For a long time lung cancer was associated with a fatalistic approach by healthcare professionals. In recent years, advances in imaging, improved diagnostic techniques and more effective treatment modalities are reasons for optimism. Accurate lung cancer staging is vitally important because treatment options and prognosis differ significantly by stage. The staging algorithm should include a contrast computed tomography (CT) of the chest and the upper abdomen including adrenals, positron emission tomography/CT for staging the mediastinum and to rule out extrathoracic metastasis in patients considered for surgical resection, endosonography-guided needle sampling procedure replacing mediastinoscopy for near complete mediastinal staging, and brain imaging as clinically indicated. Applicability of evidence-based guidelines for staging of lung cancer depends on the available expertise and level of resources and is directly impacted by financial issues. Considering the diversity of healthcare infrastructure and economic performance of Asian countries, optimal and cost-effective use of staging methods appropriate to the available resources is prudent. The pulmonologist plays a central role in the multidisciplinary approach to lung cancer diagnosis, staging and management. Regional respiratory societies such as the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology should work with national respiratory societies to strive for uniform standards of care. For developing countries, a minimum set of care standards should be formulated. Cost-effective delivery of optimal care for lung cancer patients, including staging within the various healthcare systems, should be encouraged and most importantly, tobacco control implementation should receive an absolute priority status in all countries in Asia.
We evaluated the efficacy of a 12-week oral treatment with azithromycin in adult patients with bronchiectasis. The objectives were to demonstrate that this treatment reduces sputum volume, improves quality of life and to assess the lengths of effects after cessation of therapy.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Early diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care settings is difficult to achieve chiefly due to lack of availability of spirometry. This study estimated the prevalence of airflow limitation among chronic smokers using a handheld spirometer in this setting.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study performed on consecutive patients who were ≥40 years old with ≥10 pack-years smoking history. Face-to-face interviews were carried out to obtain demographic data and relevant information. Handheld spirometry was performed according to a standard protocol using the COPd-6 device (Model 4000, Vitalograph, Ennis, Ireland) in addition to standard spirometry. Airflow limitation was defined as ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1 )/forced expiratory volume in 6 s <0.75 (COPd-6) or FEV1 /forced vital capacity <0.7. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine predictors of airflow limitation.
RESULTS: A total of 416 patients were recruited with mean age of 53 years old. The prevalence of airflow limitation was 10.6% (n = 44) with COPd-6 versus 6% as gauged using standard spirometry. Risk factors for airflow limitation were age >65 years (odds ratio (OR) 3.732 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.100-1.280), a history of 'bad health' (OR 2.524, 95% CI: 1.037-6.142) and low to normal body mass index (OR 2.914, 95% CI: 1.191-7.190).
CONCLUSIONS: In a primary care setting, handheld spirometry (COPd-6) found a prevalence of airflow limitation of ∼10% in smokers. Patients were older, not overweight and had an ill-defined history of health problems.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; prevalence; primary care; smoke
Study site: Public primary health‐care clinic (Klinik Kesihatan), Sepang District, Selangor, Malaysia
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The Asthma Insight and Management (AIM) survey was conducted in North America, Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America to characterize patients' insights, attitudes and perceptions about their asthma and its treatment. We report findings from the Asia-Pacific survey.
METHODS: Asthma patients (≥12 years) from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand were surveyed. Patients answered 53 questions exploring general health, diagnosis/history, symptoms, exacerbations, patient burden, disease management, medications/treatments and patient's attitudes. The Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines were used to assess asthma control. The survey was conducted by random digit telephone dialling (Australia, China and Hong Kong) or by random face-to-face interviews (India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand).
RESULTS: There were 80 761 households screened. Data from 3630 patients were collected. Wide disparity existed between objective measures of control and patient perception. Reported exacerbations during the previous year ranged from 19% (Hong Kong) to 67% (India). Reported unscheduled urgent/emergency visits to a doctor's office/hospital/clinic in the previous year ranged from 15% (Hong Kong) to 46% (Taiwan). Patients who reported having controlled asthma in the previous month ranged from 27% (South Korea) to 84% (Taiwan). Substantial functional and emotional limitations due to asthma were identified by 13% (South Korea) to 78% (India) of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Asthma has a profound impact on patients' well-being despite the availability of effective treatments and evidence-based management guidelines. Substantial differences across the surveyed countries exist, suggesting unmet, country-specific cultural and educational needs. A large proportion of asthma patients overestimate their level of control.
Study site: random digit telephone dialling or by random face-to-face interviews at pre-selected locations.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of snoring and breathing pauses during sleep, and to assess associated factors, including morbidity and the impact on daytime functioning, in an adult Malaysian population.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of community-dwelling adults aged 30-70 years was conducted. Daytime sleepiness was assessed using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Physical examinations were limited to measurements of body habitus and blood pressure.
RESULTS: The sample consisted of 1611 adults (52.9% male). The prevalence of habitual snoring, breathing pauses and excessive daytime sleepiness were 47.3%, 15.2% and 14.8%, respectively. Seven per cent of respondents (8.8% male, 5.1% female) were clinically suspected to have obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS). The independent predictors of habitual snoring were older age, Chinese or Indian ethnicity (compared with Malays), smoking, obesity and use of sedatives. Clinically suspected OSAS and habitual snoring were significantly associated with difficulty in getting up in the morning, morning headache, driving and workplace accidents, hypertension, and ischaemic heart disease.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of habitual snoring is high in the Malaysian population. Sleep-related breathing disorders in Malaysian adults are associated with significant morbidity.
