Weight loss improves lung capacity in study
In studying the effects of weight loss on the lungs of 58 obese, asthmatic women enrolled in a six-month diet and exercise program, researchers at the Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, Canada, found that weight loss improved everyone's lung capacity but didn't change underlying inflammation in the 24 women with the condition.
Lead researcher Dr. Shawn D. Aaron, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, said findings indicated that reduced stress on the respiratory system results in better lung function. That suggests that some overweight women with shortness of breath may be suffering from overtaxed respiratory systems, rather than asthma. "Many obese women who lose lots of weight are able to reduce or eliminate their need for asthma medications since they have far fewer respiratory symptoms once they achieve a leaner body mass index," he said.
The study was published in the June Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Health workers breach privacy in hallways
Patient privacy laws may have restricted the way that doctors and hospitals can use your personal information, but a new study says the laws don't do much to stop conversations among health workers in hallways, elevators, waiting rooms and cafeterias.
Those discussions make patients vulnerable to identity theft, discrimination or social stigma, says the study's lead author, Maria Brann, who teaches communication studies at West Virginia University. The possibility could also deter patients from sharing important information with their doctors or nurses.
Brann's findings appear in the spring issue of Health Communication.