ALBUQUERQUE, July 20 (UPI) — Tobacco smokers exposed to wood smoke increased their chance of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute say their findings suggest smokers try to avoid heating or cooking with wood stoves and avoid environments where wood smoke is likely. The researchers also find changes in eight genes in sputum DNA.
The study — published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine — finds smoking, wood smoke exposure and the changes in sputum DNA increase one’s risk of COPD fourfold. The researchers finds wood smoke exposure significantly and independently linked with an increased risk of respiratory diseases.
“When cigarette smokers are exposed to wood smoke their risk of having reduced lung function increases,” lead author Yohannes Tesfaigzi says in statement. “Cigarette smokers who have both changes in sputum DNA and are exposed to wood smoke have a synergistically increased risk of having reduced lung function and other indicators of COPD such as chronic mucous hypersecretion.”
Tesfaigzi and colleagues collected demographic and smoke exposure information as well as sputum samples — to be analyzed for DNA changes — for more than 1,800 current and former smokers between ages 40-75.
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