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Roshini Claire Anthony, 29 May 2020

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Smoking, respiratory symptoms may shorten life expectancy of older people

26 Feb 2020

The life expectancy of older people can be predicted through their respiratory symptoms and smoking status, according to a recent study.

Irrespective of smoking status, SOB was associated with shorter life expectancy. Cough in former smokers and wheeze were also predictive of shorter life expectancy.

For a 70-year-old male who never smoked and had no respiratory symptoms, his estimated remaining life expectancy was at 16.6 years (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 14.8–17.7). On the other hand, the years of life lost for a 70-year-old male current smoker with cough, SOB and wheeze, compared to a never smoker with no symptoms, was 4.93 years (95 percent CI, 2.87–7.36), with 2.99 years (95 percent CI, 1.35–4.97) being attributed to current smoking and the rest to respiratory symptoms.

“Cough in former smokers, wheeze in current smokers and all those with shortness of breath (SOB) require further investigations and disease‐specific management,” the authors said.

This prospective longitudinal study included 2,087 older people in Australia with 22 years of follow-up. Respiratory symptoms (ie, cough, SOB and wheeze) were analysed. A parametric survival functions was used to estimate the implied impact on life expectancy.

“Respiratory symptoms are recognizable to patients and may be markers of chronic disease and mortality risk,” the authors said. “This risk may be easier to conceptualize if presented as remaining life expectancy rather than hazard ratios.”

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 29 May 2020

For coffee drinkers, drinking filtered coffee may be tied to a lower mortality risk, including cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related mortality, a study from Norway suggested.

3 days ago
Use of metformin is effective in preventing hyperglycaemia in nondiabetic cancer patients exposed to high-dose prednisone-based chemotherapy, results of a randomized study have shown.
6 days ago
Use of corticosteroid is not associated with improved outcomes in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients admitted to the hospital with acute exacerbation (AE), reveals a recent study. In addition, corticosteroids may even contribute to reduced overall survival following exacerbation.
Dr. Wong Soon Tee, 28 May 2020
Acne is a common skin problem seen in primary care. Dr Wong Soon Tee of Assurance Skin Clinic at Mt Elizabeth Novena Hospital, Singapore shares his insights with Pearl Toh on how to manage acne in the primary care setting.