First-Ever Millennial Lung Health Study Begins Recruiting in North Carolina

At a time when lung health is more important than ever, today, the American Lung Association in North Carolina announced they are now accepting participants in North Carolina for a groundbreaking study of millennial lung health. Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) are two of 35 sites across the country conducting this study.

The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort Research Study is the first-ever large-scale lung health study and will track 4,000 young adults (aged 25-35) at the age of peak lung health. Scientists across the country will follow these millennials for approximately five years after their initial interviews to evaluate how their environment, lifestyle and physical activity habits affect respiratory health. Millennials interested in participating can sign up at

“Historically, lung health has been studied only after the appearance of chronic lung disease. There is a critical need to better understand how a young, healthy adult’s lung function declines over time,” said Loretta Que, MD, principal investigator for the Lung Health Cohort at Duke University.  “In addition, here in North Carolina, our residents face lung health threats like higher-than-average adult smoking rates, high rates of teen vaping and impacts of climate change like extreme weather. By studying the lung health of millennials in North Carolina, we can determine how these factors impact respiratory function, and develop ways to prevent lung disease or catch it earlier.”

Here are some details about the American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort study: 
•    It will follow 4,000 young adults at the age of peak lung health, from 25 to 35 years old, in North Carolina, as well as 34 other sites across the US, painting a clear picture of lung health across geography and demography.

•    Each participant will be tracked for approximately five years on measures of lung function, respiratory symptoms, and information including where they have lived, where and what they did for work, as well as health behaviors, fitness, biomarkers and chest imaging.

•    This study will use low-dose CT scans to track any signs of early or intermediate lung injury or abnormalities, which clinicians can use to build a library of lung images in various stages of health and disease.

•    The Lung Association's Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) Network will conduct the research working closely with researchers at Duke University and UNC at Chapel Hill.  ACRC is the largest national non-profit clinical network dedicated to asthma and COPD research.

The longitudinal study is made possible through a $24.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. As the study continues, the goal is to renew the grant so the scientists can continue to follow study participants for the rest of their lives. 

Those interested in participating in the study can sign up at

For more information, contact:

James A. Martinez
(312) 445-2501
[email protected]

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