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Editorials |

Make No Bones About It : Increasing Epidemiologic Evidence Links Vitamin D to Pulmonary Function and COPD

Rosalind J. Wright, MD, MPH
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Boston, MA
 ,  Dr. Wright is affiliated with the Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and with the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health.

Correspondence to: Rosalind J. Wright, MD, MPH, Channing Laboratory, 181 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115; e-mail: rosalind.wright@channing.harvard.edu



Chest. 2005;128(6):3781-3783. doi:10.1378/chest.128.6.3781
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Highlighting the article by Black and colleagues1 in the current issue of CHEST (see page 3792) on the association between vitamin D and lung function is important for many reasons. Reduced maximally attained lung function and the accelerated decline of pulmonary function are markers of an individual’s increased susceptibility to COPD, which is a potentially preventable disease with significant health and economic impact in the United States and worldwide.3 Moreover, reduced lung function is a major risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, independent of smoking.4 Thus, while historically dubbed the “Cinderella pulmonary condition,” we are seeing a well-deserved increase in research support, studies, and publications related to COPD and determinants of lung function given the projected growing public health impact.2,5 The factors examined thus far in epidemiologic studies, including smoking, which has received the most attention, account for only a portion of the risk,6 suggesting that adult lung function is influenced by as-yet-undefined chemical, psychological, behavioral, or biological factors that influence host susceptibility.

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