Washington: Individuals who carry a particular genetic variant are at much higher risk of developing lung cancer from exposure to second-hand smoke than others, even if they rarely come into contact with it, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say that for family members who carry this genetic variant, the risk of lung cancer is similar for both light and heavy smokers, adding that even non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke and have a family history of lung cancer should be monitored for early detection.
For family members without this genetic lung cancer risk, the risk of developing the disease tracked closely with the level of smoking-in other words, heavy smokers had a significantly greater risk of developing lung cancer than moderate smokers, who had a significantly greater risk than light smokers. But in family members with the genetic risk haplotype, even light smoking resulted in a greatly increased risk for developing lung cancer. From there, increasing smoking behaviours in this group of family members carried only weakly increasing risk for developing lung cancer. Susan Pinney, a co-author of the study, said: "If you carried the inherited risk and then you smoked, it didn`t matter if you were a light smoker or a heavy smoker-you were significantly more likely to develop lung cancer." The study has been published online March 9, 2010, ahead of print by Cancer Research. ANI
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