Scientists have discovered new genes for lung disease which they hope will lead to better treatment of the condition, they have announced.
Five genetic variants associated with the health of the human lung were identified by an international team of almost 100 scientists.
The team, led by Dr Martin Tobin from the University of Leicester and Professor Ian Hall from the University of Nottingham, said they did not expect their findings to lead immediately to genetic tests.
But the discovery of the genes will help scientists understand the underlying causes of lung diseases and could lead to new forms of treatment for conditions such as asthma, they said.
A spokesman for the team said: “This work is important because until now we have known very little about the genetic factors that determine an individual's lung function.
“By identifying the genes, we can start to unravel the mechanisms which control both lung development and lung damage.”