[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of regular paracetamol on bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) and asthma control in adult asthma.
Single research-based outpatient clinic.
94 adults with mild-to-moderate asthma received randomised treatment; 85 completed the study. Key inclusion criteria were age 18-65 years, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) >70% predicted, provocation concentration of methacholine causing a 20% reduction in FEV1 (PC20) between 0.125 and 16 mg/mL. Key exclusion criteria included an asthma exacerbation within the previous 2 months, current regular use of paracetamol, use of high-dose aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, current or past cigarette smoking >10 pack-years.
In a 12-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, participants received 12 weeks of 1 g paracetamol twice daily or placebo twice daily.
The primary outcome variable was BHR, measured as the PC20 at week 12. Secondary outcome variables included FEV1, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and asthma control questionnaire (ACQ) score.
At 12 weeks, the mean (SD) logarithm base two PC20 was 1.07 (2.36) in the control group (N=54) and 0.62 (2.09) in the paracetamol group (N=31). After controlling for baseline PC20, the mean difference (paracetamol minus placebo) was -0.48 doubling dose worsening in BHR in the paracetamol group (95% CI -1.28 to 0.32), p=0.24. There were no statistically significant differences (paracetamol minus placebo) in log FeNO (0.09 (95% CI -0.097 to 0.27)), FEV1 (-0.07 L (95% CI -0.15 to 0.01)) or ACQ score (-0.04 (95% CI -0.27 to 0.18)).
There was no significant effect of paracetamol on BHR and asthma control in adults with mild-to-moderate asthma. However, the study findings are limited by low power and the upper confidence limits did not rule out clinically relevant adverse effects.
Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Number: NZCTR12609000551291.
BMJ Open 01/2014; 4(2):e004324. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Exposures to hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) have been inconclusively linked to a variety of negative cognitive outcomes. We investigated possible effects on cognitive function in an urban population with chronic, low-level exposure to H2S.
Participants were 1,637 adults, aged 18–65 years from Rotorua city, New Zealand, exposed to ambient H2S from geothermal sources. Exposures at homes and workplaces were estimated from data collected by summer and winter H2S monitoring networks across Rotorua in 2010/11. Metrics for H2S exposure at the time of participation and for exposure over the last 30 years were calculated. H2S exposure was modeled both as continuous variables and as quartiles of exposure covering the range of 0 – 64 ppb (0–88 μg/m3). Outcomes were neuropsychological tests measuring visual and verbal episodic memory, attention, fine motor skills, psychomotor speed and mood. Associations between cognition and measures of H2S exposure were investigated with multiple regression , while covarying demographics and factors known to be associated with cognitive performance.
The consistent finding was of no association between H2S exposure and cognition. Quartiles of H2S exposure had a small association with simple reaction time: higher exposures were associated with faster response times. Similarly, for digit symbol, higher H2S exposures tended to be marginally associated with better performance.
The results provide evidence that chronic H2S exposure, at the ambient levels found in and around Rotorua, is not associated with impairment of cognitive function.
