American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for October 2004 (first issue)



In a study involving 15,555 randomly selected men and women aged 25 to 54 from 5 countries, researchers found that current smokers, ex-smokers, and passive smokers constituted groups that had a major risk factor for habitual snoring. The investigators revealed that the frequency of habitual snoring increases with the amount of tobacco smoked. Ever smoking accounted for 17.1 percent of the attributable risk of habitual snoring, with obesity accounting for 4.3 percent, and passive smoking for 2.2 percent. According to the authors, passive smoking has not been a previously recognized risk factor among adults for snoring. The research project involved individuals living in Iceland, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Within the group, 18.3 percent of the population suffered from habitual snoring. The persons involved responded to a questionnaire that was mailed to them. The study article notes that habitual snoring is a common disorder with a prevalence of 16 to 33 percent in men and 8 to 19 percent in women. The paper points out that those who snore often suffer from daytime sleepiness, with many patients commonly disrupting the sleep of their bed partners. The research appears in the first issue for October 2004 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


In a "Pulmonary Perspective" on "Diet and Asthma" in the first issue for October 2004 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers point out that in longitudinal and clinical studies only vitamin E has been shown to have a protective effect against asthma; yet, even that vitamin does not generate any real effect on asthma control. Moreover, the authors note that, to date, no individual nutrients alone or in combination have been shown to produce a major impact on either the severity or the incidence of clinical asthma. According to the investigators, the vitamins most extensively investigated for their effect on asthma are vitamins C, E, and vitamin A/beta carotene. Evidence for any effect on asthma has been sketchy, however. There has been data showing an inverse association between vitamin E intake and allergen skin sensitization and total immunoglobulin E. levels. In addition, data gathered over a long period has shown that high intake of vitamin E is associated with reduced asthma incidence. Yet, in a study of vitamin E supplements in 72 patients over 6 weeks, the authors found no evidence of clinical benefit. In a 16-week study of vitamin C in over 200 patients randomized to either the vitamin or placebo, the authors found no effect on clinical asthma control. Also, when looking at the use of minerals for asthma, the authors did not discover any evidence of benefit associated with serum selenium levels in connection with airway hyperresponsiveness in adults. In a randomized placebo-controlled 4-month study of magnesium supplementation, the results provided no evidence of improvement. If there is a benefit associated with diet for asthma sufferers, the authors believe that it will come through a "polypill" approach, delivering a "cocktail" of potentially beneficial nutrients rather than a single nutrient.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on All rights reserved.