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Smoking cessation: slowing the decline of lung function in COPD

Posted: 03 October, 2011

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A diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, can often leave a patient wondering about how quickly their lung health will decline and what they can do to slow progression.

As part of an international research study called ECLIPSE, Dr. Harvey Coxson, research scientist with the Lung Centre at VGH and the VCH Research Institute Centre for Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, found that the decline of lung function is quite variable between patients, but that quitting smoking is still the best antidote to slow progression of the disease. The study looked at nearly 2,200 patients with COPD. Results were published in the September 29, 2011 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“The interesting finding from the ECLIPSE study is that it reinforces the benefits of quitting smoking. Regardless of the level of disease in an individual patient, quitting is still the first line of defence against further deterioration of health,” says Dr. Coxson.

To view the New England Journal of Medicine article, click here. For a link to the New England Journal of Medicine blog discussion on the ECLIPSE study, click here.