Neurotoxicology and Teratology 01/2014; · 3.18 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To determine the vitamin D dose necessary to achieve serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration ≥20 ng/mL during infancy.METHODS:A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in New Zealand. Pregnant mothers, from 27 weeks' gestation to birth, and then their infants, from birth to age 6 months, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 mother/infant groups: placebo/placebo, vitamin D3 1000/400 IU, or vitamin D3 2000/800 IU. Serum 25(OH)D and calcium concentrations were measured at enrollment, 36 weeks' gestation, in cord blood, and in infants at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.RESULTS:Two-hundred-and-sixty pregnant women were randomized. At enrollment, the proportions with serum 25(OH)D ≥20 ng/mL for placebo, lower-dose, and higher-dose groups were 54%, 64%, and 55%, respectively. The proportion with 25(OH)D ≥20 ng/mL was larger in both intervention groups at 36 weeks' gestation (50%, 91%, 89%, P < .001). In comparison with placebo, the proportion of infants with 25(OH)D ≥20 ng/mL was larger in both intervention groups to age 4 months: cord blood (22%, 72%, 71%, P < .001), 2 months (50%, 82%, 92%, P < .001), and 4 months (66%, 87%, 87%, P = .004), but only in the higher-dose group at age 6 months (74%, 82%, 89%, P = .07; higher dose versus placebo P = .03, lower dose versus placebo P = .21).CONCLUSIONS:Daily vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and then infancy with 1000/400 IU or 2000/800 IU increases the proportion of infants with 25(OH)D ≥20 ng/mL, with the higher dose sustaining this increase for longer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective Children's soft toys are known to harbour house dust mite (HDM) allergens, but little is known whether they harbour cat or dog allergens. The objective of the study was to measure cat (Fel d 1), dog (Can f 1) and HDM allergens on children's soft toys. Methods Dust was collected from 40 children's soft toys and their mattresses. Data was collected on pet ownership. Dust samples were analysed for Fel d 1, Can f 1, Der p 1 and Der f 1 by ELISA and results expressed as median levels with inter-quartile ranges. Results Thirty five (87.5%) soft toys had detectable Fel d 1 levels (median: 0.73 µg/g; inter quartile range: 0.26-2.56 µg/g) while 34 (85%) had detectable Can f 1 levels (1.20 µg/g; 0.53-2.68). Correspondingly, 32 (80%) mattresses had detectable Fel d 1 levels (0.18 µg/g, 0.07-1.01) while 34 (85%) had detectable Can f 1 levels (0.50 µg/g; 0.33-1.06). All mattresses and soft toys had detectable HDM allergen (Der p 1 + Der f 1) levels with soft toys containing about 3 times higher levels than mattresses. In homes with cats (n=10) Fel d 1 levels were higher on soft toys than homes without cats (2.49 µg/g vs. 0.48 µg/g; p=0.0009). In homes with dogs (n=25) Can f 1 levels were generally higher on soft toys (1.38µg/g vs. 0.63 µg/g; p=0.10). Conclusions This study has shown that soft toys can harbour cat and dog allergen as well as HDM allergens, some with very high levels. Cat and dog ownership resulted in higher Fel d 1 and Can f 1 levels on soft toys and mattresses. The levels of Fel d 1, Can f 1 and HDM allergens on soft toys could be of importance to sensitized asthmatic children.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of probiotics in prevention of allergic disease is still not clear; efficacy may depend on the timing, dose, duration, and specific probiotic used. Using a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial (Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12607000518460), we have shown that in a high-risk birth cohort, maternal supplementation from 35 weeks gestation until 6 months if breastfeeding and infant supplementation from birth until 2 years with Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001) (6 × 10(9) cfu/day) halved the cumulative prevalence of eczema at 2 and 4 years. Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis HN019 (HN019) (9 × 10(9) cfu/day) had no significant effect.
To determine whether differences in effects of HN001 and HN019 on eczema persist to age 6 years, and to investigate effects on sensitization.
Standard procedures were used to assess eczema (The UK Working Party's Criteria), eczema severity (SCORAD), atopic sensitization [skin prick tests (SPT), total and specific IgE] and standard questions used for asthma, wheeze, and rhinoconjunctivitis.
HN001 was associated with significantly lower cumulative prevalence of eczema (HR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.39-0.80), SCORAD ≥ 10 (HR = 0.69, 0.49-0.98) and SPT sensitization (HR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.48-0.99). The point prevalence of eczema (RR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.44-1.00), SCORAD ≥ 10 (RR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.38-1.01) and SPT sensitization (RR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.53-1.00) were also reduced among children taking HN001. HN019 had no significant effect on any outcome.
