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1.  Lower FEV1 in non-COPD, nonasthmatic subjects: association with smoking, annual decline in FEV1, total IgE levels, and TSLP genotypes 
Few studies have investigated the significance of decreased FEV1 in non-COPD, nonasthmatic healthy subjects. We hypothesized that a lower FEV1 in these subjects is a potential marker of an increased susceptibility to obstructive lung disease such as asthma and COPD. This was a cross-sectional analysis of 1505 Japanese adults. We divided the population of healthy adults with no respiratory diseases whose FEV1/FVC ratio was ≥70% (n = 1369) into 2 groups according to their prebronchodilator FEV1 (% predicted) measurements: <80% (n = 217) and ≥80% (n = 1152). We compared clinical data – including gender, age, smoking habits, total IgE levels, and annual decline of FEV1 – between these 2 groups. In addition, as our group recently found that TSLP variants are associated with asthma and reduced lung function, we assessed whether TSLP single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with baseline lung function in non-COPD, nonasthmatic healthy subjects (n = 1368). Although about half of the subjects with lower FEV1 had never smoked, smoking was the main risk factor for the decreased FEV1 in non-COPD, nonasthmatic subjects. However, the subjects with lower FEV1 had a significantly higher annual decline in FEV1 independent of smoking status. Airflow obstruction was associated with increased levels of total serum IgE (P = 0.029) and with 2 functional TSLP SNPs (corrected P = 0.027–0.058 for FEV1% predicted, corrected P = 0.015–0.033 for FEV1/FVC). This study highlights the importance of early recognition of a decreased FEV1 in healthy subjects without evident pulmonary diseases because it predicts a rapid decline in FEV1 irrespective of smoking status. Our series of studies identified TSLP variants as a potential susceptibility locus to asthma and to lower lung function in non-COPD, nonasthmatic healthy subjects, which may support the contention that genetic determinants of lung function influence susceptibility to asthma.
PMCID: PMC3064418  PMID: 21468164
airflow obstruction; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pulmonary function test; thymic stromal lymphopoietin
2.  Genetic Polymorphism of Matrix Metalloproteinase Family and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Susceptibility: a Meta-analysis 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2818.
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family is considered to be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pathogenesis, however, no consistent results have been provided by previous studies. In this report, we performed Meta analysis to investigate the association between four kinds of MMP single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP, MMP1 -1607 1G/2G, MMP3 -1171 5A/6A, MMP9 -1562 C/T, MMP12 -82 A/G) and COPD risk from 21 studies including 4184 cases and 5716 controls. Both overall and subgroup association between SNP and COPD susceptibility were tested. There was no evident association between MMP polymorphisms and COPD susceptibility in general population. On the other hand, subgroup analysis suggested that MMP9 -1562 C/T polymorphism was related to COPD, as we found that C allele carriers were at lower risk in some subgroups stratified by lung function, age and genotype identification method, compared with TT homozygotes. Our results indicated the genotype TT might be one genetic risk factor of severe COPD.
PMCID: PMC3788362  PMID: 24085258
3.  Effect of gene environment interactions on lung function and cardiovascular disease in COPD 
The objective of this study was to determine if gene-environment interactions between cigarette smoking and interleukin-6 (IL6), interferon-γ (IFNG), interleukin-1β (IL1B), or interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN) single nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with lung function decline and cardiovascular disease in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IL6, IFNG, IL1B, and IL1RN were genotyped in the Lung Health Study and correlated with rate of decline of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) over 5 years, baseline FEV1, serum protein levels, cardiovascular disease, and interactions with smoking.
The IL6 rs2069825 single nucleotide polymorphism was associated with the rate of decline of prebronchodilator FEV1 (P = 0.049), and was found to have a significant interaction (P = 0.004) with mean number of cigarettes smoked per day. There was also a significant interaction of IFNG rs2069727 with smoking on prebronchodilator (P = 0.008) and postbronchodilator (P =0.01) FEV1. The IL6 polymorphism was also associated with cardiovascular disease in heterozygous individuals (P = 0.044), and was found to have a significant interaction with smoking (P = 0.024). None of the genetic variants were associated with their respective serum protein levels.
The results suggest interactions of IL6 rs2069825 and IFNG rs2069727 single nucleotide polymorphisms with cigarette smoking on measures of lung function. The IL6 rs2069825 single nucleotide polymorphism also interacted with smoking to affect the risk of cardiovascular disease in COPD patients.
