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Woodsmoke increases risk for COPD in smokers

Wood Smoke Exposure and Gene Promoter Methylation are Associated with Increased Risk for COPD in Smokers
Sood A, Petersen H, Blanchette CM, Meek P, Picchi MA, Belinski SA, Tesfaigzi Y.
Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2010, Published ahead of print on July 1, 2010.

Rationale: Wood smoke-associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is common in women in developing countries but has not been adequately described in developed countries.
Objectives: Our objective was to determine whether wood smoke exposure was a risk factor for COPD in a population of smokers in the United States and whether aberrant gene promoter methylation in sputum may modify this association.
Methods: For this cross sectional study 1,827 subjects were drawn from the Lovelace Smokers Cohort, a predominantly female cohort of smokers. Wood smoke exposure was self-reported. Post-bronchodilator spirometry was obtained and COPD outcomes studied included percent predicted FEV1, airflow obstruction, and chronic bronchitis. Effect modification of wood smoke exposure with current cigarette smoke, ethnicity, sex, and promoter methylation of lung cancer-related genes in sputum on COPD outcomes were separately explored. Multivariable logistic and poisson regression models were used for binary and rate-based outcomes, respectively.
Measurements and Main Results: Self-reported wood smoke exposure was independently associated with lower percent predicted FEV1 (point estimate -0.03 ± 0.01 {S.E.}) and higher prevalence of airflow obstruction and chronic bronchitis (ORs 1.96 {95%C.I. 1.52, 2.52} and 1.64 {95%C.I. 1.31, 2.06} respectively). These associations were stronger among current cigarette smokers, non-Hispanic whites, and men. Furthermore, wood smoke exposure interacted in a multiplicative manner with aberrant promoter methylation of the p16 or GATA4 genes on lower percent predicted FEV1.
Conclusions: These studies identify a novel link between wood smoke exposure and gene promoter methylation that synergistically increases the risk for reduced lung function in cigarette smokers.

Link to Journal abstract.