Over the last 15 years there has been a decrease in mortality due to preventable diseases, with the exception of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is an example that highlights the relevance of respiratory diseases in the beginning of the twenty-first century. Smoking, air pollution, new and old respiratory infections, and professional or household exposure to pollutants are in part responsible for the increase in respiratory disturbances in the general population.
The scientific community has responded with an increase in literature describing advances in molecular biology, genetics, and, less remarkably, in the understanding of mechanisms of disease (however, this is limited to small numbers of practicing pulmonologists). This has led to a number of new clinical trials and periodic update of guidelines. Unfortunately, there is a lack of communication between the researchers elaborating the guidelines and the practicing physicians. The relevant information derived from international and evidence-based clinical trials should be readily available for practicing physicians to implement in clinical practice.
The new medical series, Hot Topics in Respiratory Medicine, allows any pulmonologist and physician interested in respiratory medicine to learn what is new and important in the profession and science of pulmonology. This program focuses on new aspects for choosing and presenting the most important ideas in respiratory medicine. They are offered in the form of small booklets that are easy to read, but exhaustive in scope. The authors are among the leading specialists in their field. The topics are "hot" and can be updated whenever deemed necessary due to the rapid changes in knowledge or introduction of new ideas and techniques. Each chapter will emphasize the basic knowledge that is useful to the clinical physician, but will present and discuss the most relevant aspects of the clinical applications of these notions, including diagnosis and treatment, following a logical and rational approach.
With these intentions, we hope that Hot Topics will become a regular and desirable companion in the day-to-day activities of our colleagues.