A number of studies have been published in recent weeks that have added to the body of knowledge about asthma. I thought I'd offer a year-summary here today of 3 of the most interesting ones.
Asthma is one of 3 common causes of chronic cough in children. A group of physicians in West Jefferson Medical Center in Louisiana found that kids who had a cough lasting 8 weeks or more usually had it as a result of either asthma, allergy, or GERD. They confirmed their findings with chest x-rays and lung function studies. This was a very small study of only 40 children and you probably already know that cough is one of the most common asthma symptoms. Still, if your child has had a cough for more than a couple of weeks, and hasn't yet been diagnosed with asthma, it's time to call your pediatrician for follow up.
Menopause may lead to a worsening of asthma symptoms. The changes in a woman's body that result in the ending of menstruation can also affect her respiratory function, it seems. According to a study published in the of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the menopausal women who are most affected by these changes seem to be those who are either very thin or overweight.
Another study reveals that older adults are more likely to die from asthma. In fact, most of those who die from asthma-related causes are those aged 65 and older. It's a fact that older adults who have asthma have poorer lung function, although their asthma also tends to stay in better control than younger asthmatics. However, the explanation for the higher death rate appears to be related to delays in treatment in people who have not yet been diagnosed as having asthma. Asthma mimics the symptoms of other chronic respiratory conditions common in older adults. Asthma is also commonly diagnosed after symptoms arise during exercise. But, since older adults tend to be less active, diagnosis may be delayed until symptoms become severe.
Published On: January 01, 2008