Tag : COPD

    Study that links mucus plugs to COPD mortality could save lives

    Study that links mucus plugs
    Inam Ansari
    May22/ 2023

    Washington: According to a retrospective examination of COPDGene patient data, targeting mucus plugs might help avoid deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the fourth highest cause of mortality in the United States. Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience airway-clogging mucus plugs, an accumulation of mucus in the lungs that can affect quality of life and lung functioning. A new study led by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, has found that mucus plugs were also associated with greater mortality. The findings, published in JAMA and presented simultaneously at the American Thoracic Society 2023 International Conference, could help doctors reduce the death toll of COPD, which is one of the most common and deadly respiratory diseases. "As a chronic disease, COPD can't be cured, but our findings suggest that using therapies to break up these mucus plugs could help improve outcomes for COPD patients, which is the next best thing," said corresponding author Alejandro A. Diaz, MD MPH, an associate scientist in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Brigham. "Mucus is something that we already know a lot about from a basic science standpoint, and there are also a lot of mucus-targeting therapies that either already exist or are in development for other diseases, so it's an extremely promising target." COPD affects 15.9 million people in the United States and is the fourth leading cause of death. It most often occurs as a result of cigarette smoking or long-term exposure to air pollutants. The progression of COPD can be slowed by eliminating the exposure to these pollutants, but there is no way to cu ...

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