Cigarette smoke does not affect everyone the same way

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Canada - The team of Dr Cosio of McGill University Health Center of Montreal has discovered why cigarette smoke does not induce the onset of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in all smokers.

COPD is a disease affecting the lungs, often caused by cigarette smoke. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified COPD as the fourth cause of death worldwide. Yet all smokers do not develop the disease and the reason was still unknown.

It was due to an autoimmune mechanism dependent on a genetic predisposition. Heredity is a major factor since a patient whose relatives suffer from COPD has a significant risk of also developing the disease.

COPD does not evolve in the same way among smokers, contrary to what scientists thought. Dr Cosio explains: "All patients do not stage first, second and third. Depending on their personal balance between immune response and immune control, some people stop at one and others at two and some will progress to stage three, ie autoimmunity and the destruction of the lungs. "

Dr Cosio hopes that this discovery will change the way doctors deal with this disease and could help develop new treatments.

If smoking is a major contributor to development of COPD, fuel for cooking and heating in home are also factors of pollution, particularly in developing countries.

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