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Chronic Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Emphysema Associated with Lung Cancer Risk

In August, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine released its findings that three common respiratory diseases--bronchitis, pneumonia and emphysema--are all linked to increased risk for developing lung cancer.

Based on findings of seven studies that included more than 25,000 people, researchers and investigators found that “people who had all three - chronic bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia - had a higher risk of lung cancer than those with chronic bronchitis only.” The research also revealed that “there was no increased risk of lung cancer among those who had chronic bronchitis along with asthma or tuberculosis.”

Study author Ann Olsson, of the International Agency for Research in Cancer in Lyon, France, said the reason respiratory illnesses may affect lung cancer risk in different ways could have to do with underlying disease mechanisms. She also insisted that while the study did not show any cause and effect relationships, “having a better understanding of the links between respiratory ailments and lung cancer may help inform doctors on how best to monitor and help patients.”

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