American College of Chest Physicians, Oct. 22-26, 2011

The 77th Annual Meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians

The annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians was held from Oct. 22 to 26 in Honolulu, and attracted approximately 6,000 participants from around the world, including specialists and heath care professionals focused on pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases, including updates in patient care and practice management strategies.

John T. Denny, M.D., of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick, and colleagues found that the number of hospital-based smoking cessation programs available to patients has declined. The investigators re-surveyed hospitals contacted for a previous study in 2000, evaluating accessibility to smoking cessation programs. Twenty eight hospitals were contacted in 2000, including 20 that were re-surveyed in 2011.

"Despite all the attention given to smoking cessation, surprisingly we found that there were actually fewer hospitals today with ready ability to refer people who were interested in smoking cessation," Denny said. "In 2011, only 35 percent demonstrated easy access for their public to smoking cessation in this sample. This represents a 30 percent decline compared to the same hospital sample in 2000. Despite technological advancements, hospitals in this sample were doing worse in offering smoking cessation to their constituents. This represents a large opportunity for hospitals to better serve their surrounding populations in smoking cessation."


In another study, Manon Labrecque, M.D., of Hopital Sacre-Coeur de Montreal, and colleagues found an association between obesity and methacholine airway hyperresponsiveness, a measurement of asthma. The investigators evaluated 17,195 patients referred for confirmation of asthma diagnosis between 1980 and 2000. The investigators found that the odds ratio of demonstrating methacholine airway hyperresponsiveness increased with increasing body mass index.

"In obese adults with respiratory symptoms, the risk of having airway hyperresponsiveness is higher compared to the normal-weight person with the same symptoms," Labrecque said. "We have to define the reasons of the relation between obesity and asthma, but more analysis in our cohort of people seems to have shown the mechanical effect of the obesity on the lungs."


Barbara Stewart, M.D., of Nemours Children's Clinic in Pensacola, Fla., and colleagues found a physical abnormality in the airway that may be distinctive to autism and autism spectrum disorders. The investigators evaluated 49 children, younger than 18 years of age, with autism or autism spectrum disorders and a diagnosis of cough that was unresponsive to treatment. Using bronchoscopy, the investigators found an abnormality in the airway structure of all these patients.

"Bronchoscopy should not be the only thing used to diagnose autism, as it is an invasive approach. Autism should be diagnosed on the basis of a number of factors. Bronchoscopy can be used to gather information about the patient but physicians should not just do a bronchoscopy to diagnose a child with autism," Stewart said. "In addition, more studies are needed to determine if this abnormality is prominent in more children with autism."


CHEST: Study Looks at Sildenafil Dose for Youth With PAH

MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Medium doses of sildenafil may be beneficial for children with pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from from Oct. 22 to 26 in Honolulu.

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CHEST: Sleep Deprivation Tied to Obesity in Male Teens

MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- After adjusting for potential confounders, sleeping less than eight hours on weekdays is associated with obesity in male but not in female teens, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 22 to 26 in Honolulu.

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CHEST: Predictors of Lung Cancer Include Heavy Drinking

MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Predictors of lung cancer include diet and alcohol consumption, and vary according to race and gender, according to three studies presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 22 to 26 in Honolulu.

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