A study presented earlier this month at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna has identified a link between pack-years smoked and COPD mortality. Big surprise? Not really.
Pack years measures the amount a person has smoked over a long period of time. You can calculate pack years using one of two methods:
- Multiply the number of packs you smoke (or smoked) per day by the total number of years that you smoked.
- Multiply the number of cigarettes you smoke (or smoked) by the number of years that you smoked then divide by 20.
For example, if you've smoked 2 packs a day for 30 years, you have a 60 pack year smoking history. If you've smoked 10 cigarettes a day for 20 years, you have a ten pack year smoking history. One pack year is equivalent to 365 packs of cigarettes per year, or 7,300 cigarettes. Two pack years is equivalent to 730 packs of cigarettes, or 14,600 cigarettes and so on...
For the study, researchers analyzed 208 subjects with COPD. 104 patients died before the study was complete. A number of factors were measured, including age, lung function tests, number of pack years smoked and the degree of emphysema measured by CT scan. Researchers then analyzed the probability that each factor had in predicting COPD survival time.
Results concluded that age, number of pack years smoked and the degree of emphysema measured by CT were strong predictors of COPD mortality. Lung function measurements, however, were not statistically significant in predicting mortality, at least for this study.
If you've tried to quit and failed, it's never to late. Visit the following section for some helpful tips: