From: Reuters
Published January 29, 2008 07:24 PM

Genes affect risk from smoke in CF patients

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Any exposure to secondhand smoke reduces lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis, according to investigators at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The adverse effects related to this noxious exposure are magnified by certain gene variants, the team reports in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in a gene called CFTR, Dr. Garry R. Cutting and colleagues explain, but the severity of the disease is modified by variants in gene called

TGFB1.

To examine factors that may affect cystic fibrosis outcomes, Cutting's group collected data from the cystic fibrosis twin and sibling study. Included were 812 subjects, of whom 188 were exposed to secondhand smoke in the home.

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Standard tests showed that patients exposed to secondhand smoke had worse lung function than their non-exposed peers. The presence of certain TGFB1 variants was associated with further reductions in lung function.

These findings "provide potent justification for eradication of cigarette smoke exposure for all individuals with this life-limiting disorder," Cutting and associates conclude.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, January 30, 2008.

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