Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for December 2019. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Machine Learning System Makes More Alerts for Med Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A machine learning system can generate clinically valid alerts for medication errors that might be missed with existing clinical decision support (CDS) systems, according to a study published in the January issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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CDC: Cases of Flu Continue to Mount Across America

MONDAY, Dec. 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Flu continues to spread throughout the United States and has reached elevated levels in nearly every state, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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BMI, Survival Linked in NSCLC Treated With Atezolizumab

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Baseline high body mass index (BMI) is associated with improved survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with atezolizumab, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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U.S. Teens Initiating E-Cigarette Use at Younger Ages

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In recent years, U.S. adolescents have been initiating electronic cigarette use at earlier ages, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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News of Vaping-Related Injury Getting Vapers’ Attention

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Survey results show more than eight in 10 informed vapers are more cautious and likely to reduce vaping as a result of news of vaping-related illnesses and deaths, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Press Release

Many Hospitals Fail to Provide Instructions for Patient Portals

THURSDAY, Dec. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Many hospital patient portals fail to educate patients fully and set expectations for secure messaging, according to a study recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Palliative Care Services Lagging Worldwide

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Greater palliative care development and implementation is needed worldwide, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

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Patient Share of Out-of-Network Costs Rising

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The out-of-pocket costs for out-of-network (OON) care grew rapidly for privately insured Americans from 2012 to 2017, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

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Transplant Outcomes Similar With Lungs From ‘Increased-Risk’ Donors

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Using lungs for transplant from donors who are considered at high risk for certain infectious diseases has similar one-year outcomes for recipients compared with using lungs from standard-risk donors, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

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Vitamin E Acetate ID’d in Lungs of Most Vaping Illness Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Vitamin E acetate was identified in almost all patients with electronic cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), and there has been a decrease in EVALI cases since a peak in September 2019, according to a study and a report published online Dec. 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract/Full Text – Blount
Abstract/Full Text – Hartnett

Report Estimates Readmission, Death After Vaping Illness Discharge

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of rehospitalization and death after electronic cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) has been determined, and guidelines have been developed based on these findings. Both reports were published in the Dec. 20 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Abstract/Full Text – Mikosz
Abstract/Full Text – Evans

Enrollment in Affordable Care Act Holds Steady for Third Straight Year

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Enrollment in Affordable Care Act coverage for next year has surpassed 8 million, a sign that many Americans still turn to the government health insurance program to help pay for their medical care.

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Number of Teens Vaping Marijuana on the Rise

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The number of adolescents who vape marijuana is increasing, according to two research letters published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Congress Approves Raising Age to Buy Tobacco Products to 21

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A measure to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarettes to 21 has been approved by the U.S. Congress and is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump.

The New York Times Article

Gabapentinoids, Opioids Combo Carries Risk for Breathing Problems

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — New warnings about the risk for dangerous breathing difficulties when gabapentinoids are used with opioids or by certain patients must now appear on product labels, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday.

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Private Care Program for U.S. Vets Gets $8.9 Billion in Budget Deal

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A controversial program meant to get more U.S. veterans to use private health care received $8.9 billion as part of a government spending bill approved by the House.

AP News Article

E-Cigarette Influencers to Be Banned From Instagram, Facebook

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Social media influencers who market electronic cigarette products will be banned from Facebook and Instagram, the companies say.

CBS News Article

Menopause Linked to Increase in Sleep-Onset Insomnia

THURSDAY, Dec. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Postmenopausal women more often have sleep-onset insomnia disorder and are more likely to screen positive for obstructive sleep apnea, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in Menopause.

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FDA to Allow States to Import Prescription Drugs From Other Countries

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Federal health officials have unveiled plans to allow prescription drug imports from Canada and other foreign nations.

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Most Students Who Use E-Cigs Vape Nicotine and Marijuana

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — About three-quarters of students who use electronic cigarettes report vaping nicotine, marijuana, and multiple substances, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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FDA Approves Sale of Low-Nicotine Cigarettes

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the sale of two reduced-nicotine cigarettes.

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New Rules Seek to Increase Organ Transplants in U.S.

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Two new rules meant to increase organ transplants in the United States have been proposed by the federal government.

AP News Article

Congress Could Raise Age to Buy Tobacco Products to 21

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A provision to raise the U.S. minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 years has been inserted into the end-of-year spending bill in Congress.

CBS News Article

Hospital-Level Home Acute Care Can Cut Costs, Health Care Use

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For acutely ill adults, hospital-level care at home is associated with reduced costs, health care use, and readmissions compared with usual hospital care, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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E-Cigarette Use Independent Risk Factor for Chronic Lung Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Current use of electronic cigarettes is an independent risk factor for respiratory disease, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Outcomes Worse for Rural Residents With Chronic Conditions

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Rural Medicare beneficiaries with complex chronic conditions have higher preventable hospitalization and mortality rates than their urban peers, which is partially explained by reduced access to specialists, according to a report published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Many Lung Cancer Patients Receive Meds That Prolong QTc Interval

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of patients with lung cancer are prescribed medications that prolong the corrected QT (QTc) interval, limiting their eligibility for clinical trials, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in Clinical Lung Cancer.

