5 years ago

GDF11: a fountain of youth for the ageing COPD lung?

Smoking is the single most important causal risk factor for COPD. The public health campaigns and policies have worked to reduce smoking rates by over 50% since those of the 1970s and are now at an all-time low in the UK,1 Canada and throughout most of the western world. Yet, curiously and paradoxically, the burden of COPD (as measured by its prevalence, hospitalisation and mortality rate) is at an all-time high in these countries, and over the next 20 years, the burden of COPD is expected to more than double.2 Why? 

The answer is a simple math issue related to ageing. Most industrialised countries of the world are getting older and, unquestionably, COPD is an age-related disorder. Whereas COPD is almost unheard of in individuals less than 40 years of age (even among heavy smokers), 1 in 10 lifetime never-smokers and 1 in 3 develop COPD...

Publisher URL: http://thorax.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/72/10/874

DOI: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2017-210359

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