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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