Chennai: On the occasion of the World Disease of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), city doctors say the disease has experienced a sharp increase due to pollution and second-hand smoke.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of progressive lung diseases, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma that cause difficulty in breathing and severe exacerbation. Due to its similarities to symptoms, the disease is often misdiagnosed, say, doctors.
According to the World Health Organization, there are around 64 million people in COPD worldwide. More than 3 million people died of COPD in 2005. According to the study, COPD will become the third leading cause of death by 2030 worldwide.
"Nine percent of COPD today is undiagnosed," says Dr. P K Thomas Pulmonolog, Fortis Malar Hospital. "It's a simple diagnosis, but the accessibility of the instrument used to diagnose it is rare, it will not be available in a village or city," says Dr. Thomas, where the need for it might actually be greater.
The first element of COPD prevention is the recognition that most rural indigenous people, especially women, may be susceptible to COPD because of their close collaboration with firewood. Symptoms of lung disease tend to move slowly and often people automatically adjust their daily activities to fit or reduce their symptoms rather than get help, he said.
There is not enough data on the disease, as Level II or III cities and smaller cities have no way to record COPD.
The number of new cases of COPD increases almost three times faster in women than in men each year, doctors say with 34 percent of women at work, 54 women at home and 12 percent at home and at the place of work has been exposed to passive smoking.
"COPD is irreversible and lung damage can not be repaired." However, early diagnosis can help prevent other lung injuries and allow a person to live a normal life with medication and certain lifestyle changes, "said Dr. Thomas.