According to her father, singer Amy Winehouse has been diagnosed with emphysema, a form of the disabling condition of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Her father, Mitch Winehouse, says it is believed to be the result of smoking crack cocaine.
According to Mitch Winehouse, the Grammy award winner is receiving treatment in a private hospital in London and may require the use of a permanent oxygen mask.
Winehouse said that his daughter had started on drug replacement program on June 17 after being informed that she would need to wear the mask and may possibly be confined to a wheelchair unless she ceased her habit of smoking crack cocaine. He said that doctors said she only has 70 percent lung capacity and was informed by the doctors that if she returned to her habit, not only would her voice be ruined, she would likely die.
The 24-year-old singer was admitted to the clinic after she collapsed at her home in north London. She informed doctors that she had been 48 hours without sleep and they discovered an irregular heartbeat.
Scans showed that Winehouse had a lump in her chest, but cancer was ruled out by the doctors, who diagnosed her with the progressive lung disease.
According to Dr. Keith Prowse, spokesperson for the British Lung Foundation, it is rare for people in their twenties to be affected by COPD. He said that it is usually affects people in their forties and older, but smoking and inhalation of other substances, such as drugs, can cause premature aging in the lungs and bring on early onset in younger persons.