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Study States Smokers With Wrinkled Faces More Easily Prone To COPD

A new study suggests that middle-aged smokers with heavily wrinkled faces have a five times higher risk of lung disease than their un-wrinkled peers//. The study explains that having wrinkles was associated with a group of conditions known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

A team of researchers from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital on 149 people conducted the study, and it suggests a person's genes may make them more susceptible to wrinkles and COPD. Publishing their writings in the issue of ‘Thorax’ they explain that the facial lining could give a clue to the risk of acquiring COPD. COPD is a general term for a variety of progressive chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis, which block the airways and restrict oxygen flow around the body. It is reported that more than a million people in the UK are thought to have COPD, and with many yet to be diagnosed.

According to estimates by the World Health Organization COPD will become the third leading cause of death in the world by 2020. It was explained that Smoking is already known to cause premature ageing of the skin. The habit is also known to cause COPD in some of the smokers; leading scientists have always speculated that there must be a reason why some smokers are more at risk.

The researchers studied 149 current and former smokers, aged 45 to 70, from 78 different families. They found that a total of 68 people had COPD, and of the 25 people who had severe wrinkling 21 were found to have the lung condition. The researchers took the age and the number of years a person had been smocking into account, and found that smokers with wrinkled faces were five times more likely to have COPD. They also found that facial wrinkling was also associated with three times the risk of more severe emphysema.

Dr Bipen Patel, of the department of respiratory medicine at the Royal Devon and Exeter, who led the research, said, they think that there is a
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