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Five-Year Mortality Up in Older Adults With Unplanned Admission

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Death within five years of first unplanned hospital admission is common among older adults, according to a study published in the Dec. 16 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Palliative Care Reaching More Inpatients With Serious Illness

MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Inpatient palliative care teams are reaching a broader mix of patients earlier in the course of their illness, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in JAMA Network Open.

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Hahn Confirmed as New FDA Chief

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Stephen Hahn, M.D., was confirmed as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a 72-18 Senate vote on Thursday.

The New York Times Article

Incidence of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Lung Disease Rising

FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The incidence and prevalence of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease is increasing in the United States, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Access to High-Cost Targeted Treatments Varies for Lung Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Not all patients have access to new, high-cost lung cancer drugs, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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2003 to 2017 Saw Increase in Deaths at Home, Hospice Facility

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2003 to 2017, there was a decrease in deaths occurring in hospitals and nursing facilities and an increase in deaths at home and at hospice facilities, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CPAP Mask Helps Patients With Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Among patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), quality of life is improved at three months for those receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy plus standard care compared with standard care alone, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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Current Tobacco Use Prevalent in Middle, High School Students

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Almost one-third of high school students report current use of tobacco products, according to research published in the Dec. 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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U.S. Primary Care Doctors Face Challenges in Coordinating Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians from the United States and other high-income countries report difficulties with care coordination, with a substantial proportion of U.S. physicians not receiving timely notification or the information needed from specialists or other sites of care, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Health Affairs.

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U.S. Health Care Spending Up 4.6 Percent in 2018

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In 2018, U.S. health care spending increased 4.6 percent, a faster rate than that seen in 2017, according to a report published online Dec. 5 in Health Affairs.

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Exposure to Air Pollution May Up Mortality After Heart Transplant

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to air pollution is associated with increased mortality risk after heart transplantation, according to a study published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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2016 to 2019 Saw Increase in Medical Students With Disabilities

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2016 to 2019, there was an increase in the proportion of medical students reporting disabilities, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Moderate, Severe Depressive Symptoms Common in Lung Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For newly diagnosed patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), depressive symptoms are common and often accompanied by other symptoms, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in Lung Cancer.

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Rural Population Underrepresented Among Medical Students

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In 2017, less than 5 percent of all incoming medical students were rural students, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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CDC: All 50 States Now Reporting Cases of Severe Vaping-Linked Lung Injury

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Cases of a serious, sometimes fatal, form of lung injury tied to vaping have now been reported in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In total, case numbers have risen to 2,291, according to the latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued Thursday.

More Information: CDC
CMAJ Report
European Respiratory Journal Report

Retail Prescription Drug Prices Fall for First Time in 45 Years

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Retail prescription drug prices in the United States fell by 1 percent last year, a new government report shows.

AP News Article

Reductions in Air Pollution Yield Substantial Health Gains

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Reductions in air pollution yield prompt and substantial health benefits, according to research published in the December issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Receipt of Surgery for Early NSCLC Varies by County

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — There is considerable variation across counties in receipt of curative-intent surgery for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a study published online Dec. 5 in CHEST.

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea May Be Underdiagnosed in Women

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Men and women experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) during REM sleep at similar rates, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in SLEEP.

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First-Line Osimertinib May Up Survival in EGFR-Mutated NSCLC

THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For patients with previously untreated advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with an EGFR mutation, overall survival is longer for treatment with osimertinib rather than comparator tyrosine kinase inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR-TKIs), according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Services Affected by Rural Hospitals Joining Health Systems

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — While affiliating with health systems may boost a rural hospital’s financial viability, the affiliation is often associated with reductions in critical services, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs, a theme issue on rural health.

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Adults Not Living in Metro Areas Have Reduced Access to Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Adults not living in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are more likely to have reduced access to or use of health care services, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Deep Learning Models Can Help Interpret Chest Radiographs

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Deep learning models can be used for interpretation of chest radiographs, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Radiology.

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Physician Depressive Symptoms Tied to Higher Risk for Medical Errors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Physicians showing depressive symptoms are at higher risk for medical errors, according to a review published Nov. 27 in JAMA Network Open.

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ᴅ-dimer Test Adjusted to Clinical Probability IDs Low Risk for PE

TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Low clinical pretest probability (C-PTP) and a ᴅ-dimer of less than 1,000 ng/mL identify patients with a low risk for pulmonary embolism, according to a study published in the Nov. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Risk for Hospital Admission Up With Short-Term PM2.5 Exposure

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) is associated with increased hospital admission risks and costs, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in The BMJ.

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