Student Articles, March 27, 2017

Emily Godbout

#1 Dogs, Grandkids can keep COPD sufferers active
Observational based analysis of 410 COPD patients who wore activity trackers and filled out surveys about their daily activities, marital and working status, health conditions and how their health affects their quality of life.

#2 Does Eating a Healthy Diet Lower Smokers' COPD Risk? High intake of fruits and vegetables linked to reduced risk
Smokers and ex-smokers who ate healthy diets with of fruits and vegetables appeared to have greater protection against COPD in a newly reported prospective, cohort study that included 44,335 middle-age and elderly men in Sweden.

#3: Asthma App Disappoints for Cutting Urgent Care Use: No drop in healthcare utilization in high-risk kids
The use of a mobile health app did not reduce urgent healthcare utilization in a high-risk cohort of nearly 200 children with asthma compared with controls, researchers reported here

Danielle Shelton

Study brings hope of a new treatment for asthma sufferers 
Improved treatments for people with severe asthma are a 'step closer' after a research team identified a breakthrough in the cause of airway narrowing. 

Insomnia May Increase Adult Asthma Risk
Adults with chronic symptoms of insomnia were more than three times as likely to receive a new diagnosis of asthma as those without sleep issues over 11 years of follow-up in a longitudinal, population-based study.

Asthma drugs could prevent deadly form of pneumonia
Two drugs used to treat asthma and allergies may offer a way to prevent a form of pneumonia that can kill up to 40 percent of people who contract it, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have found.

Current and Former Smokers: Eat Your Fruit and Vegetables 
Each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables that smokers and former smokers eat is associated with a 4 to 8 % lower risk of their developing COPD, a new study found. 

Nadia Masroor

1. Insomnia May Increase Adult Asthma Risk: New diagnoses seen three times as often in Norwegians with sleep trouble
Adults with chronic symptoms of insomnia were more than three times as likely to receive a new diagnosis of asthma as those without sleep issues over 11 years of follow-up in a longitudinal, population-based study.

2. 1 in 3 Adult Asthma Patients May Not Have Asthma: Misdiagnosis, remission may be common, study suggests
One in three people with recent physician-diagnosed asthma did not have active asthma when evaluated using spirometry and serial bronchial challenge, results of a cohort study indicated, and more than 90% were able to stop treatment without harm.

3. Fish Oil in Pregnancy Linked to Reduced Asthma Risk in Offspring
Children whose mothers were given fish oil supplements during pregnancy had an apparent reduced risk of developing persistent wheeze or asthma, according to the results of a small randomized trial.

Colin Benusa

Simple saliva test to diagnose asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition that afflicts 5.4 Americans per year with 1.1 million of these Americans being children.  Currently methods to diagnosis asthma requires lung expiration flow tests that can be inaccurate and may not reflect underlying biological mechanisms for asthma.  These tests may be difficult to perform on children so researchers in the UK have devised an improved method of detecting asthma via saliva.  This simple test uses liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis to diagnose the disease based on biomarkers for the disease.  This method has expanded applications but is now being tested for its reliability in clinical applications.   

Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring
This article talks about a Norwegian study done on 24,000 children.  This study found there was as much as 3 times the risk of a child having asthma if the father smoked prior to pregnancy.  It has been shown in previous studies that smoking can affect sperm, so this study is a logical extension of those studies.  The more cigarettes or the longer duration of smoking increased the risk.  This study does not give specifics on how long and how many cigarettes affect risk specifically.  Might be an interesting extension for this study.  This study also found a correlation between fathers who weld and the risk for asthma. 

Asthma pill could reduce symptoms in severe sufferers
This article is about a new pill being tested that can affect the inflammation associated with asthma.  This pill is able to decrease the amount of eosinophils, or white blood cells, in the mucus that cause the inflammation. People on the drug saw a dramatic decrease in asthma related inflammation that alleviated most symptoms of asthma. While off the tested drug many patients requested to be put back on the drug given its miraculous ability to help their asthma symptoms. 

Greg Chambers

1. Bacteria reduce asthma
Exposure to bacterial DNA decreases immune reactions which cause asthma. Non-hygenic environments are protective for asthma development.

2. Better transplantation rejection test
A blood test may be able to detect organ rejection sooner than a more invasive biopsy procedure. This could improve patient health and organ longevity.

3. Blood test could predict risk for most common chronic diseases
Researchers say their risk score could be used to predict the development of a chronic disease withing 3 years.

Lauren Waaland-Kreutzer

1) Drugmakers target severe asthma patients with biologics, but payers raise pricing issue

"Patients with mild to moderate forms of the disease are relatively well served by current treatment options. However, there is a growing need for treatments that achieve control in those with severe asthma. While just less than 20% of patients with asthma have severe and uncontrolled forms, costs associated with hospitalizations due to acute exacerbations are responsible for roughly 75% of the $56 billion annual cost of asthma in the U.S."

2) Support people with asthma to manage their illness, researchers say

"Every person with asthma should have access to a personal action plan to help them control their condition, researchers say. Helping people with asthma take control of their own illness reduces symptoms, improves quality of life, reduces emergency use of health services and even prevents deaths, research has shown."

3) COPD Guideline Addresses Care of Ambulatory Patients

"A new guideline for managing exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) supports the use of oral corticosteroids and antibiotic therapy in ambulatory patients having an exacerbation. It also recommends noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIV) for hospitalized patients with acute or acute-on-chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure resulting from a COPD exacerbation."

Emily Stephens

Lifestyle intervention leads to 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure
Participants in an online counseling program on healthy lifestyle changes were able to lower their blood pressure by an average of 10 mmHg. This has great potential both in terms of cost of care and representativeness. The growing field of telemedicine could include behavioral counseling.

Stem cell therapy is safe for stroke patients, study shows
Stem cell therapy for stroke patients is safe, but may not be as beneficial as animal studies have shown.

The global tobacco control treaty has reduced smoking rates in its first decade, but more work is needed
Countries that abided by more of the WHO's tobacco control treaty stipulations saw greater decreases in smoking prevalence. More work is needed, and some countries actually saw an increase in smoking.

Joshua Montgomery

1. Lifestyle intervention leads to 10-point drop in systolic blood pressure

2. Climate Change Linked to Rising Diabetes Prevalence: Study
Warmer temperatures may reduce brown adipose tissue activity

3.Mobile Phone Research Feasible in Asthma Patient Study

Bethel Kebede

Asthma symptoms linked to increased stress, anxiety levels in teens

Teens with asthma almost twice as likely to smoke as their healthy counterparts

Smoking fathers increase asthma-risk in future offspring