Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Potential Autoimmune Link to COPD

It appears that yet another disease state may join our autoimmune disease family.

According to this article in Medical News Today, a study recently published online in American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, concluded that one of the causative factors in the disease COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) could possibly be autoimmunity.

"We showed that between one third and one quarter of patients with clinically stable COPD present abnormal levels of circulating auto-antibodies in the blood," said Jaume Sauleda M.D., coordinator of respiratory medicine department, Hospital Universitari Son Dureta, Palma Mallorca, Spain. "Our findings provide further support for the hypothesis that the pathogenesis of COPD involves an auto-immune component." 
Study participants were screened for several autoimmune markers. Interestingly, one autoimmunity marker, AT (anti-tissue antibodies) was found among smokers:
Patients with AT tended to be younger and active smokers, and the level of these auto-antibodies was related to impairment of lung function. There were no other associations between auto-antibodies and other patient characteristics.
It appears that smoking still figures heavily into the development of this disease.

Sorry - no pictures accompany this post - can't get an image uploaded today.

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