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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Recognition and Treatment of the Child With Acute Asthma in the Community

World Asthma Day is May 1st!!! Come and learn about the latest recommendations for the treatment of acute asthma in children. The session can be accessed through telehealth or in person at the Children's Asthma Education Centre. Call 787-1293 for more information.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Drinking Large Amounts Of Soft Drinks Associated With Asthma And COPD

A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that a high level of soft drink consumption is associated with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Led by Zumin Shi, MD, PhD, of the University of Adelaide, researchers conducted computer assisted telephone interviewing among 16,907 participants aged 16 years and older in South Australia between March 2008 and June 2010 inquiring about soft drink consumption. Soft drinks comprised Coke, lemonade, flavored mineral water, Powerade, and Gatorade etc.

Results showed that one in ten adults drink more than half a liter of soft drink daily in South Australia. The amount of soft drink consumption is associated with an increased chance of asthma and/or COPD. There exists a dose-response relationship, which means the more soft drink one consumes, the higher the chance of having these diseases.

Overall, 13.3% of participants with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD reported consuming more than half a liter of soft drink per day.

The odds ratio for asthma and COPD was 1.26 and 1.79, comparing those who consumed more than half a liter of soft drink per day with those who did not consume soft drinks.

Furthermore, smoking makes this relationship even worse, especially for COPD. Compared with those who did not smoke and consume soft drinks, those that consumed more than half a liter of soft drink per day and were current smokers had a 6.6-fold greater risk of COPD.

"Our study emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and drinking in the prevention of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD," Zumin concludes.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pool chlorine tied to lung damage in elite swimmers-study

Click on the link below to read an interesting article about elite swimmers and asthma.  There are a few important points to keep in mind:

  • Good asthma control is most  important.  If asthma is well controlled, athletes can compete at the very highest level of their sport.

  • Airway inflammation due to chlorine exposure has been seen in elite athletes who spend many hours per week swimming competitively in a pool. These changes have not been  seen in recreational swimmers. 

  • These changes in airway inflammation are seen when doing special breathing tests.  Although changes can be seen in test results, they do not seem to cause asthma symptoms for the swimmer.

  • Some children are considered to be at risk of developing asthma because they are allergic to things in the environment or have a parent or sibling with asthma.  Researchers don’t know if spending a lot of time in chlorinated water will increase that child’s risk of developing asthma problems.   For most children, the warm moist air from a pool makes it a very good sport to take up.

  • Similar changes have also been seen in Olympic athletes who compete in cold dry air, such as cross country skiers.  The depth and rate of breathing leads to the athlete breathing in many more allergens (for example pollens and mold) and dust particles than the non-competitive person.  These particulates can be irritating to the airways and cause asthma symptoms. Despite this, these athletes are able to compete at the very highest level of their sport.

Remember, to “Ask the Researcher” your questions if you have any!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

September Asthma Rates seen in January

Admissions to the Children's Hospital Emergency Room have been much higher this December and January than what is expected for this time of year. Click on the link below to hear Dr. Becker discuss how this year's weather is raising havoc for some asthma sufferers.