A new 2-year trial by Oxford University will examine if regular IV injections of iron could improve symptoms in individuals with chronic lung diseases.

Dr Annabel Nickol, a Consultant in Chest Medicine at the Churchill Hospital, said: “COPD is a very difficult condition to treat.

“We know giving-up smoking is the most important thing that patients can do to help, but even though most of our patients have done this they are left with very troubling symptoms that interfere with their daily lives and can lead to repeated admissions to hospital.

“Most of the treatments we have at present target the air passages in the lungs, and though they can improve symptoms, they don’t have as great an effect on patients’ exercise ability and quality of life as we would like.

“We think iron deficiency acts in a variety of different ways to worsen the impact of COPD. We now need to establish if treatment with iron can help improve things for people living with the condition, including whether it could reduce admissions to hospital with exacerbations.”

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