Extrinsic allergic alveolitis (also known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis) is caused by repeated inhalation of mainly organic antigens by sensitized subjects. This induces a hypersensitivity response in the distal bronchioles and alveoli and subjects may present clinically with a variety of symptoms. The aims of this review are to describe the current concepts of the immunological response, the diverse clinical presentation of this disease, the relevant investigations and management, and areas for future studies.
The aims of this study were to investigate the frequency of Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) requiring hospitalization in Malaysia, and to define the clinical features of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) that distinguish it from non-TB CAP.
Prediction of mortality in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) can be assessed using clinical severity scores on admission to hospital. The clinical benefit of such tools is untested in Asian countries. The aim of this study was to determine the early adverse prognostic factors in patients hospitalized with CAP in Malaysia and to assess the usefulness of the British Thoracic Society (BTS) severity criteria.
This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis in school children in Kota Bharu, Malaysia, and in so doing to determine the differences in symptom prevalence rates of asthma, and atopic diseases in Kota Bharu school children between 1995 and 2001.
OBJECTIVE: The Asthma Insights and Reality in Asia-Pacific (AIRIAP) survey collected detailed information on asthma severity and management in the urban centres of eight areas of the Asia-Pacific region. This study compared asthma morbidity and management practices in these areas.
METHODOLOGY: Following recruitment, face-to-face interviews were completed with 2323 adults with diagnosed asthma, who had current symptoms or were using asthma medication. Comparisons between areas were made for asthma severity, asthma burden and management practices.
RESULTS Asthma severity varied significantly between areas (P < 0.01), with Vietnam and mainland China reporting the most cases with severe, persistent symptoms. Severity of asthma was significantly associated with advancing age and a lower level of education in a multivariate analysis (P < 0.001). The total use of acute healthcare for asthma was significantly associated with increased asthma severity. Work absence due to asthma was highest in the Philippines (46.6%) and lowest in South Korea (7.5%). The use of inhaled corticosteroids was associated with age in a non-linear manner. There was significant variation among countries in usage of inhaled corticosteroids, from 1.3% in South Korea to 29.0% in Taiwan (P < 0.00001). A peak flow meter was owned by a total of 7.7% of respondents, and overall, 17.9% of adults had a written action plan for asthma management.
CONCLUSIONS: Within the Asia-Pacific region, asthma in adults differs significantly in disease severity, management and treatment according to area of residence. International recommendations on the management of asthma are generally not being followed.
Study site: urban areas in several countries in Asia-Pacific region (via random street interception, random door-to-door recruitment, or telephone recruitment)
The aim of the study was to evaluate the response, survival advantage and toxicity profile of gemcitabine-carboplatin combination cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Current clinical practice guidelines, including those in south Asia, recommend the addition of a macrolide to a broad-spectrum antibiotic for the treatment of severe hospitalized community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The aim of this study was to observe the influence of macrolide addition on clinical outcomes of hospitalized adult patients with CAP.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: As a Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) collaboration, we studied the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its associated risk factors in a suburban population in Malaysia.
METHODS: Nonhospitalized men or women of age ≥ 40 years from a Penang district were recruited by stratified simple random sampling. Participants completed detailed questionnaires on respiratory symptoms and exposure to COPD risk factors. Prebronchodilator and post-bronchodilator spirometry conducted was standardized across all international BOLD sites in device and data quality control.
RESULTS: Of the 1218 individuals recruited for the study, 663 (340 men and 323 women) had complete questionnaire data and acceptable post-bronchodilator spirometry. The estimated population prevalence of Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) ≥ stage I was 6.5% or 3.4% based on either fixed forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity ratio of <0.7 or National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey-derived lower limit of normal ratio while the prevalence of GOLD ≥ stage II was either 4.6% or 3.1%, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed independent association between all stages of COPD with cigarette smoking pack years (adjusted odds ratio per 10-year increase: 1.73; 95% confidence interval: 1.09-2.75), use of biomass fuel for cooking (1.61; 1.10-2.36) and exposure to dusty job (1.50; 1.09-2.06).
CONCLUSION: This study represented the first robust population-based epidemiology data on COPD for Malaysia. Compared with other sites globally, our estimated population prevalence was relatively low. In addition to cigarette smoking, use of biomass fuel and exposure to dusty job represented significant risk to the development of COPD.
Late acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with a mortality of more than 80%. Recent reports in adults have shown improved survival in late ARDS treated with prolonged course of steroids, however little data are available in children concerning its safety and efficacy. We report the successful treatment of a child dying from refractory late ARDS using a prolonged course of high-dose methylprednisolone instituted after 12 days of advanced mechanical ventilation. Progressive improvement was seen from days 3, 7, 10 and 14 after treatment with improvement in PaO2/fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) ratios, lung injury score and chest radiographical score. Treatment was complicated by a fungal urinary tract infection that was easily controlled. There were no major metabolic side effects. Steroid therapy can be considered in the treatment of children with refractory late ARDS but larger prospective studies are needed to define indications, timing, dosing and safety of this mode of treatment in children.