Understanding what leads to lung disease

Scientists don't know all of the reasons why some people are more susceptible to lung disease than others - something that the EU-funded ALEC project is seeking to find out. The results could be an important step towards better prevention and treatments for patients.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 12 November 2015  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Health & life sciencesAllergy & asthma
International cooperation
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Australia  |  France  |  Germany  |  Iceland  |  Italy  |  Norway  |  Spain  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
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Understanding what leads to lung disease

Photo of small baby with resporatory therapy

© oneblink1 - Fotolia.com

Chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) is a condition that develops over time. Patients’ lungs may be inflamed or damaged and the airways may be constricted. In severe cases, patients may die. Up to 300 000 Europeans lose their lives each year from the disease, according to the European Lung Foundation.

Smoking is the main cause of COPD, but other lifestyle, behavioural, occupational, nutritional and environmental factors, from very early on in life through to adulthood, are now believed to play a role. Genetics may also be a factor.

ALEC aims to find out the impact of these additional factors by analysing existing studies tracking respiratory health in over 25 000 European children and adults from the early 1990s to the present day.

The research could advance scientific understanding of the combined effects of factors causing poor lung function, respiratory disability and the development of COPD. The researchers’ goal is to provide scientific evidence that could lead to the new strategies to prevent COPD and guide the design of targeted treatments for those with the disease.

Once ALEC has identified the risk factors for CODP, the team plans to develop a predictive risk score. By the end of the project in May 2019, the researchers plan to have ready an online interactive tool which can be used by anyone to determine their level of risk of getting CODP.

Project details

  • Project acronym: ALEC
  • Participants: UK (Coordinator) Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Iceland, France, Germany, Australia
  • Project reference: 633212
  • Total cost: € 7 271 433
  • EU contribution: € 5 534 094
  • Duration: May 2015 - May 2019

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