Cristine Berry, MD
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2014-2016)
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Does Early-Life Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Increase COPD Risk?
While smoking is a major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, not all smokers develop COPD. The reason for this remains poorly understood. Evidence suggests that early-life environmental tobacco smoke exposure influences harmful responses to adult smoking, thereby increasing COPD risk. To evaluate this, we will measure markers of the lung response to smoking in participants who are followed up to age 32, comparing smokers with or without early life ETS exposure. We will also compare the results of breathing tests to measure lung changes suggestive of early COPD. We hope that this work will identify innovative targets for COPD prevention and treatment.