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Even at Low Levels, Dirty Air Raises Death Risk for U.S. Seniors

Posted 3 hours 50 minutes ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 – Air pollution may shorten the lives of American seniors, even in areas where levels fall below national safety standards, new research indicates. Although it's possible that factors other than air pollution are responsible for the increase in premature deaths among older adults, study co-author Francesca Dominici said the findings are "bulletproof evidence of increased risk of deaths due to polluted air in the U.S. "Make no mistake. We need to strengthen, not weaken, [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] air pollution standards," said Dominici, a professor of biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. "We need to increase, not reduce, the EPA research funding." The investigators launched their research to determine whether pollution levels considered to be acceptable might still be hazardous to human health. "There is extensive ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Bronchitis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Maintenance, Dyspnea, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Croup, Bronchospastic Disease, Reversible Airways Disease

Health Tip: Want Healthier Lungs?

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Though you can't live without them, we'll bet you haven't spent much time thinking about how to take care of your lungs. The American Lung Association has these suggestions: Don't start smoking; if you are a smoker, quit. Don't allow smoking in your home or car. Test your home for radon. Avoid the outdoors when air quality is poor. Prevent lung infections by washing your hands frequently, getting any recommended vaccines, and avoiding people who are sick. Exercise regularly to keep your lungs strong and healthy. See your health care provider regularly. Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Dyspnea, Lung Cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Respiratory Tract Disease

The Doctor Will (Virtually) See You Now

Posted 8 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Telemedicine is playing an ever-expanding role in the U.S. health care landscape. Among the reasons: a growing national shortage of doctors, both primary care and, in certain areas, specialists. And one-quarter of the population lives in rural areas without easy access to care. So, telemedicine has stepped in to help fill the gap. In fact, more than 10 million Americans now use it every year. Telemedicine, or telehealth, are terms for virtual office visits – video chats made through your smartphone, tablet or computer, sometimes with no waiting at all. You can see and speak with a doctor using real-time audio and video technology. Services can vary from getting a diagnosis and a prescription for minor medical issues, to ongoing monitoring of chronic conditions – especially helpful to older adults. Some health insurance providers now offer telehealth as part ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Skin Rash, Urinary Tract Infection, Bladder Infection, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Psychiatric Disorders, Skin and Structure Infection, Respiratory Tract Disease

Replace Coal With Solar Power to Save Money, Lives

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Replacing coal with solar power would save American lives and money, according to a new study. "If we're rational and we care about American lives – or even just money – then it's time to end coal in the U.S.," said study co-author Joshua Pearce. He is an associate professor of materials science and electrical engineering at Michigan Technological University. Tens of thousands of Americans die early due to health issues linked to air pollution. Michigan Tech researchers calculated the human toll of burning coal along with the possible benefits of switching to solar power. They analyzed regional electric costs and calculated the number of U.S. deaths per kilowatt hour each year for coal as well as solar power. They also estimated the potential return on investment of solar installations using U.S. Department of Energy data. The study found that if the United ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Bronchitis, Fluticasone, Ribavirin, Qvar, Budesonide, Flovent, Entocort, Tobramycin, Bronchial, Mometasone, Entocort EC, Acetylcysteine, Bronchiectasis, Beclomethasone, Mucomyst, Pulmicort Flexhaler, Alvesco

Death Rate Drops for Americans Hospitalized With COPD

Posted 24 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 – While the number of Americans hospitalized each year for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appears to be holding steady, new research suggests the number of patients dying in the hospital over the past decade has decreased. "This is certainly an encouraging trend," said study author Dr. Khushboo Goel, a second-year internal medicine resident at the University of Arizona. COPD is an umbrella term for the lung diseases chronic bronchitis and emphysema, with smoking being a major cause of the tough-to-treat illness. In 2014, close to 16 million Americans said they'd been diagnosed with COPD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, the agency noted. The new findings come after an analysis that looked at 2005-2014 data collected in a major survey of U.S. ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Maintenance, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Respiratory Tract Disease

Does Dirty Air Keep You Awake?

