One in four smokers will develop COPD

A study in Thorax has identified that 25 per cent of smokers will develop progressive COPD, a figure which is higher than previously thought.

Smoking and COPD

The researchers followed 8,000 men and women, aged between 30 and 60, as part of the 25-year Copenhagen City Heart Study. A total of 5,000 individuals were smokers and 1,500 were ex-smokers.

The lung function of the study participants was monitored throughout the study.

Lung function remained good in all non-smokers, but this was only true for six out of 10 men and 7 out of 10 women. One in four people developed severe or moderate COPD during the study period. This was highest in individuals who were persistent smokers, and this group were six times more likely to develop COPD than non-smokers. 

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