Clinical Topics


Combat, Not Deployment, Appears to Increase Risk of New-Onset Asthma

BETHESDA, MD—Many reports have suggested that servicemembers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan developed respiratory illnesses at higher-than-expected rates, but study results looking at increased rates of asthma have been mixed. A new study by... View Article


Steroid Overuse Suggests Benefit to Flipping PCP/Specialist Paradigm in COPD

SEATTLE—New guidelines published in 2017 upended recommendations for use of inhaled corticosteroids in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary. Two years later, many VA patients still receive discordant care. To fix the problem, the VA’s Health... View Article


Study Looks at Soldiers’ Pre-Deployment Respiratory Health

The respiratory health of military personnel deployed to Southwest Asia continues to be an issue of great concern in light of their exposures to a variety of environmental hazards.


Underweight and Smoking Makes for a Lethal Combination in COPD

When counseling a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), many clinicians start with two words of advice: “Stop smoking.”


VAMC Survey Found High Rates of Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms Among Staff

A survey at a VAMC recorded the prevalence of current diagnosed asthma at 17.6% but also found that nearly half of the healthcare workers reported some asthma-like symptoms.


Asthma More Common in Less-Fit Army Recruits

Army recruits with low fitness levels, extra body fat or both are at higher risk of asthma diagnosis in the first two years of military service, according to a recent study.


OEF/OIF Vets Have High Rates of Exposures

Recent U.S. veterans have high rates of potentially harmful environmental exposures which are linked to an increased likelihood of respiratory conditions, such as asthma.


How Ignoring COPD Guidelines Helped Veterans

Failing to follow international guidelines on treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) isn’t always bad medicine, a new study reported.


Prevalence of Asthma Tripled in Recent Deployed Veterans

The prevalence of asthma nearly tripled during an eight-year period in VA patients who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new study.


Asthma, Depression Significantly Linked in Veterans

Results of research on the relationship between both current and lifetime asthma and mental illness among veterans in the United States were published recently in the Journal of Asthma.


New Study Finds More Evidence of Burn Pit, Respiratory Illness Connection

For years, multiple veterans’ groups have contended that burn-pit exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan increased the risk of long-term health problems.


VA’s COPD Knowledge, Treatment Improving, But Still ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is sometimes referred to as the “quiet” or “silent” killer by clinicians trying to treat it. It presents few symptoms in its earliest stages and... View Article


Abnormal Lung Function in Recent Veterans Raises Respiratory Disease Risks

SAN DIEGO ─ Veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan and the Gulf War with pulmonary function abnormalities have a significantly greater risk of developing chronic respiratory disease years later, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego.


Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Unlike 10 years ago, the military services now accept recruits who had childhood asthma but have not been symptomatic since age 13. The relaxation of accession standards partly was necessitated by the increasing incidence of... View Article


Obstructive Sleep Apnea Significantly Increases Risk of Sever Asthma

For older patients, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appears to increase the risk of severe asthma sevenfold, which could be especially significant for veterans because of their high rates of sleep apnea.


Bronchial Thermoplasty Brings Long-Term Relief to Severe Asthmatics

Army Hopes Treatment Will Allow Return-to-Duty for Ill Soldiers By Annette M. Boyle HONOLULU — Pulmonologists at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu have pioneered a treatment that has brought relief to nearly a dozen... View Article


Creation of New Burn Pit Registry Applauded by Veterans’ Groups

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Veterans’ groups are applauding a new law creating an Open Burn Pit Registry, which was passed by Congress over the VA’s objections. In 2004, smoke billows in from all sides... View Article


Harsh Environment in Southwest Asia – Not Just Burn Pits – Cause Health Problems in Troops

By Annette M. Boyle STONY BROOK, NY –While burn pits have been the focus of a controversy for years about causes of high rates of respiratory illnesses among military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan,... View Article


1918 Flu Virus Circulated Silently Before Becoming Killer

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the flu virus that killed 50 million people worldwide in 1918 “circulated silently” at least four months before the 1918... View Article


Congressional Testimony Fuels Debate on Deployment-Related Respiratory Disease

WASHINGTON — A pulmonary physician recently testified at a Senate subcommittee hearing about the number of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with moderate to severe respiratory diseases, underscoring the growing debate about whether deployment... View Article

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