Newsbriefs from the journal CHEST, September 2006

Obesity shows stronger asthma risk in non-allergic women

A new study shows that obese, non-allergic women are at a greater asthma risk than their male-counterparts. Researchers from the University of Ottawa administered a survey to over 85,000 Canadians that included questions about self-reported asthma, allergy history, height, and weight. After controlling for covariates, results showed that obese women had an 85 percent increase in the risk of asthma, compared with women at a normal weight. Obese men had a 20 percent increase in the likelihood of asthma, compared with men at a normal weight. One unit of increased body mass index (BMI) was associated with an increased asthma risk of 6 percent in women and 3 percent in men. The study also found that obese, non-allergic women showed a 9.5 percent asthma risk, while their normal-weight counterparts showed only a 3.1 percent risk. Researchers concluded that the association between increased BMI and asthma was stronger among non-allergic adults than allergic adults, primarily in women. This study appears in the September issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.


Noncancerous abnormalities on chest radiographs may prove harmful

Common chest radiograph abnormalities generally not suspicious for lung cancer may actually be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and/or mortality, according to a new study. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health followed 70,000 subjects from November 1993 to July 2001, who were enrolled in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. Subjects received a total of four posterior-anterior chest radiographs, starting at baseline and then at every 3 years. In all, 35 percent of examinations reported nonsuspicious abnormalities, compared with 8 percent suspicious for cancer, with some of the most common nonsuspicious abnormalities being granuloma, scarring/pulmonary fibrosis, and cardiac abnormalities. Researchers found that when controlling for age and smoking, scarring/pulmonary fibrosis showed a significant increased risk of lung cancer and cardiac abnormalities showed a significant increased overall mortality. This study appears in the September issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.


One in four Americans at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea

New research from the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America Poll 2005 shows that as many as one in four Americans appears to be at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The survey, embedded with the Berlin Questionnaire, collected information from 1,506 participants regarding snoring, witnessed apneas, daytime sleepiness, and height and weight. Researchers found that 26 percent of respondents met the Berlin Questionnaire criteria as being high risk for OSA. The population of obese individuals showed a 57 percent risk. Fifty-nine percent reported snoring; 6 percent reported witnessed apneas. Daytime sleepiness was common in 26 percent, and 32 percent reported driving drowsy one or more times per month. Researchers suggest that efforts to expedite diagnosis and treatment are needed. This study appears in the September 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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