Entries in Respiratory Infection (3)


Study: Exercise and Meditation May Help Reduce Respiratory Infections

ULTRA F/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study suggests that regular meditation or exercise may help reduce acute respiratory infections, Health Day reports.

Researchers compared the preventative effects of moderate exercise and mindful meditation on the severity of respiratory infections, like the common cold and flu, on 149 active and sedentary adults aged 50 years and older. The study was conducted during the winter in Wisconsin.

The study found that adults who participated in a daily exercise routine had fewer cases of respiratory infections and missed fewer days of work. Researchers also found that participants who practiced meditation increased their immunity to illness.

The study was published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Military Burn Pits: 'Inconclusive' Evidence They Are Unhealthy -- While most bases in Iraq and Afghanistan at some point during the war contained open burn pits, a new report suggests there's not enough evidence to directly link respiratory problems of soldiers, to fumes emitted by the burn pits.

The report, released by the Institute of Medicine, a health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed past research collected by the U.S. Department of Defense. Insufficient data and limited research made it difficult for the IOM committee to draw hard conclusions, the report stated.

The committee called for long-term studies that would track soldiers from the time of their deployment to Joint Base Balad over many years and monitor their development of chronic diseases.

"Such a study will also help physicians and other scientists determine if the burn pits contributed to chronic diseases experienced by armed service personnel after being exposed to the burn pits," the American Thoracic Society, a nonprofit organization that has followed the issue among military service members, said a written statement.

The U.S. Department of Defense, which sponsored the report, states that it has shut down all burn pits in Iraq – replacing some with closed incinerators -- and plans to do the same in Afghanistan by the end of the year.

While the data is not so clear cut, mounting evidence suggests that a growing number already exposed to fumes from burn pits may later develop later chronic and irreparable diseases, according to Dr. Robert Miller, associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University.

Miller's study, published July in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that nearly half of 80 soldiers in Fort Campbell, Ky., who could not pass a standard two mile run because of breathing problems, were diagnosed with constrictive bronchiolitis. More than 80 percent of those with constrictive bronchiolitis had been exposed to dust storms, and more than 60 percent had been exposed to burn pits.

"We did not have data that said these guys were sick because of burn pits," said Miller. "We have to follow these guys very closely."

Standard tests that are used to detect respiratory diseases, such as a pulmonary function test, may not pick up the soldier's condition.

"There are a number of them that are concerned that they're written off as being normal because their pulmonary function tests are normal," said Miller. "Some are concerned they're not eligible for disability, because even though they're not deployable, their pulmonary tests are normal."

For many who are more commonly diagnosed with constrictive bronchiolitis, not even a CT scan can detect the disease. Only a lung biopsy works, Miller said.

Miller suggested that soldiers undergo a baseline pulmonary function test pre-deployment. Soldiers should then be administered another test once they return home to compare the results for any changes, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Vitamin D Can Help Curb Childhood Respiratory Infection

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Infants with higher levels of vitamin D in their cord blood are less likely to develope a respiratory infection, according to a new study led by the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The research, published in the January 2011 issue of Pediatrics, followed 922 newborns in New Zealand until they were five years old and found that infants with the highest levels of vitamin D in their cord blood were two times less likely to have had a respiratory infection compared to infants with lower vitamin D levels.

The risk of wheezing was also reduced. The study's authors theorize that the reduced risk of wheezing in childhood may be linked to fewer respiratory infections in infancy.

Higher levels of cord-blood vitamin D did not have an effect on the rates of asthma.

Research from the early 2000s suggested that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of breathing problems in children.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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