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News briefs from the journal CHEST, February 2005

Risk Factors Differ for Childhood Asthma and Wheeze, and Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness

Childhood asthma and current wheeze may be associated with different risk factors than bronchial hyperresponsivenes (BHR), according to a new study. Researchers at the David Hide Asthma & Allergy Research Centre, St. Mary's Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK, compared multiple environmental and genetic factors affecting children at 1, 2, 4, and 10 years of age and whether the children had asthma, wheeze, or BHR when they were 10 years old. Data collected from 1,373 of the original 1,456 children at age 10 showed that 18.9% had current wheeze and 13.0% had asthma, and BHR was found in 169 of the 784 (21,6%) tested. Analysis indicated that both wheeze and asthma share many common significant risk factors, including a genetic link to asthma, a predisposition for being atopic, early exposure to tobacco smoke, and recurrent chest infections in infancy. The only differing risk factor of significance was that males were more likely to have asthma. In sharp contrast, having a higher social class at birth and atopic sensitization at 4 years were found to be the significant risk factors for BHR. These findings suggest that BHR is influenced by mediators that differ from those of asthma and wheezing. The study appears in the February issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Cigarette Smoking and Reduced Lung Function Increases Systemic Inflammation

Low-grade systemic inflammation is associated with health complications, such as cachexia (loss of weight, muscle, and appetite associated with a chronic disease) and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, and a new study shows that active cigarette smoking and poor lung fuction heighten systemic inflammation, both separately and when combined. Researchers at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, administered pulmonary function tes
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Contact: Arielle Green
agreen@chestnet.org
847-498-8387
American College of Chest Physicians
7-Feb-2005


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