Posted 22 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 – Air pollution may harm your sleep, researchers say. "Prior studies have shown that air pollution impacts heart health and affects breathing and lung function, but less is known about whether air pollution affects sleep," said lead author Dr. Martha Billings. "We thought an effect was likely, given that air pollution causes upper airway irritation, swelling and congestion, and may also affect the central nervous system and brain areas that control breathing patterns and sleep," added Billings, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington. She and her colleagues looked at more than 1,800 people, average age 68, in six U.S. cities. They wanted to see if the two most common air pollutants – traffic-related pollutant gas (NO2) and fine-particle pollution – affected sleep efficiency. Sleep efficiency is a measure of the percentage of time in bed ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Cough, Fatigue, Bronchitis, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Reversible Airways Disease

First-Try Antibiotics Now Fail in 1 in 4 Adult Pneumonia Cases

Posted 22 May 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, May 21, 2017 – The first prescription of an antibiotic that the average U.S. adult with pneumonia receives is now ineffective in about a quarter of cases, a new study finds. In these cases, more or different antibiotics were needed, or the patient's condition worsened to require ER admission or hospitalization within a month of the antibiotics being taken, the research team said. The results are "concerning," because "pneumonia is the leading cause of death from infectious disease in the United States," said lead researcher Dr. James McKinnell, an infectious disease specialist at LA BioMed, a California-based research foundation. Speaking in a news release from the American Thoracic Society, he added that, "the additional antibiotic therapy noted in the study increases the risk of antibiotic resistance and complications like C. difficile infection, which is difficult to treat ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Pneumonia, Dyspnea, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Pneumonia with Cystic Fibrosis

Artificial Intelligence May Help Combat TB in Remote Regions

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – It may be possible to use artificial intelligence to diagnose tuberculosis in people who live in developing nations, a new study suggests. TB, among the top 10 causes of death worldwide, can be identified on X-rays. But, the expertise required to screen for and diagnose TB is often lacking in areas that have high rates of the lung disease, according to the study's authors. The researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia used 1,007 X-rays of people with and without active TB to train artificial intelligence models to identify TB on X-rays. It proved highly accurate – up to 96 percent-- in diagnosing cases. The study findings were published online April 25 in the journal Radiology "An artificial intelligence solution that could interpret radiographs for presence of TB in a cost-effective way could expand the reach of early identification and ... Read more

Related support groups: Tuberculosis, Tuberculosis - Active, Respiratory Tract Disease, Pulmonary Tuberculosis

4 in 10 Americans Still Breathe Dirty Air

Posted 19 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 – Air quality in the United States is improving overall, but not enough for the nearly 40 percent of Americans who live in counties with unhealthy levels of air pollution. That's the conclusion of the American Lung Association's annual report, which shows that 125 million Americans were exposed to high levels of either ozone or particle pollution in 2013-15. This puts them at risk for premature death and other serious health threats such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage, and developmental and reproductive problems, the report said. "This year's 'State of the Air' report is a testament to the success of the Clean Air Act, which has reduced air pollution in much of the nation," Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in a news release from the organization. "As a result, Americans' lung health is far better ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Bronchitis, Asthma - Maintenance, Dyspnea, Asthma - Acute, Poisoning, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Allergic Asthma, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Pulmonary Impairment, Reversible Airways Disease

Health Tip: Keep Indoor Air Clean

Posted 15 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Indoor air may contain allergens that make you sneeze and wheeze, and your eyes turn red. The Mayo Clinic says here's what you can do to clean up the air inside your home: On days when there's a lot of pollen floating around outside, close the windows and run the air conditioning. Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter on your forced air heating and cooling systems, and change it regularly. Run a dehumidifier. Frequently vacuum your floors. Make sure the appliance uses a HEPA filter. Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Bronchitis, Asthma - Acute, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Allergic Asthma, Reversible Airways Disease

Could a Daily Vitamin Curb Smog's Effect on the Heart?

