Smoking raises lung disease risk

Washington: Here`s another reason why you should kick the butt- smoking significantly raises lung disease risk, says a new study.

Researchers at Brigham and Women`s Hospital have found one out of every 12 adult smokers have abnormal lung densities present on chest, the latest issue of the `New England Journal of Medicine` reported.

"This manuscript highlights the degree of lung volume reduction associated to previously unrecognised interstitial lung abnormalities in smokers," said Hiroto Hatabu, who led the study.

In the study, the researchers characterised presence of interstitial lung abnormalities in 2416 participants. They found that interstitial lung abnormalities are associated with reduced total lung capacity and less emphysema in smokers.

The researchers also found that smokers with interstitial lung abnormalities are at an increased risk for a restrictive reduced lung oxygen volume lung deficit.

"The fact that smoking can result in distinct, and to some degree, physiologically divergent pulmonary conditions highlights the need for a better understanding of the phenotypic, environmental, and genetic backgrounds that can predispose smokers to diverse pulmonary diseases," said George Washko, another member of the research team.

However, the researchers said that further research is needed to definitely characterise the link between interstitial lung abnormalities present on chest CT scan and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the most common and severe form of interstitial lung disease.