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Airflow limitation in asymptomatic tobacco users and tobacco non-smokers

Jiya Michael, Sunayana Mathew, Josephine Vincent.


Background: The most frequent global contributor to avoidable fatalities is tobacco smoking. Cigarettes are a common way to consume tobacco. More hazardous chemicals are exposed, which causes more damage to the conduits and parenchyma of the lungs. Compared to non-smokers, cigarette smokers had a greater prevalence of FEV1 decline and a higher chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality rate. These disparities between smokers and non-smokers are inversely correlated with smoking frequency. Pulmonary function tests can detect an obstructive pattern early.

Aims and Objective: The present study was done to assess the effect of tobacco smoking on pulmonary function and to evaluate the difference between smokers and non-smokers.

Materials and Methods: The present study is a cross-sectional study conducted in the Department of Physiology, Sree Mookambika Institute of Medical Sciences for 1 year. The study participants were divided into two groups, Group I included 110 participants who were asymptomatic smokers, who smoke more than 5 cigarettes per day for more than 1 year and Group II included 110 participants who were non-smokers and not exposed to passive smoking. Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), FEV1 to FVC ratio (FEV1/FVC), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were done after explaining the procedure to the participants. Data thus obtained were entered into Excel sheet. Results were analyzed using the SPSS 20.0 version and the association was tested using the unpaired “t” test and one-way analysis of variance test.

Results: The spirometric variables (FVC, FEV1, and PEFR) were lower in smokers as compared to nonsmokers. This difference was statistically significant. The rate of reduction was also proportional to the number of years, the person had been smoking.

Conclusion: Smoking tobacco in any kind has a serious negative impact on lung functions. Early detection and support for these asymptomatic smokers are crucial because early cessation is linked to improved survival. Being the initial point of contact, primary care doctors can play a significant contribution.

Key words: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Lung; Pulmonary Function Test, Tobacco Smoking

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