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Stress Triggers Asthma Attacks in Children

Nov 26, 2004

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal studied 60 children ages 6 to 13 that had been diagnosed with asthma for at least 3 years. Records were recorded of when the children suffered acute attacks over the next year and a half. The parents and children were regularly interviewed about the occurrence of stressful events. A strong connection was found between stressful life events and the risk of a worsening of asthma symptoms. Moving, birth of a sibling, death, separations, and changes in family relationships caused stress in the youngsters and triggered an asthma attack within the next two days. The risk of an attack was quadrupled in this time frame. The risk was ongoing after the event and it was still doubled at approximately the end of six weeks. The study is published in the December 2004 issue of the journal Thorax.

Psuedoephedrine Triggers Heart Attack in Young-Healthy Man

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant used in many cough, cold, flu, and allergy medications. It is commonly available in prescription and over the counter remedies. It is the same as the chemical ephedra found in the recently banned herb Ma Huang. Ma Huang was banned because misuse by diet companies led to elevations in blood pressure, with some individuals actually suffering strokes. Physicians at Harvard Medical School in Boston recently treated an otherwise healthy 32 year old man who suffered severe chest pain 45 minutes after taking a nonprescription medication containing acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine. The man had suffered a heart attack which resulted in damage to his heart muscle. Prior to this the man was in good health except for a cold. Catheterization of the coronary arteries showed they were clean and healthy and there is no history of heart disease or sudden death in his family. The report appears in the November 22nd 2004 online edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Drug related reactions are among the top ten causes of death in the USA.