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News briefs from the August issue of Chest


A recent study shows that patients with diabetes may have impaired lung function, similar to the impairment found in smokers. Researchers from The Netherlands conducted a literature review of 40 studies describing the pulmonary function data of 3,182 patients with diabetes and 27,080 control subjects. The metaanalysis showed that, in the absence of overt pulmonary disease, diabetes was associated with a modest but statistically significant impairment in lung function in a restrictive pattern. A subanalysis revealed that the association seemed more pronounced in type 2 diabetes compared with type 1 diabetes. Researchers explain that the degree of lung function impairment found in their study closely resembles that of smoking. They further speculate that diabetes may accelerate lung function decline in those with chronic lung conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study is published in the August issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: Chest 2010; 138(2):393-406


Regular aerobic exercise may help to improve respiratory symptoms and psychological distress in adult patients with asthma. Brazilian researchers evaluated the outcomes of an asthma program in 101 patients with asthma. In the control group, 50 patients received educational programming and underwent breathing exercises; in the aerobic training group, 51 patients underwent additional aerobic training beyond educational programming and breathing exercises. After 3 months, quality of life scores, asthma symptom-free days, and anxiety and depression levels improved only in the aerobic training group. Furthermore, there was a linear relationship between improvement in aerobic capacity and the days without asthma symptoms. Researchers conclude that aerobic training can play an important role in the clinical management of patients with persistent asthma. The study is published in the August issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: Chest 2010; 138(2):331-337.


Home-based diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be a viable option for patients who do not have access to a sleep laboratory for testing, shows a new study. Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, compared sleepiness, sleep quality, quality of life, blood pressure, and CPAP adherence in 102 patients randomized to receive either diagnosis and treatment at home or in a sleep laboratory. After 4 weeks of CPAP therapy, there was no significant difference between the two groups in regard to any sleep measures or CPAP compliance. Researchers conclude that select subjects with suspected OSA could be diagnosed and treated at home. This article is published in the August issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: Chest 2010; 138(2):257-263.


Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians

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