News briefs from the July issue of Chest
WEEKEND ADMISSION TO ICU MAY INCREASE RISK OF DEATH
Patients admitted to the ICU on a weekend may have an increased risk of death compared with those admitted during the week. Researchers from the University of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, and Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, reviewed 10 cohort studies that evaluated the association between time of admission to the ICU and mortality, with adjustment for severity of disease. The pooled analysis demonstrated that nighttime admission was not associated with increased mortality; however, patients admitted over the weekend had a significant increase in the adjusted risk of death. Researchers speculate that the lower level of staffing and intensity of care provided by some many hospitals on the weekend may account for their findings. This article is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: CHEST 2010; 138(1):68.
BIOMASS SMOKE LINKED TO COPD
Residual smoke from biomass fuels, including wood and crop residue, may be a significant risk factor in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers from Guangdong, China, conducted a metaanalysis on 15 epidemiologic studies that involved biomass smoke and COPD. Overall, people exposed to biomass smoke are 2.44 times likely to develop COPD than those not exposed. Furthermore, men exposed to biomass smoke were more at risk for COPD than women who were exposed to the smoke (odds ratio of 4.30 and 2.73, respectively). Risk for COPD also was elevated among Asian and non-Asian populations. Due to the extensive use of biomass fuels in developing countries, researchers suggest that understanding the public health consequences of biomass smoke as it relates to COPD is important. The study is published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians: CHEST 2010; 138(1):20