Tuberculosis (TB) Survivors at Higher Risk of Developing Lasting Damage to Lungs

According to the World Health Organisation's Global TB Report 2018, an estimated 2.8 million people have contracted TB in India

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Tuberculosis, Survivors, Lungs
Published in the Lancet Global Health, the study has found that more than one-third of patients who are successfully cured of TB with antibiotics developed permanent lung damage. Pixabay

Tuberculosis (TB) survivors, especially those living in India, are at a higher risk of developing lasting damage to lungs, according to a study done on more than 2,000 Indian patients.

Published in the Lancet Global Health, the study has found that more than one-third of patients who are successfully cured of TB with antibiotics developed permanent lung damage, which, in the worst cases, results in large holes in the lungs called cavities and widens the airways called bronchiectasis.

According to the World Health Organisation’s Global TB Report 2018, an estimated 2.8 million people have contracted TB in India which represents one quarter of all TB cases worldwide.

“This study calls urgent attention to the problem of post-TB lung damage worldwide. TB is a curable condition with antibiotics and great steps forward have been made towards eliminating the disease,” said study lead author James Chalmers, Professor at the University of Dundee.

Tuberculosis, Survivors, Lungs
Tuberculosis (TB) survivors, especially those living in India, are at a higher risk of developing lasting damage to lungs, according to a study done on more than 2,000 Indian patients.
Pixabay

“But this study is a wakeup call because even if we manage to eliminate all TB worldwide tomorrow, we are going to be left with a legacy of chronic lung damage and bronchiectasis which will require better recognition and better treatment,” he said.

For the study, the research team recruited 2,195 patients with established bronchiectasis from 14 Indian states.

TB survivors and patients with a history of severe infections such as childhood pneumonia made up the majority of patients with lung damage in India. The researchers found that these infections left a legacy of daily cough, further chest infections and poor quality of life.

Patients required further hospitalisations for treatment of their lung conditions in nearly 40 per cent of cases. Patients with post-TB lung damage had lost approximately 40 per cent of their lung capacity, leaving many patients with persistent breathlessness.

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Compared with patients in Europe and the US, those in India had more severe lung damage, lung function was worse and patients were more likely to be hospitalised for severe infections.

Recommended treatment for these patients such as inhalers, physiotherapy and antibiotic treatment for infections were rarely provided.

Physiotherapy exercises and antibiotics are inexpensive treatments which are proven to improve quality of life and reduce lung infections, but were available to less than 50 per cent of Indian patients.

The Indian government has pledged to eradicate TB by 2025, however this study warns that the TB epidemic could have lasting consequences for the treatment of lung conditions. (IANS)

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Lungs of Deceased COVID-19 Patients Show Distinctive Features

Patients with COVID-19 showed widespread blood clotting

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COVID vaccine
Covid-19 vaccine maybe ready by October, Pfizer claims. Pixabay

To help create the vaccine for the novel coronavirus infection, a team of researchers has described the clinical features of the lungs of deceased Covid-19 patients according to Coronavirus Vaccine News.

According to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Steven J Mentzer, a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a team of international researchers examined seven lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died of Covid-19.

They compared this group to seven autopsied lungs obtained from patients who died of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to influenza A (H1N1) infection as well as to 10 age-matched uninfected control lungs.

Both Covid-19 and influenza are the same category of virus and both infect the respiratory tract.

While the lungs shared some common features, there were distinctive features related to blood vessels seen in the lungs of patients who had died of Covid-19.

The research team observed that COVID-19 damaged the endothelial cells (vascular lining cells), causing severe endothelial injury.

diagnosis lungs
Covid-19 infects the respiratory tract. Pixabay

Patients with COVID-19 showed widespread blood clotting as well as new vessel growth — the latter likely a result of the body’s response to the virus.

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he team saw signs of a distinctive pattern of pulmonary vascular disease progression in some cases of COVID-19 compared to that of equally severe influenza virus infection.

Some of the key points from the study are: the damage to vascular cells helps explain the serious blot clotting observed in patients and a unique response, intussusceptive angiogenesis (IA), is the way the body compensates for the thrombosis and blood vessel damage.

This study shows the need for more research on angiogenesis and the vascular effects of Covid-19. (IANS)

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Breathing While Exercising Harder for Women Than Men: Study

Both men and women have the capacity for phenomenal athletic achievements

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breathing women exercise
Researchers have found that breathing during difficult exercise may be harder for women as compared to men. Pixabay

While both sexes have the capacity for phenomenal athletic achievements, researchers have found that breathing during difficult exercise may be harder for women as compared to men. Know more about health and fitness.