Posted 15 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 – There's a lot of evidence to show that breathing in dirty air can harm your heart. But a small new study suggests that daily vitamin B supplements might counteract that effect. While two hours of exposure to concentrated air pollution had a negative effect on heart rate and levels of illness-fighting white blood cells, "these effects are nearly reversed with four-week B-vitamin supplementation," according to study co-author Dr. Andrea Baccarelli. He's chair of environmental health sciences at Columbia University in New York City. One lung health expert was cautiously optimistic about the findings. "It is interesting that pretreating with B vitamins may prevent some of the deleterious effects of exposure to this pollution," said Dr. Alan Mensch, senior vice president of medical affairs at Northwell Heath's Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. "It must be kept ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Reversible Airways Disease

City Snow May Be Fouled by Pollution From Cars

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 7, 2017 – There's nothing quite like taking a deep breath of the crisp, clean air right after a snowstorm in a city. But once the snow starts to melt, you may be breathing in toxins from car pollution, researchers report. "We found that snow absorbs certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are organic pollutants known to be toxic and carcinogenic," said study author Yevgen Nazarenko, a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University in Montreal. Study senior author Parisa Ariya said, "Understanding how these pollutants interact with the environment, including snow, is crucial if we are to reduce the hundreds of thousands of premature deaths caused by mild air pollution in North America." "Worldwide, air pollution claims as many as 8 million lives," Ariya added in a university news release. She's a professor in the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the ... Read more

Related support groups: Poisoning, Respiratory Tract Disease

Can Smog Raise Breast Cancer Risk?

Posted 7 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 – Women who live where the air is thick with pollutants may be more likely to have dense breasts, a known risk factor for breast cancer, new research suggests. "It appears that women who have dense breasts have a 20 percent greater likelihood of having been exposed to smog," said study author Dr. Lusine Yaghjyan, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida. On the other hand, women with less-dense breasts were 12 percent less likely to have been exposed to high levels of the fine particles in air pollution that can infiltrate the lungs, she added. Although other research has revealed a similar link, Yaghjyan noted this latest study is the largest to date on the topic. As to why the pollution may be linked to more dense breast tissue, "it appears some of the chemicals that might be in those fine particles [in air pollution] might have ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Respiratory Tract Disease

Fewer Than 1,000 Used Oregon's Right-to-Die Law by 2015

Posted 6 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 – Oregon's Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill patients to end their own lives. But over almost two decades, relatively few patients have done so, a new study reveals. Less than 1,000 residents have followed through since Oregon became the first state to permit physician-aided dying in 1997, researchers found. More people requested the lethal drugs than actually used them. And, more than three-quarters who used the drugs had cancer, said Dr. Charles Blanke, lead researcher of the new study. "Oregon's Death with Dignity Act is being used only rarely, and by patients who are truly suffering," said Blanke, a professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University's Knight Cancer Institute. Most patients who chose to die cited loss of independence and an inability to enjoy life, said Blanke, who is also chair of SWOG, a worldwide cancer study group. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, HIV Infection, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Respiratory Tract Disease

Health Tip: Asthma and Air Pollution

Posted 6 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Air pollution makes the air unhealthy – a particularly serious problem for people with asthma. The American Academy of Family Physicians says you should talk with your doctor about: Symptoms of exposure to air pollution, which could include chest pain and coughing. Long-term medication to manage asthma. Whether you are more sensitive to polluted air than the average person. Read more

Related support groups: Bronchitis, Dyspnea, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Croup

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Asthma, Cough, Bronchitis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Nasal Congestion, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Rhinitis, Bronchospasm Prophylaxis, Bronchiectasis, view more... Aspiration Pneumonia, Hiccups, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Dyspnea, Pleural Effusion, Respiratory Failure, Croup, Pulmonary Impairment, Pulmonary Heart or Vascular Disease, Mucous Plugging in Lung Disease, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, Hypereosinophilic Syndrome, Pleuropulmonary Infection, Mechanical Ventilation, Vocal Cord Dysfunction, Berylliosis, Bronchospastic Disease, Respiratory Depression, Bronchopleural Fistula