Conference Highlights: CHEST 2010

The CHEST 2010 annual meeting offers clinical instruction in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. These features include research presented on diabetes drugs fighting lung cancer progression, how diet impacts COPD, and the role of electronic media in daytime function and sleep disorders. » Diabetes Drugs May Fight Lung Cancer Progression » Diet Impacts Lung Function in COPD » Electronic Media, Daytime Function, & Mood in Teens Diabetes Drugs May Fight Lung Cancer Progression The Particulars: Previous research has suggested an association between metformin and/or thiazolidinedione (TZD) use and the risk of developing lung cancer. A study was conducted to determine the influence of metformin and TZDs on lung cancer presentation and course. Data Breakdown: Researchers reviewed the medical records of 157 patients with diabetes who had a history of lung cancer. Patients who were exposed to either metformin or TZDs were significantly less likely to have metastatic disease (20.0% vs 42.4%) or a small cell or squamous cell carcinoma. They also demonstrated improved survival (hazard ratio, 0.56). There were no significant differences between the age, sex, and smoking histories of the group exposed to metformin or TZDs prior to their lung cancer diagnosis. Take Home Pearl: Use of metformin and/or TZDs appears to lower risks of advanced lung cancer. These medications also correlated with an improved survival rate among patients with diabetes who developed concomitant lung cancer. Diet Impacts Lung Function in COPD [back to top] The Particulars: The role antioxidants play in lung function in patients with COPD is unclear. A study was conducted to assess the role of antioxidants with regard to lung function in men and women with COPD. Data...
Eat Your Sweet Potatoes This Thanksgiving and Live Longer!

Eat Your Sweet Potatoes This Thanksgiving and Live Longer!

A large study just released by the CDC found that consumption of high levels of alpha carotene appears to reduce the risk of dying of all causes by up to 39%. The 14-year study assessed the direct relationship between alpha-carotene concentrations and risk of death among more than 15,000 U.S. adults. The authors reported significant associations between serum alpha-carotene concentrations and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all other causes. Most people are familiar with the more widely known antioxidant, beta-carotene, but researchers are suggesting that alpha-carotene may be around 10 times more effective than beta-carotene in inhibiting the development of cancer cells. Published in the current online issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, the study found that — compared with individuals with blood alpha-carotene levels between 0 and 1 µg/dL — the risk of death during the study period was 23% lower among those who had concentrations between 2 and 3 µg/dL, 27% lower with levels between 4 and 5 µg/dL, 34% lower with levels between 6 and 8 µg/dL and 39% lower with levels of 9 µg/dL or higher. Alpha-carotene is found in high concentrations of yellow-orange vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins and dark green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and leaf lettuce. Findings from the study support increasing fruit and vegetable consumption as a way of preventing premature...