Respiratory News

image179Treatment with 400 mcg Tudorza Pres- sair – aclidinium bromide inhalation powder  daily over a year-long period appears to bring relief of symptoms associated with COPD. Findings were presented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

An FDA advisory committee voted that Varenicline (Chantix), a drug to help people stop smoking, should continue to carry a boxed warning about the risk of side effects, with several panel members suggesting it should be strengthened.

Chantix is not addictive but some people may experience irritability and sleep distur- bance if the drug is abruptly discontinued. Psychiatric symptoms such as behavioral changes, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal behavior have been reported while using Chantix.

The drug’s effectiveness was not ques tioned.

A new study, ‘Continuing to Confront COPD International Patient Survey: Meth- ods, COPD Prevalence and Disease Burden 2012–2013,’ published this year in the Inter- national Journal of COPD, puts a new face to the disease – and it is a feminine one. The study reveals that COPD rates in the United States are higher among females than males.

Just so you know, the National Institutes of Health published a report that states there is unequivocal evidence that habitual or regular marijuana smoking is not harmless. A caution against regular heavy marijuana usage is prudent. The medicinal use of mar- ijuana is likely not harmful to lungs in low cumulative doses, but the dose limit needs to be defined.

Recreational use is not the same as medic- inal use and should be discouraged.

Even though it doesn’t get much publicity, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer for both men and women in the United States. Medicare recently determined that people who meet three criteria: 55 to 74 years of age, a smoking history of 30 pack years, and still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years are considered high risk and will be eligible for an annual low-dose CT scan. Medicare also proposes high risk individuals will need to go to a radiology imaging center whose experts have signifi- cant experience in recognizing lung cancer on CT scans. Show your support for lung cancer screening with the American Lung Association by going to this website http://