Impaired Respiratory Health and Life Course Transitions From Health to Chronic Lung Disease

Gabrielle Y. Liu*, Ravi Kalhan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Primary prevention and interception of chronic lung disease are essential in the effort to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by respiratory conditions. In this review, we apply a life course approach that examines exposures across the life span to identify risk factors that are associated with not only chronic lung disease but also an intermediate phenotype between ideal lung health and lung disease, termed “impaired respiratory health.” Notably, risk factors such as exposure to tobacco smoke and air pollution, as well as obesity and physical fitness, affect respiratory health across the life course by being associated with both abnormal lung growth and lung function decline. We then discuss the importance of disease interception and identifying those at highest risk of developing chronic lung disease. This work begins with understanding and detecting impaired respiratory health, and we review several promising molecular biomarkers, predictive symptoms, and early imaging findings that may lead to a better understanding of this intermediate phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-889
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COPD
  • biomarkers
  • interstitial lung disease
  • lung health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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