This study provides evidence for the efficacy of the probiotic L. rhamnosus HN001 in preventing the development of eczema and possibly also atopic sensitization in high risk infants to age 6 years. The absence of a similar effect for HN019 indicates that benefits may be species specific.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eczema is a common chronic disease which has significant morbidity and costs for children and their families. Phase One (1993) of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) found a high prevalence of symptoms of eczema in New Zealand.
In Phase Three (2001-3) we aimed to answer these three questions: Is the prevalence of eczema changing over time?; Are there ethnic differences in prevalence?; and What are the risk factors for eczema?
Five New Zealand centres participated in ISAAC Phases One and Three using the same methodology. Questionnaires about ethnicity, symptoms of eczema and environmental factors were completed by parents of 6-7 year olds (children) and self-completed by 13-14 year olds (adolescents). Prevalence and change per year were calculated by centre, ethnicity and gender. Prevalence differences between centres and associations with environmental factors were examined using logistic regression.
There was little change in prevalence over time for the children, and a decrease in prevalence for the adolescents. Prevalence was higher among Māori and even higher among Pacific participants than among European children. Positive associations with current eczema symptoms were found for both age groups for truck traffic in the street of residence, and current paracetamol consumption, and for children only, antibiotics or paracetamol in the 1st year of life. Inverse associations were found with residence in New Zealand less than 5 years, consumption of milk, seafood, and eggs, and presence of a dog in the home.
Eczema remains a significant problem, particularly for young Māori and Pacific New Zealanders in whom less recognition of eczema and poorer access to effective, sustained eczema management may be contributing factors. Reverse causation may explain all the environmental findings apart from truck traffic which is increasing in New Zealand.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Whether long-term, low-level hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas is a cause of health effects, including asthma, is uncertain. Rotorua city, New Zealand, has the largest population exposed, from geothermal sources, to relatively high ambient levels of H2S. In a cross-sectional study, the authors investigated associations with asthma in this population. METHODS: A total of 1637 adults, aged 18-65 years, were enrolled during 2008-2010. Residences and workplaces were geocoded. H2S exposures at homes and workplaces were estimated using city-wide networks of passive H2S samplers and kriging to create exposure surfaces. Exposure metrics were based on (1) time-weighted exposures at home and work; and (2) the maximum exposure (home or work). Exposure estimates were entered as quartiles into regression models, with covariate data. RESULTS: Neither exposure metric showed evidence of increased asthma risk from H2S. However, some suggestion of exposure-related reduced risks for diagnosed asthma and asthma symptoms, particularly wheezing during the last 12 months, emerged. With the maximum exposure metric, the prevalence ratio for wheeze in the highest exposure quartile was 0.80 (0.65, 0.99) and, for current asthma treatment, 0.75 (0.52, 1.08). There was no evidence that this was caused by a "survivor effect". CONCLUSIONS: The study provided no evidence that asthma risk increases with H2S exposure. Suggestions of a reduced risk in the higher exposure areas are consistent with recent evidence that H2S has signaling functions in the body, including induction of smooth muscle relaxation and reduction of inflammation. Study limitations, including possible confounding, preclude definitive conclusions.
Environmental Research 02/2013; · 3.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is of increasing importance with about one in four people estimated to be diagnosed with COPD during their lifetime. None of the existing medications for COPD has been shown to have much effect on the long-term decline in lung function and there have been few recent pharmacotherapeutic advances. Identifying preventive interventions that can reduce the frequency and severity of exacerbations could have important public health benefits. The Warm Homes for Elder New Zealanders study is a community-based trial, designed to test whether an NZ$500 electricity voucher paid into the electricity account of older people with COPD, with the expressed aim of enabling them to keep their homes warm, results in reduced exacerbations and hospitalisation rates. It will also examine whether these subsidies are cost-beneficial. METHODS: Participants had a clinician diagnosis of COPD and had either been hospitalised or taken steroids or antibiotics for COPD in the previous three years; their median age was 71 years. Participants were recruited from three communities between 2009 to early 2011. Where possible, participants' houses were retrofitted with insulation. After baseline data were received, participants were randomised to either 'early' or 'late' intervention groups. The intervention was a voucher of $500 directly credited to the participants' electricity company account. Early group participants received the voucher the first winter they were enrolled in the study, late participants during the second winter. Objective measures included spirometry and indoor temperatures and subjective measures included questions about participant health and wellbeing, heating, medication and visits to health professionals. Objective health care usage data included hospitalisation and primary care visits. Assessments of electricity use were obtained through electricity companies using unique customer numbers. DISCUSSION: This community trial has successfully enrolled 522 older people with COPD. Baseline data showed that, despite having a chronic respiratory illness, participants are frequently cold in their houses and economise on heating.Trial Registration: The clinical trial registration is NCT01627418.
