COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality across the globe. According to World Health Organization estimates, 65 million people have moderate to severe COPD. More than 3 million people died of COPD in 2005 corresponding to 5% of all deaths globally and it is estimated to be the third leading cause of death by 2030.
COPD is an umbrella term that covers those long term lung conditions which are characterised by shortness of breath, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema and chronic asthma which isn’t fully reversible. Whilst each condition can occur on its own, people can have a combination. COPD is highly common in smokers or those with a history of smoking. However it is important to note that its not always the primary cause of the disease. Exposure to irritants like dust and fumes can also increase the risk of developing COPD. Given the fact that Asthma and COPD together may account for an estimated burden of about 100 million individuals in India.
1. Crude estimates suggest there are 30 million COPD patients in India. India contributes a significant and growing percentage of COPD mortality which is estimated to be amongst the highest in the world.
2. People with COPD tend to be more susceptible to frequent colds and are likely to struggle with recurring bouts of the flu or pneumonia, which can increase shortness of breath and other symptoms.
3. In 2002 COPD was the fifth leading cause of death. Total deaths from COPD were projected to increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years unless urgent action was taken to reduce the underlying risk factors, especially tobacco use.