A new study published in the journal The Lancet warns that adults over 35 years of age have a 25 percent risk of suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in their lifetime.
Researchers from Toronto's Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences analyzed data of more than half a million adults in Ontario who were 35 years or older on April 1 1996 and were diagnosed with COPD between then and March 2010.
The researchers said that adults had a 27.6 percent risk of developing COPD during their lifetime with the risk greater among men at 29.7 percent compared to women at 25.6 percent. Those who came from lower socioeconomic group had a greater risk compared to those from higher socioeconomic group with 32.1 percent against 23 percent.
"The lifetime risk of COPD in our study was similar to or higher than the lifetime risk of other physician-diagnosed diseases that receive much more attention from the public. Although the lifetime risk of COPD was only about a third less than that of diabetes, it was much higher than that of congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other cancers", the researchers said.