Health officials say they have identified a new way to help people who suffer from chronic lung disease avoid getting exposed to airborne pollution.
Health officials say air pollution is not the only cause of chronic lung diseases.
They have been working to understand why some people develop chronic lung conditions and others don’t.
The health department says it is the first time it has identified a drug to help those with chronic lung disorders, as well as others with chronic respiratory illness, to reduce the risk of getting a serious case of COPD.
A report released Friday by the state Department of Public Health shows it has found a way to slow the growth of certain cancers in people who have chronic lung health problems.
People with COPD, which is also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have a higher risk of developing cancer than people who don’t have the condition.
That has long been known, but new data from the department indicates the risk is greater for people who also have other chronic conditions.
“We have identified compounds that may prevent certain cancers,” said Dr. John Farrar, the health department’s chief of respiratory medicine.
The compounds work by increasing the amount of white blood cells called neutrophils in the lungs, which help fight cancer.
Farrar said this research has shown the compounds could also help people with chronic asthma, chronic obstructivity and COPD who are at higher risk for developing those conditions.FARRAR said the compounds have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but could be on the market in the next year.
The department says its research is ongoing.
The report also found that the chemicals could help people develop an allergy to the chemicals, and could be used to prevent them from breathing in air that has been contaminated with pollution.
People can find more information about the compounds on the department’s website.