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News briefs from the July issue of CHEST

SMOKING CESSATION MAY PROVIDE IMMEDIATE BENEFIT TO HEART

A new article suggests smoking cessation provides immediate benefits to patients. Researchers from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, NY, examined specific inflammatory biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in “at risk” women during the smoking cessation process. Results showed that smoking cessation resulted in significant reductions in circulating tumor necrosis factor (TNF), soluble TNF receptors I and II, and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). Researchers conclude that there are rapid consequences of smoking cessation on inflammatory biomarkers in women at risk for CVD. The article is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

ELECTRICAL MUSCLE STIMULATION MAY BENEFIT PATIENTS WITH COPD

Patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or chronic heart failure (CHF) may be physically limited by the severity of their disease, potentially leading to skeletal muscular impairment or muscle atrophy. New research shows that these patients may benefit from neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Researchers from The Netherlands reviewed 14 trials that examined the use of NMES in patients with CHF and COPD. They found that many of the studies reported significant improvements in muscle strength, exercise capacity, and/or health status. Researchers conclude that, although NMES looks promising for patients with COPD and CHF, additional studies are warranted. This study is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

DEATHS FROM PULMONARY FIBROSIS HIGHEST IN WINTER

New research shows that mortality from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and/or pulmonary fibrosis (PF) may be highest during the winter months. Using death records from the National Center for Health Statistics, a research team from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO, calculated the monthly mortality rates for persons with PF. Results showed that mortality rates from PF significantly varied by season. The average mortality rate among all persons with PF was 17.1 percent higher in the winter, 12.7 percent higher in spring, and 5.2 percent higher in fall than in the summer months. This study is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

LONG-ACTING β2-AGONISTS MAY NOT BENEFIT ASTHMA PATIENTS

New research shows that long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs) may not have a clinically significant antiinflammatory effect as once believed. LABAs are recommended as add-on therapy to antiinflammatory treatment in chronic persistent asthma. However, in a metaanalysis of 32 studies (n=1,105 patients), researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, found that LABA therapy had no effect on sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), or mucosal inflammatory cell findings in adults or children. LABAs did decrease exhaled nitric oxide levels and BAL albumin levels in adults, suggesting a possible benefit. The study is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.




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