Do narrow airways increase the risk of COPD?
Smoking and increasing age are factors that can promote COPD. However, according to experts, an anatomical cause can also be considered
Cough and shortness of breath: Non-smokers also sometimes get chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
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Smoking is considered to be the main cause of the lung disease COPD. Nevertheless, many non-smokers also get it. In comparison, a possible explanation could be significantly narrower airways in those affected. This is reported by the German Lung Foundation with reference to current study results.
In the investigations, the bronchial ramifications were measured and related to the total lung volume - the smaller this ratio, the narrower the airways. According to the experts, the airflow can be impeded by narrowing the airways. All the more likely it is that COPD will develop. Especially when there is a pollutant effect - from smoking, for example.
Higher risk in women
In women, the bronchial system is usually narrower than in men - the technical term is dysanapsis. This is why, according to the Lung Foundation, women are more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with comparable tobacco consumption, which is often associated with severe coughing and shortness of breath.
Even younger people who have poor lung function in childhood compared to their peers sometimes have dysanapsis. You shouldn't smoke, advises the Lung Foundation. In addition, they can improve their lung function in general with special lung sports or physical activity.