Smoking `raises lung disease risk`

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Here`s another reason why
you should kick the butt -- smoking significantly raises lung
disease risk, says a new study.

Researchers at Brigham and Women`s Hospital have found
one out of every 12 adult smokers have abnormal lung densities
present on chest, the latest issue of the `New England Journal
of Medicine` reported.

"This manuscript highlights the degree of lung volume
reduction associated to previously unrecognised interstitial
lung abnormalities in smokers," said Hiroto Hatabu, who led
the study.

In the study, the researchers characterised presence
of interstitial lung abnormalities in 2416 participants. They
found that interstitial lung abnormalities are associated with
reduced total lung capacity and less emphysema in smokers.

The researchers also found that smokers with
interstitial lung abnormalities are at an increased risk for a
restrictive reduced lung oxygen volume lung deficit.

"The fact that smoking can result in distinct, and to
some degree, physiologically divergent pulmonary conditions
highlights the need for a better understanding of the
phenotypic, environmental, and genetic backgrounds that can
predispose smokers to diverse pulmonary diseases," said George
Washko, another member of the research team.

However, the researchers said that further
research is needed to definitely characterise the link between
interstitial lung abnormalities present on chest CT scan and
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the most common and severe form
of interstitial lung disease.

PTI