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News briefs from the Journal CHEST, November 2004

DENTAL PLAQUE ASSOCIATED WITH RESPIRATORY INFECTION IN ELDERLY

Dental plaques (DPs) may often house respiratory pathogens responsible for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), according to a new study by researchers at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Of 49 critically ill nursing home residents who required intensive care treatment, researchers found that 28 subjects (57%) had aerobic pathogens in their DPs, including Staphylococcus aureus and enteric Gram-negative bacilli, pathogens commonly found in elderly patients with severe pneumonia, and 14 patients (29%) developed HAP. Institutionalized elders comprise a population that frequently has DPs due to lack of oral hygiene, a decline of daily activities, and, possibly, prior treatment with antibiotics. Further research is needed to determine if daily oral hygiene would reduce the incidence of HAP in this population. The study appears in the November issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

GERD SYMPTOMS OFTEN MISLEADING FOR ASTHMATICS

One third of adults with asthma have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but many do not experience the typical symptoms of heartburn and/or regurgitation, a new study shows. Researchers from Tampere University Hospital in Finland looked at 90 asthmatic patients and identified 32 patients (36%) with GERD, of which 8 patients (25%) did not experience classic reflux symptoms. The study further showed that asthmatics who experience GERD symptoms may not actually have the condition, as only 24 patients (51%) of the 47 who presented with classic reflux symptoms were found to have abnormal acidic reflux. The study appears in the November issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

EMERGENCY CARE WORKERS MOTIVATE ASTHMA PATIENTS TO BECOME EDUCATED

Emergency department (ED) professionals can help reduce asthma-related morbidit
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Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
8-Nov-2004


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