DRAWING SKILLS LINKED TO MORTALITY IN PATIENTS WITH COPD
New research suggests that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are unable to copy certain drawings involved in neuropsychological testing have an increased mortality rate. Italian researchers tracked 134 patients with stable COPD, age 68.7± 8.5 years, for a median of 32 months. Patients underwent clinical testing, including spirometry and a 6-minute walk test, and neuropsychological testing, including a mental examination, verbal memory assessment, and simple and complex drawing tests. Of the 29 patients who died during the observation period, 58.6 percent had abnormal scores on complex drawing tests compared with 35.2 percent of survivors. Overall, abnormal score on the complex drawing test and low 6-minute walked distance were significantly associated with mortality. Researchers conclude that the complex drawing test can be used as a prognostic marker in COPD. This study appears in the December issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
DEPRESSION COMMON AMONG PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC COUGH
Patients who suffer from chronic cough may be at increased risk for depression, shows a new study. Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in New York followed 100 patients with chronic cough for 3 months. Patients completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale and provided subjective cough scores reflecting severity of their cough. Overall, 53 percent of patients scored "16 on the CES-D, indicating presence of significant depression. Of the 81 patients who completed the study, results indicated a statistically significant improvement in both cough and depression scores after 3 months of treatment. In addition, improvement in cough score correlated significantly with improvement in depression score. This study appears in the December issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians,
GENDER AND OBESITY KEY FACTORS IN HABITUAL SNORING
A new study confirms that male gender, obesity, and weight gain are key determinants of habitual snoring in the adult population. In 1981, Australian researchers surveyed 967 nonsnoring adults aged 25 to 74 years regarding their gender, age, respiratory/allergy symptoms, and habits related to snoring, smoking, and alcohol, tea, and coffee consumption. Body size measurements and lung function were also measured. Participants completed a follow-up survey 14-years later. Overall, 13 percent of participants became habitual snorers at the 14-year follow up. Results indicated that male gender and baseline body max index (BMI) were significant predictors of developing habitual snoring. Change in BMI over the follow-up period, development of asthma, and initiation of smoking were additional independent risk factors for the development of habitual snoring. This study appears in the December issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
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