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Editorials |

2010: The Year of the Lung

Kalpalatha K. Guntupalli, MD, FCCP; David Gutterman, MD, FCCP; Suhail Raoof, MD, FCCP; Paul A. Markowski, CAE
Author and Funding Information

From the Baylor College of Medicine (Dr Guntupalli), the Medical College of Wisconsin (Dr Gutterman), the New York Methodist Hospital (Dr Raoof), and the American College of Chest Physicians (Mr Markowski).


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2010 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2010;138(6):1287-1288. doi:10.1378/chest.10-2555
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As The Year of the Lung (YOL) comes to a close, it is appropriate to take stock of what we hoped to accomplish. For the person on the street, both entering and leaving the world seems to be a function of the lung by the “first” or the “last” breath. However, this beautiful pair of vital organs has not had its due credit in the public or the research arena. The grim statistics are well known: 9 million new cases of TB are reported each year, resulting in nearly 2 million deaths1; pneumonia accounts for the deaths of 1.8 million,2 and estimates indicate that 1 in every 250 deaths worldwide can be attributed to asthma, many of which could have been prevented with proper treatment.3 Tobacco is a “marketed malady” with 5 million deaths worldwide due to tobacco-related diseases.4 Lung cancer accounts for 1.3 million deaths worldwide.5 COPD is increasing and will soon become the third cause of death worldwide.6 Each year, influenza kills thousands. Although the world’s attention toward the lungs peaks during epidemics such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and 2009 influenza A(H1N1) infection, lung health generally has not been on the public or governmental radar screen. Pink ribbons support awareness for breast cancer, but few realize that in the United States lung cancer kills more than colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Despite these ominous statistics, in a recent New York Times health-care column featuring disease risk in different organs, the lungs were conspicuously missing.7

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