Exercise and asthma: what does the evidence say?

Some people with asthma find their symptoms are worse when they exercise, or restrict their physical activity for fear that this will be so. Others report that their asthma symptoms are better when they are fit. Several reviews from the Cochrane Airways Group have recently been published on aspects of exercise for people with asthma. 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