eLetters

219 e-Letters

  • ETS and asthma: U shaped effect? - Author's response
    Dear Editor

    Dr McFadden is putting forward an interpretation of the small non- significant decrease in asthma episode contacts seen amongst those with moderate exposure to passive smoking. In our view this is unwise. The effect could well be due simply to the play of chance. Further we have shown that non-clinical factors have a dominant influence on visit frequency and that the frequency of contacts is a poor measu...

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  • Obesity is associated with respiratory problems, not necessarily asthma - Author's response
    Dear Editor,

    We fully appreciate Dr Furness's comments on the limitations of the definition of asthma based on parents' reports of symptoms and we have contributed on the subject.[1] Epidemiological studies of asthma have to rely on reported symptoms,[2][3] but a better understanding of what parents call wheeze would be of great importance, especially in a multicultural society. The validity of reported asthma symptoms...

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  • Intravenous IL-5 antagonist in bronchial asthma
    Dear Editor,

    Intravenous interleukin-5 antagonist has great potential and studies have shown that it may be beneficial in chronic asthmatics for 3 to 6 months.

    Now the understanding of cytokines and their beneficial and harmful effects are well known but still cure of bronchial asthma appears to be a remote possibility. Non-compliance in patients is very high and once they feel better they take medicines irre...

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  • Statistical error or not?
    Dear Editor,

    I read with great interest the article of Nakayama et al about tuberculin responses and risk of pneumonia in immobile elderly patients. It is known that TH1 cells are important in delayed type hypersensitivity responses to tuberculin. The authors' findings are important in assessment of pathogenesis of pneumonia in elderly patients. But I have some doubts about the analysis of data. The groups were compared...

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  • Obesity is associated with respiratory problems, not necessarily asthma
    Dear Editor,

    I was interested to see the work of Figueroa-Munoz and colleagues showing an association between obesity and wheeze.[1] I would like to caution against their conclusion. In their study asthma is defined according to "asthma attack" and parental reports of wheeze. Several studies have shown parental reporting of wheeze to be unreliable.[2][3][4]

    Please can the authors clarify who defined, "asthma att...

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  • Lower respiratory tract infection and antibiotics
    Dear Editor

    The observational data presented by Macfarlane et al on the aetiology of acute lower respiratory tract illness in the community[1] confirm that the often stated assertion that these illnesses are usually caused by viral infection is incorrect. The high prevalence of bacteriological and atypical pathogens, and in particular the high prevalence of C pneumoniae in these patients is of interest and points to the n...

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  • ETS and asthma: U shaped effect?
    Dear Editor,

    If the abstract indicates correctly that children of totally non-smoking parents were not included in the study, I see that as a significant weakness.

    The study found, as might be expected by many, an increase in contacts for asthma episodes among children most heavily exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

    However, it also found a non-significant but noteworthy decrease in asthma epi...

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  • CAP deaths, observations from the community
    Dear Editor,

    I read with interest this article in Thorax and have been worried by the comments in "Pulse" which followed (9 December 2000).

    The lack of information about the general practitioner (GP) consultations, and the non- availability of records is alarming and dispiriting. Particularly when nowadays much information is computerised and records can in emergency situations, given the hard work of Health...

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  • Screening of immigrants is inappropriate
    Dear Editor:

    The Code of Practice (Control and prevention of tuberculosis in the United Kingdom)[1] provides us with evidence based gold standards for best practice in this field. The exception is of promoting routine immigrant screening and the context within which it is recommended.

    I welcome a general health check for immigrants on arrival, but does routine screening for tuberculosis needs to be part of it?...

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