Archive for the ‘Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine’ Category

University Hospitals Case Medical Center Remains Among the Elite in U.S. News & World Report Annual Survey

July 16, 2010

University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) has again ranked among the elite in the latest U.S. News & World Report hospital rankings.  In this year’s survey, UHCMC ranked seven clinical specialties in the top 50 for hospitals and health systems nationwide.

Top among clinical departments at UHCMC, the Department of Medicine again contributed four of the specialties – Gastroenterology (28), Geriatrics (28), Cancer (34), and Pulmonology (42). This contribution by the Department of Medicine figured significantly into UHCMC joining only 152 other hospitals, or the top 3% of the nation’s 5,000 eligible healthcare organizations.

“This consistent level of excellence in compassionate, cost-effective patient care is a testament to the quality and dedication of the full time faculty in the Department of Medicine and to the leadership of our organizations.”

Richard A. Walsh, MD, Chairman, Department of Medicine

Correlation Between Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and Cystic Fibrosis Proven

July 9, 2010

Led by Dr. Elliott Dasenbrook MD MHS, Associate Director of The Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program, a UHCMC team in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine have published the findings from a major study about cystic fibrosis (CF) survival rates in the June 16 issue of JAMA.

Specifically, the study observed patients with CF who had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) detected in their respiratory tract.

The team composed a study with 19,833 CF patients across the nation between ages 6 and 45.  Times until death after diagnosis with MRSA were recorded in order to compare survival between CF patients with and without respiratory tract MRSA.

The unadjusted mortality rate was 18.3 deaths (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.5-19.1) per 1000 patient-years in patients without MRSA and 27.7 deaths (95% CI, 25.3-30.4) per 1000 patient-years in those with MRSA.  The team showed that there is a significantly higher rate of death in CF in people that have MRSA.

“Our study findings may prompt many doctors to reconsider how they care for CF patients,” says Dr. Dasenbrook. He adds, “Until now, some CF doctors weren’t aggressively treating patients with MRSA.  Doctors often viewed MRSA to not be as important as other respiratory-tract infections. With our study findings, treatment patterns may changes as the risk of death is 1.3 times greater for CF patients with MRSA.”

Before You Go Outside this Summer …

July 8, 2010

It’s finally summer: time to head outside and enjoy the warm weather with backyard cookouts, picnics and outdoor sports!

The Division of Pulmonary Medicine wants you to enjoy all the fun outdoor activities that the season brings. But we also want to help you make good decisions about your lung health, because some days the air outside can threaten your health.

That’s why you should know how easy it is to learn more about the health of your air by checking the American Lung Association’s daily Air Quality Index in your community.

Many people aren’t aware of the serious risks that bad air quality poses to even the healthiest of individuals. Air pollution increases the danger of damage to the lungs, raising the risk of asthma attacks and worsening the symptoms of COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Bad air quality can even shorten your life.

Children and seniors are especially vulnerable to air pollutants, but anyone with breathing and cardiovascular problems or diabetes should limit outdoor activities or exercise on poor air quality days. So please, before making outdoor plans, check that the air in your community is safe, and you’ll have a happy and healthier summer.

Susan Redline discusses Sleep Apnea Increases Stroke Risk with WebMD

April 9, 2010

Moderate to Severe Sleep Apnea Triples Stroke Risk in Men, Study Finds

WebMD | April 8, 2010

Obstructive sleep apnea more than doubles the risk of stroke in men and also increases the danger in women, new research indicates.

The finding comes from a major study of 5,422 people aged 40 and older who had no history of stroke. Researchers say increased risk of stroke appeared in men with mild sleep apnea and rose with severity.

Men with moderate to severe sleep apnea were about three times more likely to have a stroke than men with mild or no sleep apnea, researchers say.

The increased risk of stroke in women with obstructive sleep apnea was significant only in cases of severe apnea, according to the study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Stroke

Data were taken from the Sleep Heart Health Study, which is ongoing at a number of locations. The participants in the beginning performed a standard at-home sleep test to determine whether they had sleep apnea, and if so, its severity.

They were followed for about nine years, and during that time, 193 suffered strokes — 85 men out of 2,462 enrolled and 108 women out of 2,960.

“Although more women had strokes, relatively more men with sleep apnea than without sleep apnea had strokes, and less so in women,” study author Susan Redline, MD, MPH, of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, tells WebMD in an email. “I think that the relatively greater impact of sleep apnea on risk of stroke in men relates to the likely longer duration of sleep apnea in men than women.”

Researchers say more than 15 million strokes occur worldwide every year, and that about a third are fatal. Increased risk of stroke in people with sleep apnea exists even without other risk factors, such as weight, high blood pressure, race, diabetes, and smoking.

Men may be more at risk because they develop sleep apnea at younger ages, the researchers say, and thus go untreated for longer periods.

Learn more at CWRUmedicine.org