reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine and simultaneously at the American Thoracic Society meeting.
 
"This study targeted those individuals who, on the basis of eosinophil levels in their blood, seemed to have evidence for Th2-type asthma," principal investigator Sally Wenzel, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh, told MedPage Today. "By using this drug that blocks this pathway, we observed a really robust response compared with placebo in patients with moderate to severe asthma."
 
"The drug improved exacerbations, improved lung function, improved symptoms, and improved asthma control."
 
To read the entire article, visit here.
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