News briefs from the journal Chest, July 2005



In the first study to assess a connection between cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and asthma, in the same population, over the same time period, researchers found that patients who are diagnosed with asthma are at a significantly higher risk of a diagnosis of GERD. Researchers from Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom examined data taken from the UK General Practice Research Database. Researchers followed a cohort of 5,653 patients recently diagnosed with GERD and 8,105 patients without GERD or asthma, for a mean time of 3 years and identified 103 cases of asthma in the GERD cohort and 99 cases of asthma in the control group. During the same study period, researchers followed 9,712 patients with newly diagnosed asthma and 19,334 control subjects without asthma or GERD, for a mean of 2.8 years and found 219 patients with asthma developed GERD, compared to 241 control subjects who developed GERD during the study period. Patients with asthma were most likely to receive a subsequent diagnosis of GERD within the first year of their diagnosis of asthma. Patients with a diagnosis of GERD were not found to be at significantly higher risk of developing asthma. The study appears in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.


Burning wood may be associated with lung cancer, even with people who do not smoke, suggests a new study. Scientists from Mexico gathered blood samples from 62 patients with lung cancer, 9 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 9 control subjects. Of the patients with lung cancer, 23 were tobacco smokers (37.1 percent), 24 were exposed to wood smoke (38.7 percent), and 15 were not in either category (24.2 percent). Study results show that 38.7 percent of the patients with lung cancer were nonsmokers who were exposed to continuous wood smoke for over 10 years. Most of these people were women living in rural areas, with poverty conditions. The findings not only suggest a connection between lung cancer and exposure to wood smoke but they also indicate that wood smoke may cause similar gene mutations to p53, phospho-p53, and MDM2 protein expression as tobacco use. The study appears in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.


New research shows that systemic and clinical pulmonary-only sarcoidosis may be caused by different environmental exposures that ultimately lead to these different subsets of the same disease. Researchers from Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; Denver, CO; and Charleston, SC studied 718 patients with newly-diagnosed sarcoidosis from 10 sites across the United States who were included in the A Case Control Etiologic Study of Sarcoidosis (ACCESS). Within the cohort, 311 patients (43 percent) had pulmonary-only disease while 407 patients (57 percent) had systemic involvement. Researchers found that the duration and intensity of exposure to some environmental elements may be related to the development of sarcoidosis, because patients exposed to metal dust at work and at home/hobby were more likely to have pulmonary-only disease. Researchers found that African-Americans' exposure to wood burning and Caucasians' exposure to agricultural organic dust are associated with different phenotypes of sarcoidosis. This finding may indicate that African-Americans and Caucasians are either affected differently by the same exposures or that they come into contact with different exposures. The study appears in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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