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 COPD Support News Nov 26, 2010
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Carolyn-Mi
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608 Posts

Posted - Nov 26 2010 :  09:01:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Volume 10, Issue 51
November 26, 2010


YOU
Yes, this week's lead topic is "You." It's about your Internet experience and determining what "you" want from the Internet community. There are a couple of very simple things you can do to help shape the future of online supports for yourself and fellow COPDers. Completing the following two requests comes down to nothing more than taking a few minutes to answer some questions and give your opinion.


With auspicious timing, the drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline recently released a public relation piece about their study, "COPD Patients Reveal Disease Progression Leads to Physical and Social Isolation and Increased Reliance on the Internet." The title says it all, and most of us already know what they found, but it stesses a good point, and why your feedback is so important. You 'll find the news release at:
http://tinyurl.com/25e93xs

If we are going to rely upon the Internet, we might as well have some influence over what COPD supports we find online. Here are two things you are encouraged to do: First, complete a survey from the University of Alabama (UA) regarding your Internet experience; and second, drop a note to the editor of this newsletter with your thoughts on how to improve the newsletter.


The Survey
The purpose of the UA study is to "enhance our understanding of the value of online COPD support community participation of personal empowerment outcomes." Our COPD-Support Newsletter subscribers are specifically invited to participate. It is being conducted by Drs. Allen C. Johnston and Jamey Worrell from the UA under a grant from the same university. Participation takes about 15 minutes. It is anonymous unless you opt to enter a drawing for a Starbuck gift certificate or one of 10 American Express gift cards worth $25 each. If you opt to participate in the drawing, you will have to disclose your identify, otherwise they survey is anonymous. Your participation is important; it can potentially help the whole COPD Internet community. The survey can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/284u8fw

Contact the Editor of the COPD-Support Newsletter
There has been very little feedback from subscribers regarding the content and style of this newsletter. Although there have been a few emails of appreciation (always welcomed), there have been very few suggestions for improving our newsletter. (Lynching the editor and bringing the former editor Joan Costello back is not a viable option.) Although there is little control over what news is available on any given week, we do have control over what we consider newsworthy and how it is presented. Your comments and suggestions are not only welcomed, they are important. You’ll find the link to contact the editor at the bottom of the newsletter.


ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
- COPD COULD BE AN AUTOIMMUNE PROBLEM
- MEDICARE PATIENTS OFTEN HARMED IN HOSPITALS
- WALMART'S MEDICARE PART D DRUG PLAN MIGHT NOT BE BEST FOR EVERYONE
- MEDICARE PAY CUT TO PHYSICIANS DELAYED BY ONE MONTH
- MEDICAL ACOUSTICS LLL, AWARED GRANT FOR LUNG FLUTE
- PRIVATE MEDICARE PLANS ARE RETRENCHING
- POSSIBLE TREATMENT FOR ACUTE LUNG INJURY BEING STUDIED
- REPORT WARNS COPD IS AN "ECONOMIC TIME BOMB" IN THE UK
- NEW DRUG HOLD PROMISE TO HELP PREVENT HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES
- MISCELLANEOUS
CONSERVING HEAT AND ELECTRICITY
PRACTICE SAFE STRESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
THANKSGIVING MIGHT BE OVER, BUT NOT THE JOKES!
GAMES FOR THE BRAIN!


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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.
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COPD COULD BE AN AUTOIMMUNE PROBLEM
According to researchers in Spain, moderate to severe COPD may be an auto-immune problem. In their study, the researchers compare the presence of auto-antibodies in patients with COPD against those without the disease (the control group). They find that a number of COPD patients have 5 to 10 times the amount of auto-antibodies in their blood than individuals in the control group.


The findings, published online by the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, say that between one quarter and one third of clinically stable COPD patients have an abnormal level of auto-antibodies in their blood. The study involves 328 COPD patients. This leads researchers to believe their findings support the hypothesis that the origin and development (they use the term "pathogenesis") of COPD involves an auto-immune component. This ScienceDaily article provides more details about the study and the findings:
http://tinyurl.com/2cqadlf
The abstract of the study from the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/2efs5hz

MEDICARE PATIENTS OFTEN HARMED IN HOSPITALS
USA Today reports that close to 15,000 Medicare patients die each month, in part because of the poor hospital care they receive. These statistics come from a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS study looks at "adverse events" that occur during Medicare recipients' hospitalization. "Adverse events" are described as problems with the administration of medical care that result in harm to the patient. The study was based on the review of 780 typical Medicare patients who were discharged from hospitals in 2008. The study also finds, according to USA Today, that one out of every seven patients is harmed by the medical care they received, and another one in seven suffers reversible harm. Among the adverse events identified are bed sores, infections, and excessive bleeding of individuals on blood-thinning medications. For more details and a discussion of the findings, please see:
http://tinyurl.com/27mkkj3

WALMART'S MEDICARE PART D DRUG PLAN MIGHT NOT BE BEST FOR EVERYONE
Touted as the least expensive Medicare Part D drug plan available, the Chicago Sun-Times warns that Walmart's plan might not be the best plan for many beneficiaries enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan. The problem, the article points out, is that if a member is unable to get to one of their "preferred" pharmacy locations, 4,000 in all, they might have to use one of the 60,000 "non-preferred" locations. Copayments in one of the "non-preferred" locations, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, could be as high as 50 percent of the drug's cost. For the complete article, visit:
http://tinyurl.com/2g542eo