BMC Public Health 02/2013; 13(1):176. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental levels of β-(1,3)-glucan, an inflammatory fungal cell wall component, have been suggested to be related to respiratory symptoms. However there is currently little data comparing β-(1,3)-glucan detection methods and/or results obtained in different laboratories. The aim of this study was to compare levels of β-(1,3)-glucans detected in household dust samples (n=40) using different extraction/detection methods (Limulus amebocyte assay (LAL), inhibition enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and sandwich EIA) in five different laboratories. Dust sample aliquots were sent to participating centres, extracted and analysed for β-(1,3)-glucan according to standard in-house procedures. Significant
differences in the levels of β-(1,3)-glucan were observed between all laboratories geometric mean levels ranging from 15.42g/g to 47542g/g dust; p<0.0001) with the exception of those using a similar LAL method. The inhibition EIA used in laboratory D produced mean β-(1,3)-glucan measurements 80-100 times higher than the LAL assays, 4 times higher than the sandwich EIA in the same lab, 17.6 times those obtained with the EIA in lab E and 363 times those obtained in the EIA in laboratory C. Pearson’s correlations generally showed significant associations between methods and laboratories, particularly those using similar methodology (R ranging from 0.5 to 0.8; p<0.001), although some poor and even inverse correlations were observed. Bland-Altman analyses showed moderate to good agreement between most assays, although clear absolute differences were observed. In conclusion, although results obtained
with different methods were significantly correlated and therefore comparable in relative terms, direct comparison of results between laboratories and assays may be inappropriate.
Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts. 02/2013; 15:405-411.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Several studies have observed an association between obesity and asthma, but whether or not there is an association with rhinoconjunctivitis or eczema is unclear. AIMS: To examine the relationship between body mass index categories (underweight, overweight and obesity), vigorous physical activity and television viewing and the risk of symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema. METHODS: As part of International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) Phase Three, parents or guardians of children aged 6-7 years completed written questionnaires about symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema, and several potential risk factors, such as vigorous physical activity and television viewing, and other information such as the child's height and weight. Adolescents aged 13-14 years self-completed the questionnaires on these symptoms and potential risk factors and reported their own height and weight. For 28% of children and 24% of adolescents, the height and weight was objectively measured. RESULTS: A total of 76 164 children aged 6-7 years (from 29 centres and 17 countries) and 201 370 adolescents aged 13-14 years (from 73 centres and 35 countries) provided data meeting the inclusion criteria. There were associations between overweight and obesity, but not underweight, and symptoms of asthma and eczema but not rhinoconjunctivitis. Vigorous physical activity was positively associated with symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in adolescents, but not children. Viewing television for five or more hours/day was associated with an increased risk of symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in adolescents and symptoms of asthma in children. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This study has confirmed the association between overweight and obesity and symptoms of asthma. It has extended these observations to include significant associations with symptoms of eczema, but not rhinoconjunctivitis. There are complex relationships between obesity, vigorous physical activity and sedentary behaviour and the symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in children.