Science & Environment
First UK Biobank Genetic Study reveals new links between Lung disease and Smoking behaviour
Smokers who survive their habit into old age may hold the key to better lung health for all, according to a Medical Research Council-funded (MRC) study involving researchers at The University of Nottingham and the University of Leicester.
Using genetic data from participants in the UK Biobank*, the research team has identified genetic differences which affect the likelihood of whether or not a person will smoke, and the predisposition of both heavy smokers and non-smokers to suffer from poor lung health.
The new discoveries may one day help scientists develop better treatments for diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a life-threatening condition which affects almost one million people in the UK. The findings could also help improve interventions aimed at helping smokers to give up.
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