The study suggests one possible way sex could affect exercise dynamics and potentially also contribute to differences in how men and women experience airway disorders such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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“The amount of work the respiratory muscles have to do to breathe a given volume is greater in women. It is thought that this is due to women having smaller airways than men, which causes the airflow resistance to be higher,” said study researcher Paolo Dominelli from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

breathing women exercise
Women face breathing problems while exercising due to smaller airways. Pixabay

For the findings published in the FASEB Journal, the research team recruited six men and five women to perform two maximal exercise tests, in which participants gradually increased their level of exertion on a stationary cycle until they were exercising as hard as they could. Participants breathed through a mouthpiece attached to a large bag. During one session, the bag was filled with normal room air.

During the other, the bag was filled with a mixture of oxygen and helium. Each bag contained the same amount of oxygen, and participants were not told which mixture they were breathing on which day. A small tube was inserted into the participants’ nose and throat during the tests to monitor the pressure inside the oesophagus.

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This procedure allows researchers to measure the amount of work required to breathe. When the bag contained the helium mixture, the results showed no differences in the work of breathing between men and women.

When it contained room air, breathing required significantly more work for women than men, the researchers said. The researchers cautioned that the differences observed in the study relate to size and sex and that there is great variability in airway size among different individuals. (IANS)

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Here’s a List of Asthma Triggers for Patients

Know your asthma triggers

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Asthma
A patient of asthma should try to identify these triggers and always avoid them to keep the asthma under control, states Dr Goel. Pixabay

Asthma is a disease of airflow obstruction caused by an inflammation of the bronchi in individuals who have hypersensitive airways.

Dr. Manoj Goel, Director & Head, Pulmonology, Pulmonary Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram talks about extrinsic factors called triggers.

“Hypersensitivity in airways is due to a variety of intrinsic factors. But there are several extrinsic factors which stimulate this hypersensitivity precipitating the attacks of bronchial asthma or may contribute to the persistence of symptoms. A patient of asthma should try to identify these triggers and always avoid them to keep the asthma under control, states Dr Goel.

Adding, “However, there are many triggers which may are not avoidable like pollens in the atmosphere. Therefore, patients of asthma should continue their preventive inhalers as per the advice of the doctors. There could be numerous triggers depending upon the home and workplace environments which a patient can identify himself.”

Some triggers include:

Tobacco smoke generates oxidative stress and proinflammatory effects on the lungs which in turn increases airway obstruction and accelerates the normal annual decline in lung function. Even secondhand smoke, that is generated can trigger asthma. Smoking can also lead to development of COPD which is a progressive irreversible obstructive airway disease.

Asthma patients
Air pollution is also a trigger for Asthma patients. Pixabay

Air pollution due to traffic and uncontrolled industrialisation is another important trigger.

Indoor air pollutants like paints, adhesives, flooring chemicals, cleaning products, combustion products from cooking and heater, mosquito coils do contribute in triggering asthma.

House dust mites, which are tiny bugs found in every corner of each home is important trigger for chronic persistent asthma. To cut their exposure, avoid carpets and soft toys at home, wash your pillow covers and bed linens with warm water regularly.

Psychosocial factors such as stress, anxiety, childhood adverse events, depression do contribute as risk factors for asthma.

Some people have mold allergies. Therefore, look for any fungus in the house and repair damp areas in the house.
Cleaning of air conditioners and coolers is required time to time.

Viral infections linked to influenza; respiratory syncytial virus can trigger asthma.

Asthma patients stress
Stress is a psychological trigger for asthma patients. Pixabay

Use of antiflu vaccinations are preventive strategies in fighting asthma exacerbations.

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Obesity has shown to increase the risk of uncontrolled asthma. Obesity has been associated with low grade inflammation and the resultant oxidative stress. Studies have shown that weight loss has been associated with significant improvement in asthma control and higher symptomatic remission rate.

Patients suffering from rhinitis and rhinosinusitis are more liable to have asthma supporting unified airway concept. Certain drugs like beta-blockers, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, may trigger symptoms in some people with asthma.

Lastly asthmatic patients should avoid strong smells like perfumes, cold food and beverages and smoke of any kind even during prayers and aartis.(IANS)