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Swallowing-Breathing Dysfunction Worsens Lung Disorder
Date:3/26/2009

and 25 healthy people. All the participants ate nine wafer cookies and 10 teaspoons of pudding to determine how well they swallowed sold and semi-solid food. There was a marked difference between the two groups, the researchers found.

The respiratory tract may be thrown out of balance by the respiratory burden imposed by COPD, Gross explained.

"Because breathing and eating share the structures of the upper airway, precise coordination is needed to prevent food material from entering the airway while eating," she said. "In patients with COPD, the competition for the upper airway may cause the respiratory drive to override swallowing function and disrupt the normal patterning. The lungs of COPD patients have less elasticity than those of healthy individuals and this may also play a role in swallowing safety."

The study appears in the first April issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about COPD.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, March 26, 2009


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