Respiratory expert issues stark warning over lung disease threat

'We're sitting on a lung disease time bomb'

'We're sitting on a lung disease time bomb'

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

A RESPIRATORY expert from Southampton has warned that the UK is sitting on a deadly lung disease “time bomb”.

The warning from Professor Luca Richeldi comes as cases of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), which is already responsible for 5,000 deaths a year, are increasing at a rate of 5,000 new cases every 12 months.

Now the consultant in respiratory medicine at Southampton General Hospital is re-launching a study he began in Italy in a bid to find new ways to speed up diagnosis - giving patients the best chance of survival.

The condition, which is part of a group of disorders known collectively as interstitial lung disease, causes inflammation and scarring of the lung tissue, leaving sufferers with a life expectancy of three to five years.

It often goes undiagnosed until the onset of symptoms such as shortness of breath and coughing, which by that stage is treated with a drug that can only slow the progression of the disease.

More than a quarter of patients currently being treated at Southampton General Hospital's respiratory centre have some form of interstitial lung disease, with four to six new cases presenting every week.

Prof Richeldi said: “Nationally, the number of people suffering from IPF and other interstitial lung disease is increasing by thousands every year, but the cause is often unknown.

“As a result, the majority of patients are diagnosed late when their life expectancy has been cut extremely short.”

Prof Richeldi added that the rising numbers demonstrated there was an “urgent need” to develop a quick and simple way of diagnosing early IPF and has re-launched his study to discover if electronic stethoscopes - usually used to listen to the heart - can detect early signs of the disease.

He added: “We believe using electronic stethoscopes to identify distinctive sounds, which we already know are similar to ripped Velcro, could alert clinicians to people who might be developing the early stages of the disease.

“They could then be sent for chest high-resolution CT scan to confirm the diagnosis, ideally before they become symptomatic, and give us the opportunity to start an appropriate close monitoring programme and intervene before the condition has taken hold.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:15am Mon 31 Mar 14

loosehead says...

if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?
if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it? loosehead
  • Score: 6

8:09am Mon 31 Mar 14

Dai Rear says...

It would be helpful if the article had said the age of the people. If they're very old they'd have to die of something anyway.
It would be helpful if the article had said the age of the people. If they're very old they'd have to die of something anyway. Dai Rear
  • Score: -7

9:47am Mon 31 Mar 14

From the sidelines says...

How does the risk from this disease compare to the risk associated with a CT scan?
How does the risk from this disease compare to the risk associated with a CT scan? From the sidelines
  • Score: 0

9:49am Mon 31 Mar 14

eurogordi says...

As someone who has had a persistent dry cough for around 10 years, I find this report quite alarming because no one has been able to find out what is causing my own cough. I'm not saying I have IPF, but surely someone should be looking into my own situation much more than saying "there is no apparent reason for the patient's persistent cough" (paraphrased from the consultant letter). If I develop a cold it almost always turns into a chest infection and I am immediately prescribed antibiotics and steroids. After each episode I am left more breathless and weak than I was before. I cannot afford to go private but, whether I have IPF or not, the NHS should be carrying out further research. (PS: I am a non-smoker)
As someone who has had a persistent dry cough for around 10 years, I find this report quite alarming because no one has been able to find out what is causing my own cough. I'm not saying I have IPF, but surely someone should be looking into my own situation much more than saying "there is no apparent reason for the patient's persistent cough" (paraphrased from the consultant letter). If I develop a cold it almost always turns into a chest infection and I am immediately prescribed antibiotics and steroids. After each episode I am left more breathless and weak than I was before. I cannot afford to go private but, whether I have IPF or not, the NHS should be carrying out further research. (PS: I am a non-smoker) eurogordi
  • Score: 3

10:32am Mon 31 Mar 14

-stiv- says...

eurogordi wrote:
As someone who has had a persistent dry cough for around 10 years, I find this report quite alarming because no one has been able to find out what is causing my own cough. I'm not saying I have IPF, but surely someone should be looking into my own situation much more than saying "there is no apparent reason for the patient's persistent cough" (paraphrased from the consultant letter). If I develop a cold it almost always turns into a chest infection and I am immediately prescribed antibiotics and steroids. After each episode I am left more breathless and weak than I was before. I cannot afford to go private but, whether I have IPF or not, the NHS should be carrying out further research. (PS: I am a non-smoker)
Try and get your doc to refer you to Prof. Richeldi.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: As someone who has had a persistent dry cough for around 10 years, I find this report quite alarming because no one has been able to find out what is causing my own cough. I'm not saying I have IPF, but surely someone should be looking into my own situation much more than saying "there is no apparent reason for the patient's persistent cough" (paraphrased from the consultant letter). If I develop a cold it almost always turns into a chest infection and I am immediately prescribed antibiotics and steroids. After each episode I am left more breathless and weak than I was before. I cannot afford to go private but, whether I have IPF or not, the NHS should be carrying out further research. (PS: I am a non-smoker)[/p][/quote]Try and get your doc to refer you to Prof. Richeldi. -stiv-
  • Score: 3

11:33am Mon 31 Mar 14

loosehead says...

