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March 22, 2010 | By Francesca Lunzer Kritz
When Tami Pickel, 43 and a single mom, was laid off from her job at a mortgage bank in 2007, she lost her health insurance too. Medi-Cal provided health coverage for her kids, but Pickel worried as asthma symptoms worsened for her son Ethan, now 11. In October, a nurse at Ethan's school recommended that Pickel take Ethan and his brother, Aaron, 9, who has milder asthma symptoms, to the local Breathmobile, a free, rolling asthma and allergy diagnosis...
February 19, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday called for putting new limits on powerful and long-lasting bronchial drugs that millions of Americans use to treat asthma -- a move designed to lower the risk of complications leading to hospitalization or even death. Physicians were urged to switch asthma patients away from medicines containing both long-acting beta agonists, commonly called LABAs, and inhaled corticosteroids. Instead, the FDA said, patients should use products containing only the corticosteroids or other asthma-relieving medication whenever possible.
February 17, 2010 | By Shari Roan
More than a quarter of all U.S. children have a chronic health condition, new research suggests, a significant increase from the rate seen in earlier decades and a statistic that looms large for the nation's efforts to subdue rising healthcare costs. But the report doesn't suggest that children are less healthy. The comprehensive look at children from 1988 through 2006 also revealed that health conditions themselves have changed. Fewer children today are affected by congenital defects, infectious diseases and accidents than they were 50 years ago; instead, cultural, lifestyle and environmental conditions appear to be the root cause of many pediatric illnesses.
February 2, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
An infection of the uterine cavity during pregnancy combined with premature birth doubles the risk that an African American child will develop asthma, researchers have found. The combination also increases risk for some other ethnicities, though less severely. About 8% of pregnancies are marked by such bacterial infections, called chorioamnionitis, but it is not yet clear what proportion of asthma is induced by them, said the lead author, Dr. Darios Getahun of Kaiser Permanente's Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena.
November 9, 2009 | Francesca Lunzer Kritz
Are you taking your asthma medicine? Some people may not be. Consumers Union recently found that almost a third of people surveyed, including asthma patients, said they had not filled drug prescriptions as directed. Some didn't submit the prescription to the pharmacy, and some skipped doses or cut pills in half without the approval of a doctor. But economic woes beget more woes. If you stop taking your medicine, you could end up paying far more for emergency room visits and hospital stays than you would have paid for even the costliest drugs.
August 27, 2009 | Ari B. Bloomekatz and Corina Knoll
The thick blanket of smoke pouring into the Los Angeles Basin from two brush fires in the Angeles National Forest is expected to linger through the weekend, prompting health warnings and halting some school athletic programs. The smoke from a fire north of Azusa that began Tuesday and a blaze above La Cañada Flintridge that broke out Wednesday resulted in unhealthy air pollution levels in the San Gabriel Valley as well as parts of Los Angeles. Weather experts blame weak winds -- which actually prevented the fires from burning more intensely -- for keeping the smoke from dissipating.
June 5, 2009 | Bruce Japsen
Amid the economic downturn and slow growth for retail and outpatient medical care services, pharmacy giants Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. are rolling out new specialized services at their in-store clinics, going beyond treatment of routine maladies.
May 27, 2009 | Bloomberg News
A San Diego company sued AstraZeneca for $1.28 billion on Tuesday, accusing the pharmaceutical giant of backing out of a deal to develop a children's asthma drug and instead aligning with a competitor. Verus Pharmaceuticals Inc. sued in New York state court, seeking at least $280 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages from AstraZeneca. Verus alleges that once AstraZeneca entered a deal with Map Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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