Research Summary

Low Lung-Function in Apparently Healthy Indians: Physiological Variation or Sub-clinical Disease?

Healthy adult Indians have the lowest lung-function, on spirometry, amongst all major nationalities. Low-lung-function has been associated with lung pathology and systemic metabolic abnormalities like insulin resistance or diabetes. Since low-lung-function can result from undetected small airway disease, here we propose to determine whether the low-lung-function of apparently healthy adult Indians is a pathological state and if so, what are the causes? Impulse Oscillometry (IOS) as well as novel algorithms developed in my lab will be used to enable detection of subclinical small-airway obstruction.

We hypothesize that “quiet” inflammatory small-airway pathology contributes to the observed low-lung-function among Indians. Bayesian network analysis of detailed environmental and health data from a large cohort across India is expected to reveal the key factors and would be important in formulating public health policy.

A network of organ-wise symptoms and diseases, organized by decades of age, for about 100,000 patients across India. The alluvial-graph format shows changing connections and strengths (width) of the modules. Respiratory complaints and diseases are are most frequent reason for patients to visit doctors in India at any agegroup

Figure Legend: A network of organ-wise symptoms and diseases, organized by decades of age, for about 100,000 patients across India. The alluvial-graph format shows changing connections and strengths (width) of the modules. Respiratory complaints and diseases are are most frequent reason for patients to visit doctors in India at any age-group (Lancet Global Health Dec 2015, see publications)