Lung disease raises heart risk: Study

T-Mag Monday 25/March/2024 14:21 PM
Lung disease raises heart risk: Study

London: A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Birmingham has found that having a lung disease may increase the likelihood of developing heart conditions, irrespective of other risk factors like smoking or age.

The study, which involved over 220 patients with Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), a rare genetic condition causing lung disease akin to Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.

AATD causes the body to make low levels of a protein that protects the lungs. The affected individuals may develop symptoms including chronic cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing.

Despite lower conventional risk factors, AATD patients showed higher vascular stiffness, with 45% exhibiting conflicting risk scores.

Surprisingly, 12.7% developed cardiovascular disease within four years. Conversely, COPD and control group participants had similar risk scores.

Blood tests revealed a link between elevated levels of the enzyme Proteinase 3, associated with lung damage, and increased vascular stiffness, suggesting a direct pathway to heart disease.

Researchers propose Proteinase 3 inhibitors as a potential therapy to prevent cardiovascular issues, emphasizing its dual impact on lung and heart diseases.