Respiratory disease in practice - 2017

Comment: Long-standing public health epidemics: in the news
Philip W Ind
pp 23-25
Air pollution is the single largest environmental risk to health worldwide, resulting in seven million premature deaths per year.1 In the UK, it results in a higher death rate than in most other European countries – the UK is 15th out of 50 countries in death rate due to air pollution – and a large economic burden of £20 billion annually.
Young people and tobacco, a problem for the future?
Lorraine Dallas
pp 25-25
A report by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation asks whether we have done enough to make future generations safe. While smoking rates are declining, more than 207,000 people under the age of 15 take up smoking each year, with up to 50% of these children becoming established smokers.
Travelling by air with lung disease: what do doctors and their patients need to know?
Robina K Coker
pp 26-29
Although commercial air travel appears generally safe in patients with lung disease who travel after careful respiratory assessment, it can present challenges for such passengers, chiefly because of exposure to the hypobaric environment. This article is intended to provide a practical update on the latest British recommendations for respiratory healthcare professionals managing patients with lung disease who are planning air travel.
Taking steps to drive up the quality of diagnostic spirometry
Monica Fletcher
pp 30-32
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Respiratory Health’s 2014 report made a wide range of recommendations and threw down many challenges to those of us working in the field of respiratory disease, from specialists to generalists – many of which are still to be actioned and remain highly relevant today. Monica Fletcher reviews the response to its recommendations for spirometry.
Sing at the top of your lungs ...
Mayana McDermott
pp 33-33
There is growing evidence that when patients with a respiratory condition take part in regular singing for lung health (SLH) sessions, their lung condition improves. Mayana McDermott explains how the British Lung Foundation’s SLH programme works.
Managing hay fever in patients with asthma
Dr Andy Whittamore
pp 33-33
Around four in five people with asthma tell Asthma UK’s helpline that they also have hay fever, and more than half say that hay fever symptoms have triggered an asthma attack. But many of them feel that hay fever symptoms (and a corresponding decline in asthma control) are just something they have to ‘put up with’. Dr Andy Whittamore explains how Asthma UK can help them.
Associations between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations and air pollution
Elizabeth Moore and Jennifer K Quint
pp 34-36
Existing research into associations between exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and air pollution have been limited by low spatiotemporal resolutions and a lack of ability to characterise exposures at an individual level. New research is emerging that aims to use personal air monitors, symptom diaries and electronic healthcare records to understand the associations in more detail.
Abstract watch
Gary Paterson
pp 38-38
In this issue, an update on malignant pleural mesothelioma that includes new treatment developments and novel therapeutic approaches; the use of the Breathing, Thinking, Functioning clinical model to manage refractory breathlessness; a study of home monitoring of breathing rate to anticipate acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and a British Lung Foundation/United Kingdom Primary Immunodeficiency Network consensus statement on the definition, diagnosis, and management of granulomatous-lymphocytic interstitial lung disease in common variable immunodeficiency disorders.
Pulmonary rehabilitation – shouldn’t be an afterthought!
Sandra Olive
pp 39-39
The evidence of the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation training for people with functional limitation due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is no longer under question. However, it is often considered as a last resort when there are no more inhaled therapy options to try – but it should form part of the evidence-based holistic management plan early in the treatment pathway, writes Sandra Olive.