Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the most common pulmonary disease in the world and one of the main causes of death in the elderly.
Experts have estimated that the risk for women and men to get this potentially fatal illness over a lifetime is three times higher than the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer. COPD is affecting several million people in Ukraine, and the incidence is increasing.
Most patients with COPD combine two conditions: chronic bronchitis and emphysema of the lungs. In chronic bronchitis, there is a marked prolonged inflammation of the bronchi (air passages that carry oxygen to the lungs). Emphysema is characterized by a violation of the function of the alveoli: respiratory sacs, in which the main gas exchange occurs.
The leading cause of COPD was and remains smoking. However, as the results of a recent study show, the risk of the disease is both smokers and non-smokers. A group of scientists from the Institute for Assessment of Clinical Trials (Canada), led by Dr. Andrea Gershon, analyzed the results of a survey of over 13 million Canadians at the age of about 30 years.
Calculation of the risk of COPD
Despite the fact that the number of smokers and non-smoker volunteers was not indicated due to ethical considerations, the researchers estimated that the average risk of developing COPD to 80 years is about 27%.
Experts came to other, no less important conclusions:
- Men are more likely to have COPD in women than women, with a low role in socio-economic status and income levels;
- Living in rural areas increases the risk of developing COPD;
- The likelihood of developing COPD throughout life is comparable to the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and bronchial asthma, almost twice that of congestive heart failure and three to four times the risk of developing a heart attack.
Scientists believe the findings are very important, as they indicate a lack of care of doctors and the public about the disease. Moreover, if it was previously thought that COPD is a disease of exclusively smokers, then experts have now proved the complete failure of this statement. If a person's work or hobby is related to the constant inhalation of harmful vapors or gases, then attention to health should be maximized.
The results of a comprehensive analysis conducted by Canadian scientists, published on September 10 in the international magazine The Lancet.