Secondhand smoke exposure is linked to worsening of lung function for persons with cystic fibrosis

Jan 29, 2008

Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with adverse effects on lung function among persons with cystic fibrosis, with this effect being worse for persons with certain gene variations, according to a study in the January 30 issue of JAMA.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a fatal disorder that affects more than 30,000 individuals in the United States, with the major cause of illness and death being progressive obstructive lung disease. “Despite public health warnings, including a recent U.S. surgeon general’s report stating that there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure, substantial numbers of individuals with CF are exposed to secondhand smoke. Unfortunately, published studies have been inconsistent in associating poorer clinical outcomes in patients with CF with secondhand smoke exposure,” the authors write.

J. Michael Collaco, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and colleagues conducted a study examining several issues including whether secondhand smoke exposure is associated with worse lung disease and other outcomes in individuals with CF, and if the gene-environment interactions between the CF-causing gene (CFTR) or the transforming growth factor â1 (TGFâ1) gene influence the effect of secondhand smoke exposure on lung function. The researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Cystic Fibrosis Twin and Sibling Study, with missing data supplemented by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Data Registry. Of the 812 participants with data concerning secondhand smoke exposure in the home, 188 (23.2 percent) were exposed. Of the 780 participants with data showing their mother’s smoked during pregnancy, 129 (16.5 percent) were exposed.

The researchers found that secondhand smoke exposure was associated with decreased lung function for all measures of lung function studied. Also, socioeconomic status did not worsen the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and reduced lung function. They also found that certain mutations in the CFTR gene determines the magnitude of the effect of secondhand smoke exposure on lung function in patients with CF.

“… CF may be a good model for uncovering gene-environment interactions that are detrimental to lung function. This study also raises the specter that healthy children bearing certain genetic variants may be at much higher risk for worse outcomes as a result of secondhand smoke exposure. Demonstration that genetically defined subsets of patients with CF exposed to secondhand smoke in the home have a substantial lifetime reduction in lung function provides potent justification for eradication of cigarette smoke exposure for all individuals with this life-limiting disorder,” the authors conclude.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Secondhand smoke may provoke inflammatory response in lungs

Aug 26, 2010

Second-hand smoke is associated with a number of diseases and conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. It is an irritant to lung tissue and blood vessels, but the processes through which the body reacts ...

Surgeon general: 1 cigarette is 1 too many

Dec 09, 2010

(AP) -- Think the occasional cigarette won't hurt? Even a bit of social smoking - or inhaling someone else's secondhand smoke - could be enough to block your arteries and trigger a heart attack, says the newest surgeon general's ...

How dangerous are air pollutants really?

Apr 08, 2010

How severely do smog, diesel exhaust and secondhand smoke damage the lungs? What do pollen or nanoparticles trigger when they infiltrate the human body through inhaling? At this year's BIO Convention in Chicago ...

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...