FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 — Current and former smokers are at risk for a lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis, but many aren’t aware of the threat, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation says.
There is no cure for the disease, which affects more than 200,000 Americans.
A recent foundation survey found that more than 80% of smokers are unfamiliar with pulmonary fibrosis. This is a concerning statistic among a group disproportionately affected by the disease.
Both smokers and nonsmokers have little awareness of the disease, and nearly 9 out of 10 Americans don’t know its symptoms: shortness of breath, a dry, chronic cough and fatigue.
“Smokers are often aware that tobacco usage can lead to diseases such as lung cancer, COPD and emphysema, among others. However, as smokers experience chronic symptoms similar to those of PF, such as a dry, persistent cough, it is important they discuss PF with their doctors,” Dr. Amy Hajari Case said in a foundation news release. She’s senior medical adviser of education and awareness.
It’s never too late to stop smoking, the foundation emphasized. Quitting smoking can increase overall health and quality of life at any age by reducing loss of core lung function over time and increasing lung capacity, which is crucial to maintaining a healthy blood oxygen level. Giving up the tobacco habit may also reduce inflammation of the airway, which can take months or even years.
Smoking isn’t the only cause of pulmonary fibrosis. Other major risk factors include:
- Work exposure to inorganic dusts, including asbestos, silica, coal dust, beryllium and hard metal dusts.
- Environmental exposures such as breathing in mold spores, bacteria, animal proteins (especially from indoor or caged birds) or other triggers for an extended period. Doctors will listen for “squeaks” in the lung.
- Older age. Pulmonary fibrosis is more likely to occur in those 60 and older.
- Family history of interstitial lung disease.
© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Posted: January 2021
More News Resources
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of Drugs.com in your inbox.
- COVID case rates hit new high for England, study finds - April 7, 2022
- Govt’s focus on affordable healthcare ensured significant savings for poor, middle class: PM Modi - April 7, 2022
- SRL Diagnostics and Skye Air Mobility collaborate to transport pathology samples using drone logistics - April 6, 2022
- Healthineers sets up new production line of CT scanners in Bengaluru under PLI scheme - April 6, 2022
- Lupin inks licensing pact with Alvion to market drugs in Southeast Asia - April 6, 2022
- Yoga Mahotsav: Ayush Ministry to organise event to demonstrate common yoga on World Health Day - April 6, 2022
- LordsMed forays into the medtech space with launch of health ATMs ‘Lords Sehat’ - April 5, 2022
- ‘Friendly viruses’ can be the next big thing in the history of medical research and more - April 5, 2022
- No setback to Bharat Biotech even as WHO suspends Covaxin UN supply: Sources - April 4, 2022
- Govt panel recommends Serum’s Covovax dose for kids aged 12 and above - April 4, 2022