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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > AsthmaPublic Health



Attempt to prevent asthma in at-risk kids fails

AsthmaJul 26 06

Efforts to avoid exposure to house dust mites along with dietary changes in the first few years of life do not prevent asthma in children with a family history of the condition, new research shows.

Sensitization to house dust mites, and consumption of diets with low amounts of omega-3 fatty acid (such as found in fish oils) relative to omega-6 fatty acid have been linked to asthma.

In a clinical trial, Dr. Guy B. Marks, from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues assessed whether attempts to modify these factors could actually prevent asthma and allergic disease in young children.

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Indoor pools may contribute to high asthma rates

AsthmaJul 18 06

Children who live in regions with more indoor swimming pools are more likely to have asthma, a new European study shows.

The findings support the “pool chlorine hypothesis,” which proposes that exposure to this toxic chemical and its byproducts may play at least some role in the development of the disease, Drs. Alfred Bernard and M. Nickmilder of the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels conclude.

Recent studies have linked frequent pool visits to a greater risk of asthma, especially among young children, the researchers note in their report, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. And chlorine gas in the indoor pool environment has become “one of the most concentrated air pollutants to which children are exposed,” they add.

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Family cat unlikely to give baby Johnny asthma

AsthmaJun 12 06

Exposure during infancy to pets or airborne “allergens,” such as house dust mites and Timothy weed, does not seem to increase the likelihood a child will develop airway hyperresponsiveness—a hallmark of asthma in which the lungs overreact to pollen, dust or other airborne particles by closing up tiny airways.

Dr. Elizabeth C. TePas and colleagues from the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston report their findings in the current issue of the medical journal CHEST.

The investigators looked for ties between early life factors and airway hyperresponsiveness in a group of 131 children who had at least one parent with a history of asthma or allergies, placing the children at heightened risk for asthma and allergies.

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Asthma rates rise as kids get older

AsthmaJun 08 06

Some children who have asthma at age 7 are asthma-free by the time they reach 12, but the number of kids who go into remission is more than offset by the number who develop the condition during that age period, according to Swedish investigators.

Dr. Eva Ronmark, of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and colleagues examined the prevalence, incidence, and remission of asthma in children as they aged from 7-8 years to 11-12 years, and assessed the risk factor patterns for asthma during this period.

A total of 3525 children between 7 and 8 years old were invited in 1996 to take part in a study using an expanded International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire, and were re-assessed annually. Skin prick tests for allergies were performed at the beginning and after 4 years.

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Low fruit, vitamin C intake tied to asthma risk

AsthmaMay 16 06

People with symptomatic asthma eat less fruit and consume less vitamin C and manganese than people who don’t have the disease, a new study shows.

The findings suggest that “diet may be a potentially modifiable risk factor for the development of asthma,” Dr. N.J. Wareham of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, UK and colleagues write in the medical journal Thorax.

Several antioxidant nutrients have been linked to reduced asthma risk, Wareham and his team note, but it is not clear whether each of these nutrients plays a role in reducing risk or if they instead represent an overall healthier lifestyle.

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Antibiotic may help asthma symptoms: study

AsthmaApr 13 06

An antibiotic made by French drug-maker Sanofi-Aventis may reduce some symptoms when asthma worsens but it does not improve breathing capacity, according to a study financed by the drug company.

The study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine found that 278 adults who took the antibiotic telithromycin—sold under the name Ketek—for 10 days after their attacks showed a drop in asthma symptoms.

But using another gauge of success—how much air patients could exhale—the antibiotic showed no benefit. “None of the pulmonary-function tests showed a significant treatment effect by the sixth week of the study,” the researchers concluded.

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Atopy Can Cause Adult-onset Asthma

AsthmaMar 23 06

New research shows that hereditary predisposition to develop asthma (atopy) is a determining factor in new cases on adult-onset asthma and that avoiding allergens may help prevent adults from developing asthma.

“Are atopy and specific IgE to mites and molds important for adult asthma?” is available in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), and online at http://www.jacionline.org. The JACI is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).

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Asthma risk increased by early use of antibiotics

AsthmaMar 15 06

Researchers suggest that when children are exposed to antibiotics in the first year of life it may increase the risk of them developing asthma later in childhood.

They suspect too that there may be an even higher risk with each additional course of antibiotics.

They do however say they cannot exclude the possibility of “reverse causation” in which the presence of asthma leads to more frequent respiratory tract infections, which in turn increases the rate of antibiotic use.

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Asthma risk increased in women with high levels of fat tissue inflammatory protein

AsthmaMar 15 06

Women with high levels of an inflammatory protein produced by fat tissue are at significantly increased risk of asthma, finds research in published ahead of print in Thorax.

The findings are based on almost 6,000 adults taking part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Study, which assessed the health and nutrition of US citizens.

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Program spots asthma in preschoolers

AsthmaMar 10 06

A pilot program of The New York Academy of Medicine identifies 2-year-olds with probable asthma and facilitates treatment. The initiative has significantly curbed asthma symptoms among children in subsidized preschool and Head Start programs in East Harlem and the Lower East Side.

In East Harlem, which has been the epicenter of the asthma epidemic in NYC, asthma is “kind of off their radar” in participating preschools, Dr. Sebastian Bonner, staff asthma expert at the Academy told Reuters Health. “They are really dealing with other things like diabetes, obesity and issues that are harder to address.”

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Delayed care fuels asthma-related ER visits

AsthmaFeb 23 06

Adults with asthma, even those with mild asthma, who delay seeking care because of cost or lack of insurance, are apt to end up in the emergency room, results of a study suggest.

Increasing ER visits for asthma care, the authors charge, represent “an alarming consequence of the current trends in health care coverage of increasing premiums, individual contributions, deductibles, and co-payments and decreasing numbers of people being insured.”

“If improvements can be made to access to quality asthma care and health care coverage, (ER) visits for asthma should significantly decline,” Dr. Ying-Ying Meng from the University of California in Los Angeles told Reuters Health.

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Tis the Season for Asthma

AsthmaFeb 21 06

The onset of winter often bodes ill for asthma sufferers. Cold temperatures and dry air can trigger asthma attacks, especially during outdoor exercise, said James Bonner, M.D., UAB professor of pulmonary medicine. And forced air heating systems can stir up dust mites and prompt allergic reactions that exacerbate asthma. Bonner also said viral infections such as influenza are particularly hard on asthmatics. A bad bout with the flu can be a serious setback, so Bonner said a flu shot is a good idea for asthma patients.

Study links bad asthma with bad behavior

AsthmaFeb 16 06

Preschoolers with persistent asthma symptoms may be more likely to get into fights with their peers or otherwise have more behavior problems than children with less severe asthma, a study finds.

“These findings suggest a clear need for an early biopsychosocial approach to care for vulnerable children with asthma,” according to study author Dr. Jill S. Halterman, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine in Rochester, New York, and colleagues.

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Older Asthmatics Have Increased Cancer Risk

AsthmaFeb 14 06

New research shows that older adults with asthma are at an increased risk for developing cancer, and adults with asthma are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease and other chronic health conditions.

A study in the February issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that adults with asthma over age 55 have an increased risk of developing cancer, compared with adults without asthma. Furthermore, the study shows that adults with asthma are twice as likely than those without asthma to suffer from at least one comorbid chronic condition, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis.

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Steroid puff best for kids with persistent asthma

AsthmaFeb 13 06

In a study of children with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma, treatment with fluticasone (Flovent), an inhaled steroid, was consistently more effective than treatment with montelukast (Singulair), an oral anti-asthma drug from the leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) class of agents, investigators report.

In the 8-week crossover study of 127 asthmatic children 6 to 17 years of age, fluticasone was associated with significantly more asthma-free days, better asthma control, and decreased need for albuterol “rescue” puffs, compared with montelukast, the investigators report.

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