Respiratory symptoms among glass bottle workers--cough and airways irritancy syndrome?
Glass bottle workers have been shown to experience an excess of respiratory symptoms. This work describes in detail the symptoms reported by a cohort of 69 symptomatic glass bottle workers. Symptoms, employment history and clinical investigations including radiology, spirometry and serial peak expiratory flow rate records were retrospectively analyzed from clinical records. The results showed a consistent syndrome of work-related eye, nose and throat irritation followed after a variable period by shortness of breath. The latent interval between starting work and first developing symptoms was typically 4 years (median = 4 yrs; range = 0-28). The interval preceding the development of dysponea was longer and much more variable (median = 16 yrs; range = 3-40). Spirometry was not markedly abnormal in the group but 57% of workers had abnormal serial peak expiratory flow rate charts. Workers in this industry experience upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms consistent with irritant exposure. The long-term functional significance of these symptoms should be formally investigated. (+info)
Respiratory muscle involvement in multiple sclerosis.
Respiratory complications are common in the terminal stages of multiple sclerosis and contribute to mortality in these patients. When respiratory motor pathways are involved, respiratory muscle weakness frequently occurs. Although it is well established that weakness of the respiratory muscles produces a restrictive ventilatory defect, the degree of muscle weakness and pulmonary function are poorly related. Respiratory muscle weakness was observed in patients with normal or near normal pulmonary function. Expiratory muscle weakness is more prominent than inspiratory muscle weakness and may impair performance of coughing. Subsequently, in addition to bulbar dysfunction, respiratory muscle weakness may contribute to ineffective coughing, pneumonia, and sometimes even acute ventilatory failure may ensue. Respiratory muscle weakness may also occur early in the course of the disease. Recent studies suggest that the respiratory muscles can be trained for both strength and endurance in multiple sclerosis patients. Whether respiratory muscle training delays the development of respiratory dysfunction and subsequently improves exercise capacity and cough efficacy, prevents pulmonary complications or prolongs survival in the long-term remains to be determined. (+info)
Influence of family factors on asthma and wheezing during the first five years of life.
Family factors associated with the incidence of asthma and wheezing during childhood have been studied in a cohort of over 2000 children who, together with their families, were followed-up for five years. Episodes of wheezing not regarded by the parents as asthma had a different pattern of association with family factors to that found for asthma. The outcome of the two conditions in terms of ventilatory function at the age of five years was also different, in that children with a history of asthma had a lower peak expiratory flow rate than did children with a history of non-asthmatic wheezing. (+info)
Influence of personal and family factors on ventilatory function of children.
We wanted to assess the relative influence of various personal and family factors upon the development of ventilatory function in young children. The relationship of several such factors to peak expiratory flow rates measured at the age of five years was studied in 454 children. These children were members of a birth cohort born between 1963 and 1965 in Harrow, north-west London, who were examined regularly from birth through the first five years of life. Beside its expected association with height, peak expiratory flow rate at the age of five years was also related to a lesser extent with peak expiratory flow rate in parents. Children with a history of lower respiratory illness had mean peak flow rates which were lower than those of children who escaped these illnesses. The earlier the onset of the illness and the more frequent its recurrence, the more marked its effect on ventilatory function. The group of children with a history of asthma and bronchitis had the lowest mean peak expiratory flow rate, but a history of bronchitis or pneumonia alone (that is, without asthma) was also associated with reduced ventilatory function. Respiratory illness beginning in the first year of life was the most potentially modifiable determinant of peak expiratory flow rate in children in this study. (+info)
Low mortality rates in industrial cohort studies due to selection for work and survival in the industry.
Occupational groups are often described as being relatively healthy because their mortality rates are lower than those of the national average. Although correct this confuses the issue for those who are interested in assessing the effects of exposure to a particular chemical. In a further analysis of data collected in a study of all men ever exposed to vinyl chloride monomer in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride in Great Britain, three factors have been shown to contribute to the low mortality rates that were observed. The three factors: the selection of a healthy population for employment, the survival in the industry of the healthier men, and the length of time that this population has been pursued, have been quantified. The mortality experience within five years of entering this industry was shown to be as low as 37% of that expected; for circulatory disease and respiratory disease it was as low as 21%. There was a progressive increase in standardized mortality ratio with the length of time since entry so that the effect had almost disappeared 15 years after entry. To avoid confounding the selection effect with the survival effect the latter was measured by separating men who survived 15 years after entering the industry according to whether or not they were still in the industry after this period. Those who had left experienced an overall standardized mortality ratio some 50% higher than those still in the industry. This effect, although consistent in the age groups between 25 and 74 years and for all cause groups studied, was greatest in those aged between 25 and 44 years and for lung cancer and respiratory disease. (+info)
Usefulness of D-dimer, blood gas, and respiratory rate measurements for excluding pulmonary embolism.
