American Thoracic Society Journal news tips for January 2005 (second issue)



Researchers studying diet during late pregnancy showed that total maternal vitamin C intake was positively associated with wheeze in certain infants who did not have a cold during their second year of life. Initially involving 1,924 youngsters born of 2,000 mothers who volunteered for the study, 1,300 women completed the entire 2-year program. They answered the 145-item food frequency questionnaire used to characterize diet during pregnancy, took a scratch test to determine allergic reactions, had blood antioxidant levels measured, and completed all follow-up health questionnaires about their children at 6, 12, and 24 months of age. The investigators related that, in the second year of life, 77 children were reported to have wheezed in the absence of a cold. The authors also found that maternal vitamin C intake was related to parental reporting of eczema during at least one time period at follow-up. In addition, they revealed that one portion of fruit per day was positively associated with eczema in the second year of the child's life. According to the authors, there were no statistically significant associations between eczema in the first 2 years of life and total maternal intake of vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, magnesium, copper, or zinc. The study appears in the second issue for January 2005 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


A successful trial of an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) combined with a long-acting beta2-agonist (budesonide/formoterol) was part of a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group study of 2,760 asthma patients. The research revealed a 45 percent lower exacerbation rate, a reduction in overall severe exacerbation levels, a delay in exacerbation onset requiring medical attention, improved symptom control, a reduction in awakenings due to asthma, and better lung function in treated patients as compared with two fixed dosing regimens that were also tested. The study was conducted at 246 centers in 22 countries. Patents were randomized to one of three treatment groups: budesonide/formoterol (bud/form) twice a day plus the same combination as needed for relief of symptoms; bud/form twice a day plus terbutaline, a short-acting beta2-agonist, as needed; and budesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid twice a day, plus terbutaline, as needed. The investigators said that their study was the first to show that a high maintenance dose of the ICS budesonide is not necessary to reduce the incidence of first and repeat exacerbations requiring medical intervention. The authors noted that the risk of severe exacerbations requiring medical intervention was reduced by 45 percent with bud/form maintenance and relief, as compared with patients using a four-fold higher maintenance dose of budesonide with a short-acting beta2-agonist for relief. The researchers noted that there was no evidence of tolerance to the bud/form combination since results were maintained over 12 months. The research appears in the second issue for January 2005 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


U.S.-born Mexican Americans have a higher prevalence of asthma than do Mexican Americans born in Mexico, according to study published in the second issue for January 2005 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The results were based on data from 4,574 persons who self-reported their ethnicity as Mexican American during the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHAMES III), as well as from 12,980 persons who reported their Mexican American heritage in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Of the 4,574 NHAMES III participants, 2,422 were U.S.-born Mexican Americans; of the 12,980 persons involved from NHIS, 5,860 were U.S.-born. Slightly over 8 percent of the U.S.-born Mexican Americans had asthma, as contrasted with slightly over 2.5 percent of the Mexican-born participants. The authors said that, since prolonged residence in the U.S. also increased the prevalence of asthma in the Mexican-born participants, their study results imply that either cumulative environmental exposure and/or lifestyle changes after immigration could have influenced their risk of developing asthma.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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