Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Racial differences found in emphysema onset

12.07.2006
Although African Americans smoke fewer cigarettes and inhale them less deeply than Caucasians, they contract emphysema at an earlier age, according to a study by Temple University researchers in the journal Chest.

The study, which confirms findings from a smaller preliminary study published last year, also offers evidence of biological differences in the distribution of emphysema and the severity of lung destruction between African Americans and Caucasians, leading researchers to conclude that the mechanism underlying the disease might also vary between the races.

"Not everyone who smokes gets emphysema or the same type of emphysema," says Wissam Chatila, MD, lead author and associate professor of medicine at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital. "Our study supports previous findings that there might be something different between African Americans and Caucasians who are susceptible to the bad effects of smoking. The next question -- why is this so?"

While researchers begin to tackle this puzzle, Chatila notes that the current study contains important implications for primary care doctors of African American patients. By identifying the disease early and avoiding misdiagnosis, patients can receive better treatments and achieve improved outcomes. Along with an understanding of how severe emphysema develops, the work may also aid in shaping antismoking policies and smoking cessation programs that specifically target African Americans.

"If African American patients are smoking and suffering some degree of breathing disturbances, the study shows that we need to pay better attention, even if they seem too young to have emphysema," said Chatila, who is also a pulmonary specialist at the Temple Lung Center.

Confirmation of earlier findings on racial biological differences was important because of understandable skepticism about such distinctions.

"People question whether racial differences in disease are due to factors such as the environment, socioeconomic status or health care disparities," says Chatila.

The researchers acknowledge that such issues may play an important part in the development and onset of the disease and further, that a much higher proportion of African Americans will need to be studied before resolving issues of race and environment that might influence emphysema risks and outcomes.

The Temple team examined 1198 patients with severe or very severe emphysema who were enrolled in the National Emphysema Treatment Trail (NETT). Severity, distribution and physiologic impact of emphysema in both groups were determined using cardiopulmonary function tests, quantitative computed tomography (CT) of the chest, and a quality of life questionnaire.

Forty-two participants were African Americans (3.4%), compared to 1156 (95%) Caucasians. However, when matched in respect to age, height, smoking and pulmonary function, researchers were still surprised to find differences in how the disease progressed in the two races, in particular that African Americans were younger and smoked less than whites.

The report notes that while "few doubt the answer lies in the complex genotype- environment interaction, the extent to which each factor plays a role in the development of emphysema remains enigmatic."

Chatila, whose interest in this area of research originated when he and his colleagues noticed that African American patients were presenting with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that was often under treated and misdiagnosed, has already begun to explore the cellular differences and inflammation in patients with emphysema to see if these can explain some of the differences observed in the study.

Eryn Jelesiewicz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.temple.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>