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COMMERCIAL FREE: We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or over the counter) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.
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MEDICARE PAY CUT TO PHYSICIANS DELAYED BY ONE MONTH
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the U.S. Senate passed a bill that temporarily prevents the planned 23 percent decrease in physician pay scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2010. However, the AMA points out that even if the House approves the bill, physicians still face cuts on January 1, 2011. The AMA is seeking a longer delay to give them time to work out a long-term solution. As ammunition, AMA point out that 94 percent of adults believe the physician cuts would pose a serious problem for Medicare participants. For more information, see the AMA report at:
http://tinyurl.com/2b3mr6m

MEDICAL ACOUSTICS, LLC AWARED GRANT FOR LUNG FLUTE
The Lung Flute is a mucus clearance device that uses sound waves to stimulate the clearance of mucus. It has had the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval since January, 2010. A study, entitled: "Six Month Clinical Trial of Lung Flute in patients with COPD,” is being funded, in part, by the New York State Foundation for Science Technology and Innovation. There are other mucus clearance devices such as the Acapella, Flutter and Quake also on the market. For more information see:
http://tinyurl.com/29aqysnFor information about the clinical trial, see:
http://tinyurl.com/2dzry6x

PRIVATE MEDICARE PLANS ARE RETRENCHING
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that those of us enrolling in Medicare Advantage Plans (open enrollment started on November 15) are finding, on average, 13 percent fewer plans from which to choose. Some of last year's plans from some well-known companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna have disappeared. Options, according to the WSJ, have scaled back due to legislative changes and cuts in federal funding. About 25 percent of Medicare recipients are enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans are Medicare plans offered though private companies. For more details, see:
http://tinyurl.com/24yuag4

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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.
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POSSIBLE TREATMENT FOR ACUTE LUNG INJURY BEING STUDIED
Advanced Life Sciences, Inc. has applied to the FDA for "orphan drug" designation for ALS-886, a drug to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a life threatening lung condition described as inflammation and tissue damage to the lungs associated with an excess of free radicals. An "orphan drug" is a drug to treat rare diseases, and the Food and Drug Administration's Orphan Drug Act encourages the development of safe and effective treatments for rare medical conditions. The ALS-886 treatment is believed to reduce and prevent lung damage. There are currently no effective treatments for ARDS. To view the Advanced Life Science's news release, visit:
http://tinyurl.com/23pjbjk

REPORT WARNS COPD IS AN "ECONOMIC TIME BOMB" IN THE UK
It is feared that COPD will be causing economic havoc in the UK, according to ParmaTimes Online. Specialists are finding far more people between 45-60 years have COPD than previously thought. This age group is ordinarily highly productive, and it is feared that premature retirements due to COPD will result not only in lost productivity, but will also drive up medical costs and decrease tax revenues. It is estimated that COPD costs 1.5 billion pounds a year in the UK alone. It is estimated that there are 210 million people around the globe who have COPD, however only half have been diagnosed. The ParmaTimes Online report can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/2c9dngo

NEW DRUG HOLD PROMISE TO HELP PREVENT HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES
The Washington Post reports an experimental drug increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol so dramatically that it has led to renewed hopes of a new way to control heart attacks and strokes. The findings come from the drug maker Merck, who conducted the studies on their new drug, "acetrapib." Although researchers are amazed at the magnitude of effectiveness of the new drug, they caution it needs continued study, and it might take years before it goes to market. For more information, please see:
http://tinyurl.com/2eut4vf

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JOIN US? Subscription to this Newsletter is free and we hope that it serves your needs. For more Newsletter information, go to: http://copd-support.com/signup-news.html

The Newsletter, like all the other endeavors of the Family of COPD Support Programs, is provided to you by COPD-Support, Inc. a non-profit member organization with IRS designation 501(c)(3). If you would like to be involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. Further information is available at: http://copd-support.com/membership.html*********************************


MISCELLANEOUS


CONSERVING HEAT AND ELECTRICITY
The DollarStretcher has come up with a number of ways to conserve heat and electricity in your home. For their tips, see:
http://tinyurl.com/2f2uhmb

PRACTICE SAFE STRESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Relationships, finances and physical demands can increase your stress during the holiday season. This Medical News Today article gives some good tips on how to reduce holiday related stress:
http://tinyurl.com/2aoqcdc

THANKSGIVING MIGHT BE OVER, BUT NOT THE JOKES!
It is not too late to enjoy some Thanksgiving jokes, which are best read while munching on leftovers.
http://tinyurl.com/ybhx56

GAMES FOR THE BRAIN!
Kudos to the developers of this game site that helps you keep your synapses sharp! Be sure to check out the "Counterfeit" test!
http://tinyurl.com/hl395

For comments and questions, or to contact Richard D. Martin, please send your email to: newsletter@COPD-Support.com


Until next Friday,


Richard D. Martin, Editor


Web version of the News: http://copd-support.com/news.htmlArchives at: http://home.ease.lsoft.com/archives/copd-news.html

**********************************************************************
To contact List Management write Management@copd-support.com
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To see other programs provided in the Family of COPD Support
Programs, examine our web site at http://copd-support.com
To tell your friends how to subscribe to this Newsletter, send them to
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http://home.ease.lsoft.com/scripts/wa.exe?SUBED1=copd-news&A=1

Please keep in mind that all posts are from COPD patients / caregivers
and not medically trained professionals - consult your medical team
for your personal medical needs.
**********************************************************************

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http://www.copd-support.com
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