Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early Exposure To Tobacco Smoke May Lead To Early Emphysema Later

Date:
May 21, 2009
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Chronic exposure to tobacco smoke in childhood may contribute to early emphysema later in life, according to new research. Environmental tobacco smoke is known to be associated with a variety of serious health problems, but it had not previously been associated with the development of emphysema over the life course.

Chronic exposure to tobacco smoke in childhood may contribute to early emphysema later in life, according to new research. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is known to be associated with a variety of serious health problems, but it had not previously been associated with the development of emphysema over the life course.

The data were presented on Tuesday, May 19, at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

"Emphysematous 'holes' in the lung that begin as small areas of damage or impaired development may expand according to a fractal trajectory after an earlier insult," said Gina Lovasi, M.P.H., Ph.D., of Columbia University. "We hypothesized that environmental tobacco smoke in childhood may be one such early insult, associated with signs of early emphysema detectable on computed tomography (CT) scan in adulthood and perhaps lower lung function detectable by spirometry."

Emphysema is an anatomically defined condition that overlaps substantially with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. Although smoking leads to emphysema in the upper lobes of the lungs, people who have never smoked may also have tissue destruction patterns that indicate emphysema. However, emphysema in people who have never smoked is more likely to appear as diffuse damage throughout the lungs.

To determine whether chronic exposure to ETS in childhood could lead to the development of early emphysema later in life, Dr. Lovasi and colleagues analyzed data from a diverse sample of 3,964 relatively healthy adults recruited as part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Artherosclerosis (MESA) study, focusing on 1,781 adults who had never smoked. The MESA-lung study assessed childhood exposure to ETS by asking each participant "In your childhood, did you live with a regular cigarette smoker who smoked in your home?"

The MESA-lung study was also the first large study of healthy adults to collect CT images that show most of the lungs, allowing for the classification of some areas of the lungs as having indications of early emphysema: large contiguous areas of air-like density ("holes", in contrast to lung tissue, which is more dense than air) or the total percentage of lung volume with air-like density.

After adjusting for a number of potentially confounding variables, including childhood asthma and living with a smoker as an adult, the researchers found that non-smokers who reported childhood exposure to ETS were more likely to have CT patterns that looked like early emphysema: large holes were relatively more common, and more of the lung volume appeared to have low, air-like density. The association was not detectable among current or former smokers, perhaps due to the relatively strong influence of one's own smoking history. They did not find an association for childhood ETS exposure and lung function as measured by spirometry.

"The take-home message from our analysis is that exposure to tobacco smoke during childhood may be associated with detectable differences in lung structure, and perhaps early emphysema, later in life among people who do not themselves smoke," Dr Lovasi said. "These findings might also help researchers to understand how lung damage develops. However, the observed associations are small and the implications of the novel CT-based measures for long-term health this research needs to be replicated."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Early Exposure To Tobacco Smoke May Lead To Early Emphysema Later." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519134659.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2009, May 21). Early Exposure To Tobacco Smoke May Lead To Early Emphysema Later. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519134659.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Early Exposure To Tobacco Smoke May Lead To Early Emphysema Later." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519134659.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins