Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel approach to acute COPD illness

Date:
September 6, 2011
Source:
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed)
Summary:
A new study that should help improve the condition for millions of individuals who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The study reveals that adding a common antibiotic - azithromycin -- to the usual daily treatment for COPD reduced the occurrence of acute exacerbations by 27% and tended to improve the quality of life for COPD patients.

Richard Casaburi, Ph.D., M.D., principal investigator at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed), is co-author of a recent study that should help improve the condition for the millions of individuals who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, better known as COPD. The results of the study reveal that adding a common antibiotic -- azithromycin -- to the usual daily treatment for COPD reduced the occurrence of acute exacerbations by 27% and tended to improve the quality of life for COPD patients.

"This important study adds to a growing number of approaches that reduce the frequency of COPD illnesses," said Dr. Casaburi. "Together, they promise COPD patients who avail themselves of readily-available therapies substantially reduced risk of acute lung illnesses. This has the potential to reduce the misery this disease brings and can also can bring down medical costs, as more than half of COPD costs are related to hospitalization for COPD-related illnesses."

COPD is a progressive disease of the lungs that affects about 24 million people in the United States and is now the third leading cause of death in this country. Many patients experience acute COPD-related illnesses ("exacerbations"), which are sudden onsets of worsened cough, wheeze, and labored breathing that are typically induced by bacterial and/or viral infection. Previous research had suggested that the antibiotic azithromycin might decrease COPD exacerbations, but this study was the first to enroll a large number of COPD patients and treat exacerbations with this drug over a full year. Participants had a history of exacerbations in the previous year or needed oxygen therapy.

At 10 regional centers around the United States, the study recruited 558 study participants who took 250 mg of azithromycin daily for a year, in addition to their usual care. They averaged 1.48 acute COPD exacerbations annually, compared to 1.83 exacerbations for the 559 participants who received traditional care without azithromycin. The participants taking azithromycin also tended to report more favorable breathing ability and overall well-being.

Dr. Casaburi leads the Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center, where over 50 research studies have been performed aimed at improving the lives of patients with COPD. While there is currently no cure, a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes can help manage COPD symptoms.

The results of the study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appeared in the Aug. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was conducted by the COPD Clinical Research Network (CCRN), an NHLBI-funded consortium of research centers located throughout the U.S. that was established to study new treatments for COPD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Richard K. Albert, John Connett, William C. Bailey, Richard Casaburi, J. Allen D. Cooper, Gerard J. Criner, Jeffrey L. Curtis, Mark T. Dransfield, MeiLan K. Han, Stephen C. Lazarus, Barry Make, Nathaniel Marchetti, Fernando J. Martinez, Nancy E. Madinger, Charlene McEvoy, Dennis E. Niewoehner, Janos Porsasz, Connie S. Price, John Reilly, Paul D. Scanlon, Frank C. Sciurba, Steven M. Scharf, George R. Washko, Prescott G. Woodruff, Nicholas R. Anthonisen. Azithromycin for Prevention of Exacerbations of COPD. New England Journal of Medicine, 2011; 365 (8): 689 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1104623

Cite This Page:

Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). "Novel approach to acute COPD illness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906102608.htm>.
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). (2011, September 6). Novel approach to acute COPD illness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906102608.htm
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed). "Novel approach to acute COPD illness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906102608.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Common Antibiotic Helps Lethal Lung Disease

Aug. 29, 2011 A common antibiotic can help reduce the severe wheezing and other acute symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a large new ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins