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What is CODP? Part Eight

Posted by on November 16, 2011

Here the cookers may use biomass fuels which include animal manure, but yet not properly ventilate the fumes effectively. This has been shown to effect women in these countries in particular.

Not all of the risk factors and causes for CODP are external however. Genetics for instance also plays a role, and genetic ‘susceptibility’ is thought to exist for CODP. Studies suggest that those with relatives who suffer from CODP are more likely to develop the condition than others. However some of these studies need to be taken cautiously as it may be that other confounding factors effect the results – for instance a relative of someone who smokes might be more likely to smoke due to their upbringing and due to a potential for addictive personality (and at the same time they will be likely to have taken in second hand smoke in child hood).

However enough evidence exists that scientists believe there is at least some familial link – though the mechanism through which genes might effect the lungs’ susceptibility to tobacco smoke is unknown. That said alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic condition which has been known to cause roughly 2% of CODP cases. Here the body does not produce enough alpha 1-antitrypsin – protects the lungs from damage caused by ‘protese enzymes’. These protese enzymes are released in the body in reaction to the inflammatory response to tobacco.

Another interesting area of study is the link between autoimmune disease and CODP which can be triggered through lifelong smoking. Many CODP sufferers stop smoking as a result; but they still have active inflammation in the lungs which can get worse for years following the cessation. This is thought to be a result of autoantibodies in the body and autoreactive T cells.

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