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Genetic factors in smoking also increase risk of chronic bronchitis
Date:2/28/2008

Smoking is a known risk factor for respiratory diseases like chronic bronchitis, but genes also play a significant role in its development, according to researchers in Sweden, who studied more than 40,000 Swedish twins to determine the extent to which behavior, environment and genes each play a role ion the development of chronic bronchitis.

[S]moking behavior has a known genetic component and smoking is a primary risk factor for chronic bronchitis, wrote Jenny Hallberg, of the Department of Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Hereditability accounted for 40 percent of the risk for chronic bronchitis, but, interestingly, 14 percent of the genetic risk was also linked to a genetic predisposition to smoke, whether or not the individual actually smoked. Chronic bronchitis along with emphysema account for most cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

The research was published in the first issue for March of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

The researchers analyzed data from the Screening Across Lifespan Twin (SALT) study in Sweden, which surveyed all known living twins in Sweden born in 1958 or earlier. The survey included questions on zygositywhether the twins shared 100 or 50 percent of their genetic materialsmoking history and a checklist of common diseases. The interview asked specific screening questions designed to determine whether the interviewee had chronic bronchitis.

The investigators used the survey data and statistical modeling to tease apart the genetic and environmental influences that comprise an individuals risk of developing chronic bronchitis: genetic factors, shared environmental factors (i.e., experienced by both twins) and non-shared environmental factors.

[This] study on the population-based Swedish Twin Registry, showing a genetic effect for the development of chronic bro
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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