Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.
COPDGene Study Reveals Important Information About Small Airway Disease
More than 10,000 cigarette users, with and without COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) participated in a study called the COPDGene study, whose purpose was to explore genetic associations with the disease. Each participant submitted to a CT (or CAT) scan of the chest, and the collective data was analyzed by a team of researchers from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and other COPDGene investigators , to determine relationships between genetics and COPD physiology.
The study revealed information regarding Small Airway Disease (SAD), a condition thought to affect respiratory function, and therefore an important aspect of both COPD and asthma.
How and Why to Exercise Before & After A Lung Transplant
If you’re facing a lung transplant, your ability to exercise is limited by your reduced lung function. However, it’s extremely important to exercise before and after your transplant, because you’ll keep your body fit and maximize the lung function that you have. Exercise also will make you stronger and better able to recover from surgery, and will enhance your ability to use your new lung or lungs after you recover.
The Physiological Benefits Of Exercising
When you exercise, your breathing increases in rate and depth, in an effort to bring more air into your lungs. The more air you bring in, the more oxygen can be transported to your muscles and heart, helping them to work harder and better. The more you work your muscles and heart, the stronger they become and the better they are able to use the oxygen that’s delivered to them.
Teens Who Vape: What Do They Think About The Dangers of Smoking?
Some people argue that teen vaping is not harmful, that it doesn’t lead to smoking tobacco, and in fact that it’s a great substitute for smoking and therefore a good way to prevent teens from developing the habit. But here are the telling statistics on the relationship between vaping and smoking that tell a different truth: if a teen vapes, he or she is much more likely to move on to smoking tobacco products than if he or she doesn’t vape. And that is not good!
A National Study Links Teen Vaping and Subsequent Smoking
In a national study funded by the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens were surveyed about their use of vaping and tobacco. The results showed that high school seniors who vaped but had never smoked cigarettes, were more than four times as likely to smoke tobacco within the next year as those who did not vape or smoke.
Good News: COPD Death Rate Declining As Smoking Rates Go Down
Over the last decade and a half, the overall death rate from COPD in the U.S. declined by 12%. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this finding based on data collected from 2000 to 2014. The report’s co-author, Hanyu Ni, stated that the death rate decline is consistent with the nationwide drop in smoking rates for men and women during the same period.
Though the study did not cite the reasons for the decline in death rates and only reported the downward trend, Dr. David Mannino, a professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health, noted that the results are not surprising given the decline in smoking rates. Smoking is the number one cause of COPD.
IMPACT Study Finds Endobronchial Valves Can Benefit Patients With Homogeneous Emphysema
A new study has revealed that endobronchial valves – tiny, one-way valves placed in the lungs to block airflow to diseased regions in order to achieve lung volume reduction – can benefit patients with homogeneous emphysema (emphysema distributed evenly across the lung). In the IMPACT study, Pulmonx Corporation’s proprietary Zephyr Endobronchial Valves (EBV) were placed in the lungs of 93 patients with severe homogeneous emphysema, in order to study the safety and effectiveness of Zephyr EBV treatment as compared to a control group of patients receiving medical management.
Patients treated with EBV showed greater improvements in lung function, exercise tolerance, and quality of life than the control group. Based on the results of this study, it appears that EBV therapy can benefit more patients than had been previously thought, including some who otherwise have very few therapeutic options available to them. Previously, the treatment typically was provided only to patients with heterogeneous emphysema (usually emphysema mostly in the upper lobes).