2010 The Year of the Lung

1 February, 2010 | Marseille

The European Respiratory Society led by ERS President Nikolaos Siafakas, together with the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) have declared 2010 to be the Year of the Lung in an effort to increase awareness of the importance of lung health globally and at national level, and to reduce lung disease morbidity and mortality.

Hundreds of millions of people suffer every day from lung diseases, and they cause almost 20% of all deaths in the world. Increased awareness about lung diseases is vital, because they are killing more and more people every year and account for a socioeconomic burden of €102 billion due to health care costs and lost working days in Europe alone. The ‘Big Five' lung disorders are lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB) and asthma.

Despite this evidence, public and political awareness of respiratory and lung diseases is very limited. Therefore, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) led by ERS President Prof. Nikos Siafakas, together with the leading Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) have declared 2010 Year of the Lung in an effort to increase awareness of the importance of lung health. The launch of this campaign in Europe took place on the 30th January 2010 at the French-language Society of Pneumology (Société de Pneumologie de Langue Française, SPLF) conference in Marseille. Under the direction of the President Nikos Siafakas, the ERS is responsible for the European region activities during 2010 Year of the lung.

Speaking at the European Launch, Prof Nikos Siafakas emphasised that: "there is an urgent need for the European Commission and Member States to provide increased resources for research for improved patient care and quality of life". He also added that: "most respiratory diseases are both preventable and treatable - treatment however is very costly, and effective prevention policies in the EU and worldwide are severely lacking".

According to the latest WHO estimates (2007), 300 million people have asthma, which represents one of the most prevalent chronic conditions, and is unequivocally one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the developed world. During the Year of the Lung, support will be mobilized all around the world for World Asthma Day on 4th May 2010. Another lung disease, COPD, also affects the ability to breathe. 210 million people suffer from COPD. It is a complex, progressive (gets worse over time), debilitating and life-threatening disease. The WHO predicts that it will be the third leading cause of death by 2020.For more information please visit : http://www.2010yearofthelung.org/

For more information please visit : http://www.2010yearofthelung.org/