World COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Day is observed on 21st of November this year. This day is observed in order to raise awareness and improve care for COPD, across the globe.
Global initiative for COPD (GOLD) organizes World COPD day in collaboration with healthcare professionals and individuals affected with COPD. Approximately 1.2 million people in the UK are affected by COPD annually. Last year, this day was celebrated with the theme of “Never too early; Never too late” in order to address airway diseases. The theme for 2019 is “All Together to End COPD”.
COPD refers to chronic inflammatory lung condition that hinders airflow from the lungs. Emphysema, refractory asthma, and chronic bronchitis are the most common conditions leading to COPD.
Both genetic and environmental factors influence the manifestation of COPD. Smokers are usually at a higher risk. But even for non-smokers, environmental pollution can increase the risk.
The signs and symptoms of COPD range from shortness of breath to frequent coughing to tightness in the chest. Fatigue, weight loss, and swelling in the ankles or feet can also be seen.
COPD can also influence other conditions such as elevated blood pressure, lung cancer, cardiac arrests and respiratory infections.
According to the Indian National Health Portal, in 2015, approximately 3 million died of COPD, constituting 5% of deaths across the globe. COPD burden is expected to increase in the coming decades.
Saying “NO” to tobacco/cigarettes is a significant step towards bringing about a big change. Increased awareness can help all of us to make this world a better place to breathe.
- COPD Foundation – https://www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Understanding-COPD/What-is-COPD.aspx:
- COPD – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5559139/