Genetic Propensity For COPD

I have found out that my half brother (now in his 90's) has been on oxygen for several years because of COPD. He smoked until he was 50. I never smoked but was diagnosed with COPD and put on spiriva respimat last year and I'm in my 70's. Even though we're both lucky to have lived a long time without this health problem, I think there may be a correlation because many people never do get COPD even if they have smoked. I know I have some allergies because sometimes I start sneezing and go on for 8 or emore times before I stop. Sometimes it happens after I eat if I'm out in a restaurant, and I heard from his daughter that that happened to him also. Do you think this could be an inherited weakness?

19 Replies

  • Yes I'm sure it runs in families my father had COPD and he never smoked

    Take care


  • Thanks for the information. How old was your father when he got COPD?

  • He was 50 he was 69 when he died

  • Glad to know he lasted that long and was his death caused by the COPD?

  • He had cancer of the eseophagus that spread too his lungs

  • Sorry to hear that and hope he didn't suffer too much. They have really good pain meds now.

  • Well it's rather strange about the pain he was in a hospice in Berkshire and was given cannibas ,don't know if he was given it to smoke or what ,this was 1979

  • Interesting to know that. It must have been for pain. It's just now being approved for medical use in the USA. I've never tried it but jokingly told my daughter I would go to an assisted living place where they allow cannibas if there is one. It might make me happy or have opposite effect so better try it out first.

  • Hi a severe form of copd can be caused by Alpha1 Deficiency which is definitely genetic, though rare. Alpha1 sufferers generally present with the illness younger than usual and should be tested for it by a simple blood test.

    I have heard that in genome sequencing some genes have been discovered that researchers didn't originally know were related to lung health, along with others that they knew were, So I guess in that sense copd can be hereditry. x

  • Thanks for sharing this information. I don't think I have the Alpha 1 Deficiency, but might have something else related to genome sequencing. It will be a long time in the future before anything can be done about genome sequencing, but it's interesting nonetheless.

  • I was told only 1 in 4 smokers can end up with COPD. You can have never smoked and still end up with COPD no one in my family smokes and I am the only one with COPD if you go on to the BLF web site and look up COPD causes that will explain it

  • I understand it can be caused by dust and air pollution and there's plenty of that in my area, but still, some people are exposed to air pollution and don't get it. Will look it up again though on BLF website. Thanks.

  • Hi, I have asthma/ COPD but I did used to smoke a little and stopped forty years ago....but smoking gets the blame. My three daughters are asthmatic, I didn't smoke when I was pregnant but people around me did.....the awareness of smoking and foetal development was just starting then.

    But you could always hear my grandmother and my mother breathing as the sound was so loud....they were mouth breathers too.

    So that's four generations of maybe there is a genetic element in combination with the environment in which we lived.

    My husband is asthmatic too and a loud breather...coal dust and smoke were his triggers so he is fine now.

    Sorry about the rambling post about my family tree!

  • I think it runs in families who may or may not smoke. My grandfather died very young of a lung disease, and my brother and I both have COPD - not Alpha1 deficiency for which I've been tested - but maybe a family "weakness"

    It's not relevant really, as I think you just have to cope with the baggage you're given, but it may help to discourage the next generation from smoking

  • I think if I had smoked I would have gotten the disease a lot sooner and it would be worse by now. I've exercised a lot through the years and think that has helped me, but I didn't dust anything but the rooms I spend most of my time in and should have dusted and vacuumed more often. Just knowing they might get COPD might make people more careful and pushing politicians to do things to clean up the environment is a good idea, too.

  • I am 55 yrs old and have sever emphysema or it's called COPD these days . Most of my family suffered the same, my father, Brother and my sister all who have died now and . I just happen to mention this to the senior nurse who calls on me from the Credo team only the other day . She in returned said oh i will have a word with the consultant only there is a gene that can be inherited and maybe your children would like to be tested . So yes it seems is the answer it can be in our genes ...

  • Thanks. That's interesting especially since we all know people who have smoked for years and never get it. Mine is probably mostly related to my age, but, in the past, whenever I got colds or flu, I always had a bad cough and bronchial infection. Was hospitalized twice for pneumonia so that makes me think I had weak lungs to begin with.

  • I am the only one in my family that has COPD

  • Thanks. Did you smoke or do anything else to cause it? Hope you have a mild case and can keep it under control.

You may also like...