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Drinking Large Amounts of Soft Drinks Associated With Asthma and COPD

ScienceDaily (Feb. 7, 2012) 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. Journal Reference: 1. Zumin Shi, Eleonora Dal Grande, Anne W. Taylor, Tiffany K. Gill, Robert Adams, Gary A. Wittert. Association between soft drink consumption and asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults in Australia. Respirology, 2012; 17 (2): 363 DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2011.02115.x Wiley-Blackwell (2012, February 7). Drinking large amounts of soft drinks associated with asthma and COPD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/02/120207202801.htm

Treatment of Ischemic Heart Failure With Bone Marrow Cells Does Not Show Improvement for Certain Heart Function Measures

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2012) Use of a patient's bone marrow cells for treating chronic ischemic heart failure did not result in improvement on most measures of heart function, according to a study appearing in JAMA. The study is being published early online to coincide with its presentation at the American College of Cardiology's annual scientific sessions.

Cell therapy has emerged as an innovative approach for treating patients with advanced ischemic heart disease, including those with heart failure. "In patients with ischemic heart disease and heart failure, treatment with autologous [derived from the same individual] bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMCs) has demonstrated safety and has suggested efficacy. None of the clinical trials performed to date, however, have been powered to evaluate specific efficacy measures," according to background information in the article. Emerson C. Perin, M.D., Ph.D., of the Texas Heart Institute and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston and colleagues conducted a study to examine the effect of transendocardial administration (use of a special catheter and injection procedure to deliver stem cells to the heart muscle) of BMCs to patients with chronic ischemic heart disease and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction with heart failure and/or angina. The patients in the phase 2 randomized trial were receiving maximal medical therapy at 5 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-sponsored Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN) sites between April 2009 and April 2011. Patients were randomized to receive transendocardial injection of BMCs or placebo. The primary outcomes measured for the study, assessed at 6 months, were changes in left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV) assessed by echocardiography, maximal oxygen consumption, and reversibility of perfusion (blood flow) defect on single-photon emission tomography (SPECT). Of 153 patients who provided consent, a total of 92 (82 men; average age: 63 years) were randomized (n = 61 in BMC group and n = 31 in placebo group). Analysis of data indicated no statistically significant differences between the groups for the primary end points of changes in LVESV index, maximal oxygen consumption, and reversible defect. There were also no differences in any of the secondary outcomes, including percent myocardial defect, total defect size, fixed defect size, regional wall motion (the movement of the wall of the heart during contraction), and clinical improvement. In an exploratory analysis, the researchers did find that when LVEF was assessed, patients age 62 years or younger showed a statistically significant effect of therapy. Patients in the BMC group demonstrated an average increase in LVEF of 3.1 percent from baseline to 6 months, whereas patients in the placebo group showed a decrease of -1.6 percent. "In the largest study to date of autologous BMC therapy in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease and LV dysfunction, we found no effect of therapy on prespecified end points. Further exploratory analysis showed a significant improvement in LVEF associated with treatment. Our findings provide evidence for further studies to determine the relationship between the composition and function of bone marrow product and clinical end points. Understanding these relationships will improve the design and interpretation of future studies of cardiac cell therapy," the authors write. JAMA and Archives Journals (2012, March 24). Treatment of ischemic heart failure with bone marrow cells does not show improvement for certain heart function measures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/03/120324115319.htm

Journal Reference:


Emerson C. Perin, James T. Willerson, Carl J. Pepine, Timothy D. Henry, Stephen G. Ellis, David X. M. Zhao, Guilherme V. Silva, Dejian Lai, James D. Thomas, Marvin W. Kronenberg, A. Daniel Martin, R. David Anderson, Jay H. Traverse, Marc S. Penn, Saif Anwaruddin, Antonis K. Hatzopoulos, Adrian P. Gee, Doris A. Taylor, Christopher R. Cogle, Deirdre Smith, Lynette Westbrook, James Chen, Eileen Handberg, Rachel E. Olson, Carrie Geither, Sherry Bowman, Judy Francescon, Sarah Baraniuk, Linda B. Piller, Lara M. Simpson, Catalin Loghin, David Aguilar, Sara Richman, Claudia Zierold, Judy Bettencourt, Shelly L. Sayre, Rachel W. Vojvodic, Sonia I. Skarlatos, David J. Gordon, Ray F. Ebert, Minjung Kwak, Lemuel A. Moy, Robert D. Simari , for the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN). Effect of Transendocardial Delivery of Autologous Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells on Functional Capacity, Left Ventricular Function, and Perfusion in Chronic Heart Failure: The FOCUS-CCTRN Trial. JAMA, 2012 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.418

Tai Chi Shown to Improve COPD Exercise Capacity

ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2012) Tai Chi can be used as an effective form of exercise therapy for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new findings.

