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Mite-Proof Bedding May Help Curb Asthma Attacks: Study

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 10, 2017 – Children with asthma have fewer flare-ups when their beds have mite-proof covers, a new study suggests. Dust mites are one of the most common asthma triggers. The study included 284 children in England with asthma and dust mite allergy. Their mattresses and pillows were encased with mite-proof or placebo covers. They were tracked for a year. During that time, about 29 percent of the kids with mite-proof covers had a severe flare-up that led to a hospital visit, compared to about 42 percent of the other kids. Children with protective bedding also went much longer before having a flare-up that led to an emergency room visit or hospital stay for treatment with systemic corticosteroids. But they did not have a significantly lower risk of flare-ups that were treated outside the hospital with only an oral corticosteroid. The researchers said the bedcovers may not ... Read more

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Asthma Much More Lethal for Black Children, Study Finds

Posted 5 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 4, 2017 – Asthma attacks can prove deadly to kids, but a new study shows that black American children are six times more likely to die of the illness than their white or Hispanic peers. The gap in death rates "may imply a differential access to care" based on a family's race, said lead author Dr. Anna Chen Arroyo, in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. She is from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Arroyo was slated to present the findings Saturday at the academy's annual meeting in Atlanta. There is no cure for asthma, and it can be deadly if not properly controlled through proper diagnosis, medication and a management plan, the authors noted. One respiratory specialist agreed, and said kids everywhere are affected. "Asthma is a chronic condition which affects approximately 9 million children in the United States," said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Asthma, Asthma - Maintenance, Asthma - Acute, Allergic Asthma, Reversible Airways Disease, Reversible Airways Disease - Maintenance

There's Fun and Fitness in the Pool for Asthmatic Kids

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Safe, healthy fun for kids with asthma may be as near as the neighborhood pool, one respiratory specialist says. Staying active can be a challenge for the more than 6 million children with asthma in the United States, noted Dr. Tod Olin. He's a pediatric pulmonary specialist at National Jewish Health in Denver. "It can be a dilemma for many families. All it takes is one asthma attack, and suddenly patients can become very tentative about overdoing it," he said in a hospital news release. "When it comes to cardio activities that are well-tolerated, swimming, specifically, is highly recommended, particularly in indoor swimming pools," Olin said. The high humidity in indoor swimming pools protects against asthma attacks by keeping airways open, he said. "We think that the way asthma attacks happen is that the airways dry out, and that sets off a cascade of ... Read more

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Childhood Asthma May Encourage Obesity, Study Suggests

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – A young child with asthma has a greater risk of obesity than one without the chronic respiratory condition, a new study suggests. Among nearly 2,200 elementary school students in California, researchers found that childhood asthma was linked to a 51 percent increased risk of obesity over the next 10 years. "I was surprised it was that substantial," said study senior author Dr. Frank Gilliland. He is a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles. However, kids who used "rescue" inhalers were less likely to become obese compared to those who did not treat flare-ups, the investigators found. Prevalence of obesity and asthma has increased dramatically over the past several decades, and researchers suspect there's a biological connection between the two. Previous research has shown obese children ... Read more

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Airway Differences May Explain Why Asthma Can Be More Serious for Blacks

Posted 13 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 13, 2017 – Differences in airway inflammation may be one reason why black people with asthma are less responsive to treatment and more likely to die from the disease than white people, a new study suggests. Asthma is a chronic lung disease, and airway inflammation is a major component of asthma. The inflammation causes the airways to swell and become more sensitive, which eventually leads to symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. "Emerging evidence suggests that differences in airway inflammation can affect a patient's response to treatment, but whether the patterns of airway inflammation vary across race has, until now, been very unclear," said study corresponding author Dr. Sharmilee Nyenhuis. She's an allergy, asthma and immunology specialist at University of Illinois at Chicago. Blacks are two ... Read more

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Kids' Asthma Flareups Fall Off After No-Smoking Laws

Posted 9 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 – In many U.S. communities that have adopted indoor smoking bans, fewer children need emergency asthma treatment, a new study finds. ER visits for childhood asthma attacks fell 17 percent overall in 20 metropolitan areas that prohibit smoking in public places such as restaurants and hotels, researchers found. The study doesn't confirm that the clean air laws directly boost lung health in kids. But, it makes a strong case, according to the researchers from Brown University, the University of Chicago Medical Center and Kansas University. "Combined with other studies, our results make it clear that clean indoor air legislation improves public health," study co-author Theresa Shireman said in a University of Chicago news release. She's a professor at the Brown School of Public Health. Study author Dr. Christina Ciaccio agreed. "Children are in a very unique situation ... Read more

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Many Poor Asthma Sufferers Stuck in Settings That Make Their Disease Worse

Posted 4 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2017 – Poor Americans with asthma face constant challenges in managing their respiratory disease – from dilapidated housing to neighborhood violence to depression, new research shows. The study offers a snapshot of the lives of asthma patients living in inner-city Philadelphia, from the point of view of community health workers who visited them at home. It's a bleak picture, and asthma experts called it "eye-opening." The home visits revealed that most patients were unemployed and often lived in overcrowded homes in a state of disrepair: Major water leaks, mold, rodents and cockroaches – all potential asthma triggers – were common. People were also frequently dealing with multiple medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. And then there was the stress of daily living. Many faced neighborhood violence, had no transportation or lacked family and ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Asthma, Asthma - Maintenance, Asthma - Acute, Allergic Asthma, Reversible Airways Disease - Maintenance, Reversible Airways Disease

Mice May Be Key to Kids' Asthma Attacks at School

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – Research investigating schoolchildren's asthma attacks has pointed to a tiny foe: mice. Allergens from the rodents can infiltrate the air, the study found, and may be a major cause of asthma attacks in the school environment. It's known that many different allergy triggers – from dust mites to mold to pet dander – can fuel children's asthma symptoms. But most research has focused on the triggers in kids' homes. "In this study, we've identified the school as an important factor, too," said researcher Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, an allergy specialist at Boston Children's Hospital. That said, she stressed, the findings do not actually prove that schools' rodent problems were the cause of kids' symptoms. The next step, Phipatanakul said, is a study where schools will get air purifiers and "integrated pest management," to see if that improves students' respiratory ... Read more

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Farm Kids Get Fewer Allergies, International Study Finds

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – Growing up on a farm may help ward off allergies later in life, a new study suggests. The study also found that women who spend their early years on a farm typically have stronger lungs than their suburban or city-dwelling peers. Other research has suggested that exposure to germs and potential allergens in early childhood could protect people against allergies later. A team led by the University of Melbourne's Shyamali Dharmage put this "hygiene hypothesis" to the test. Dharmage is a professor in the Center for Epidemiology & Biostatistics. The team analyzed data from a survey of more than 10,000 adults in 14 countries in Europe, Scandinavia and Australia. Nearly 64 percent said they spent their first five years of life in a rural village, small town or city suburb. About 27 percent lived in the city and about 9 percent grew up on a farm. Kids who spent their ... Read more

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Early Virus Raises Asthma Risk in Certain Kids: Study

Posted 26 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 26, 2016 – A common genetic variation significantly boosts the odds of asthma in children who've had a severe respiratory illness at a young age, researchers report. "Our findings suggest that genetic influences on asthma might be more pronounced in the context of early life environmental exposures, especially viral respiratory infections," said Dr. Rajesh Kumar, an allergist at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. He is senior author of the new report. The study involved nearly 3,500 Hispanic children, aged 8 to 21, and a smaller number of black children. It focused on a variation of the Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) gene. PAI-1 is an enzyme that increases in the airways in response to viral illness, sometimes causing damage, the researchers explained. Asthma risk was 17 times higher among children with this variation who had a common illness called ... Read more

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Amish Lifestyle Brings Unexpected Benefit: Less Asthma

Posted 3 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2016 – It can't be easy living a 19th-century life in the midst of 21st-century technology, but new research suggests the Amish people have at least one distinct advantage over the rest of the population – much lower rates of asthma. "We found Amish children had extremely low levels of asthma and allergic sensitization. Their kids were pretty much protected from asthma and allergies," said study senior author Anne Sperling, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. That was particularly true when they were compared to the children of another dairy farming population, the Hutterites. Hutterites are similar to the Amish in many ways, except that the Hutterites use mechanical farming equipment. The Amish asthma rate is 5 percent; for Hutterite children, it's 21 percent, the study authors said. Overall, the childhood asthma rate in the United ... Read more

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Helping a Child Manage a Chronic Illness

Posted 21 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 21, 2016 – Children and teens who feel confident handling a chronic illness on their own appear better able to learn to manage their health as adults, a new study finds. The University of North Carolina investigators concluded that kids who believe their health is controlled by adults or by chance may not develop the health self-management skills they will need as adults. This could put them at increased risk for health problems. The study included 163 youngsters, aged 6 to 17, attending a camp for young people with chronic diseases. Researchers asked the participants whether they felt they had control over their health. The researchers also assessed whether the children took medications as prescribed and their readiness to transition to adult care. Feeling confident about managing their own health and being ready to transition to adult care likely indicate that ... Read more

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Does Living Near a Fracking Site Make Asthma Worse?

Posted 18 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 18, 2016 – Living near fracking sites may make asthma worse for many of those who suffer from the respiratory condition, a new study suggests. Fracking is a controversial process in which water, sand and chemicals are pumped deep into the ground at high pressure to extract hard-to-reach pockets of natural gas. "The unconventional natural gas development process [fracking] has numerous environmental impacts that could affect health," said lead researcher Dr. Brian Schwartz. He is a professor of environmental health sciences, epidemiology and medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The list of impacts includes noise, vibration, strong odors, air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, heavy truck traffic, conversion of rural areas to industrial ones and stress, he said. Many of these can also affect asthma symptoms, Schwartz added. For ... Read more

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London's Great Smog of 1952 Linked to Asthma Surge

Posted 9 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 8, 2016 – London's Great Smog of 1952 might have affected the health of young children and unborn babies, resulting in thousands of additional cases of asthma, a new study contends. "Our results suggest that the harm from this dreadful event over 60 years ago lives on today," said the study's leader, Matthew Neidell, in a Columbia University news release. He is an associate professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. The Great Smog of London lasted five days in December 1952. The smog developed when a weather phenomenon that pushes air downwards helped trap the pollution from residential coal fires (to heat homes) and industrial pollution low to the ground, according to the United Kingdom's public weather service. People described the smog as so thick you couldn't see from one side of the street to the other, ... Read more

Related support groups: Asthma, Asthma - Maintenance, Asthma - Acute, Allergic Asthma, Reversible Airways Disease, Reversible Airways Disease - Maintenance

Health Tip: Need a Lung Function Test?

Posted 9 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

-- A lung function test measures how well your lungs are working, helping your doctor diagnose the cause and severity of any problems with your breathing. The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute says the test is designed to show: The amount of air that you can breathe into your lungs to see if it's in the normal range. The amount of air that you can exhale from your lungs, and how quickly you can do it. The ability of your lungs to bring oxygen to your blood. How strong the muscles that help you breathe are. Read more

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