The presence, and perhaps the severity, of COPD might be predictable by examining the facial skin, and accelerated wrinkling could signal the need for studies of lung function.
Smoking is associated with other health-related problems, and future studies might attempt to correlate skin findings with cardiovascular disease in smokers.
Laboratory elucidation of the specific mechanism behind increased susceptibility would be useful and interesting.
If a genetic predisposition is identified, susceptible families and individuals might receive more urgent counsel to avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
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â€” Jeffrey P. Callen, MD