The Most Important Cause Of Chronic Lung Disease In Non-smokers Is Named

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The Most Important Cause Of Chronic Lung Disease In Non-smokers Is Named
The Most Important Cause Of Chronic Lung Disease In Non-smokers Is Named

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The most important cause of chronic lung disease in non-smokers is named

Anatomical prerequisites can play a huge role in the development of COPD. Scientists reached this conclusion after analyzing thousands of CT scans.

The most important cause of chronic lung disease in non-smokers is named
The most important cause of chronic lung disease in non-smokers is named

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Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are well-known but outdated formulations of diagnoses. Today these conditions are united by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is a progressive disease, the main characteristic of which is the restriction of air flow in the airways. Its main symptoms are increasing shortness of breath and cough.

COPD affects about 10% of the world's population; it is one of the most important causes of disability and death. In Russia, according to official data in 2011, at least 1.7% of the population (about 2.4 million) suffers from COPD, but estimates say that the number could reach 11 million.

The main cause of COPD is smoking. Scientists decided to find out why this disease in a quarter of cases develops in nonsmokers. A new study, in which the authors propose anatomical background for COPD, is published in JAMA.

Scientists analyzed computed tomography scans of 6,500 people. Their main conclusion was that people whose airways are not large enough in relation to lung volume are prone to developing COPD. This phenomenon of inconsistency is called disanapsis. It is accompanied by a deterioration in lung function.

Dysanapsis has been associated with an eight-fold increased risk of COPD.

This disease can precede lung cancer even in nonsmokers

Scientists believe that COPD is a serious independent risk factor for lung cancer. Smoking in the presence of COPD almost does not increase the risk of cancer diagnosis.

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“Our study showed that an undersized bronchial tree impairs breathing and makes a person vulnerable to COPD over time,” said Benjamin M. Smith, assistant professor at Columbia University and co-author of the study.

Scientists claim that dysanapsis is one of the biggest risk factors for COPD, along with smoking. It is believed that this phenomenon develops at an early age, when the growth rate of the bronchi begins to lag somewhat behind the growth of the lungs. But practically nothing is known about its reasons. Disanapsis was discovered in the 1970s and its impact on health has long remained unclear.

The new research supports the earlier theory of COPD. According to her, there are two ways of developing the disease: due to smoking and exposure to other toxins and due to dysfunction of the respiratory system.

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