Environmental Determinants of Lung Aging

Francis H Y Green, Kent E Pinkerton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The purpose of this chapter is to review the ways in which environmental factors interact with the aging lung. In earlier chapters we saw that the lung ages in a predictable way in mammals, and that aging involves anatomic, physiologic, and immune correlates. Distinguishing between physiologic aging and the additional effects of environmental factors is difficult. As our knowledge of normal aging is based upon data from populations with different genetic susceptibilities to lung disease, it is difficult to distinguish aging per se from the cumulative effects of environmental insults and genetic susceptibility. In this chapter, we explore the factors that influence the susceptibility of the aging lung to environmental injury and the changes in biologic response to inhaled gases, particulates, and micro-organisms that occur over time. We conclude by discussing several common non-neoplastic diseases that are known to be affected by both age and the environment; chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Lung: Development, Aging and the Environment: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780127999418
StatePublished - Oct 23 2014


  • Aging
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Emphysema
  • Environment
  • Immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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