Newsbriefs from the journal Chest: October 2006

October 09, 2006

STUDY SHOWS LUNG CANCER MAY BE HEREDITARY

People who have a family history of lung cancer are at nearly double the risk of developing the disease themselves, according to new research. In a large-scale, population-based cohort, Japanese researchers studied the association between family history of lung cancer and subsequent risk. Self-administered surveys on various lifestyle factors were administered to 102,255 middle-aged and older Japanese subjects at baseline (1990 for Cohort I and 1993-94 for Cohort II), with a 13-year follow-up. Smoking habits were classified as current, former, and never. Researchers found that those subjects who had a history of having a first-degree relative with lung cancer had a nearly twofold the risk of developing lung cancer. The association was also stronger in women than in men, and never-smokers versus current smokers. In addition, family history of lung cancer was more strongly associated with the risk of other types of cancers. However, a family history of overall cancer was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. This study appears in the October issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

COPD PATIENTS WITH ACID REFLUX ARE TWICE AS LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE EXACERBATIONS

A new study shows an association between acid reflux symptoms and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. Using a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional survey, researchers from the University of Florida, Jacksonville, investigated the prevalence and effect of acid reflux symptoms, formally known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), on the rate of exacerbations in 86 patients with COPD (57 percent men, mean age 67.5 years). Patients were recruited from outpatient pulmonary and general medicine clinics, and all completed the Mayo Clinic GERD questionnaire. Researchers defined clinically significant reflux as heartburn and/or acid regurgitation weekly, and other outcome measures included frequency and type of COPD exacerbations. Researchers found that the 37 percent of patients reporting GERD symptoms were twice as likely to experience COPD exacerbations, compared with those without GERD symptoms. This study appears in the October issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

WINTER VIRUSES SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT COPD PATIENTS' HEALTH

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience significant changes in lung function during the winter influenza season, according to a new study. Researchers from 20 US Veterans Affairs Medical Centers enrolled 2,215 veterans with COPD, all of whom received the TIV vaccination. In addition, subjects were randomly assigned to receive either the LAIV vaccination (TC group) or a placebo (TP group). Clinical evaluation, spirometry, and serum collection were then performed for 3 to 4 weeks following immunization. In this double-blind study, subjects with influenza-caused illness (LDI) were compared with those who had non-LDI respiratory illness or no illness. Subjects were evaluated when they experienced either three symptoms of acute respiratory illness or fever plus two symptoms, and severity of illness was assessed via the chronic lung disease severity index (CLDSI). Researchers found that in this influenza-vaccinated population, non-LDI illness contributed to longer-term effects of respiratory disease, while LDI was associated with worse changes in obstruction to airflow and functional status. Patients in the TC group also showed better CLDSI scores. This study appears in the October issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
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American College of Chest Physicians

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