Swimming and asthma – well tolerated and beneficial, finds new review

Key message: swimming training is well tolerated in children and teens with asthma and increases physical fitness and lung function.  However, it is not known whether this is better and/or safer than other types of physical activity.

World Asthma Day logo 2013We’re putting the spotlight on asthma today. It’s World Asthma Day and the Cochrane Airways Group has just published a new review on swimming training for asthma. World Asthma Day aims to spread the message “you can control your asthma” and this year activity organizers are being encouraged to complete the sentence “It’s time to…” So does this new review suggest that we could finish that sentence with “swim”? Continue reading

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New evidence on antibiotics for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – with some bits missing

Key message: Giving antibiotics to people admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with severe exacerbations of COPD showed large and consistent benefits. Evidence relating to the use of antibiotics for people with moderate or mild exacerbations is inconsistent and there is continued uncertainty about whether antibiotics benefit those who can be treated as outpatients.  Continue reading

Treating acute asthma in the emergency department: the latest evidence

Key message: Inhaled corticosteroid therapy (ICS) reduces hospital admissions in patients with acute asthma who are not treated with oral or intravenous corticosteroids. It is unclear whether ICS reduces admissions in those given systemic corticosteroids and whether it could be used in place of systemic corticosteroids.  Continue reading

Managing asthma: how does taking inhaled corticosteroids only when symptoms get worse compare with daily use?

Key message: intermittent and daily use of inhaled corticosteroids by adults and children with persistent asthma did not significantly differ in the use of rescue oral corticosteroids and the rate of adverse events. Clinicians and patients should carefully weigh up the potential benefits and harms of each treatment option. Continue reading

Nutritional support may be useful for people with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Key message: Nutritional supplementation should be considered in the management of malnourished people with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as there is growing evidence that it is beneficial in improving their weight, respiratory muscle strength and quality of life. Continue reading