European scientists have found that asthmatic smokers could “reverse” some of the damage done to their lungs just by putting down cigarette.
According to researchers at the University of Groningen, Netherlands, smoking asthmatics can reverse some of the damage to their lungs that exacerbates asthmatic symptoms just by quitting smoking, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reported.
“We found that exposure to cigarette smoke appears to increase the thickness of the epithelium, or lining, of the airways in the lung,” lead author Martine Broekema, said.
Ms. Broekema said, “This may be the underlying cause of the fact that smoking asthma patients experience more asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath and phlegm production, compared to non-smoking asthma patients“.
In addition to the changes in the epithelial thickness, Ms. Broekema found distinct differences between the current smokers and the ex- and non-smokers.
“Furthermore, our data suggest that smoking cessation can reverse the thickening of the lining of the airways,” she added.
The team examined patients with asthma who were assessed each for the severity of their asthma and allergy, given questionnaires to determine the extent of their smoke-induced symptoms, and then underwent bronchial biopsies.
Of the total of 147 patients, 66 never smoked, 46 were ex-smokers and 35 were current smokers.