High blood pressure. Causes, symptoms, treatments

High frequency of ulcers, not associated with Helicobacter pylori, in the stomach in the first year after kidney transplantation.


To identify the relationship between resource utilization and treatment of asthma in subjects who were first time users of controller therapies, either fluticasone propionate (FP) and salmeterol delivered in a single Diskus device (FSC) or FP monotherapy.

The model shows that BDP/F treatment led to a slight increase of weeks in successful control compared with FP/S, with a lower cost. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis highlights that in 64% and 68% of the Monte Carlo simulations, BDP/F outperformed FP/S in terms of weeks in successful control and QALYs. Considering the expected cost of the two strategies, in 90% of simulations BDP/F was the least expensive choice. In particular, BDP/F was cost saving as compared with FP/S in about 63% and 59% of simulations as shown by the cost-utility and cost-effectiveness analysis, respectively.

Inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta2-agonists effectively control asthma symptoms and improve airway function. The effects of beclomethasone were compared with those of salmeterol on markers of eosinophilic inflammation in induced sputum in steroid-naive asthmatic subjects with moderate asthma. Fifteen moderate asthmatics were treated with either beclomethasone dipropionate (500 microg b.i.d.) or salmeterol (50 microg b.i.d.) for 4 weeks, according to a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group study design. All patients underwent spirometry, methacholine test, sputum induction, and blood sampling before and after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment. They also recorded daily symptoms and peak expiratory flow (PEF). Sputum eosinophils, eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and eosinophil protein X (EPX), and blood eosinophils, as well as the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and morning PEF, significantly improved after beclomethasone but not after salmeterol. PEF variability, the symptom score and rescue beta2-agonist use significantly improved after both treatments, although the improvement in the symptom score tended to be greater after beclomethasone. After 2 and 4 weeks of beclomethasone treatment, both serum ECP and EPX decreased. With salmeterol, only serum EPX decreased, after 4 weeks. Bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine did not change after either treatment. The authors conclude that beclomethasone, but not salmeterol, substantially improves airway inflammation in asthma. Beclomethasone also had an overall greater clinical effect, although the improvement in symptoms and peak expiratory flow variability was similar after both treatments.

Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by acute symptomatic episodes with variable severity and duration. Pharmacological asthma management aims to achieve and maintain control without side effects, thus improving quality of life and reducing the economic impact. Recently, a clinical trial showed the non-inferiority of beclomethasone/formoterol (BDP/F) versus fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (FP/S) in adults with moderate to severe persistent asthma. However, this study did not provide evidence on costs and did not quantify quality-of-life parameters.

This study was designed to investigate the protective effect of a single dose of salmeterol and of continuous twice daily treatment on airway responsiveness to methacholine.

In both asthmatic and COPD patients, the overall effect of salmeterol and zafirlukast on the forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) was considered extremely significant (p < 0.0001), with a maximum bronchodilation above baseline after 180 min (20.7 and 11.0%, respectively) in asthmatics and after 2 h (21.7 and 11.2%, respectively) in COPD subjects. Zafirlukast did not produce any further significant acute bronchodilation in addition to that achieved with salmeterol alone in either asthmatic or COPD patients. Nevertheless, 7 out of 16 COPD patients and 7 out of 10 asthmatic patients had a further improvement after the combination of salmeterol and zafirlukast. The mean difference in pre- and post-salbutamol FEV1 values in both asthmatic and COPD patients after zafirlukast was significant (p < 0.05), but that after salmeterol and the combination of the two drugs was not significant (p > 0.05). The difference between placebo and zafirlukast was not significant following inhaled salbutamol given 4 h after each treatment.

Initiation of maintenance therapy with FSC was associated with significant reduction in total costs (medical + pharmacy) relative to costs associated with the short-acting anticholinergic bronchodilators IPR and IPA and the long-acting anticholinergic bronchodilator TIO in an elderly Medicare-eligible population. These data considered in the context of the substantial efficacy and effectiveness data suggest that early introduction of maintenance treatment with FSC has both clinical and economic benefits. Limitations inherent in handling of administrative data include lack of objective clinical measures such as spirometry and smoking status. Furthermore, accuracy of diagnosis codes cannot be verified.