The American Lung Association has been awarded one of its largest research grants ever by the National Institutes of Health (NIH): a new $24.8 million grant for “The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort.” Through this historic grant, Northwestern Medicine scientists (among others) will conduct the first-ever national longitudinal study focused on the lung health of millennials. The scientists will leverage the national infrastructure of ALA’s Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC) to recruit study participants from its 17 centers across the United States. The lung health of 4,000 healthy adults between the ages of 25 to 35 will be studied and monitored over several years, and potentially over their lifespan.
This study will be dedicated to identifying what ideal respiratory health looks like and understanding the key risk factors and biomarkers that are associated with impaired lung health. The study’s long-term goal is to identify who is at risk for developing chronic lung diseases and will test hypotheses that lifetime exposure to air pollution, e-cigarettes and marijuana is linked to impaired lung health. This study represents a paradigm shift toward improving lung health rather than always reacting to lung disease.
We are so proud to be involved in this truly game changing study that will improve the way we look at lung health in the future. This is the first federally funded U.S. community-based cohort study of millennials, and we can take great pride in the fact that because of our position as the leader in lung health, the NIH has granted it to us, and given our name to this life-changing study.