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Extra Wrinkles a Bad Sign for Smokers

Posted: June 14, 2006

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The research appears in the June 14 online edition of Thorax, which is published by the British Medical Journal.

COPD refers to a group of progressive chronic lung diseases, including emphysema and bronchitis, that block the airways and restrict oxygen flow.

Some 13.5 million Americans suffer from COPD, and the World Health Organization predicts that the condition will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.

Smoking is the biggest risk factor for COPD, and dermatologist have long noted that smoking causes premature aging of the skin.

However, not all smokers go on to develop COPD. "Obviously, people vary in their response to what's in the smoke," Edelman said.