PMCID: PMC3144847  PMID: 21814463
gene-environment interactions; interleukin-6; forced expiratory volume in one second; cardiovascular disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
4.  CHRNA3/5, IREB2, and ADCY2 Are Associated with Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Poland 
We examined the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and/or lung function with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes in a novel cohort of patients with severe to very severe COPD. We examined 315 cases of COPD and 330 Caucasian control smokers from Poland. We included three SNPs previously associated with COPD: rs7671167 (FAM13A), rs13180 (IREB2), and rs8034191 (CHRNA 3/5), and four SNPs associated with lung function in a genome-wide association study of general population samples: rs2070600 (AGER), rs11134242 (ADCY2), rs4316710 (THSD4), and rs17096090 (INTS12). We tested for associations with severe COPD and COPD-related phenotypes, including lung function, smoking behavior, and body mass index. Subjects with COPD were older (average age 62 versus 58 years, P < 0.01), with more pack-years of smoking (45 versus 33 pack-years, P < 0.01). CHRNA3/5 (odds ratio [OR], 1.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5–2.4; P = 7.4 × 10−7), IREB2 (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.5–0.9; P = 3.4 × 10−3), and ADCY2 (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.1–1.7; P = 0.01) demonstrated significant associations with COPD. FAM13A (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7–1.0; P = 0.11) approached statistical significance. FAM13A and ADCY2 also demonstrated a significant association with lung function. Thus, in severe to very severe COPD, we demonstrate a replication of association between two SNPs previously associated with COPD (CHRNA3/5 and IREB2), as well as an association with COPD of one locus initially associated with lung function (ADCY2).
PMCID: PMC3423462  PMID: 22461431
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetic association analysis; lung function; smoking; nicotine addiction
5.  Asthma and COPD in cystic fibrosis intron-8 5T carriers. A population-based study 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):113.
Carriers of cystic fibrosis intron-8 5T alleles with high exon-9 skipping could have increased annual lung function decline and increased risk for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
We genotyped 9131 individuals from the adult Danish population for cystic fibrosis 5T, 7T, 9T, and F508del alleles, and examined associations between 11 different genotype combinations, and annual FEV1 decline and risk of asthma or COPD.
5T heterozygotes vs. 7T homozygous controls had no increase in annual FEV1 decline, self-reported asthma, spirometry-defined COPD, or incidence of hospitalization from asthma or COPD. In 5T/7T heterozygotes vs. 7T homozygous controls we had 90% power to detect an increase in FEV1 decline of 8 ml, an odds ratio for self-reported asthma and spirometry-defined COPD of 1.9 and 1.7, and a hazard ratio for asthma and COPD hospitalization of 1.8 and 1.6, respectively. Both 5T homozygotes identified in the study showed evidence of asthma, while none of four 5T/F508del compound heterozygotes had severe pulmonary disease. 7T/9T individuals had annual decline in FEV1 of 19 ml compared with 21 ml in 7T homozygous controls (t-test:P = 0.03). 6.7% of 7T homozygotes without an F508del allele in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene reported asthma vs. 11% of 7T/9T individuals with an F508del allele (χ2:P = 0.01) and 40% of 7T homozygotes with an F508del allele (P = 0.04). 7T homozygotes with vs. without an F508del allele also had higher incidence of asthma hospitalization (log-rank:P = 0.003); unadjusted and adjusted equivalent hazard ratios for asthma hospitalization were 11 (95%CI:1.5–78) and 6.3 (0.84–47) in 7T homozygotes with vs. without an F508del allele.
Polythymidine 5T heterozygosity is not associated with pulmonary dysfunction or disease in the adult Caucasian population. Furthermore, our results support that F508del heterozygosity is associated with increased asthma risk independently of the 5T allele.
PMCID: PMC1277850  PMID: 16212675
6.  Lung function and blood markers of nutritional status in non-COPD aging men with smoking history: A cross-sectional study 
Cigarette smoking and advanced age are well known as risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and nutritional abnormalities are important in patients with COPD. However, little is known about the nutritional status in non-COPD aging men with smoking history. We therefore investigated whether reduced lung function is associated with lower blood markers of nutritional status in those men.
Subjects and methods:
This association was examined in a cross-sectional study of 65 Japanese male current or former smokers aged 50 to 80 years: 48 without COPD (non-COPD group), divided into tertiles according to forced expiratory volume in one second as percent of forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC), and 17 with COPD (COPD group).
After adjustment for potential confounders, lower FEV1/FVC was significantly associated with lower red blood cell count (RBCc), hemoglobin, and total protein (TP); not with total energy intake. The difference in adjusted RBCc and TP among the non-COPD group tertiles was greater than that between the bottom tertile in the non-COPD group and the COPD group.
In non-COPD aging men with smoking history, trends toward reduced nutritional status and anemia may independently emerge in blood components along with decreased lung function even before COPD onset.
PMCID: PMC2921691  PMID: 20714377
anemia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; lung function; nutritional assessment; nutritional status; smoking
7.  Lung matrix metalloproteinase-9 correlates with cigarette smoking and obstruction of airflow. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2003;18(6):821-827.
Cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor for obstruction of airflow in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) or an imbalance between MMPs and their inhibitors, the tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMPs), is considered to play a role in the pathogenesis of COPD. We investigated whether the MMPs expression or the imbalance between MMPs and TIMP-1 is associated with the amount of cigarette smoking and the FEV1 value, in the lung parenchyma of 26 subjects (6 non-smokers and 20 cigarette smokers). First, we performed zymographic analysis to identify the profile of the MMPs, which revealed gelatinolytic bands mainly equivalent to MMP-9 in the smokers. We then measured, using enzyme immunoassay, the concentrations of MMP-9 and its inhibitor, TIMP-1. Correlation analysis revealed that both the MMP-9 concentrations and the molar ratios of MMP-9 to TIMP-1 (MMP-9/TIMP-1) were correlated with the amount of cigarette smoking. Furthermore, MMP-9 concentrations were inversely correlated with FEV1. In conclusion, this study shows that MMP-9 expression in human lung parenchyma is associated with cigarette smoking and also with the obstruction of airflow, suggesting that MMP-9 may play a role in the pathogenesis of the cigarette smoke-induced obstruction of airflow known as the characteristic of COPD.
PMCID: PMC3055149  PMID: 14676438
8.  Effect of Five Genetic Variants Associated with Lung Function on the Risk of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, and Their Joint Effects on Lung Function 
Rationale: Genomic loci are associated with FEV1 or the ratio of FEV1 to FVC in population samples, but their association with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not yet been proven, nor have their combined effects on lung function and COPD been studied.
Objectives: To test association with COPD of variants at five loci (TNS1, GSTCD, HTR4, AGER, and THSD4) and to evaluate joint effects on lung function and COPD of these single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and variants at the previously reported locus near HHIP.
Methods: By sampling from 12 population-based studies (n = 31,422), we obtained genotype data on 3,284 COPD case subjects and 17,538 control subjects for sentinel SNPs in TNS1, GSTCD, HTR4, AGER, and THSD4. In 24,648 individuals (including 2,890 COPD case subjects and 13,862 control subjects), we additionally obtained genotypes for rs12504628 near HHIP. Each allele associated with lung function decline at these six SNPs contributed to a risk score. We studied the association of the risk score to lung function and COPD.
Measurements and Main Results: Association with COPD was significant for three loci (TNS1, GSTCD, and HTR4) and the previously reported HHIP locus, and suggestive and directionally consistent for AGER and TSHD4. Compared with the baseline group (7 risk alleles), carrying 10–12 risk alleles was associated with a reduction in FEV1 (β = –72.21 ml, P = 3.90 × 10−4) and FEV1/FVC (β = –1.53%, P = 6.35 × 10−6), and with COPD (odds ratio = 1.63, P = 1.46 × 10−5).
Conclusions: Variants in TNS1, GSTCD, and HTR4 are associated with COPD. Our highest risk score category was associated with a 1.6-fold higher COPD risk than the population average score.
PMCID: PMC3398416  PMID: 21965014
FEV1; FVC; genome-wide association study; modeling risk
Human genetics  2011;131(7):1105-1114.
Two primary chitinases have been identified in humans – acid mammalian chitinase (AMCase) and chitotriosidase (CHIT1). Mammalian chitinases have been observed to affect the host’s immune response. The aim of this study was to test for association between genetic variation in the chitinases and phenotypes related to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Polymorphisms in the chitinase genes were selected based on previous associations with respiratory diseases. Polymorphisms that were associated with lung function level or rate of decline in the Lung Health Study (LHS) cohort were analyzed for association with COPD affection status in four other COPD case-control populations. Chitinase activity and protein levels were also related to genotypes. In the Caucasian LHS population, the baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was significantly different between the AA and GG genotypic groups of the AMCase rs3818822 polymorphism. Subjects with the GG genotype had higher AMCase protein and chitinase activity compared with AA homozygotes. For CHIT1 rs2494303, a significant association was observed between rate of decline in FEV1 and the different genotypes. In the African American LHS population, CHIT1 rs2494303 and AMCase G339T genotypes were associated with rate of decline in FEV1. Although a significant effect of chitinase gene alleles was found on lung function level and decline in the LHS, we were unable to replicate the associations with COPD affection status in the other COPD study groups.
PMCID: PMC3771523  PMID: 22200767
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; chitinase; polymorphism; lung function
10.  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treated with inhaled medium- or high-dose corticosteroids: a prospective and randomized study focusing on clinical efficacy and the risk of pneumonia 
Complications of pneumonia development in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) receiving inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) therapy have been documented. The aim of this study was to focus on clinical efficacy and the incidence of pneumonia between COPD patients receiving medium and high doses of ICS.
Patients and methods
This prospective, randomized study included COPD patients identified from three tertiary medical centers from 2010 to 2012. The patients were randomized into two groups: high dose (HD; fluticasone 1,000 μg + salmeterol 100 μg/day) and medium dose (MD; fluticasone 500 μg + salmeterol 100 μg/day). Lung function with forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced vital capacity, and COPD-assessment test (CAT) were checked every 2 months. The frequency of acute exacerbations and number of pneumonia events were measured. The duration of the study period was 1 year.
In total, 237 COPD patients were randomized into the two treatment arms (115 in the HD group, 122 in the MD group). The FEV1 level was significantly improved in the patients in the HD group compared with those in the MD group (HD 103.9±26.6 mL versus MD 51.4±19.7 mL, P<0.01) at the end of the study. CAT scores were markedly improved in patients using an HD compared to those using an MD (HD 13±5 versus MD 16±7, P=0.05). There was a significant difference in the percentage of annual rates in acute exacerbations (HD 0.16 versus MD 0.34, P<0.01) between the two groups. The incidence of pneumonia was similar in the two groups (HD 0.08 versus MD 0.10, P=0.38).
COPD patients treated with high doses of ICS had more treatment benefits and no significant increases in the incidence in pneumonia. Higher-dose ICS treatment may be suitable for COPD therapy.
PMCID: PMC4044992
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pneumonia; inhaled corticosteroids
11.  Genetic variation in TIMP1 but not MMPs predict excess FEV1 decline in two general population-based cohorts 
Respiratory Research  2011;12(1):57.
An imbalance in Matrix MetalloProteases (MMPs) and Tissue Inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) contributes to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) development. Longitudinal studies investigating Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in MMPs and TIMPs with respect to COPD development and lung function decline in the general population are lacking.
We genotyped SNPs in MMP1 (G-1607GG), MMP2 (-1306 C/T), MMP9 (3 tagging SNPs), MMP12 (A-82G and Asn357Ser) and TIMP1 (Phe124Phe and Ile158Ile) in 1390 Caucasians with multiple FEV1 measurements from a prospective cohort study in the general population. FEV1 decline was analyzed using linear mixed effect models adjusted for confounders. Analyses of the X-chromosomal TIMP1 gene were stratified according to sex. All significant associations were repeated in an independent general population cohort (n = 1152).
MMP2 -1306 TT genotype carriers had excess FEV1 decline (-4.0 ml/yr, p = 0.03) compared to wild type carriers. TIMP1 Ile158Ile predicted significant excess FEV1 decline in both males and females. TIMP1 Phe124Phe predicted significant excess FEV1 decline in males only, which was replicated (p = 0.10) in the second cohort. The MMP2 and TIMP1 Ile158Ile associations were not replicated. Although power was limited, we did not find associations with COPD development.
We for the first time show that TIMP1 Phe124Phe contributes to excess FEV1 decline in two independent prospective cohorts, albeit not quite reaching conventional statistical significance in the replication cohort. SNPs in MMPs evidently do not contribute to FEV1 decline in the general population.
PMCID: PMC3111362  PMID: 21524282
12.  Lung function and mortality in the United States: data from the First National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey follow up study 
Thorax  2003;58(5):388-393.
Background: A study was undertaken to define the risk of death among a national cohort of US adults both with and without lung disease.
Methods: Participants in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I) followed for up to 22 years were studied. Subjects were classified using a modification of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease criteria for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) into the following mutually exclusive categories using the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), FEV1/FVC ratio, and the presence of respiratory symptoms: severe COPD, moderate COPD, mild COPD, respiratory symptoms only, restrictive lung disease, and no lung disease. Proportional hazard models were developed that controlled for age, race, sex, education, smoking status, pack years of smoking, years since quitting smoking, and body mass index.
Results: A total of 1301 deaths occurred in the 5542 adults in the cohort. In the adjusted proportional hazards model the presence of severe or moderate COPD was associated with a higher risk of death (hazard ratios (HR) 2.7 and 1.6, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 2.1 to 3.5 and 1.4 to 2.0), as was restrictive lung disease (HR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4 to 2.0).
Conclusions: The presence of both obstructive and restrictive lung disease is a significant predictor of earlier death in long term follow up.
PMCID: PMC1746680  PMID: 12728157
13.  A new staging strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
The best method for expressing lung function impairment is undecided. We tested in a population of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) whether forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or FEV1 divided by height squared (FEV1/ht2) was better than FEV1 percent predicted (FEV1PP) for predicting survival.
FEV1, FEV1PP, and FEV1/ht2 recorded post bronchodilator were compared as predictors of survival in 1095 COPD patients followed for 15 years. A staging system for severity of COPD was defined from FEV1/ht2 and compared with the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) staging system.
FEV1/ht2 was a better univariate predictor of survival in COPD than FEV1 and both were better than FEV1PP. The best multivariate model for predicting survival included FEV1/ht2, age and sex. Comparing the GOLD stages with the FEV1/ht2 groups found that survival was more coherent within each FEV1/ht group than it was within each GOLD stage. FEV1/ht2 had 60% more people in its most severe group than the severest GOLD stage with these extra subjects having equivalently poor survival and had 155% more in the least severe group with equivalent survival. GOLD staging misclassified 51% of subjects with regard to survival.
We conclude that GOLD criteria using FEV1PP do not optimally stage COPD with regard to survival. An alternative strategy using FEV1/ht2 improves the staging of this disease. Studies which stratify COPD patients to determine the effect of interventions such as drug trials, rehabilitation, or management guidelines should consider alternatives to the GOLD classification.
PMCID: PMC2699963  PMID: 18268941
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; spirometry; respiratory function tests
14.  Systemic Inflammation in Young Adults Is Associated with Abnormal Lung Function in Middle Age 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11431.
Systemic inflammation is associated with reduced lung function in both healthy individuals and those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Whether systemic inflammation in healthy young adults is associated with future impairment in lung health is uncertain.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We evaluated the association between plasma fibrinogen and C-reactive protein (CRP) in young adults and lung function in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults cohort study. Higher year 7 fibrinogen was associated with greater loss of forced vital capacity (FVC) between years 5 and 20 (439 mL in quartile 4 vs. 398 mL in quartile 1, P<0.001) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) (487 mL in quartile 4 vs. 446 mL in quartile 1, P<0.001) independent of cigarette smoking, body habitus, baseline lung function and demographic factors. Higher year 7 CRP was also associated with both greater loss of FVC (455 mL in quartile 4 vs. 390 mL in quartile 1, P<0.001) and FEV1 (491 mL in quartile 4 vs. 442 mL in quartile 1, P = 0.001). Higher year 7 fibrinogen and CRP were associated with abnormal FVC at year 20 (odds ratio (OR) per standard deviation 1.51 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.30–1.75) for fibrinogen and 1.35 (95% CI: 1.14–1.59) for CRP). Higher year 5 fibrinogen was additionally associated with abnormal FEV1. A positive interaction was observed between pack-years cigarette smoking and year 7 CRP for the COPD endpoint, and among participants with greater than 10 pack-years of cigarette exposure, year 7 CRP was associated with greater odds of COPD at year 20 (OR per standard deviation 1.53 (95% CI: 1.08–2.16).
Systemic inflammation in young adults is associated with abnormal lung function in middle age. In particular, elevated CRP may identify vulnerability to COPD among individuals who smoke.
Trial Registration NCT00005130
PMCID: PMC2896391  PMID: 20625390
15.  Genetic predisposition to accelerated decline of lung function in COPD 
Environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility can contribute to lung function decline in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The environmental factors are better known than the genetic factors. One of the commonest reasons of accelerated forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) decline in COPD is the continuation of the smoking habit. In addition, COPD patients have frequent acute respiratory infections which can also accelerate the decline of FEV1. All of the gene variants that have been reported in association with accelerated decline of lung function in COPD represent advancement because the findings generate plausible hypotheses about the possible mechanisms by which gene products could accelerate or avert FEV1 decline. Unfortunately, the results have not been consistently replicated and, animal models required to functionally assess the genetic findings, have not yet yielded sufficient data. Genome-wide association studies should provide more definitive results in COPD and other multigenic conditions. Until these studies are reported, the data to date suggest that products encoded by the alpha-1 antitrypsin, some matrix metalloproteinases, and a number of antioxidant genes are associated with accelerated FEV1 decline in COPD. Data on gene variants associated with acute exacerbations of COPD are now emerging.
PMCID: PMC2695610  PMID: 18044683
lung function; COPD; Smoking; genes
16.  Prevalence of airflow limitation in outpatients with cardiovascular diseases in Japan 
Background and objectives
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) commonly coexist and share common risk factors. The prevalence of COPD in outpatients with a smoking history and CVD in Japan is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of Japanese patients with a smoking history being treated for CVD who have concurrent airflow limitation compatible with COPD. A secondary objective was to test whether the usage of lung function tests performed in the clinic influenced the diagnosis rate of COPD in the patients identified with airflow limitation.
In a multicenter observational prospective study conducted at 17 centers across Japan, the prevalence of airflow limitation compatible with COPD (defined as forced expiratory volume (FEV)1/FEV6 <0.73, by handheld spirometry) was investigated in cardiac outpatients ≥40 years old with a smoking history who routinely visited the clinic for their CVD. Each patient completed the COPD Assessment Test prior to spirometry testing.
Data were available for 995 patients with a mean age of 66.6±10.0 years, of whom 95.5% were male. The prevalence of airflow limitation compatible with COPD was 27.0% (n=269), and 87.7% of those patients (n=236) did not have a prior diagnosis of COPD. The prevalence of previously diagnosed airflow limitation was higher in sites with higher usage of lung function testing (14.0%, 15.2% respectively) compared against sites where it is performed seldom (11.1%), but was still low.
The prevalence of airflow limitation in this study indicates that a quarter of outpatients with CVD have COPD, almost all of whom are undiagnosed. This suggests that it is important to look routinely for COPD in CVD outpatients.
PMCID: PMC4044996  PMID: 24920894
COPD; CVD; handheld spirometer; lung function; diagnosis
17.  Diagnostic value of post-bronchodilator pulmonary function testing to distinguish between stable, moderate to severe COPD and asthma 
The GOLD guidelines suggest that the presence of a post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) < 80% of the predicted value in combination with a FEV1/forced vital capacity (FVC) < 70% confirms the diagnosis of COPD. Limited data exist regarding the accuracy of these criteria to distinguish between COPD and asthma. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate the diagnostic value of post-bronchodilator lung function parameters in obstructive lung disease.
The pulmonary function tests of 43 (22 = COPD, 21 = asthma) patients with similar baseline characteristics were evaluated (baseline FEV1 were 55.7% ± 7.6%, and 59.3% ± 8.4% predicted for COPD and asthma, respectively). Bronchodilator responsiveness (BDR) was calculated according to three recognized pulmonary function test criteria.
The first criteria, post-bronchodilator FEV1 < 80% of the predicted value in combination with a post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio of <70%, had an accuracy of 70% to diagnose COPD. This combination was very sensitive (100%) in diagnosing COPD, but it was not specific (38%). The second BDR criteria, defined as an increase of <12% and 200 mL of initial FEV1 and criterion number 3, an increase of < 9% of predicted FEV1, were less sensitive (55% and 59%, respectively), but more specific (81% and 76% respectively) to diagnose COPD. Our findings suggest that the current recommended spirometric indices are not optimal in differentiating between COPD and asthma.
PMCID: PMC2650596  PMID: 19281083
obstructive lung disease; diagnosis; post-bronchodilator pulmonary function test
18.  Dietary fiber, lung function, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study 
American journal of epidemiology  2007;167(5):570-578.
Recent data suggest beneficial effects of fiber intake on chronic respiratory symptoms in adults that are independent of antioxidant vitamin intake, but little is known about fiber consumption in relation to lung function and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The authors investigated the association of fiber intake with lung function and COPD in 11,897 men and women from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. After controlling for potential confounders, positive associations between lung function and fiber intake from all sources as well as from cereal or fruit alone were found. Participants in the highest quintile of total fiber intake had 60.2 ml higher forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) (p for trend<0.001), 55.2 ml higher forced vital capacity (FVC) (p=0.001), 0.4% higher FEV1/FVC ratio (p=0.040), 1.8% higher percent predicted FEV1 (p<0.001), and 1.4% higher percent predicted FVC (p=0.001), compared with those in the lowest quintile. The adjusted odds ratios of COPD for the highest versus lowest quintiles of intake were 0.85 (p=0.044) for total fiber, 0.83 (p=0.021) for cereal fiber, and 0.72 (p=0.005) for fruit fiber. This study provides the first evidence that dietary fiber is independently associated with better lung function and reduced prevalence of COPD.
PMCID: PMC2377022  PMID: 18063592
COPD; FEV1; FVC; fiber; pulmonary function
19.  Anxiety and depression in COPD patients and correlation with sputum and BAL cytology 
Background and aims
Anxiety and depression are common in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The degree of lung function may not explain anxiety and depression. The aim of our study was to assess the psychological aspects of COPD, to test the BODE index (a composite score of body mass, obstruction, dyspnea and exercise capacity), and to evaluate the association between atypical cytologic findings of sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and the pyschological components of the disease.
COPD was classsified according to the GOLD stages based on forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) in 60 stable patients. The BODE index was calculated for grading COPD. The Hospital anxiety and depression (HAD) scale was used to appraise the anxiety and depression symptoms. Cytologic examination of sputum and BAL samples were performed in each patient. The cytologic findings were classified as normal, mild, moderate or severe atypia.
The overall prevalance of anxiety and depression symptoms was 41.7% and 46.7% respectively. The prevalance of these symptoms increased with increasing BODE stages and correlated well with the severity of atypical BAL cytology results (p < 0.001). Dyspnea and reduced exercise capacity were the predominant mechanisms leading to anxiety and depression symptoms associated with COPD.
We conclude that the BODE index is superior to GOLD stratification for explaining anxiety and depression symptoms in COPD. BAL cytologic findings, which reflect the distal parenchymal lung structure, correlated significantly with the presence of the anxiety and depression symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3463079  PMID: 22958450
Anxiety; bronchoalveolar lavage; BODE index; COPD; depression; GOLD
20.  Lung function decline and outcomes in an elderly population 
Thorax  2006;61(6):472-477.
To determine the risk factors for and outcomes associated with the rapid decline in lung function in a cohort of elderly US adults.
Data from 4923 adult participants aged 65 years and older at baseline in the Cardiovascular Health Study were analysed. Subjects were classified using a modification of the GOLD criteria for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a “restricted” category (FEV1/FVC ⩾70% and FVC <80% predicted) was added. Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine the risk of lung function decline over 4 years on subsequent mortality and COPD hospital admissions after adjusting for age, race, sex, smoking status, and other factors.
Of the participants in the initial cohort, 3388 (68.8%) had spirometric tests at the year 4 visit. Participants with GOLD stages 3 or 4 COPD at baseline were less likely than normal subjects to have follow up spirometric tests (52.7% v 77.9%, p<0.01) and were more likely to be in the most rapidly declining quartile of FEV1 (28.2% v 21.3%, p<0.01) with an annual loss of FEV1 of at least 3.5%. Overall, being in the most rapidly declining quartile of FEV1 from baseline to year 4 was associated with an increased risk of admission to hospital for COPD (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3 to 2.0) and all‐cause death (adjusted HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.7) over an additional 7 years of follow up.
More rapid decline in lung function is independently associated with a modest increased risk of hospital admissions and deaths from COPD in an elderly cohort of US participants.
PMCID: PMC2111202  PMID: 16517577
lung function; mortality; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; restrictive lung disease
21.  Whole Exome Re-Sequencing Implicates CCDC38 and Cilia Structure and Function in Resistance to Smoking Related Airflow Obstruction 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(5):e1004314.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality and, whilst smoking remains the single most important risk factor, COPD risk is heritable. Of 26 independent genomic regions showing association with lung function in genome-wide association studies, eleven have been reported to show association with airflow obstruction. Although the main risk factor for COPD is smoking, some individuals are observed to have a high forced expired volume in 1 second (FEV1) despite many years of heavy smoking. We hypothesised that these “resistant smokers” may harbour variants which protect against lung function decline caused by smoking and provide insight into the genetic determinants of lung health. We undertook whole exome re-sequencing of 100 heavy smokers who had healthy lung function given their age, sex, height and smoking history and applied three complementary approaches to explore the genetic architecture of smoking resistance. Firstly, we identified novel functional variants in the “resistant smokers” and looked for enrichment of these novel variants within biological pathways. Secondly, we undertook association testing of all exonic variants individually with two independent control sets. Thirdly, we undertook gene-based association testing of all exonic variants. Our strongest signal of association with smoking resistance for a non-synonymous SNP was for rs10859974 (P = 2.34×10−4) in CCDC38, a gene which has previously been reported to show association with FEV1/FVC, and we demonstrate moderate expression of CCDC38 in bronchial epithelial cells. We identified an enrichment of novel putatively functional variants in genes related to cilia structure and function in resistant smokers. Ciliary function abnormalities are known to be associated with both smoking and reduced mucociliary clearance in patients with COPD. We suggest that genetic influences on the development or function of cilia in the bronchial epithelium may affect growth of cilia or the extent of damage caused by tobacco smoke.
Author Summary
Very large genome-wide association studies in general population cohorts have successfully identified at least 26 genes or gene regions associated with lung function and a number of these also show association with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, these findings explain a small proportion of the heritability of lung function. Although the main risk factor for COPD is smoking, some individuals have normal or good lung function despite many years of heavy smoking. We hypothesised that studying these individuals might tell us more about the genetics of lung health. Re-sequencing of exomes, where all of the variation in the protein-coding portion of the genome can be measured, is a recent approach for the study of low frequency and rare variants. We undertook re-sequencing of the exomes of “resistant smokers” and used publicly available exome data for comparisons. Our findings implicate CCDC38, a gene which has previously shown association with lung function in the general population, and genes involved in cilia structure and lung function as having a role in resistance to smoking.
PMCID: PMC4006731  PMID: 24786987
22.  Female smokers beyond the perimenopausal period are at increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Respiratory Research  2006;7(1):52.
Recent reports indicate that over the next decade rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in women will exceed those in men in the western world, though in most jurisdictions, women continue to smoke less compared with men. Whether female adult smokers are biologically more susceptible to COPD is unknown. This study reviewed the available evidence to determine whether female adult smokers have a faster decline in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) compared with male adult smokers and whether age modifies the relationship between cigarette smoke and lung function decline.
A systematic review and a meta-analysis was performed of population-based cohort studies that had a follow-up period of at least 3 years, measured FEV1 on at least two different time points, and presented FEV1 data stratified by gender and smoking status in adults.
Of the 646 potentially relevant articles, 11 studies met these criteria and were included in the analyses (N = 55 709 participants). There was heterogeneity in gender-related results across the studies. However, on average current smokers had a faster annual decline rate in FEV1% predicted compared with never and former smokers. Female current smokers had with increasing age a significantly faster annual decline in FEV1% predicted than male current smokers (linear regression analysis, R2 = 0.56; p = 0.008). Age did not materially affect the rate of decline in FEV1% predicted in male and female former and never smokers (p = 0.775 and p = 0.326, respectively).
As female smokers age, they appear to experience an accelerated decline in FEV1% predicted compared with male smokers. Future research powered specifically on gender-related changes in lung function is needed to confirm these early findings.
PMCID: PMC1435894  PMID: 16571126
23.  MMP-9, TIMP-1 and inflammatory cells in sputum from COPD patients during exacerbation 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):151.
Irreversible airflow obstruction in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is thought to result from airway remodelling associated with aberrant inflammation. Patients who experience frequent episodes of acute deterioration in symptoms and lung function, termed exacerbations, experience a faster decline in their lung function, and thus over time greater disease severity However the mechanisms by which these episodes may contribute to decreased lung function are poorly understood.
This study has prospectively examined changes in sputum levels of inflammatory cells, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 during exacerbations comparing with paired samples taken prior to exacerbation.
Nineteen COPD patients ((median, [IQR]) age 69 [63 to 74], forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 1.0 [0.9 to1.2], FEV1% predicted 37.6 [27.3 to 46.2]) provided sputa at exacerbation. Of these, 12 were paired with a samples collected when the patient was stable, a median 4 months [2 to 8 months] beforehand.
MMP-9 levels increased from 10.5 μg/g [1.2 to 21.1] prior to exacerbation to 17.1 μg/g [9.3 to 48.7] during exacerbation (P < 0.01). TIMP-1 levels decreased from 3.5 μg/g [0.6 to 7.8] to 1.5 μg/g [0.3 to 4.9] (P = 0.16). MMP-9/TIMP-1 Molar ratio significantly increased from 0.6 [0.2 to 1.1] to 3.6 [2.0 to 25.3] (P < 0.05). Neutrophil, eosinophil and lymphocyte counts all showed significant increase during exacerbation compared to before (P < 0.05). Macrophage numbers remained level. MMP-9 levels during exacerbation showed highly significant correlation with both neutrophil and lymphocyte counts (Rho = 0.7, P < 0.01).
During exacerbation, increased inflammatory burden coincides with an imbalance of the proteinase MMP-9 and its cognate inhibitor TIMP-1. This may suggest a pathway connecting frequent exacerbations with lung function decline.
PMCID: PMC1351193  PMID: 16372907
Archives of osteoporosis  2013;8(0):115.
There is limited information available regarding the association between lung function and bone mineral density among healthy elderly subjects. We addressed this issue in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study.
985 subjects (496 men and 489 women) aged 60-72 years were recruited from the above cohort. All subjects underwent bone density measurements using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and lung function tests using standardised spirometry. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was defined as a Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1)/ Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) ratio < lower limit of normal (LLN), calculated using separate equations for men and women.
Measures of lung function (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC) were not associated with bone mineral density at the lumbar spine, femoral neck and total hip in men or women; associations with bone mineral content and bone area were removed by adjustment for body size and lifestyle confounders. In this cohort, there were no associations observed between COPD and any measure of bone mass.
There was no association between lung function and bone mass in this community dwelling cohort after adjustment for body size and other confounders.
PMCID: PMC3622903  PMID: 23322029
Bone disease; chronic bronchitis; epidemiology; osteoporosis; spirometry
25.  Incidence and determinants of moderate COPD (GOLD II) in male smokers aged 40–65 years: 5-year follow up 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major health problem with an estimated prevalence of 10–15% among smokers. The incidence of moderate COPD, as defined by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), is largely unknown.
To determine the cumulative incidence of moderate COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity ratio [FEV1/FVC] <0.7 and FEV1 <80% predicted) and its association with patient characteristics in a cohort of male smokers.
Prospective cohort study.
The city of IJsselstein, a small town in the Netherlands.
Smokers aged 40–65 years who were registered with local GPs, participated in a study to identify undetected COPD. Baseline measurements were taken in 1998 of 399 smokers with normal spirometry (n = 292) or mild COPD (FEV1/FVC <0.7 and FEV1 ≥80% predicted, n = 107) and follow-up measurements were conducted in 2003.
After a mean follow-up of 5.2 years, 33 participants developed moderate COPD (GOLD II). This showed an estimated cumulative incidence of 8.3% (95% CI = 5.8 to 11.4) and a mean annual incidence of 1.6%. No participant developed severe airflow obstruction. The risk of developing moderate COPD in smokers with baseline mild COPD (GOLD I) was five times higher than in those with baseline normal spirometry (one in five versus one in 25).
In a cohort of middle-aged male smokers, the estimated cumulative incidence of moderate COPD (GOLD II) over 5 years was relatively high (8.3%). Age, childhood smoking, cough, and one or more GP contacts for lower respiratory tract problems were independently associated with incident moderate COPD.
PMCID: PMC1876630  PMID: 16953996
incidence; middle-age; moderate COPD; patient characteristics; smokers

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