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Northwestern: Receives $24.8M Grant to Study How Vaping, the Environment and Lifestyle Impact Long-Term Lung Health

We don’t yet know the long-term impact on someone’s lungs when they vape. Or if the air quality where a person grows up puts them at higher risk for respiratory conditions later in life. These issues, and much more, will be examined in a large, first-of-its-kind longitudinal study of lung health led by Northwestern Medicine scientists in partnership with the American Lung Association.

The study, titled “The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort,” is funded by a $24.8 million grant awarded June 16 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In this first federally funded U.S. cohort to study millennials, scientists will capture baseline lung health measurements of 4,000 healthy adults between the ages of 25 to 35 to identify an ideal picture of respiratory health and understand the key risk factors and biomarkers that are associated with impaired lung health.

“We’ve never taken a life-course view of how someone transitions from ideal respiratory health to impaired health to actual lung disease,” said principal investigator Dr. Ravi Kalhan, professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine pulmonologist. “We want to come up with a framework to intercept chronic lung disease before it becomes a problem.”

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