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim: To investigate prevalence, time trends and factors associated with rhinitis and rhinoconjunctivitis not related to acute infections in New Zealand. Methods: The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) surveyed children aged 6-7 and 13-14 years for symptoms of these conditions. Five New Zealand centres were surveyed on two occasions (Phase One and Phase Three) 8-10 years apart. In Phase Three, questions were included on environmental factors, which might be associated with rhinoconjunctivitis. We report findings related to symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis among 24 190 New Zealand children. Results: Symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis in the past year were reported in 11.4% of 6- to 7-year-old children and 18% of 13- to 14-year-old adolescents in Phase Three compared with 9.5 and 19.1%, respectively, in Phase One. Severe symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis were reported in 0.5% of children and 0.8% of adolescents. Current symptoms were more common in males at 6-7 years and in females of 13-14 years, and Māori and Pacific Island ethnic groups had higher prevalence compared with those of European descent, especially in the older age group. For immigrant children, there was a very strong positive relationship between symptoms and length of time resident in New Zealand, supporting the probable importance of environmental factors. A positive association was found between symptoms and use of paracetamol in infancy or in the last year, and weaker associations were noted for antibiotic use, exercise, and regular pasta ingestion. Conclusions: Further study of environmental factors is recommended.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 08/2012; 48(10):913-920. · 1.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Associations between exposure to cats and dogs and respiratory and allergic outcomes in children have been reported in affluent countries, but little is known about such associations in less-affluent countries.
The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, phase 3 was carried out in children aged 6-7 years and adolescents aged 13-14 years across the world. Questions about cats and dogs in the home were included in an additional questionnaire. Using logistic regression, we investigated the association between such exposures and symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema. Adjustments were made for sex, region of the world, language, gross national income per capita, and 10 other covariates.
Among children (6-7 years of age), cat exposure in the first year of life was associated with current symptoms of asthma, wheeze, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema, especially in less-affluent countries. Among adolescents (13-14 years of age), we found a positive association between exposure to cats or dogs and symptom prevalence in more-affluent and less-affluent countries. The global multivariate odds ratios for children with complete covariate data were 1.17 (95% confidence interval = 1.08-1.29) for current symptoms of asthma, 1.13 (1.05-1.23) for rhinoconjunctivitis, and 1.38 (1.26-1.52) for eczema. Smaller odds ratios were found for exposure to only dogs. Exposure to only cats was associated with eczema.
Early-life exposure to cats is a risk factor for symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in 6- to 7-year-old children, especially in less-affluent countries. Current exposure to cats and dogs combined, and only to dogs, is a risk factor for symptom reporting by 13- to 14-year-old adolescents worldwide.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This ISAAC Phase Three synthesis provides summarised information on the main findings of the study, regional tables and figures related to the prevalence and severity of current symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in the main regions of the world. The large number of surveyed children (≈1,200,000), the large number of centres (233) and countries (98) that participated in ISAAC Phase Three makes this study the most comprehensive survey of these diseases ever undertaken. Globally, the prevalence for current asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in the 13-14-year age group was 14.1%, 14.6% and 7.3%, respectively. In the 6-7-year age group the prevalence for current asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema was 11.7%, 8.5% and 7.9%, respectively. The study shows a wide variability in the prevalence and severity of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema which occurs not just between regions and countries but between centres in the same country and centres in the same city. This study definitively establishes that the prevalence of those diseases can be very high in non-affluent centres with low socioeconomic conditions. The large variability also suggests a crucial role of local environment characteristics to determine the differences in prevalence between one place and another. Thus, ISAAC Phase Three has provided a large body of epidemiological information on asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema in childhood from contrasting environments which is expected to yield new clues about the aetiology of those conditions and reasons for their marked global variability.
