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The Familial Occurrence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Ann Intern Med. 1965;63(6):1001-1008. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-63-6-1001
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The etiology of chronic obstructive pulmonary emphysema remains obscure despite intensive efforts to elucidate its pathogenesis (1). Only the roles of tobacco smoking and chronic bronchitis seem to be generally accepted as significant factors (2-6). It is well recognized, however, that chronic obstructive pulmonary emphysema is not confined to smokers or persons with a clear-cut antecedent history of chronic bronchitis. Furthermore, in the author's experience considerable variability is encountered in the toll exerted by cigarette smoking on pulmonary function. Many heavy smokers of long duration have normal or only mildly abnormal pulmonary function while some severely disabled victims of chronic


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