Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: secondhand | smoke | copd

Can Passive Smoking Cause COPD?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012 09:53 AM

Question: My mother has been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) but she has never smoked. However, my dad is a heavy smoker. Is it unusual for a person to get COPD from a family member’s secondhand smoke?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:

Secondhand smoke exposure may predispose you to COPD. This is an unfortunate and too common effect seen in patients with a family member who smokes. Be sure your mother has been screened for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, often seen in emphysema (a form of COPD) in nonsmokers.

Remember that exposure to silicates, fine particulates like fiberglass, inhaled irritants, coal dust, and polluted air all raise the risk for developing COPD. Also, untreated asthma may cause airway scarring and damage that later in life may be labeled as COPD. Be sure she has had a full evaluation — including a pulmonary function test with and without a bronchodilator — to be sure she has no airway obstruction pattern due to chronic infection, TB, a tumor, or other conditions such as sarcoidosis or amyloidosis.

© HealthDay

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Secondhand smoke exposure may predispose you to chronic lung conditions, including COPD.
Tuesday, 30 October 2012 09:53 AM
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