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Health Tips: Many asthma triggers ignored

Posted - Aug. 19, 2004 at 7:40 a.m.



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Aug 19, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- MANY ASTHMA TRIGGERS IGNORED

Most U.S. parents of children with asthma are addressing how to reduce some asthma triggering substances, but often ignore the most effective ways. A University of Michigan study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology finds only half of the 1,788 asthma-proofing steps taken by parents of 896 asthmatic children in the study were likely to work. For example, some parents buy a mattress cover for a child whose asthma is triggered by plant pollen, but fail to shut windows. "One of the first steps in getting asthma under control is figuring out a child's triggers," says study leader Toby Lewis.

SHORT BOUTS OF EXERCISE EFFECTIVE

A University of Missouri-Columbia study shows short bouts of exercise can be more effective than one continuous bout of exercise. Classic recommendations for endurance exercise have been 20 to 60 minutes of continuous exercise at a vigorous intensity. The study suggests, however, intermittent exercise is more effective at lowering artery-blocking fat in the bloodstream than continuous exercise when exercising just 30 minutes. "Most Americans who exercise are exercising around 30 minutes a day and the intermittent approach would probably be best for most at lowering fat in the bloodstream," says study leader Tom Thomas. The findings, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, also suggests that exercising before eating was crucial for fat clearing, because researchers believe muscle contraction during the exercise process stimulates a fat-clearing enzyme in the muscle.

LONGER REHAB HELPS HIP FRACTURES

Elderly U.S. patients recover more fully from hip fractures after getting supervised outpatient rehabilitation for six months. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis find most elderly patients with hip fractures have significant difficulty performing daily activities even after the standard four to 16 weeks of home-based therapy," says study leader Dr. Ellen F. Binder. The study, published in Journal of the American Medical Association, challenges the current standard therapy and finds participants who received the longer rehabilitation therapy, which included resistance training, improved on functional, strength, balance, mobility and quality of life measures significantly more than those who had traditional treatment.

VITAMIN E HELPS SOME RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS

Vitamin E appears to ward off upper respiratory tract infections, but not lower respiratory tract infections in U.S. nursing home residents. In the study, 617 residents of 33 nursing homes received a daily Vitamin E capsule containing 200 international units, while the control group received a placebo. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, find significantly fewer vitamin E participants acquired one or more respiratory tract infections. The Tufts University researchers in Boston report that participants in the vitamin E group had significantly fewer common colds and a 20 percent lower risk of acquiring a cold than those in the placebo group.

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(EDITORS: For more information on ASTHMA, contact Kara Gavin at (734) 764-2220 or kegavin@umich.edu. For HIP FRACTURES, Gila Z. Reckess at (314) 286-0109 or reckessg@wustl.edu. For VITAMIN E, Peggy Hayes at (617) 636-3707)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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