Allergologia et Immunopathologia 07/2012; · 1.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a double blind randomized placebo-controlled trial (Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12607000518460), we have shown that in a high risk birth cohort, maternal supplementation from 35 weeks gestation until 6 months if breastfeeding and infant supplementation until 2 years with Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001) (6 × 10(9) cfu/day) halved the cumulative prevalence of eczema by age 2 years. Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis HN019 (HN019) (9 × 10(9) cfu/day) had no effect.
The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of HN001 and HN019 with allergic disease and atopic sensitization among these children at age 4 years, 2 years after stopping probiotic supplementation.
The presence (UK Working Party's Diagnostic Criteria) and severity SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) of eczema and atopy (skin prick tests) and parent-reported symptoms of asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis were assessed using standard protocols and questions.
Four-hundred and seventy-four infants were eligible at birth of whom 425 (90%) participated in this follow-up. The cumulative prevalence of eczema by 4 years (Hazard ratio (HR) 0.57 (95% CI 0.39-0.83)) and prevalence of rhinoconjunctivitis at 4 years (Relative risk 0.38 (95% CI 0.18-0.83)) were significantly reduced in the children taking HN001; there were also nonsignificant reductions in the cumulative prevalence of SCORAD ≥ 10 (HR 0.74 (95% CI 0.52-1.05), wheeze (HR 0.79 (95% CI 0.59-1.07)) and atopic sensitization (HR = 0.72 (95% CI 0.48-1.06)). HN019 did not affect the prevalence of any outcome.
This study showed that the protective effect of HN001 against eczema, when given for the first 2 years of life only, extended to at least 4 years of age. This, together with our findings for a protective effect against rhinoconjunctivitis, suggests that this probiotic might be an appropriate preventative intervention for high risk infants.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Damp and mould in homes have been established as risk factors for respiratory health. There is a need for a relatively straightforward assessment of the home that quantifies this risk.
Using data from 891 New Zealand houses, the utility of a Respiratory Hazard Index quantifying key attributes related to damp and mould was tested by studying its associations with self-reported respiratory symptoms.
A dose-response relationship was found whereby each unit increase in the Respiratory Hazard Index was associated with an 11% increase in the odds of at least one episode of wheezing/whistling in the chest over the last 12 months (relative odds of 1.11 with a 95% CI 1.04%-1.20%). An 11% increase in the odds of an asthma attack over the last 12 months was estimated (relative odds of 1.11 with a 95% CI 1.01%-1.22%). These estimates were adjusted for household crowding levels, age, sex and smoking status. There was suggestive evidence of more steeply increasing odds of respiratory symptoms with increasing levels of the Respiratory Hazard Index for children aged under 7. In the worst performing houses according to the Index, a 33% reduction in the number of people experiencing respiratory symptoms (relative risk 0.67 with 95% CI 0.53 to 0.85) could be expected if people were housed in the best performing houses.
This study showed that increased evidence of housing conditions supporting dampness and mould was associated with increased odds of respiratory symptoms. A valid housing assessment tool can provide a rational basis for investment in improved housing quality to improve respiratory health.
Environmental Health 05/2012; 11:33. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma and atopy. Selenium has been implicated in the aetiology of asthma, and associations between low selenium status and asthma in New Zealand children have been reported.
The aim was to investigate the association between selenium status and allergic disease in a birth cohort of New Zealand children.
The New Zealand Asthma and Allergy Cohort Study is a prospective birth cohort in Wellington and Christchurch, involving 1105 infants born 1997-2001. During the 6-year assessment (n = 635), associations were investigated between plasma selenium (PlSe) and whole blood glutathione peroxidase activity (WBGPx) and allergy-related health outcomes including asthma, wheeze, hayfever, rhinitis, eczema and rash.
