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Respiratory Problems

Overweight People Are More Likely to Have Bad Breath, TAU Study Finds

Obesity • • Respiratory Problems • • Weight LossDec 13 07

Researchers publish study that finds a direct link between obesity and bad breath

Now there’s another good reason to go on that diet after the holidays. Tel Aviv University researchers have published a study that finds a direct link between obesity and bad breath: the more overweight you are, the more likely your breath will smell unpleasant to those around you.

The research, led by breath expert Prof. Mel Rosenberg from the Department of Human Microbiology and The Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, was reported in the Journal of Dental Research in October. The study also reported, for the first time, scientific evidence that links bad breath to alcohol consumption.

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Novel MRI technique shows secondhand smoke damages lungs

Respiratory Problems • • Tobacco & MarijuanaNov 26 07

For the first time, researchers have identified structural damage to the lungs caused by secondhand cigarette smoke.

The results of the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

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Low vitamin D may raise respiratory infection risk

Infections • • Respiratory ProblemsOct 12 07

There appears to be an association between low blood levels of vitamin D and the risk of acute respiratory tract infection, Finnish researchers report.

“In our study of 800 young Finnish men, we found that those with low vitamin D levels were more likely to contract respiratory infections than controls,” lead investigator Dr. Ilkka Laaksi told Reuters Health.

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Bacteria in newborn airways may raise asthma risk

Children's Health • • Asthma • • Respiratory ProblemsOct 11 07

Newborns who harbor certain types of bacteria in their throats, including Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common cause of pneumonia, and Haemophilus influenzae, which causes upper respiratory infections, are at increased risk for developing recurrent wheeze or asthma early in life, new research shows.

This finding “opens new perspectives for the understanding and prediction of recurrent wheeze and asthma in young children,” lead author Dr. Hans Bisgaard, from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues conclude in their report in The New England Journal of Medicine for October 11.

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Patients with pneumonia who received pneumococcal vaccine have lower rate of death, ICU admission

Infections • • Respiratory ProblemsOct 09 07

Among patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia, those who had previously received the pneumococcal vaccine had a lower risk of death and admission to the intensive care unit than patients who were not vaccinated, according to a report in the Oct. 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Community-acquired pneumonia is a common condition resulting in considerable illness and death, according to background information in the article. A vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae, one of the causes of pneumonia—23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine (PPV)—has been available since 1983.

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Sex differences found in COPD

Respiratory Problems • • Sexual HealthAug 01 07

In the first study to directly compare men and women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and severe emphysema, researchers have found that there are marked differences between the sexes.

The study, led by Fernando J. Martinez, M.D., of the University of Michigan, was reported in the August 1, 2007 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

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Steroid Medications Ineffective in Treating Common Infant Lower Respiratory Infection

Drug News • • Infections • • Respiratory ProblemsJul 26 07

For infants with a common and potentially serious viral lower respiratory infection called bronchiolitis, a widely used steroid treatment is not effective. A new study co-authored by Dr. Joan Bregstein of the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center found that steroid treatment did not prevent hospitalization or improve respiratory symptoms for bronchiolitis, the most common cause of infant hospitalization. Bronchiolitis symptoms frequently include fever, runny nose, coughing and wheezing.

The multicenter study, conducted by the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), is published in the July 26 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cats may be trouble for any allergy sufferer

Allergies • • Respiratory ProblemsJul 02 07

People with allergies may have some constriction in their airways when they’re around a cat, even if they’re not specifically allergic to cats, a study published Monday suggests.

Researchers found that people with a range of allergies—to grass, mold or dust—were more prone to airway constriction if their homes were heavy with cat dander. This was true even when blood tests showed the allergy sufferers were not specifically sensitized to cats.

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CPAP improves sleep in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, sleep-related breathing disorder

Neurology • • Respiratory Problems • • Sleep AidJun 11 07

Patients with both Alzheimer disease and a sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) experience disrupted sleep, resulting in increased nocturnal awakenings and a decreased percentage of REM sleep. However, in another example of the effectiveness of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), CPAP has been found to reduce the amount of time spent awake during the night, increase the time spent in deeper levels of sleep, and improve oxygenation, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, conducted by Jana R. Cooke, MD, of the University of California at San Diego, was focused on 48 adults, with an average age of 77.8 years, with Alzheimer disease and an SRBD. It was discovered that treating the sleep-related breathing disorder with CPAP resulted in these patients spending less time awake during the night as well as sleeping deeper.

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Gay men seen prone to have eating disorders

Respiratory Problems • • Sexual HealthApr 11 07

Gay and bisexual men may be at far higher risk for eating disorders than heterosexual men, while women seem to be equally affected regardless of their sexual orientation, a new study suggests.

Researchers surveyed 516 New York City residents; 126 were straight men and the rest were gay or bisexual men and women. The results showed that more than 15 percent of gay or bisexual men had at some time suffered anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder, or at least certain symptoms of those disorders—a problem known as a “subclinical” eating disorder.

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Inhaled steroids do not alter course of COPD

Allergies • • Respiratory ProblemsMar 23 07

Inhaled steroid therapy can improve lung function in people with COPD, but after 6 months the decline in lung function resumes, according to a pooled analysis of trial data.

COPD—short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—is a progressive lung illness caused by smoking that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is characterized by difficulty breathing that is not completely reversible.

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Newborns with respiratory distress potentially have rare genetic disease

Children's Health • • Genetics • • Respiratory ProblemsFeb 20 07

Newborns with respiratory distress should be evaluated for primary ciliary dyskinesia, a rare genetic disease that has features similar to cystic fibrosis, says Thomas Ferkol, M.D., from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He reports finding that about 80 percent of patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) have a history of newborn respiratory distress.

“The diagnosis of PCD requires a high index of suspicion, but PCD must be considered in any term newborn who develops respiratory distress or persistent hypoxemia (low oxygen in the blood), especially those who have reversed internal organs or an affected sibling,” says Ferkol, director of the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

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Study indicates different treatment may be needed for infection-related breathing problems

Infections • • Respiratory ProblemsJan 31 07

New research suggests that different treatments may be needed for chronic asthma, depending on whether it results from allergies or lung infections.

Previous studies have shown that certain lung infections such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae can linger on and contribute to a person later experiencing symptoms of asthma.

Researchers have now identified a particular gene that influences how severe a M. pneumoniae infection may be, which in turn suggests that a different strategy might be needed for treating asthma resulting from this and similar lung infections rather than allergies.

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Babies with viral infection may respond to antibiotic

Children's Health • • Infections • • Respiratory ProblemsDec 22 06

Infants with bronchiolitis caused by RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), may benefit from treatment with an antibiotic, according to results of a Turkish study.

Usually occurring in winter, bronchiolitis is the most common respiratory ailment affecting children under two years of age. The virus RSV is the usual cause and treatment has been largely supportive, consisting of supplemental oxygen, intravenous fluids and use of a ventilator if needed. In cases of viral illnesses such as RSV, antibiotics are typically not given.

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Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Hereditary Lung Disease

Genetics • • Respiratory ProblemsNov 22 06

An experimental gene therapy to combat alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a common hereditary disorder that causes lung and liver disease, has caused no harmful effects in patients and shows signs of being effective, University of Florida researchers say.

In a clinical trial, researchers evaluated the safety of using a so-called gene vector - in this case an adeno-associated virus - to deliver a corrective gene to 12 patients who are unable to produce a protein essential for health called alpha-1 antitrypsin.

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