Top 5 Respiratory Content of 2021

An 8-year journey to a chronic cough diagnosis, neurogenic cough treatment, e-cigarettes, and COVID-19 risk factors were among the most-viewed respiratory articles.

The top 5 most-viewed respiratory articles on AJMC.com focused on one woman's journey to a chronic cough diagnosis, neurogenic cough treatment, e-cigarettes, and COVID-19 risk factors.

Here are the 5 most-viewed respiratory pieces of 2021.

5. Paulette Nyahay Outlines Journey to a Chronic Cough Diagnosis

When asked about her chronic cough diagnosis journey, Paulette Nyahay said it took about 8 years to be properly diagnosed after being recommended to her doctor. This interview from July focused on how Nyahay distinguished her chronic cough from her asthma cough and how she finally got a diagnosis.

Watch the video.

4. Superior Laryngeal Nerve Blocks Effective for Neurogenic Cough

A study covered in June said superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) blocks are effective for treating neurogenic cough, which are coughs that continue and persist after other conditions are ruled out. Patients with evidence of Vocal Fold Motion/Vibratory Abnormalities experienced a greater therapeutic effect and showed long-term improvement that approached statistical significance.

Read the full article.

3. e-Cigarettes, Heated Tobacco Products Linked to Lung Damage

A literature review indicated e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products produced lung disease in ways similar to conventional cigarettes, as well as from new mechanisms particular to these devices, this May article reported.

According to studies included in the review, these products share pathways of damage and impairment with conventional cigarettes and present newer damage mechanisms related to the additives, flavors, and metal nanoparticles. Additionally, several lung cell lines exposed to e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products produced increased levels of proinflammatory interleukin-8 and interleukin-16.

Read the full article.

2. COPD and Asthma May Not Be Risk Factors for COVID-19, Study Says

A study published at the beginning of the year found that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma were not risk factors for intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death as a result of COVID-19 infection.

This study contradicts the widely accepted assumption that patients with respiratory obstructive diseases are more at risk for ICU admissions and death than those without, largely based on older evidence showing that respiratory diseases are risk factors for more severe reactions to common cold viruses. Factors found to be associated with death during hospitalization were male gender, older age, cardiopathy, and immunosuppressive disease.

Read the full article.

1. Flu Vaccine May Protect Against COVID-19 Infection

According to a study covered in this February article, patients immunized against influenza were less likely to test positive for or have serious complication related to COVID-19. These patients had 24% lower odds of testing positive for COVID-19, and if they did contract the virus, they were more likely to have better clinical outcomes compared with those who were not vaccinated against influenza.

Limitations of the study included that the patients and data were specific to Michigan and mostly collected from large hospitals, not community settings.

Read the full article.