Έρευνα: Ακόμη και πέντε τσιγάρα την ημέρα προκαλούν βλάβη στους πνεύμονες

tsigara
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Αρκούν λιγότερα από πέντε τσιγάρα τη μέρα για να προκαλέσει κάποιος βλάβη στους πνεύμονες του, ενώ για τους πρώην καπνιστές οι επιπτώσεις μπορεί να είναι ορατές ακόμη και μετά από τρεις δεκαετίες, σύμφωνα με μια νέα αμερικανική επιστημονική έρευνα. Αυτό το συμπέρασμα έρχεται να αμφισβητήσει την έως τώρα καθιερωμένη άποψη ότι μετά από λίγα χρόνια διακοπής του καπνίσματος, η λειτουργία των πνευμόνων επιστρέφει στη φυσιολογική λειτουργία της.

Οι ερευνητές, με επικεφαλής τη δρα Ελίζαμπεθ Όελσνερ, επίκουρη καθηγήτρια ιατρικής του Ιατρικού Κολλεγίου του Πανεπιστημίου Κολούμπια της Νέας Υόρκης, που έκαναν τη σχετική δημοσίευση στο περιοδικό πνευμονολογίας “The Lancet Respiratory Medicine”, μελέτησαν στοιχεία για περισσότερους από 25.000 ανθρώπους, καπνιστές και μη.

Η μελέτη συσχέτισε το κάπνισμα με τη βασική λειτουργία των πνευμόνων, την ποσότητα αέρα που ένας άνθρωπος εισπνέει και εκπνέει. Η λειτουργία αυτή μειώνεται φυσιολογικά με το πέρασμα του χρόνου και το κάπνισμα είναι γνωστό ότι επιταχύνει αυτή την εξέλιξη.

Διαπιστώθηκε ότι η λειτουργία των πνευμόνων επιδεινώνεται στους «ελαφρούς» καπνιστές (έως πέντε τσιγάρα τη μέρα) με ρυθμό πιο όμοιο (7,65 mL ετησίως) με εκείνο των βαριών καπνιστών (11,24 mL) παρά των μη καπνιστών (μηδέν για τη συγκεκριμένη ανάλυση). Αυτό, κατά τους ερευνητές, σημαίνει ότι ένας «λάιτ» καπνιστής μπορεί να χάσει σε ένα χρόνο όση λειτουργία των πνευμόνων χάνει ένας βαρύς καπνιστής μέσα σε εννέα μήνες – μια διαφορά όχι μεγάλη.

«Πολλοί άνθρωποι υποθέτουν ότι το κάπνισμα λίγων τσιγάρων τη μέρα δεν είναι και τόσο κακό. Αποδεικνύεται όμως ότι η διαφορά στην απώλεια της λειτουργίας των πνευμόνων μεταξύ κάποιου που καπνίζει πέντε τσιγάρα και ενός που καπνίζει δύο πακέτα τη μέρα, τελικά είναι σχετικά μικρή. Το κάπνισμα λίγων τσιγάρων καθημερινά είναι πολύ πιο επικίνδυνο από ό,τι νομίζουν πολλοί. Ο καθένας πρέπει να ενθαρρυνθεί σοβαρά να κόψει το κάπνισμα, άσχετα με το πόσα τσιγάρα καπνίζει τη μέρα», δήλωσε η δρ Όελσνερ.

Η μελέτη έκανε και άλλη μία απομυθοποιητική αποκάλυψη, ότι η ζημιά στη λειτουργία των πνευμόνων δεν αποκαθίσταται μετά από λίγα χρόνια διακοπής του καπνίσματος. Αν και διαπιστώθηκε ότι η πνευμονική λειτουργία μειώνεται με πολύ πιο αργό ρυθμό στους πρώην καπνιστές (1,57 mL ετησίως περισσότερο από ό,τι στους μη καπνιστές), σε σχέση με τους ενεργούς σήμερα καπνιστές (9,42 mL ετησίως πιο πολύ σε σχέση με τους μη καπνιστές), χρειάζονται τουλάχιστον 30 χρόνια για να εξισωθεί ο ρυθμός της μειωμένης πνευμονικής λειτουργίας των πρώην καπνιστών με εκείνο των μη καπνιστών.

«Υπάρχουν ανατομικές διαφορές στους πνεύμονες που επιμένουν για χρόνια αφότου έχουν κόψει το τσιγάρο οι καπνιστές, ενώ και η δραστηριότητα των γονιδίων τους συνεχίζει να εμφανίζει διαφορές για καιρό», ανέφερε η Όελσνερ.

Η επίπτωση του καπνίσματος στους πνεύμονες εξηγεί γιατί οι καπνιστές είναι πιθανότερο να εμφανίσουν Χρόνια Αποφρακτική Πνευμονοπάθεια (ΧΑΠ), η οποία διαγιγνώσκεται, όταν η λειτουργία των πνευμόνων πέφτει κάτω από ένα όριο. Σύμφωνα με τη νέα μελέτη, οι «λάιτ» καπνιστές κινδυνεύουν περισσότερο από ΧΑΠ από ό,τι είχαν συνειδητοποιήσει οι περισσότεροι επιστήμονες έως τώρα. Αυτό, σύμφωνα με τους ερευνητές, οφείλεται κυρίως στο ότι οι περισσότερες έρευνες πάνω στη ΧΑΠ έχουν εστιάσει σε όσους καπνίζουν πολύ και όχι λίγο.

Πηγή: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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