Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cough and phlegm cause fourfold increase in COPD incidence

05.01.2007
Young adults (ages 20 to 44) with normal lung function who later develop chronic cough and phlegm have a fourfold higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The results of this 10-year respiratory study appear in the first issue for January 2007 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

Isa Cerveri, M.D., of the Division of Respiratory Diseases at San Matteo Hospital and University of Pavia in Italy, and 19 associates showed that the presence of chronic cough and phlegm among study participants was an independent and statistically significant predictor of COPD. Of the 5,002 individuals in the study cohort, 123 were diagnosed with COPD. All participants had normal lung function at baseline.

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, killing 122,283 Americans in 2003. It results from chronic bronchitis and emphysema, two lung diseases which frequently co-exist and cause obstruction to airflow that interferes with normal breathing. Smoking is the primary cause of COPD.

"In a large international cohort of individuals from ages 20 to 44, the 10-year cumulative incidence of COPD was 2.8 percent," said Dr. Cerveri. "It was 4.6 percent in adults aged 40 to 44. This finding points out that COPD is a major health problem even in young adults who are usually not considered to be at risk. In agreement with previous research, we found that the progression toward airflow obstruction is a continuous and gradual process, where sudden changes are extremely unlikely."

Among the study group, about 77 percent of the 123 COPD cases were smokers. In the sample as a whole, about 55 percent smoked.

The authors noted their results confirm that, from a public health perspective, the prevention of smoking and smoking cessation are the most effective strategies to deter the occurrence of COPD and reduce its burden.

"Our results show that the presence of chronic cough and phlegm is not an innocent symptom, but is an early marker of airflow obstruction," said Dr. Cerveri.

In addition to cough and phlegm in participants, researchers considered such factors as sex, age, dyspnea (breathlessness), smoking habits and level of education. All participants received lung function tests and blood workups at the beginning and end of the study.

In an editorial on the research in the same issue of the journal, Jørgen Vestbo, M.D., of Hvidovre University Hospital in Denmark and the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, wrote: "The virtue of the study by Drs. Cerveri and colleagues lies in its size and thus the ability to calculate estimates with acceptable reliability. In this respect, it adds to previous work from the same group and indicates that the statement '15 percent of smokers will develop COPD' is wrong and that lifetime risk of COPD in smokers is significantly higher, probably about 35 to 50 percent."

He continued: "The predictive value of chronic cough and phlegm is probably more surprising given the fact that this cohort was young and had normal lung function at baseline."

Dr. Vestbo concluded: "How does the study impact our understanding of the natural history of COPD? As recently reported in this journal, it has taken the respiratory community a painstakingly long time to do properly sized studies in young adults with sound methodology and state-of-the-art analysis. With COPD epidemiology growing in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey and other cohorts of young adults, we may get a better picture of early events in COPD---although our colleagues in pediatric epidemiology will probably continue to claim that we are still only looking at 'the elderly'!"

Suzy Martin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.thoracic.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>