News briefs from the September issue of Chest

PEDIATRIC CHRONIC COUGH LINKED TO REFLUX AND ALLERGIES

New research shows that chronic cough in children is most often caused by gastroesophageal reflux and allergies. Researchers from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, evaluated 40 patients aged 5 to 12 years with chronic cough (> 8 weeks in duration) with no obvious cause. Each patient underwent extensive multispecialty testing. Results showed that reflux was the single most commonly associated factor of chronic cough by itself (27.5 percent), followed by allergy (22.5 percent). All patients received treatment for their underlying conditions, and all responded to their respective treatments. This study is published in the September issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

STATINS MAY BENEFIT PATIENTS WITH COPD

Statins have been shown to benefit patients with cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol, but now research shows that statins may provide significant benefits for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers from the University of British Columbia reviewed data from nine studies that illustrated the beneficial effects of statins on patients with COPD. Further analysis showed that each study provided at least one benefit to patients with COPD, including reduced exacerbations (3 studies); reduction in the number of COPD-related intubations and time to COPD-related intubations (1 study); improved pulmonary function (1 study); improved exercise capacity (1 study); improved mortality (2 studies); and improved all-cause mortality (3 studies). Researchers conclude that, although statins show promise for patients with COPD, additional research is needed. The article is published in the September issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

PATIENTS WITH INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE NEED NOT AVOID AIR TRAVEL

Patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) are often concerned about the occurrence of pneumothorax (collapsed lung) or other life-threatening events during air travel. However, new research shows that, even in ILD with a high prevalence of spontaneous pneumothorax, such as lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), there is a relatively low risk of these events occurring. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health reviewed records and imaging studies of 449 patients with sarcoidosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and LAM, who made a total of 816 trips by airplane and 416 trips by land. Results showed that the frequency of pneumothorax in patients with LAM was 2.9 percent in those who traveled by airplane and 1.3 percent in those who traveled by ground transportation. No patients with IPF or sarcoidosis had a new pneumothorax while traveling. Researchers conclude that, in patients with LAM, the presence of pneumothorax associated with air travel may be related to the high incidence of pneumothorax from the disease itself and not to travel. This article is published in the September issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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