CHEST 2006 abstract briefs


Asthma May Be Overdiagnosed in Obese Patients

(Monday, October 23, 2006, 4:30 PM EST)

A new study reveals that, despite lack of evidence, obese patients are often diagnosed with asthma. Researchers at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey studied 20 patients, all of whom had a diagnosis of asthma, but none of whom exhibited any spirometric evidence of airway obstruction. The body mass index (BMI) was calculated, and bronchoprovocations tests were performed. In all, 90 percent of patients had an above-normal BMI. Of that, 61 percent were nonreactive to methacholine, suggesting an overdiagnosis of asthma in obese patients. Researchers suggest bronchoprovocation testing should be considered in such patients.

Home Nebulizer Misuse May Contribute to Death

(Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 12:30 PM EST)

A new study suggests that the misuse of home nebulizers may have been a contributing cause of patient deaths in Michigan. All asthma-related deaths in Michigan, between 2002 to 2004, in patients 2- to 34-years-old, were identified. In total, 86 deaths occurred, 38 of which were children. Researchers from Michigan State University collected medical records for the year prior to death, and interviews with next of kin were obtained and examined by an expert panel. It was determined that out of the 52 patients prescribed a home nebulizer, only 30 patients used it regularly, and 19 patients used it prior to the fatal event. Researchers suggest that home nebulizers were not used in accordance with the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) guidelines and that their misuse may have been a contributing factor in some deaths.

New Surgery For Asthma Improves Symptoms

(Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 12:30 PM EST)

A new surgical procedure that reduces the amount of a person's airway smooth muscle has the potential to decrease asthma symptoms caused by bronchoconstricition,

Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians

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