Chest Journal: August news briefs

August 05, 2008

PEOPLE WHO ARE OBESE MAY CARRY ASTHMA TRAIT

A new study suggests that people who are obese with asthma may carry a specific trait or phenotype that causes them to have poorer asthma control than people who are not obese with asthma. Researchers from Quebec, Canada compared pulmonary function changes, methacholine challenge scores, sputum induction cell counts, symptom perceptions, BMI/waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio of 44 obese subjects with asthma with 44 nonobese subjects with asthma. Compared with those who were not obese, those who were obese had poorer asthma control, as well as lower total lung capacity, expiratory reserve volume, functional residual capacity, and residual volume. Blood serum C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels also were higher in obese subjects than nonobese subjects. Bronchial and systemic inflammatory characteristics and patterns of pulmonary function changes suggest that obese patients may have a different phenotype of asthma. This study is published in the August issue of the journal CHEST.

CHRONIC COUGH IN CHILDREN ADDS TO PARENTAL STRESS

Parents of children with chronic cough may suffer from additional stress and worry beyond the normal stress of parenting. In a new study, Australian researchers administered questionnaires measuring anxiety, depression, stress, and burden of cough to 79 parents of 190 children who were newly referred for chronic cough. More than 80 percent of children had five or more doctor visits, and 53 percent had more than 10 visits. Although parental anxiety and depression scores revealed normal results, burden of cough scores correlated to parental depression, anxiety, and stress scores while a child was coughing. At follow-up, the reduction in parental burden scores was significantly higher in the "ceased coughing" group compared with the "still coughing" group. Furthermore, stress was the largest contributor to parents' emotional distress. This study is published in the August issue of the journal CHEST.

COUGH AFFECTS LIVES IN DIFFERENT WAYS

Cough is a symptom of many respiratory diseases; however, a new study shows that chronic cough may affect quality of life differently, based on a patient's disease. Researchers from Ireland administered three health-related quality of life (HRQoL) questionnaires to 147 outpatients (chronic cough, n=83; COPD, n=18; asthma, n=20; and bronchiectasis, n=26). Although the magnitude of cough-specific HRQoL impairment was similar among all groups of respiratory disease, subdomain scores revealed that patients with chronic cough suffer from more psychosocial issues than patients with bronchiectatics, but they have less functional impairment than patients with COPD. Furthermore, there was a significant difference in generic health status across the four disease groups, with the poorest health status in patients with COPD. This study is published in the August issue of the journal CHEST.
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American College of Chest Physicians

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