Lung cancer is a growing global threat and in the last decade, India too has seen an alarming rise in the incidence of lung cancer. Shockingly enough, a large number of non-smokers too fall prey to this deadly menace. It is a known fact that vitamin D deficiency in the human body is linked to the mortality caused due to cancer. What remains to be explored is whether smoking affects vitamin D concentrations and if it escalates lung cancer among patients. Through this project, we will study if Cotinine from cigarette affects vitamin D concentrations in women.
In an epidemiological research study conducted previously in the United States, the data of over 23000 individuals from NHANES - a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States - depicted a correlation between cigarette smoking and and vitamin D deficiency. This further confirmed two earlier studies - one conducted in the year 1999 when Brot et al. found that smoking had a significant effect on calcium and vitamin D metabolism, and the other in 2013 when Afzal et al. discovered that concentrations of vitamin D were associated with higher risk of tobacco-related cancer. Rooting on these reliable sources, our team looks forward to conducting a new study for testing the hypothesis: "How does cotinine affect the concentration of vitamin D in women?"
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that lung cancer has been the first leading cause of cancer death among women. First, it took a toll on white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women, and second, it was found among Hispanic women. The nicotine in tobacco is so addictive that it quitting becomes very challenging for a smoker. But not only do smokers fall prey to lung cancer, but a large share of non-smoking patients are women who might have had exposure to second hand smoke all their lives at home, thus becoming the victims of this disease. So, there rises an immediate need to assess and investigate the situation among Indian women and determine if the cotinine in cigarettes is responsible for reduced levels for vitamin D in them.
In order to successfully carry out this project we need to purchase the above-mentioned kits, which come at quite a steep price. Hence, we need your wholehearted support in helping us further this mission for a healthier India.