Lung Disease Interception Study with Dr. Ravi Kalhan

We are conducting this lung health cohort in partnership with the American Lung Association which for, around 20 years now, has convened and organized something called the Airways Clinical Research Centers, or ACRC. In chronic lung disease, which is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, we’ve never done a life course study where we follow a group of individuals from early in adulthood, see what happens to them as their life goes on, and then see who’s at risk of developing chronic lung disease. The way we’re really going to make a difference in the lives of people living with chronic lung disease is to prevent them from ever having it. And we want to intercept that at the earliest timepoints that it’s clinically apparent, or that we can use a biomarker, for example. The ACRCs are across the country with great geographic disbursement across the United States. That is a huge advantage for us. You can imagine that environmental exposures are different, whether you live in the Pacific Northwest versus Alabama. You can imagine that the behaviors of the population are different in those places. We’re going to recruit people between 25 and 35 years old. And there are a few reasons for that. But the biggest reason is, that’s the cohort at future risk of chronic lung disease. And we’ve not really studied this millennial generation in terms of any health behavior, systematically, but certainly not respiratory health. And with our aim at intercepting chronic lung disease before it becomes clinically apparent, we think that’s the generation to really focus in on. Working in partnership with the ALA also just has huge advantages and excitement for us. There are local field offices in all of these cities of a generous community of people who are really committed to improving air quality, environmental health, understanding the risks of chronic lung disease in a forward thinking way. And we are super excited to be partnering with them on this.