The average adult in the United Kingdom has one or more lungs and the number of people with a pulmonary trunk function score between 18 and 20 has increased steadily over the past several decades, with more than one in three people having some form of trunk function impairment.
However, despite the increasing prevalence of this condition, few people know what it is and what it means for them, which has prompted some research to explore the underlying mechanisms of this problem.
In the new study, published in PLOS ONE, researchers used data from the UK National Health Service (NHS) to examine whether people with lung function impairment have any risk factors for this condition.
These included: having a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and not having adequate sleep quality, and not being in a physically fit lifestyle.
The researchers also assessed the likelihood that someone with this condition would develop pulmonary trunk dysfunction over time.
Overall, they found that about 1.6% of people in the UK had a pulmonary function impairment that was clinically significant and 3.9% of those had a significant impairment that required treatment.
“While most people with COPD have some degree of difficulty with sleep, this has not been the case for people with this form of pulmonary dysfunction, meaning that many people with pulmonary dysfunction are not able to sleep at all and may develop pulmonary dysfunction if they do not receive adequate sleep,” the authors wrote.
“This is a major concern because these conditions are associated with the development of many other conditions, including dementia, heart disease, stroke and even cancer.
In addition, people with significant pulmonary dysfunction have a higher risk of mortality, including the potential for early death.”
The researchers noted that while the risk for developing pulmonary trunk weakness is higher for people in these groups, this was not always the case.
The study is the first to show that pulmonary trunk impairment is associated with increased mortality in the general population.
This finding, along with previous studies of people who have severe pulmonary dysfunction and are not treated for pulmonary trunk disorder, suggest that individuals with this problem are more likely to die prematurely, and are more vulnerable to complications.
This is important because COPD and OSA have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events in the long term.
“Although we have yet to find a cure for this form, the future looks bright for the treatment of this serious condition,” the researchers wrote.
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