Archive for the ‘respiratory diseases’ Category

Association of Improved Air Quality with Lung Development in Children

April 20, 2015 Comments off

Association of Improved Air Quality with Lung Development in Children
Source: New England Journal of Medicine

Air-pollution levels have been trending downward progressively over the past several decades in southern California, as a result of the implementation of air quality–control policies. We assessed whether long-term reductions in pollution were associated with improvements in respiratory health among children.

As part of the Children’s Health Study, we measured lung function annually in 2120 children from three separate cohorts corresponding to three separate calendar periods: 1994–1998, 1997–2001, and 2007–2011. Mean ages of the children within each cohort were 11 years at the beginning of the period and 15 years at the end. Linear-regression models were used to examine the relationship between declining pollution levels over time and lung-function development from 11 to 15 years of age, measured as the increases in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) during that period (referred to as 4-year growth in FEV1 and FVC).

Over the 13 years spanned by the three cohorts, improvements in 4-year growth of both FEV1 and FVC were associated with declining levels of nitrogen dioxide (P<0.001 for FEV1 and FVC) and of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 μm (P= 0.008 for FEV1 and P<0.001 for FVC) and less than 10 μm (P<0.001 for FEV1 and FVC). These associations persisted after adjustment for several potential confounders. Significant improvements in lung-function development were observed in both boys and girls and in children with asthma and children without asthma. The proportions of children with clinically low FEV1 (defined as <80% of the predicted value) at 15 years of age declined significantly, from 7.9% to 6.3% to 3.6% across the three periods, as the air quality improved (P=0.001).

We found that long-term improvements in air quality were associated with statistically and clinically significant positive effects on lung-function growth in children. (Funded by the Health Effects Institute and others.)

Tuberculosis Trends — United States, 2014

March 23, 2015 Comments off

Tuberculosis Trends — United States, 2014
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

In 2014, a total of 9,412 new tuberculosis (TB) cases were reported in the United States, with an incidence rate of 3.0* cases per 100,000 persons, a decrease of 2.2% from 2013 (1). Although overall numbers of TB cases and rates continue to decline, the percentage decrease in rate is the smallest decrease in over a decade (1). This report summarizes provisional TB surveillance data reported to CDC’s National Tuberculosis Surveillance System for 2014. TB cases and rates decreased among U.S.-born persons, and although the case rate also decreased among foreign-born persons,† there was an increase in total number of cases among foreign-born persons. The rate among foreign-born persons in the United States in 2014 was 13.4 times higher than among U.S.-born persons. Racial/ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by TB within the United States. Asians continue to be the racial/ethnic group with the largest number of TB cases. Compared with non-Hispanic whites, the TB rate among Asians was 28.5 times higher, whereas rates among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics were each eight times higher. Four states (California, Texas, New York, and Florida), representing approximately one third of the U.S. population, accounted for half of all TB cases reported in 2014. Continued progress toward TB elimination in the United States will require focused TB control efforts among populations and in geographic areas with disproportionate burdens of TB.

Global tuberculosis report 2014

December 1, 2014 Comments off

Global tuberculosis report 2014
Source: World Health Organization

This is the nineteenth global report on tuberculosis (TB) published by WHO in a series that started in 1997. It provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in implementing and financing TB prevention, care and control at global, regional and country levels using data reported by over 200 countries that account for over 99% of the world’s TB cases. The report is accompanied by a special supplement that marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Global Project on Anti-TB Drug Resistance Surveillance. The supplement highlights the latest status of knowledge about the epidemic of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and the programmatic response.

The three annexes of the report include an explanation of how to access and use the online global TB database, one-page profiles for 22 high TB-burden countries and one page regional profiles for WHO’s six regions.

CDC — Enterovirus D68 in the United States, 2014

October 9, 2014 Comments off

Enterovirus D68 in the United States, 2014
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness.

From mid-August to October 8, 2014, CDC or state public health laboratories have confirmed a total of 664 people in 45 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. Learn about states with confirmed cases. This indicates that at least one case has been detected in each state listed but does not indicate how widespread infections are in each state.

Enteroviruses commonly circulate in summer and fall. We’re currently in middle of the enterovirus season, and EV-D68 infections are likely to decline later in the fall.

Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania

October 3, 2014 Comments off

Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania
Source: Environmental Health Perspectives (CDC)

Little is known about the environmental and public health impact of unconventional natural gas extraction activities including hydraulic fracturing that occur near residential areas.

To assess the relationship between household proximity to natural gas wells and reported health symptoms.

Methods: We conducted a hypothesis generating health symptom survey of 492 persons in 180 randomly selected households with ground-fed wells in an area of active natural gas drilling. Gas well proximity for each household was compared to the prevalence and frequency of reported dermal, respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neurological symptoms.

The number of reported health symptoms per person was higher among residents living 2 km from the nearest gas well (mean 1.60 ± 2.14, p=0.02). In a model that adjusted for age, gender, household education, smoking, awareness of environmental risk, work type, and animals in house, reported skin conditions were more common in households 2 km from the nearest gas well (OR= 4.1; 95% CI: 1.4, 12.3; p=0.01). Upper respiratory symptoms were also more frequently reported in persons living in households less than 1 km from gas wells (39%) compared to households 1-2 km or >2 km from the nearest well (31 and 18%, respectively) (p=0.004). No equivalent correlation was found between well proximity and other reported groups of respiratory, neurological, cardiovascular, or gastrointestinal conditions.

While these results should be viewed as hypothesis generating, and the population studied was limited to households with a ground fed water supply, proximity of natural gas wells may be associated with the prevalence of health symptoms including dermal and respiratory conditions in residents living near natural gas extraction activities. Further study of these associations, including the role of specific air and water exposures, is warranted.

Use of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

September 23, 2014 Comments off

Use of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

A single dose of PPSV23 is recommended for routine use in the United States among adults aged ≥65 years. Effectiveness of PPSV23 in preventing IPD in adults has been demonstrated, but the data on the effectiveness of this vaccine in preventing noninvasive pneumococcal pneumonia among adults aged ≥65 years have been inconsistent. PPSV23 contains 12 serotypes in common with PCV13 and 11 additional serotypes. In 2013, 38% of IPD among adults aged ≥65 years was caused by serotypes unique to PPSV23. Given the high proportion of IPD caused by serotypes unique to PPSV23, broader protection is expected to be provided through use of both PCV13 and PPSV23 in series. ACIP considered multiple factors when determining the optimal interval between a dose of PCV13 and PPSV23, including immune response, safety, the risk window for protection against disease caused by serotypes unique to PPSV23, as well as timing for the next visit to the vaccination provider.

Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Enterovirus D68 — Missouri and Illinois, 2014

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Enterovirus D68 — Missouri and Illinois, 2014
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

On August 19, 2014, CDC was notified by Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, of an increase (relative to the same period in previous years) in patients examined and hospitalized with severe respiratory illness, including some admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. An increase also was noted in detections of rhinovirus/enterovirus by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay in nasopharyngeal specimens obtained during August 5–19. On August 23, CDC was notified by the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital in Illinois of an increase in patients similar to those seen in Kansas City. To further characterize these two geographically distinct observations, nasopharyngeal specimens from most of the patients with recent onset of severe symptoms from both facilities were sequenced by the CDC Picornavirus Laboratory. Enterovirus D68* (EV-D68) was identified in 19 of 22 specimens from Kansas City and in 11 of 14 specimens from Chicago. Since these initial reports, admissions for severe respiratory illness have continued at both facilities at rates higher than expected for this time of year. Investigations into suspected clusters in other jurisdictions are ongoing.

Of the 19 patients from Kansas City in whom EV-D68 was confirmed, 10 (53%) were male, and ages ranged from 6 weeks to 16 years (median = 4 years). Thirteen patients (68%) had a previous history of asthma or wheezing, and six patients (32%) had no underlying respiratory illness. All patients had difficulty breathing and hypoxemia, and four (21%) also had wheezing. Notably, only five patients (26%) were febrile. All patients were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit, and four required bilevel positive airway pressure ventilation. Chest radiographs showed perihilar infiltrates, often with atelectasis. Neither chest radiographs nor blood cultures were consistent with bacterial coinfection.

Of the 11 patients from Chicago in whom EV-D68 was confirmed, nine patients were female, and ages ranged from 20 months to 15 years (median = 5 years). Eight patients (73%) had a previous history of asthma or wheezing. Notably, only two patients (18%) were febrile. Ten patients were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for respiratory distress; two required mechanical ventilation (one of whom also received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), and two required bilevel positive airway pressure ventilation.

Enteroviruses are associated with various clinical symptoms, including mild respiratory illness, febrile rash illness, and neurologic illness, such as aseptic meningitis and encephalitis. EV-D68, however, primarily causes respiratory illness (1), although the full spectrum of disease remains unclear.