Wellington children had greater PlSe and WBGPx than Christchurch children (P < 0.001 for both). PlSe (P = 0.004) and WBGPx (P = 0.03) were lower in children exposed to environmental smoke, but differences were no longer significant after adjustment for study location, current household smoking (5-6 years), maternal smoking during pregnancy, family history (either parent with asthma, eczema or hayfever), prioritized ethnicity (Maori, Pacific peoples, Other, European), gender, season born, number of siblings, New Zealand Deprivation Index and body mass index at 6 years. Analysis of PlSe or WBGPx as continuous variables or of quartiles of PlSe with health outcomes showed no significant associations after adjustment. Univariate analysis of quartiles of PlSe and WBGPx with persistent wheeze showed significant inverse trends (P = 0.005 for both), but these reduced after adjustment.
Our results do not support a strong association between selenium status and the high incidence of asthma in New Zealand. However, there was a modest association between lower PlSe and WBGPx activity and higher incidence of persistent wheeze.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atopic patients are advised to cover their mattresses with occlusive coverings; however, these are not cheap. We investigated whether daily vacuum cleaning of mattresses significantly reduces content of house dust mite allergens, bacterial endotoxin, and fungal β-glucan.
Twenty volunteers vacuumed their mattress daily for 8 weeks. Dust samples collected at two weekly intervals were analyzed for house dust mite allergens (Der p 1 and Der f 1) by double monoclonal antibody ELISA and for endotoxin and β-glucan by the Limulus amoebocyte lysate kinetic assay. Results are presented as geometric means with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Total house dust mite allergens (Der p 1 + Der f 1) significantly reduced from a geometric mean (95% CI) of 4.07 μg (2.44-6.79) at the start to 0.42 μg (0.21-0.81) at week 8. Total endotoxin and β-glucan were also significantly reduced from 13.6 EU (8.6-21.4) to 3.4 EU (2.3-5.0) and from 94.4 μg (57.1-156.2) to 19.7 μg (10.2-37.9), respectively (p for trend >.0001). Percentage reductions in total house dust mite allergens, endotoxin, and β-glucan after 8 weeks of daily vacuum cleaning were 85.1% (80.1-90.1), 71.0% (70.4-81.0), and 75.7% (70.4-81.0), respectively. This was mainly due to a 77.7% (70.8-84.7) reduction in total dust.
Daily vacuum cleaning of mattresses over time significantly reduces house dust mite allergens, endotoxin, and β-glucan. This gives atopic patients a practical and cheaper alternative to reduce their exposure to indoor house dust mite allergens and microbial bio-contaminants.
Journal of Asthma 03/2012; 49(2):139-43. · 1.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A considerable minority of adults remain addicted to smoking cigarettes despite substantial education and public health efforts. Nicotine replacement therapies have only modest long-term quit rates. The pulmonary route of nicotine delivery has advantages over other routes. However, there are regulatory and technical barriers to the development of pulmonary nicotine delivery devices, and hence, none are commercially available. Current knowledge about pulmonary nicotine delivery is scattered throughout the literature and other sources such as patent applications. This review draws together what is currently known about pulmonary nicotine delivery and identifies potential ways that deep lung delivery can be achieved with a simple portable device. Aims: To systematically review clinical trials of nicotine inhalers, determine whether they delivered nicotine via the lung, and identify ways that pulmonary delivery of medicinal nicotine might be achieved and the technical issues involved.
Systematic search of Medline and Embase.
Thirty-eight trials met the inclusion criteria. Cough, reflex interruption of smooth inspiration, and throat scratch limited the usefulness of nicotine inhalers. The pharmacokinetic profiles of portable nicotine inhalers were inferior to smoking, but among commercially available products, electronic cigarettes are currently the most promising. Conclusions: Pulmonary nicotine delivery might be maximized by use of nicotine salts, which have a more physiological pH than pure nicotine, by ensuring the mass of the particles is optimal for alveolar absorption, and by adding flavoring agents. Metered-dose inhalers potentially can deliver nicotine more efficiently than other nicotine products, facilitating smoking cessation and improving smokers' lives.
Nicotine & Tobacco Research 02/2012; 14(10):1127-39. · 2.48 Impact Factor