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Promotion of Lung Health: NHLBI Workshop on the Primary Prevention of Chronic Lung Diseases

Lung-related research primarily focuses on the etiology and management of diseases. In recent years, interest in primary prevention has grown. However, primary prevention also includes "health promotion" (actions in a population that keep an individual healthy). We encourage more research on population-based (public health) strategies that could not only maximize lung health but also mitigate "normal" age-related declines-not only for spirometry but across multiple measures of lung health. In developing a successful strategy, a "life course" approach is important. Unfortunately, we are unable to achieve the full benefit of this approach until we have better measures of lung health and an improved understanding of the normal trajectory, both over an individual’s life span and possibly across generations. We discuss key questions in lung health promotion, with an emphasis on the upper (healthier) end of the distribution of lung functioning and resiliency and briefly summarize the few interventions that have been studied to date. We conclude with suggestions regarding the most promising future research for this important, but largely neglected, area of lung research.

Authors: Camargo CA; Budinger GR; Escobar GJ; Hansel NN; Hanson CK; Huffnagle GB; Buist AS

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014 Apr;11 Suppl 3:S125-38.

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