A new study conducted by the Canadian Lung Association suggests that Canadians know little about COPD, a debilitating lung disease that's the fourth leading cause of death in the country.
The study graded all the provinces on their treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In a provincial report card delivered by the association, most provinces received a 'D' grade or worse when it came to public and physician awareness, access to testing and treating COPD as a health priority.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease follows heart disease, cancer and stroke as the leading causes of death, but less than 45 % of Canadians have heard of the disease, while 17 % have heard of its acronym, COPD, says the report. Awareness of COPD is low compared to the almost 100 % awareness of Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS, it says.
Almost always caused by smoking cigarettes, the disease inflames and obstructs the airways, damaging the lungs, and causing coughing or shortness of breath. The two major individual forms of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
More than 10,000 Canadians die from the disease, and the Lung Association says there are more than 700,000 diagnosed cases. However, health professionals believe there are a large number of undiagnosed cases.
Medindia on COPD:
COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - including chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is characterized by breathing difficulty due to partial blockage of the bronchial tubes.
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