World COPD Day

Surat, November 14th, 2012

A simple, painless breathing test, called spirometry, is a key to reducing the burden of one of the world's most common lung diseases, experts say. The illness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide1, causing more than 3 million deaths every year2. In India the count is about 13 million, with 62 percent men and the remaining women.

World COPD Day 2012 is taking place on November 14 around the theme "It's not too late. Ask your doctor about a simple breathing test called Spirometry." emphasizes the importance of this test in diagnosing the disease. Many national and international COPD guidelines, including those prepared by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), identify spirometry as the gold standard for diagnosing COPD.

(Add information about your local event and how it illustrates the theme here) for example -: To commemorate the occasion leading chest physicians in (Your City name) in collaboration with the leading pharma company, Cipla has under taken a mission of spreading more awareness about the disease.

COPD is a non-communicable lung disease that progressively robs sufferers of breath. However, recent studies indicate that 25% to 50% of people with clinically significant COPD don't even know they have it. That is because the early stages of COPD are often unrecognized. “The early symptoms of COPD are chronic cough, bringing up sputum, and breathlessness during physical activity such as exercise or walking up a flight of stairs,” says Dr ….. addressing the press. “People might discount these symptoms as a normal part of getting older, but they can be signs of a serious disease that needs treatment.”, he added.

COPD occurs most often in patients who are over age 40 and who have a history of exposure to COPD risk factors. Worldwide, the most commonly encountered risk factor for COPD is cigarette smoking. Other important risk factors include dusts and chemicals encountered on the job and smoke from biomass fuels (such as coal, wood, and animal dung) burned for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated dwellings, especially in developing countries like India.

“People at risk for COPD should have a spirometry test to check for the disease.”
“The earlier COPD is detected, the more effective treatment can be,” he emphasised.

Spirometry measures the amount of air a person can breathe out, and the amount of time taken to do so. Since COPD obstructs and slows the flow of air into and out of the lungs, a person with COPD will have spirometry values that are lower than normal. The test is done using a machine called a spirometer and is usually performed in a clinic or doctor's office. It is a painless test that takes only takes a few minutes to do.

Although there is no cure for COPD, treatments are available that alleviate symptoms of breathlessness so that patients can participate more fully in daily life. Patients may be able to slow or even stop the progress of COPD by reducing their exposure to risk factors for the disease. Without treatment, however, COPD is generally a progressive disease, and as the disease gets worse patients become breathless during everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs, walking the dog, or even getting washed and dressed in the morning.