Bron­chi­tis a new worry for snor­ers

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health -

this week, re­searchers re­port that ex­po­sure to sec­ond­hand cig­a­rette smoke de­creases lung func­tion in peo­ple with cys­tic fi­bro­sis, es­pe­cially in those who have a cer­tain form of the cys­tic fi­bro­sis gene. The re­search team ex­am­ined in­for­ma­tion from the US Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Twin and Sib­ling Study and the Cys­tic Fi­bro­sis Foun­da­tion Data Reg­istry. There were 812 pa­tients who pro­vided in­for­ma­tion on sec­ond­hand smoke ex­po­sure in the home, and 188 (23.2 per cent) of th­ese were ex­posed. Sec­ond­hand smoke ex­po­sure was as­so­ci­ated with de­creased lung func­tion for all mea­sures of lung func­tion stud­ied. Pa­tients with one type of mu­ta­tion in the cys­tic fi­bro­sis gene showed an even greater ef­fect of sec­ond­hand smoke on their lung func­tion. The find­ings sup­port the erad­i­ca­tion of smok­ing from the homes of all cys­tic fi­bro­sis pa­tients. JAMA 2008;299:417-424 (Cut­ting GR, et al)

THE PULSE EPILEP­TIC adults could halve their num­ber of seizures by eat­ing a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the pop­u­lar high-pro­tein Atkins diet, ac­cord­ing to a study in the latest is­sue of Epilep­sia . The Atkins­like diet could pro­vide re­lief to pa­tients when drugs or other treat­ments have failed, claim the au­thors. The study in­volved 30 adults with epilepsy, aged 18 to 53 years, who had tried at least two anti-seizure drugs with­out suc­cess and had an av­er­age of 10 seizures per week. They were placed on the Atkins-like diet, which re­stricted them to 15 grams of car­bo­hy­drates per day. Most of their calo­ries were gained from meat and high-fat foods. Pa­tients kept di­aries of what they ate and how many seizures they had. Af­ter one month, 47 per cent of the pa­tients had a 50 per cent or more re­duc­tion in the fre­quency of their seizures. While there was no con­trol group and the study size was small, the au­thors claim that the Atkins-like diet could pro­vide an­other al­ter­na­tive to drugs, surgery and elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tion for the con­trol of epilep­tic seizures. Epilep­sia 2008;49:316-319 (Kos­soff EH, et al)

Com­piled by Dr Chris­tine White SNOR­ERS may have more to worry about than dis­turb­ing their part­ner. New re­search in the Archivesof In­ter­nalMedicine shows that peo­ple who snore are more likely to de­velop chronic bron­chi­tis — in­flam­ma­tion of the lower air­ways lead­ing to a per­sis­tent phlegmy cough. How snor­ing might lead to bron­chi­tis is not clear, but the find­ings pro­vide even more mo­ti­va­tion to de­velop anti-snor­ing ther­a­pies. The study in­volved 4270 men and women aged 40 to 69, none of whom suf­fered from bron­chi­tis. At the be­gin­ning of the study, par­tic­i­pants pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about snor­ing fre­quency and gen­eral health. Over the fol­low­ing four years, 314 peo­ple de­vel­oped chronic bron­chi­tis. Com­pared to those who never snored, peo­ple who snored five times per week or less were 25 per cent more likely to de­velop chronic bron­chi­tis, while those who snored six to seven times per week were 68 per cent more likely to de­velop the dis­ease. The re­peated vi­bra­tions from snor­ing might stress the lungs, say the au­thors, lead­ing to in­creased in­flam­ma­tion. ArchIn­ternMed 2008;168:167-173 (Baik I, et al) SEC­OND­HAND smoke is dam­ag­ing enough to healthy peo­ple, but for those with cys­tic fi­bro­sis — an in­her­ited ill­ness that causes ex­ces­sive mu­cus pro­duc­tion and lung dis­ease — it could be life-threat­en­ing. In the Jour­nalofthe Amer­i­canMed­i­calAs­so­ci­a­tion NURSES are best at get­ting the mes­sage across when it comes to help­ing smok­ers quit, con­cludes a new study in the Cochrane Data­base of Sys­tem­atic Re­views. Re­searchers com­bined the re­sults of 31 sep­a­rate stud­ies in­volv­ing 12,000 smok­ers, and found that smok­ers of­fered ad­vice by nurses were 28 per cent more likely to quit com­pared to those who were of­fered ad­vice by other health­care pro­fes­sion­als, or no ad­vice at all. Among those given no ad­vice, less than 3 per cent were able to quit. But of those given strate­gies to quit by nurses, 15 to 20 per cent were suc­cess­ful. While pro­vid­ing ad­vice to quit smok­ing in­creases the work­load of nurses, say the au­thors, they would ben­e­fit in the long-term by de­creas­ing the num­ber of smok­ing-re­lated ill­nesses. Cochrane Data­base Sys­tem Rev 2008;1 (Rice VH, et al) WOM­EN­with ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome (IBS) who have been phys­i­cally or sex­u­ally abused may be more sen­si­tive to the ab­dom­i­nal symp­toms of the dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to new re­search in Gas­troen­terol­ogy . The study found that th­ese women have a height­ened brain re­sponse to IBS pain, sug­gest­ing that doc­tors should take any his­tory of abuse into ac­count when treat­ing the dis­ease. An es­ti­mated 7 per cent of Aus­tralians suf­fer from IBS, a con­di­tion which causes ab­dom­i­nal dis­com­fort, bloat­ing, con­sti­pa­tion and di­ar­rhoea. Pre­vi­ous stud­ies have found that more than 50 per cent of pa­tients with IBS have been phys­i­cally or sex­u­ally abused at some time in their lives. Re­searchers used brain imag­ing to show that pa­tients with IBS who also had a back­ground of abuse were less able to switch off pain re­sponses in the brain com­pared to IBS pa­tients who had not suf­fered abuse. Study­ing th­ese brain re­sponses could pro­vide clues to new meth­ods of treat­ment, say the au­thors. Gas­troen­terol­ogy 2008;doi:10.1053/ j.gas­tro.2007.11.011 (Rin­gel Y, et al) STEM cells have been found in the adult mouse pan­creas that are able to gen­er­ate new in­sulin-pro­duc­ing ‘‘ beta’’ cells, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the cur­rent is­sue of Cell . If the same stem cells ex­ist in hu­mans, they could be used to pro­duce new beta cells and in­crease in­sulin lev­els in pa­tients with di­a­betes. Cells need in­sulin to take up sugar from the blood, but the pan­creas of a di­a­betic doesn’t pro­duce enough in­sulin to meet this de­mand, lead­ing to high blood sugar lev­els. Stem cells would be an ideal treat­ment, but the ex­is­tence of such cells in the adult pan­creas has been con­tro­ver­sial. In the new study, sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered the cells af­ter dam­ag­ing the pan­creas and ob­serv­ing how the beta cells re­gen­er­ated. Cell 2008;132:197-207 (Xu X, et al) Want to know more? Items are ref­er­enced where pos­si­ble. A ref­er­ence such as ‘‘ 2007;35:18-25’’ means the source ar­ti­cle was pub­lished on pages 18-25 in vol­ume num­ber 35 of the pub­li­ca­tion, in 2007. A doi num­ber or web­site ad­dress is used for re­search pub­lished on a jour­nal’s web­site.

Snor­ing: Bron­chi­tis dan­ger means a greater need for pre­ven­tion

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