SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Primary care respiratory journal : journal of the General Practice Airways Group

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BACKGROUND: To predict the presence of asthma in adult patients with respiratory symptoms, we developed a scoring algorithm using clinical parameters. METHODS: We prospectively analysed 566 adult outpatients who visited Kinki University Hospital for the first time with complaints of nonspecific respiratory symptoms. Asthma was comprehensively diagnosed by specialists using symptoms, signs, and objective tools including bronchodilator reversibility and/or the assessment of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to categorise patients and determine the accuracy of diagnosing asthma. RESULTS: A scoring algorithm using the symptom-sign score was developed, based on diurnal variation of symptoms (1 point), recurrent episodes (2 points), medical history of allergic diseases (1 point), and wheeze sound (2 points). A score of >3 had 35% sensitivity and 97% specificity for discriminating between patients with and without asthma and assigned a high probability of having asthma (accuracy 90%). A score of 1 or 2 points assigned intermediate probability (accuracy 68%). After providing additional data of forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratio <0.7, the post-test probability of having asthma was increased to 93%. A score of 0 points assigned low probability (accuracy 31%). After providing additional data of positive reversibility, the post-test probability of having asthma was increased to 88%. CONCLUSIONS: This pragmatic diagnostic algorithm is useful for predicting the presence of adult asthma and for determining the appropriate time for consultation with a pulmonologist.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Pulmonology, Asthma, Positive predictive value, Respiratory physiology, Sensitivity and specificity, Spirometry

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Broad dietary patterns have been linked to asthma but the relative contribution of specific nutrients is unclear. Soy genistein has important anti-inflammatory and other biological effects that might be beneficial in asthma. A positive association was previously reported between soy genistein intake and lung function but not with asthma exacerbations.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Asthma, Lung, Medical statistics, Effectiveness, Clinical research

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A setting-specific asthma prediction score for preschool children with wheezing and/or dyspnoea presenting in primary healthcare is needed since existing indices are mainly based on general populations.

Concepts: Health care, Prediction

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BACKGROUND: Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not identified until their condition is relatively advanced and there is a considerable gap between the modelled and diagnosed prevalence of the disease. We have previously shown that, in the first year after the introduction of a locally enhanced service (LES) for COPD in 2008, there was a significant step-up in the diagnosed prevalence. AIMS: To investigate whether this initial increase in prevalence was sustained, and the impact of this increase on future projected rates of COPD diagnosis. METHODS: Using data from 2005-2011, we compared the prevalence of diagnosed COPD in the LES Primary Care Trust (LES-PCT) before and after it was introduced. Data were compared with a neighbouring PCT, the London Strategic Health Authority, and England. The true prevalence of COPD was estimated based on data from the Health Survey for England. Trends were extrapolated to estimate the proportion of patients that would be diagnosed in 2017. RESULTS: The introduction of the LES was associated with a significant acceleration in the annual increase in diagnosed COPD (p<0.0001). By 2011 the prevalence was 1.17% in the LES-PCT compared with a predicted value of 0.91% (95% CI 0.86% to 0.95%) based on the pre-LES trend. There was no change in the rate of increase in COPD prevalence for the neighbouring PCT or for London as a whole. The LES-PCT would be expected to diagnose 55.6% of COPD patients by 2017 compared with only 27.3% without the LES, and only 33.3% would be diagnosed in the neighbouring PCT. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that, with appropriate incentives, it is possible to achieve a sustained improvement in COPD case-finding in primary care and that such policies need to be implemented systematically.

Concepts: Statistics, Pneumonia, Diagnosis, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Pulmonary hypertension, Time series, Introduction, NHS trust

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BACKGROUND: Allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma are both inflammatory diseases and are often associated. Relationships between fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and asthma, atopy, and quality of life have been shown. AIMS: This study aimed to determine whether FeNO in children with AR (n=158) or combined AR and asthma (n=93) was associated with clinical symptoms, house dust mite (HDM)-specific IgE, and rhinitis-specific quality of life, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. METHODS: Children with AR aged 6-18 years (n=251) in primary care were assessed for FeNO, nasal symptom scores, asthma symptom scores, quality of life, and HDM-specific IgE at baseline and 2 years later. RESULTS: We found similarly elevated FeNO in children with only AR and in those with combined AR and asthma. No correlations were found between FeNO and nasal or asthma symptoms and rhinitis-related quality of life. Longitudinal correlations were strongest for HDM-specific IgE (r=0.91, p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: FeNO was similar in a selected group of children with AR with and without asthma in primary care and was unrelated to symptoms or quality of life in both groups. FeNO is unlikely to be a useful biomarker of the clinical severity of upper or lower airway disease in primary care.

Concepts: Immune system, Longitudinal study, Disease, Asthma, Allergy, Symptom, House dust mite, Exhaled nitric oxide

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BACKGROUND: One of the aims of the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) is to aid communication between the physician and patient about the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on the patient’s life. AIMS: To investigate the impact of the CAT on the quality of primary care consultations in COPD patients. METHODS: Primary care physicians across Europe conducted six consultations with standardised COPD patients (played by trained actors). Physicians were randomised to see the patient with the completed CAT (CAT+ arm) or without (no CAT arm) during the consultation. These were videoed and independent assessors scored the physicians on their ability to identify and address patient-specific issues such as depression (sub-score A); review standard COPD issues such as breathlessness (sub-score B); their understanding of the case (understanding score); and their overall performance. The primary endpoint was the global score (sub-scores A+B; scale range 0-40). RESULTS: A total of 165 physicians enrolled in the study and carried out six consultations each; 882 consultations were deemed suitable for analysis. No difference was seen between the arms in the global score (no CAT arm 20.3; CAT+ arm 20.7; 95% CI -1.0 to 1.8; p=0.606) or on sub-score A (p=0.255). A statistically significant difference, though of limited clinical relevance, was observed in mean sub-score B (no CAT arm 8.8; CAT+ arm 9.6; 95% CI 0.0 to 1.6; p=0.045). There was no difference in understanding score (p=0.824) or overall performance (p=0.655). CONCLUSIONS: The CAT is a disease-specific instrument that aids physician assessment of COPD. It does not appear to improve detection of non-COPD symptoms and co-morbidities.

Concepts: Medicine, Patient, Hospital, Statistical significance, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, General practitioner

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Asthma management guidelines advocate a stepwise approach to asthma therapy, including the addition of a long-acting bronchodilator to inhaled steroid therapy at step 3. This is almost exclusively prescribed as inhaled combination therapy.

Concepts: Cohort study, Asthma, United Kingdom, Bronchodilator, Inhaler, Northern Europe, Belfast, Larne

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The gold standard for the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is spirometry, but there are barriers to its use in primary care.

Concepts: Asthma, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Spirometry

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Severity of airflow obstruction in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is based on forced expiratory volume in one second expressed as percentage predicted (FEV1%predicted) derived from reference equations for spirometry results.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Asthma, Pneumonia, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Spirometry

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Guidelines recommend basing asthma management on assessment of asthma control. Validated control tools, while suitable for clinical research, may not be feasible for routine use in primary care.

Concepts: Scientific method