Newsbriefs from the journal CHEST, June 2006

ODOR INTOLERANCE TIED TO COUGH SENSITIVITY
Patients who have aversions to certain odors also may have increased tendency to cough, shows a new study. Swedish researchers administered the Chemical Sensitivity Scale for Sensory Hyperreactivity (CSS-SHR) questionnaire to 103 patients to determine their self-reported odor sensitivity. Researchers then determined patients' cough sensitivity, the tendency for cough to be provoked, using the capsaicin inhalation test. Among the patients, 16 individuals had increased cough sensitivity and, of these patients, more than 80 percent had a positive CSS-SHR score. Only 5 percent of individuals with a negative CSS-SHR score had a positive capsaicin test. Researchers conclude that patients with odor intolerance and upper and lower airway symptoms, such as cough, may suffer from a physiological disorder. The study appears in the June issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

INFANT EXPOSURE TO PETS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH AIRWAY DISORDER
A new study shows that early exposure to pets and other allergens does not increase a child's likelihood of developing airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), a characteristic feature of asthma. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, identified at birth 131 children with a history of asthma or allergies in at least one parent. Data were collected on the children throughout childhood in regard to symptoms, diagnosis of atopic disease, and allergen exposure. At a median of 7 years, children performed methacholine challenges and allergy skin prick testing. Overall, AHR was strongly associated with sensitization to cat, dust mite, cockroach, and ragweed. However, no relationship was found between AHR and exposure to pets, tobacco smoke, or other perinatal exposures in the first year of life. The study appears in the June issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

SHORT-TERM CPAP MAY NOT LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
New research shows that short-term continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may have little affect on blood pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) and hypertension. Researchers from Spain compared blood pressure readings of 68 patients with OSAS and hypertension who were receiving treatment with antihypertensive medication. Patients were randomly assigned to receive therapeutic or subtherapeutic CPAP for four weeks. Antihypertensive treatment was not changed for either group. Baseline scores for sleep apnea, as well as comorbidities, blood pressure, and CPAP compliance, were similar between the groups. Results showed that there were no significant changes in systolic, diastolic, daytime, or nighttime blood pressure for either group. Researchers conclude that short-term CPAP has little impact on patients with OSAS and well-controlled hypertension. The study appears in the June issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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