The research, which was published online August 9, 2012 ahead of print in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that this form of exercise can improve exercise capacity and quality of life in people with COPD and may be as beneficial as pulmonary rehabilitation. It is well known that moderate forms of exercise can help COPD patients to improve their exercise tolerance, symptoms of breathlessness and their overall quality of life. This new study aimed to investigate whether Sun-style Tai chi could be used as an effective form of exercise therapy. This form of Tai Chi (Sun-style) has been shown to help people with chronic conditions such as arthritis and involves less difficult movements enabling people of all ages to perform this martial art. Researchers from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital and the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, worked with 42 people with COPD. Half the group attended Tai Chi lessons twice a week, as well as performing Tai Chi at home, whereas the other half followed their usual medical management which did not include exercise. Researchers tested the exercise capacity of all participants via a walking test and also asked all participants to complete the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire, which gives an indication of how the disease affects their quality of life. The exercise intensity of Tai Chi was measured in those participants who completed the Tai Chi training to assess whether it met the training requirements suggested for COPD patients. Compared to the group completing the usual medical management, participants completing the Tai Chi exercise training could walk significantly longer in the walking test. They also had an increased score on the questionnaire, indicating a better quality of life. The results also showed that the intensity of the Tai Chi was moderate, which met the recommendations for exercise training for people with COPD. Lead author, Regina Wai Man Leung from the Concord Repatriation General Hospital, said: "With increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with COPD, it is important to provide different options for exercise that can be tailored to suit each individual. The results from this small sample provide compelling evidence that Tai Chi is an effective training programme for patients with COPD, and could be considered as an alternative to the usual exercise training programmes that are available in pulmonary rehabilitation." Journal Reference:


Regina Leung, Zoe McKeough, Matthew Peters and Jennifer Alison. Short-form Sun-style Tai Chi as an exercise training modality in people with COPD. European Respiratory Journal, 2012 DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00036912 European Lung Foundation (2012, August 8). Tai Chi shown to improve COPD exercise capacity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/08/120809090654.htm

New Proteins to Clear the Airways in Cystic Fibrosis and COPD

ScienceDaily (July 13, 2012) University of North Carolina scientists have uncovered a new strategy that may one day help people with cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder better clear the thick and sticky mucus that clogs their lungs and leads to life-threatening infections.

In a new report appearing online in The FASEB Journal, researchers show that the "SPLUNC1" protein and its derivative peptides may be able to help thin this thick mucus by affecting the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). Not only does this research have implications for cystic fibrosis and COPD, but it also enhances the understanding of hypertension due to the role it also plays in controlling blood pressure. "We hope that this study will pave the way for a new class of peptide-based channel inhibitors that can help reverse the mucus dehydration seen in Cystic Fibrosis and COPD," said Robert Tarran, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research and Treatment Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "This would help restore mucus clearance and kick-start the lung's ability to clear unwanted pathogens." To identify which part of SPLUNC1 actually affects ENaC, scientists eliminated parts of the protein until it lost function. In fact, even after the eliminating 85 percent of SPLUNC1, it still affected ENaC, suggesting that the ENaC inhibitory domain was in the remaining 15 percent. Researchers then synthesized an 18amino acid peptide of this region and tested its ability to bind to ENaC and to inhibit fluid absorption in human bronchial epithelial cells derived from people with and without cystic fibrosis. This peptide inhibited ENaC and fluid absorption in all systems tested, without affecting structurally-related ion channels. They also found that ENaC activity was affected for more than 24 hours in cystic fibrosis airway cultures, suggesting that this peptide may be therapeutically beneficial for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients who suffer from over-active ENaC and consequentially have too little lung fluid. "Breathing is something most healthy people take for granted." said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-inChief of The FASEB Journal. "However, people with cystic fibrosis and COPD battle for every breath because sticky mucus plugs their airways. This research should give scientists a new way of clearing the air for people with cystic fibrosis and COPD."

Journal Reference:


Carey A. Hobbs, Maxime G. Blanchard, Stephan Kellenberger, Sompop Bencharit, Rui Cao, Mehmet Kesimer, William G. Walton, Matthew R. Redinbo, M. Jackson Stutts, and Robert Tarran. Identification of SPLUNC1's ENaC-inhibitory domain yields novel strategies to treat sodium hyperabsorption in cystic fibrosis airways. FASEB J, 2012 DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-207431 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (2012, July 13). New proteins to clear the airways in cystic fibrosis and COPD. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/07/120713122947.htm