Melbourne: Smokers, beware! Lung damagedue to puffing can last long even after you kick the butt, anew study has claimed. Researchers at University of Sydney have found thatsmoking fundamentally alters airway tissue in people withchronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and even whileother aspects of health improve, the lung damage lasts longafter a smoker quits. COPD is projected to be the third-leading cause ofdeath worldwide by 2020, and is characterised by thickening ofthe airway wall. The primary cause is chronic exposure to airpollution, most often cigarette smoke.
Similarly, they found CSE increased levels of perlecan - a protein associated with tumor growth and angiogenesis in COPD lung tissue. These findings demonstrate cigarette smoke has the capacity to directly change the make-up of airways. "This will change the way researchers think about thedevelopment of fibrosis in COPD. We have known for a long timethat development of fibrosis is irreversible in people withCOPD. Our findings suggest that cigarette smoking alters thelung composition in such a way that fibrosis becomes self-perpetuating," Krimmer said.
The findings have been published in the latest editionof the `American Journal of Respiratory Cell and MolecularBiology`. PTI
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