Testing for damage to airways caused by drinking, smoking
Cells in the lung are constantly exposed to oxygen and intermittently exposed to other environmental factors, resulting in a susceptibility to oxidative injury. Both alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and cigarette smoking heighten pulmonary oxidative stress, likely due to antioxidant depletion. Pulmonary oxidative stress damages innate immunity, which can contribute to increased pneumonia susceptibility and severity. This study sought to understand whether measures of pulmonary oxidative stress in upper airway fluid are comparable to measures in the lower airways, and whether either compartment is preferentially affected by AUDs and/or smoking.