In a cross-sectional, random-dial telephone survey of over 42,000 households in the U.S., researchers found that the majority of the population with asthma experienced moderate to severe persistent disease rather than mild illness, and that the resulting impact on patient activity was "substantial." The investigators analyzed data from 3,273 households that met the criteria for current asthma. Limiting their data request to respondents who were over 16 years of age, they captured answers from a 1,778-person national sample of older adolescents and adults with asthma. Of this group, 77.3 percent had moderate to severe persistent disease and 10.7 percent had mild intermittent illness. In addition, the impact of asthma on the respondent's daily activities was "considerable," according to the researchers. Two thirds of the individuals reported their asthma had "some" or "a lot" of impact on their physical activities. Consequently, the investigators believe that the goals of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program "to maintain normal activity levels (including exercise and other physical activity)" are not being met. The research appears in the second issue for October 2002 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
ANTIBIOTICS REDUCE INFECTIONS FOR SEVERELY ILL IN CRITICAL CARE
Intensive care unit (ICU) investigators have revealed that the prophylactic administration of a short course of intravenous antibiotics, in combination with topical non-absorbable antibiotics, has significantly reduced the incidence of infections and prevented progression to severe organ failure in critically ill surgical and trauma patients. (Despite the high level of care, ICU patients are at increased risk for the development of severe and even fatal infections.) German researchers analyzed dat
Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society