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Abstracts |

Natural History of Chronic Bronchitis in Working Men.

Charles M. Fletcher, M.D., F.R.C.P.; Cecily M. Tinker, M.R.C.P.; I. David Hill, B.SC.; and Frank S. Speizer, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1968;68(5):1185-1186. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-68-5-1185_3
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The study was designed to test the hypothesis that in the development of chronic airway obstruction mucous hypersecretion encourages bronchial infection which causes bronchiolar damage, or emphysema, or both. Biennial measurements of sputum volume, respiratory illness frequency, and forced expiratory volume (FEV) were made on 905 working men in West London from 1961 through 1966. Mean sputum volume declined steadily, perhaps owing to reduction in London's air pollution. It declined most steeply in men who stopped smoking. Chest illnesses had little effect. Only one new case of simple bronchitis appeared. Illness frequency increased with increasing sputum volume and decreasing FEV


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