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Artificial Intelligence May Help Combat TB in Remote Regions

Posted 4 days ago 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, Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Respiratory Tract Disease

4 in 10 Americans Still Breathe Dirty Air

Posted 10 days ago 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, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Allergic Asthma, Pulmonary Impairment, Reversible Airways Disease

Health Tip: Keep Indoor Air Clean

Posted 15 days ago 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 days ago 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

Droughts Tied to Climate Change Could Bring Health Risks for Seniors

Posted 6 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 – Severe drought can put older people at added risk of heart and lung illness – and even death, a new study finds. Scientists forecast more droughts in the United States as climate change patterns continue. In the new study, researchers analyzed health and drought data from 618 counties in the western United States. The data included hospitalizations for heart- and lung-related problems as well as deaths among people aged 65 and older between 2000 and 2013. During droughts, heart problems and deaths did not rise, and rates of lung-related hospitalizations fell, the findings showed. But deaths did rise during severe, worsening droughts, the investigators found. "Our study is one of the largest to explore the link between drought and human health and, as far as we know, the first to investigate cardiovascular- and respiratory-related admissions," said lead ... Read more

Related support groups: Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Respiratory Tract Disease

1 in 4 Teens Exposed to Secondhand E-Cig Vapors: Report

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – One-quarter of U.S. middle and high school students say they've been exposed to potentially dangerous secondhand e-cigarette vapors, a federal government study shows. E-cigarette vapors can contain harmful substances such as nicotine, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. E-cigarette devices can also be used for marijuana and other illicit drugs. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey. They found that more than 24 percent of middle and high school students said they had been exposed to e-cigarette vapors in an indoor or outdoor location at least once in the previous 30 days. That amounted to 6.5 million students. Rates of exposure for specific groups were: almost 22 percent among males; close to 27 percent among females; 24.5 percent among Hispanics; 27 percent among ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Respiratory Tract Disease, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS

US Medical Groups Sound the Alarm on Climate Change

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – Climate change is not only an environmental issue, but a major threat to public health, according to 11 U.S. medical societies. It's an issue that many people do not know exists, even though it may already affect them, the groups warned in a new report. "We want to get the message out that climate change is affecting people's health right now," said Dr. Mona Sarfaty. She's director of the group collective the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. More frequent and more intense heat waves raise the risk of heat-related illness, for example. Climate change can also exacerbate heart and lung conditions, including asthma and emphysema, said Sarfaty, who's also director of Program on Climate and Health at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. And, it can feed the spread of insect-borne infections, such as Lyme disease and Zika, and even contribute ... Read more

Related support groups: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Heart Disease, Bronchitis, Lyme Disease, Gastroenteritis, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Traveler's Diarrhea, Ischemic Heart Disease, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Zika Virus Infection, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Cystic Fibrosis Survival Better in Canada Than in U.S.

Posted 14 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 13, 2017 – People with cystic fibrosis are living longer than ever, but those in Canada live nearly 10 years longer than those in the United States, a new study finds. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive tract. It causes the production of a thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs. This may cause life-threatening lung infections. People with cystic fibrosis also have difficulty properly breaking down and absorbing nutrients from food, the researchers explained. Between 2009 and 2013, the average Canadian with cystic fibrosis lived to just under 51 years. In the United States, someone with the lung disorder could expect to live an average of close to 41 years, the study found. Why the difference? Although the study didn't specifically look at the reasons behind the gap, possible reasons include diet, better access to lung transplants ... Read more

Related support groups: Cystic Fibrosis, Organ Transplant - Rejection Prophylaxis, Organ Transplant, Respiratory Tract Disease, Rejection Prophylaxis, Cystic Fibrosis with Ileus, Rejection Reversal

City Tax on Cars Cut Pollution, Kids' Asthma Risk

Posted 7 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – A tax designed to reduce mid-city traffic in Stockholm, Sweden, was tied to a reduction in asthma attacks in children, a new study suggests. "The key takeaways of this paper are that health gains can be realized through efforts to lower air pollution, and that we need to be patient in waiting for the complete picture to emerge," said study author Emilia Simeonova, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. After Stockholm introduced the "congestion tax" as an experiment in 2006 to discourage people from driving in the center of the city, traffic flow got better and air pollution levels fell by 5 to 10 percent. The tax was made into law in 2007. The tax costs drivers the U.S. equivalent of $2.60 when they drive in certain areas of the city at congested times of the workday. The tax is collected through scanners that gather license plate ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Asthma, Bronchitis, Asthma - Maintenance, Asthma - Acute, Bronchiectasis, Bronchospasm Prophylaxis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Croup, Allergic Asthma, Reversible Airways Disease, Bronchospastic Disease

Patient Organizations Offer Advice on Reforming Obamacare

Posted 7 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 6, 2017 – The U.S. Congress needs to focus on certain areas as it considers changes to the Affordable Care Act, according to a coalition of 11 major patient groups. "As Congress begins debate on how to improve the nation's health care system, our organizations will evaluate any proposed changes based on a set of Consensus Health Care Reform Principles we believe necessary to provide affordable, accessible and adequate coverage for all Americans," said a March 6 statement from the coalition. The coalition represents millions of patients. These 11 patient groups have banded together to ensure that any changes in the health care law, sometimes called Obamacare, address the concerns of those patients. "First, we believe that any new plan cannot jeopardize the health care coverage Americans currently have through employers, the marketplace, Medicaid or Medicare. They should be ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Heart Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes Mellitus, Respiratory Tract Disease

Can Mom's Vitamin E Head Off Child's Asthma Risk?

Posted 5 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 4, 2017 – Kids born to moms with low levels of vitamin E might be more likely to develop asthma, new research suggests. When moms had low levels of a specific type of vitamin E measured right after birth, their children were more likely to develop wheezing and to have been treated with asthma medications in their first two years of life, the study found. "The major sources of vitamin E are oils" such as sunflower, safflower, corn, soy and canola oils, study lead author Dr. Cosby Stone said in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Stone said his team's previous research in mice had suggested the link between vitamin E and asthma. Stone is with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. "We hypothesized that maternal vitamin E levels, reflecting levels that the fetus encounters during pregnancy," would affect how kids ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Bronchitis, Asthma - Maintenance, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Maintenance, Dyspnea, Asthma - Acute, Cough and Nasal Congestion, Vitamin E, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Croup, Allergic Asthma, Alpha E, Aquasol E, Nutr-E-Sol, E-600, Vitec

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