Newsbriefs from the journal Chest, May 2006

New research shows that current or former alcoholics have a high risk for developing Streptococcus pneumoniae (S pneumoniae), a bacteria known to cause pneumonia. Researchers from Spain and Germany compared the etiology, antibiotic resistance of S pneumoniae, severity, and outcome of patients with alcohol abuse with nonalcoholics hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Among patients, 128 were current alcoholics, 54 former alcoholics, and 1,165 non-alcoholics. Results indicated that patients with a history of alcohol abuse had the highest incidence of S pneumoniae. Overall, 27 percent of alcoholics, 30 percent of former alcoholics, and 16 percent of nonalcoholics developed S pneumoniae. Alcoholic patients presented more severe forms of CAP, but no significant differences were found in mortality, antibiotic resistance of S pneumoniae, and other etiologies. Findings support the need to promote pneumococcal vaccination in patients with a history of alcoholism. The study appears in the May issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

New research shows that the most common causes of chronic cough are different for children than adults, suggesting the management of chronic cough also should be different between the two groups. Previous research, utilizing an adult-based pathway for diagnosing and managing adult chronic cough, has identified asthma, upper airway cough syndrome (UACS), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as the most common causes of chronic cough in adults. However, when Australian researchers applied the adult pathway to chronic cough in 108 children, 39.8 percent presented with bacterial bronchitis, making it the most common cause of chronic cough in children. In addition, asthma, UACS, and GERD were seen in less than 10 percent of young patients. Findings suppo

Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians

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