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These laboratory exercises will illustrate how the lung reacts to inflammatory, vascular, and neoplastic injuries. In some cases, more than one form of injury will be evident. We will study these injury forms so that we can recognize and relate them to the clinical contexts in which we encounter them. For example, you should be able to diagnose pneumonia from a histologic section and construct the corresponding clinical signs and symptoms.
Respiratory Infections in the Economically Disadvantaged
Respiratory infections are diseases not just of individuals but of communities. The risk of becoming sick depends not only on the particular characteristics of the infectious agent, but also on the pre-existent health of the individual and the manner by which the infection is transmitted. Poverty can have far-reaching consequences for the health of the individual and the surrounding community.
Exposure - infection is made more likely when humans live and work in close proximity to each other.
HIV Infection - more prevalent among economically disadvantaged persons and among economically disadvantaged nations.
Alcoholism - while equally prevalent among social classes in the U.S., alcoholics from lower social classes have a far higher mortality from their drinking.
Tobacco Use - in the U.S., the single greatest determinant of tobacco use is the level of education.
Incomplete Vaccination - vaccine-preventable diseases remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality.
Malnutrition - impairs both thoracopulmonary function and immune defenses to respiratory infections. Deficiencies of certain vitamins and micronutrients may impair host defenses against respiratory infections.
Pollutants - exposure to air pollution may predispose to respiratory infections.