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Lung Health Archive

Articles

A breath-robbing disease that’s hard on the heart

Published January 1, 2023

About one in eight adults over age 45 has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD refers to several lung-damaging conditions, particularly emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that cause coughing and breathlessness. But many people don’t know much about COPD, which is largely caused by cigarette smoking and may be mistaken for heart disease. Anyone with symptoms of COPD should be evaluated by a physician. People who have heart disease who have ever smoked or lived with a smoker should be tested for COPD.

Eating disorders in midlife

Published December 1, 2022

By age 40, one in five women has dealt with an eating disorder, twice the proportion of women known to be affected by age 21. Risks for anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating can rise at midlife due to job stressors, an empty nest, and dating again after divorce or widowhood. Health effects can include bone loss, heart problems, lung conditions, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, and skin breakdown. Signs of an eating disorder include dramatic weight fluctuations, excessive exercising, and preoccupation with weight, calories, and body size and shape.

Respiratory health harms often follow flooding: Taking these steps can help

Published November 9, 2022

Flooding due to major storms or heavy rains can harm lung health, both from toxic contaminants that end up in the air and from the growth of mold caused by dampness. Taking steps to prevent flooding when possible and moving quickly to reduce health risks if flooding occurs can help protect your family’s health.

The latest in cancer treatments

Published November 1, 2022

Groundbreaking cancer treatments continuously emerge from labs and research trials. Three Harvard oncologists share what stands out in their respective fields of prostate, lung, and colon cancer, the most common cancers among men. Examples include greater roles for immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and intensive hormonal treatments.

Inflammatory bowel disease: Issues outside the gut

Published October 11, 2022

Nearly half of all people with inflammatory bowel disease have symptoms that occur outside of the gastrointestinal tract. These conditions, known as extraintestinal manifestations (EIMs), can affect the musculoskeletal system, eyes, lungs, and other areas of the body.

Curbing the nation’s deadliest cancer

Published October 1, 2022

Lung cancer kills about 130,000 Americans yearly, but only a tiny percentage of people eligible for low-dose CT lung cancer screening receive it. People qualify for lung cancer screening if they are 50 to 80 years old, have a substantial smoking history as measured in lifetime packs smoked, and currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years. Tens of thousands of lives might be saved each year if everyone who qualified underwent lung cancer screening, which can detect tumors when they are still small enough to be cured with surgery or radiation.

Poor sleep heightens risk of COPD flare ups

Published October 1, 2022

A 2022 study found that people with COPD who reported poor sleep had significantly higher risks of experiencing flare-ups of worsened breathing. Poor sleep may more accurately predict COPD flare-ups than a person’s smoking history, researchers said.

Have a gas stove? How to reduce pollution that may harm health

Published September 7, 2022

Cooking with gas stoves releases nitrogen dioxide and gas appliances introduce other toxic chemicals into homes, but people can take steps to protect their household and help improve outdoor air quality, too.

A refresher on childhood asthma: What families should know and do

Published July 12, 2022

Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease in children, and it can make life more difficult and less enjoyable for both children and their parents. The good news is that asthma is very treatable; here’s what families need to know.

Thunderstorm asthma: Bad weather, allergies, and asthma attacks

Published June 22, 2022

Thunderstorm asthma is an attack that starts or worsens after a thunderstorm. It can occur in anyone with asthma, but it most often affects people with seasonal allergies. There are several risk factors that make experiencing this phenomenon more likely, so it's important to know what these are.

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