Reducing Lung Damage from Smoking
According to a study at Johns Hopkins, the prescription drug losartan
reduced almost all types of lung damage caused from cigarette smoke.
The study showed improvement in all measured parameters of lung damage
in test animals that received losartan, one of the popular blood pressure
medications. The Journal of Clinical Investigation considers the
study to be a breakthrough, because it is the first to show that a drug can
reduce the most severe ramifications of cigarette smoke. The discovery
has set a human trial in motion that will test losartan in smoking-related
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The National Heart, Lung
and Blood Institute reported that COPD is the third leading cause of
death in the U.S.
Losartan is already approved for use in high blood pressure, therefore
adding the drug to COPD treatment plans could be initiated quickly.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins are excited about the discovery, but do
acknowledge that cigarette smoke exposure in humans could be more
complicated and harder to manage than what has been demonstrated in
laboratory test animals.