The annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society was held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco and attracted approximately 15,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in pulmonary disease. The conference highlighted recent advances in the prevention, detection, and treatment of pulmonary conditions as well as provided insight into critical care medicine and sleep disorders.
In one study, Cindy McEvoy, M.D., of the Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, and colleagues found that infants born to pregnant women who could not quit smoking but were randomized to daily supplemental vitamin C had significantly improved pulmonary function tests as compared those born to pregnant smoking women randomized to placebo.
"Improved pulmonary function tests have been shown to correlate with decreased respiratory morbidities, including wheezing. We are currently following these infants through at least 1 year of age to compare the percent of patients in the groups who develop wheezing," McEvoy said. "We hope to follow the patients further to compare the ultimate diagnosis of asthma between the groups of patients. The most important thing is for women to quit smoking whenever possible."
In another study, Kathleen Ellstrom, Ph.D., R.N., of the Veterans Administration Loma Linda Healthcare System in California, and colleagues evaluated the prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia in a male veteran population with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The investigators found that only 11 out of 45 patients had undergone a dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan prior to being referred to the study program.
"Of 45 patients who had undergone a DXA scan, 13 percent had osteoporosis diagnosed by scan and required treatment," Ellstrom said. "This percentage is much higher than that seen in the general population and that seen in other veterans. In the general male population, only 2 percent is diagnosed with osteoporosis, and in other veterans, only 6 percent is diagnosed with osteoporosis. In our population, that percentage more than doubled."
Stijn Verhulst, M.D., Ph.D., of the Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium, and colleagues found that weight loss improved sleep-disordered breathing and metabolic complications in obese children.
"Weight loss is an effective treatment for both sleep-disordered breathing and metabolic complications. Due to a low sample size of subjects with residual sleep apnea after weight loss, we were unable to document if metabolic parameters improve by an improvement in body mass index or by an improvement in sleep parameters," Verhulst said. "The study will be expanded with more subjects to identify those factors that mediate an improvement in metabolic complications after weight loss (weight loss, improvement in sleep-disordered breathing, or both)."
ATS: Anticholinergics May Up Arrhythmia Risk in Children
WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- The use of inhaled anticholinergics (IACs) is associated with an increased risk of arrhythmias in children and young adults with asthma, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco.
ATS: 9/11 Home Damage Tied to Respiratory Symptoms, Disease
WEDNESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- Residents of Lower Manhattan who suffered home damage following 9/11 are more likely to report respiratory symptoms and diseases than area residents whose homes were not damaged, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco.
ATS: Benefits/Harms of Low-Dose CT Screening Assessed
TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening may be beneficial for some individuals, there are concerns about the potential harms of screening, according to a review published online May 20 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco.
ATS: Effects of Prenatal Pollution Exposure Persist
TUESDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter <10 microns per cubic meter (PM10) during pregnancy can have persistent effects on lung function development in children with asthma, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco.
ATS: Day, Night Staffing Linked to Mortality in ICU
MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- For patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), nighttime intensivist staffing is associated with reduced in-hospital mortality in ICUs that have low-intensity daytime staffing, according to a study published online May 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco.
ATS: Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Risk of Cancer Death
MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 18 to 23 in San Francisco.
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