Two new studies are to be presented at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in Denver, reportedly connecting the respiratory illness of troops returning from Middle East deployment to their exposure to toxic dust and fumes from "burn pits." The Wall Street Journal reports that Dr. Anthony Szema and Dr. Robert Miller will be presenting separate studies establishing casal relationship of the exposures to the disease.
Dr. Szema, a professor of medicine and surgery at the State University of New York and who is also chief of the allergy section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport, NY, collected data from 7,000 veterans who served between 2004 and 2010. The results reflect that 14.5% of the 1,816 of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffered from respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis and asthma.
Additionally, Dr. Miller, who is a pulmonary and critical-care medicine professor at Vanderbilt University, will present finding from soldiers who be biopsied. Approximately 69% of the soldiers who underwent biopsy, had an unusual thickening of the small airways which he termed, "constrictive bronchiolitis."
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