Risk factors of lung disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of the more common lung diseases and there are few risk factors that are associated with it:

  • Smoking
    The most important risk factor in any lung disease and COPD is cigarette smoking. Second hand smokers are the most affected even if they do not manually inhale it, due to the long-term exposure to the smoke. Other forms of tobacco besides traditional cigarettes, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipe and marijuana can also amplify the risk.
  • Occupational exposures
    Among the leading causes of lung diseases is prolonged exposure to chemicals and toxins in the workplace. This includes coal, mine dust, cotton dust, as well as fumes and gases that can damage the lungs.q
  • Air quality / pollution
    Pollutants can be very harmful for breathing, especially those which can irritate airways. For example, smog, airborne for outdoors, and indoor fireplaces, water heaters that use oil or wood as fuel sources.
  • Genetics
    A small, rare number of people have a genetically inherited condition known as Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. This disease occurs due to the body’s inability to produce enough AAT protein, which protects the lungs from damage.
  • Gender
    Lung diseases are more common among men owing to their smoking habits, although the number of women with smoking histories has since increased. On the other hand, women have a higher sensitivity to lung diseases due to their typically lower body weight and lung size, as well as weaker immune system and hormonal differences.

Learn more about how you can reduce your risks and prevent further health problems. Regency’s Heart & Lung Centre is well equipped with specialists and healthcare professionals to help diagnose and treat your condition.

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