|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - Mar 13 2011 : 12:16:21 PM
Volume 7, Issue 15
March 23, 2007
Not much going on this week. In addition my ISP was down for approximately
24 hours yesterday which impeded my gathering the latest. A humble offering
follows. Hope you have a great weekend folks...the weather finally looks
like it's on our side.
GLAXO'S ADVAIR FAILS TO HIT GOAL IN ADD-ON STUDY
By Ben Hirschler, Reuters: Adding GlaxoSmithKline Plc's top-selling drug
Advair to Pfizer Inc's Spiriva does not reduce exacerbations in patients
with COPD, or smoker's lung, according to new research. Canadian researchers
said giving Advair on top of Spiriva improved quality of life and lung
function and decreased hospitalizations, but it did not affect the number of
exacerbations—the main goal of the clinical trial. Exacerbations are a
worsening of the patient's condition, often causing increased difficulty in
breathing. The study, published in the medical journal Annals of Internal
Medicine www.annals.org, involved 449 adults with moderate or severe chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were treated for a year. Dr Shawn
Aaron of the University of Ottawa and colleagues said the proportion of
patients who had exacerbations was 63 percent in the group given Spiriva
plus placebo, 65 percent in those given Spiriva plus Serevent (another Glaxo
drug) and 60 percent in those given Spiriva and Advair. The small difference
in exacerbations between the groups was not statistically significant.
Glaxo said the failure probably reflected the fact that the study was
under-powered. "It is likely that statistical significance for the
comparison between treatment groups for the primary endpoint was not
achieved due to low patient numbers." "Despite this, clear trends in favour
of Advair in combination with tiotropium (Spiriva) emerged." Still, industry
analysts said the finding was disappointing for the company's top-earning
medicine. Andrew Baum, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, noted the results
came close on the heels of a much bigger COPD study, known as TORCH, where
Advair failed to show a statistically significant survival benefit compared
with placebo. The TORCH study, published last year, suggested Advair did
reduce the risk of death in patients with COPD but it fell just short of
proving the observed benefit was not caused by chance.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
-IT'S A WOMAN THING
-RESPIRATORY DISORDERS FORUM
-LUNG DISEASE ADVICE COLUMN
-HOW OLD IS IT AND HOW LONG WILL IT LAST
SOURCES: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary
sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does
not verify their accuracy.
IT'S A WOMAN THING
Gender differences in medicine weren't formally acknowledged until 1993,
when the FDA and the National Institutes of Health instituted policies that
mandated the inclusion of women in medical studies. Before then, the idea of
the male norm and the abnormal woman was deeply ingrained in medical
'In the typical 70-kg man, the heart is this big and the liver weighs this
much,'" said Sherry Marts, vice president for scientific affairs, Society
for Women's Health Research in Washington, D.C. "What about the typical
60-kg woman? You never heard about her. A giant forehead smack occurred in
the late 1980s, Marts said, when folks woke up and thought, "Wait a minute,
if we're not testing these medications in women, how do we know they're even
going to work?" More than a decade later, we're just beginning to see the
fruits of research begun in the 1990s, and adult-onset asthma is emerging as
a women's health issue.
"At any given level of airway obstruction, women report more symptoms than
men. The reason is not clear, but it may be due to the fact that women's
airways are generally smaller. A 50% decrease in the size of the airways
during an asthma exacerbation creates a relatively smaller tube through
which to breathe. Some men may not be aware of — or may simply deny — their"
breathing problems. "If true, this would make it look like women are
hospitalized more, when it's really men getting hospitalized less often than
they should be." So it may not be that women have more severe asthma than
men, but that they're more sensitive to airway obstruction in terms of
RESPIRATORY DISORDERS FORUM
Q&A from Ask The Doctor Forums
Q. How many stages are there of copd? How do I know what stage my
mother-in-law is in?
A. Each stage of COPD is based on symptoms and measured loss of pulmonary
function, especially the forced expiratory volume in the first second
(FEV1). The FEV1 is the amount of air that can be forcefully expelled in the
first second of exhalation. It is an indicator of airway obstruction and how
far the disease has progressed. Normal is 80% or greater of the predicted
value. The predicted value for a given individual is based on age, gender,
height, and race or ethnicity.
There are 4 stages of COPD:
At risk Stage 0-Normal pulmonary function
Mild Stage I-Mild reduction in air flow
Moderate Stage II-FEV1 50 to 80% of predicted
Severe Stage III-FEV1 30 to 50% of predicted
Very Severe Stage IV-FEV1 less than 30% of predicted
Questions in The Respiratory Disorders Forum are being answered by doctors
and health care professionals from National Jewish Medical and Research
Center in Denver, Colorado.
COMMERCIAL FREE: We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations,
products, medicines (prescription or non) mentioned in this newsletter are
for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or
condemnation of same.
LUNG DISEASE ADVICE COLUMN
Stacy Lloyd, About.com's Lung guide has a Q and A section:
Stacy writes: Do you need advice about your lung disease? Have you seen your
doctor, but still have some unanswered questions about your lung disease? In
the lung diseases advice column, I will answer your questions about anything
related to lung diseases, such as signs, symptoms, screening, testing, and
coping with lung disease. To submit your question, send an email to Stacy
at: firstname.lastname@example.org. She asks you to remember that she is not a
medical doctor; therefore, her advice is that of a friend.
To read current Q & A's:
An excellent news program and you can hear it now. Posted by Harry on the
COPD List. The Program showcases Ted Koppel's wife Grace Anne Dorney Koppel
who suffers from COPD.
MEDICAL DECISIONS. Your physician should be consulted on all medical
decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without
such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has
value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is...the
work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take
an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through
education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary
physician and pulmonologist. However, medical decisions are based on complex
medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has
been trained to diagnose and advise.
HOW OLD IS IT AND HOW LONG WILL IT LAST
Editor's note: Ever get frustrated when you're trying to determine just how
long you had that can of green beans or anything else on the cabinet shelf?
How about needing your cough medicine and wondering how long you've had it?
Finally, the key to read the code, or a digital day counter.
Canned foods will last up to 2 years from date of manufacture — not the date
you purchased them. Many cans still carry a manufacturing code (instead of a
use by date). There is no standard, (but) most canned goods follow this
For example — code reads as E719W1
E = Month manufactured, the manufacturing year typically starts in June with
A for June — in this case E = "October"
2nd figure: 7= Last number of the year which it was manufactured — 2007
19 = The day of the month manufactured
W = Plant name or location
1 = Shift that the product was manufactured — in this case — the first shift
of the day.
If you don't want to take the trouble to decipher, just call the toll free
number on the package and the customer service representative will be happy
to tell you when it was made.
And...if you don't want to bother with any of the above, here's a new gadget
that should be a great help in determining just when we opened that bottle
of medicine or cough syrup.
DaysAgo Digital Day Counter is a counter that attaches to any surface with a
magnetic or suction backing and counts up to 99 days. You can use it on food
containers to let you know how many days ago you opened it, closed it, tried
it, sauced it, grew it, etc. As for leftovers, it eliminates the doubt about
when to throw it out. Available in colors and each 2-pack sells for around
How to Use the DaysAgo
The DaysAgo Digital Day Counter attaches to a variety of surfaces with a
magnetic or suction backing and counts up to 99 days.
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Quiz: American History
Quiz: American Trivia
Games to play on line or download:
I shot an arrow into the air...I heard it fall, I know not where...or
something like that
Until next Friday,
Joan Costello, Editor
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Please keep in mind that all posts are from COPD patients / caregivers
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