Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Inheritance, Smoking Spawn Mysterious and Deadly Lung Disease

DURHAM, N.C. – An incurable, deadly lung disorder, "idiopathic interstitial pneumonia" (IIP), whose causes were mysterious, arises from a combination of a genetic predisposition and damage due to inhaled chemicals, notably from cigarette smoking, Duke University Medical Center researchers have found.

They said their findings could lead to a treatment, but more immediately represent a warning to people with the genetic predisposition, not to smoke.

IIP is a form of pulmonary fibrosis, a group of diseases characterized by scarring of the lungs. The condition, for which no treatment exists, typically kills its victims within five years. While the prevalence of the disease is unknown according the National Institutes of Health, estimates indicate the numbers are rising with as many as 15,000 new cases of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis -- a form of the disease having unknown causes -- diagnosed yearly in the U.S.

Read the complete report: Pulmonary Fibrosis

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