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 Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

nachricht Pan-European study on “Smart Engineering”
30.03.2017 | IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover gGmbH

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>