BACKGROUND: A study was undertaken to assess the usefulness of the SimpliRED D-dimer test, arterial oxygen tension, and respiratory rate measurement for excluding pulmonary embolism (PE) and venous thromboembolism (VTE). METHODS: Lung scans were performed in 517 consecutive medical inpatients with suspected acute PE over a one year period. Predetermined end points for objectively diagnosed PE in order of precedence were (1) a post mortem diagnosis, (2) a positive pulmonary angiogram, (3) a high probability ventilation perfusion lung scan when the pretest probability was also high, and (4) the unanimous opinion of an adjudication committee. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was diagnosed by standard ultrasound and venography. RESULTS: A total of 40 cases of PE and 37 cases of DVT were objectively diagnosed. The predictive value of a negative SimpliRED test for excluding objectively diagnosed PE was 0.99 (error rate 2/249), that of PaO2 of > or = 80 mm Hg (10.7 kPa) was 0.97 (error rate 5/160), and that of a respiratory rate of < or = 20/min was 0.95 (error rate 14/308). The best combination of findings for excluding PE was a negative SimpliRED test and PaO2 > or = 80 mm Hg, which gave a predictive value of 1.0 (error rate 0/93). The predictive value of a negative SimpliRED test for excluding VTE was 0.98 (error rate 5/249). CONCLUSIONS: All three of these observations are helpful in excluding PE. When any two parameters were normal, PE was very unlikely. In patients with a negative SimpliRED test and PaO2 of > or = 80 mm Hg a lung scan is usually unnecessary. Application of this approach for triage in the preliminary assessment of suspected PE could lead to a reduced rate of false positive diagnoses and considerable resource savings. (+info)
Late pulmonary sequelae after childhood bone marrow transplantation.
BACKGROUND: Respiratory function in transplanted children is important because of the long life expectancy of bone marrow transplant recipients, particularly children. Attention is now being focused on the late sequelae of treatment on organ system function. A few papers have been published but available data are somewhat conflicting. METHODS: A cross sectional study aimed at evaluating the late effects of transplantation on lung function was performed in a group of 52 young patients who were given autologous or allogeneic bone marrow transplants during childhood for haematological malignancies. RESULTS: No patients reported chronic respiratory symptoms. The distribution of respiratory function patterns showed that only 62% of patients had respiratory function within the normal limits; 23% had a restrictive pattern and 15% had isolated transfer factor impairment. The percentage of patients with lung function abnormalities was higher in those who (1) received a bone marrow transplant after two or three complete remissions compared with those who were transplanted immediately after the first remission (54% vs 21%; p < 0.02), (2) underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation rather than an autologous transplantation (45% vs 26%; p = 0.06), and (3) had a pulmonary infection compared with those without (56% vs 26%; p = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: In spite of the absence of chronic respiratory symptoms there is a high prevalence of children with late pulmonary sequelae after bone marrow transplantation. Regular testing is recommended after transplantation, in particular in subjects at higher risk of lung injuries, such as those receiving transplants after more than one remission, those receiving allogeneic transplants, and those having suffered from pulmonary infections. When lung function abnormalities become apparent, long term follow up is necessary to see whether they become clinically relevant. All patients should remain non-smokers after transplantation and should have active early and aggressive treatment for respiratory illnesses. (+info)
Mortality among residents near cokeworks in Great Britain.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether residents near cokeworks have a higher standardised mortality than those further away, particularly from cardiovascular and respiratory causes, which may be associated with pollution from cokeworks. METHOD: Cross sectional small area study with routinely collected postcoded mortality data and small area census statistics. Populations within 7.5 km of 22 cokeworks in Great Britain, 1981-92. Expected numbers of deaths within 2 and 7.5 km of cokeworks, and in eight distance bands up to 7.5 km of cokeworks, were calculated by indirect standardisation from national rates stratified for age and sex and a small area deprivation index, and adjusted for region. Age groups examined were all ages, 1-14, 15-64, 65-74, > or = 75. Only the 1-14 and 15-44 age groups were examined for asthma mortality. RESULTS: There was a 3% (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1% to 4%) excess of all deaths within 2 km of cokeworks, and a significant decline in mortality with distance from cokeworks. The excess of deaths within 2 km was slightly higher for females and elderly people, but excesses within 2 km and declines in risk with distance were significant for all adult age groups and both sexes. The size of the excess within 2 km was 5% (95% CI 3% to 7%) for cardiovascular causes, 6% (95% CI 3% to 9%) for ischaemic heart disease, and 2% (95% CI -2% to 6%) for respiratory deaths, with significant declines in risk with distance for all these causes. There was a non-significant 15% (95% CI -1% to 101%) excess in asthma mortality in the 15-44 age group. There were no significant excesses in mortality among children but 95% CIs were wide. Within 2 km of cokeworks, the estimated additional excess all cause mortality for all ages combined related to region and mainly to the greater deprivation of the population over national levels was 12%. CONCLUSIONS: A small excess mortality near cokeworks as found in this study is plausible in the light of current evidence about the health impact of air pollution. However, in this study the effects of pollution from cokeworks, if any, are outweighed by the effects of deprivation on weighed by the effects of deprivation on mortality near cokeworks. It is not possible to confidently exclude socioeconomic confounding or biases resulting from inexact population estimation as explanations for the excess found. (+info)