I just hope they don't wait until it becomes an epidemic to start research.
Every thing has a starting & a reason so where does this come from? how do we catch it? how do we protect ourselves from catching it or are they just going to sit back & wait to let it escalate out of control?
I know this sounds like panic but not really as if it's increasing as fast as they say it is is this just a UK problem or is it all over the world?
If a UK problem what here is helping breed this disease?
I just hope they don't wait until it becomes an epidemic to start research. Every thing has a starting & a reason so where does this come from? how do we catch it? how do we protect ourselves from catching it or are they just going to sit back & wait to let it escalate out of control? I know this sounds like panic but not really as if it's increasing as fast as they say it is is this just a UK problem or is it all over the world? If a UK problem what here is helping breed this disease? loosehead
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Dan Soton says...

loosehead wrote:
if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?
Loosehead says... surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?


Probably help to know what percent of Doctors/Decision makers that live in air conditioned homes, who travel to work in air conditioned cars to air conditioned work places have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis..

For us, If its not Job or DNA related... to prevent IPF could be as simple as wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day.



,,
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?[/p][/quote]Loosehead says... surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it? Probably help to know what percent of Doctors/Decision makers that live in air conditioned homes, who travel to work in air conditioned cars to air conditioned work places have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.. For us, If its not Job or DNA related... to prevent IPF could be as simple as wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day. ,, Dan Soton
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Mon 31 Mar 14

loosehead says...

Dan Soton wrote:
loosehead wrote:
if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?
Loosehead says... surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?


Probably help to know what percent of Doctors/Decision makers that live in air conditioned homes, who travel to work in air conditioned cars to air conditioned work places have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis..

For us, If its not Job or DNA related... to prevent IPF could be as simple as wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day.



,,
like in Asian countries?
[quote][p][bold]Dan Soton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?[/p][/quote]Loosehead says... surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it? Probably help to know what percent of Doctors/Decision makers that live in air conditioned homes, who travel to work in air conditioned cars to air conditioned work places have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.. For us, If its not Job or DNA related... to prevent IPF could be as simple as wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day. ,,[/p][/quote]like in Asian countries? loosehead
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Mon 31 Mar 14

Dan Soton says...

loosehead wrote:
Dan Soton wrote:
loosehead wrote:
if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?
Loosehead says... surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?


Probably help to know what percent of Doctors/Decision makers that live in air conditioned homes, who travel to work in air conditioned cars to air conditioned work places have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis..

For us, If its not Job or DNA related... to prevent IPF could be as simple as wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day.



,,
like in Asian countries?
,,

Loosehead says like in Asian countries?

Yes but it's ironic... putting two and two together and coming up with a solution to help prevent IPF.....

Disc brakes have replaced drum brakes because the health risks associated with asbestos..

Today fine metal (iron, copper, manganese) particulate matter originating from disc brake wear contributes up to 20% of the total traffic emissions, the particles damage tight junctions with a mechanism involving oxidative stress, disc brake wear particles also INCREASE PROINFLAMMATORY CYTOKINE RESPONSES.

http://www.biomedcen
tral.com/content/pdf
/1743-8977-6-30.pdf


A ROLE FOR PROINFLAMMATORY MEDIATORS IN PULMONARY FIBROSIS

It seems clear that inflammatory mediators play a role in both the initiation and progression of some forms of pulmonary fibrosis (Bringardner et al., 2008).

Surgical biopsies and serum samples from patients with idiopathic or systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary fibrosis display elevated levels of TNF and MICE THAT OVEREXPRESS THE CYTOKINE IN THE LUNG DEVELOP PROGRESSIVE PULMONARY FIBROSIS


http://jem.rupress.o
rg/content/208/7/133
9.full



So wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day could help to reduce the causes of IPF, probably the best solution is to have a Citywide 20 mph speed limit to reduce car disc brake pollution...



,,
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dan Soton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: if this is a known killer & is increasing that rapidly surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it?[/p][/quote]Loosehead says... surely we should be researching what causes it & how to cure/prevent it? Probably help to know what percent of Doctors/Decision makers that live in air conditioned homes, who travel to work in air conditioned cars to air conditioned work places have idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.. For us, If its not Job or DNA related... to prevent IPF could be as simple as wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day. ,,[/p][/quote]like in Asian countries?[/p][/quote],, Loosehead says like in Asian countries? Yes but it's ironic... putting two and two together and coming up with a solution to help prevent IPF..... Disc brakes have replaced drum brakes because the health risks associated with asbestos.. Today fine metal (iron, copper, manganese) particulate matter originating from disc brake wear contributes up to 20% of the total traffic emissions, the particles damage tight junctions with a mechanism involving oxidative stress, disc brake wear particles also INCREASE PROINFLAMMATORY CYTOKINE RESPONSES. http://www.biomedcen tral.com/content/pdf /1743-8977-6-30.pdf A ROLE FOR PROINFLAMMATORY MEDIATORS IN PULMONARY FIBROSIS It seems clear that inflammatory mediators play a role in both the initiation and progression of some forms of pulmonary fibrosis (Bringardner et al., 2008). Surgical biopsies and serum samples from patients with idiopathic or systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary fibrosis display elevated levels of TNF and MICE THAT OVEREXPRESS THE CYTOKINE IN THE LUNG DEVELOP PROGRESSIVE PULMONARY FIBROSIS http://jem.rupress.o rg/content/208/7/133 9.full So wearing an anti-pollution/dust mask when out walking alongside busy traffic on a hot dusty day could help to reduce the causes of IPF, probably the best solution is to have a Citywide 20 mph speed limit to reduce car disc brake pollution... ,, Dan Soton
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree