Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Burden of COPD is higher than thought and will increase as world population ages

31.08.2007
Higher levels and more advanced stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occur worldwide than previously thought. This burden will increase as the world’s population continues to age, conclude authors of an Article in this week’s edition of The Lancet.

Dr Sonia Buist, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon, USA and colleagues did a study of 9,425 people aged 40 years and over from 12 different countries around the world (the BOLD study). They found that the prevalence of stage II or higher COPD, as confirmed by spirometry testing, was 10.1% overall, broken down into 11.8% for men and 8.5% for women. A recent careful meta-analysis of COPD prevalence studies reported the incidence of stage II COPD to be 4.3%. The authors say: “Our estimates of the overall prevalence and staging of COPD are consistently higher than these figures, which accord with claims that COPD has generally been underestimated in the past.”

The authors add that the growing COPD burden is partly due to the aging population (with risk nearly doubling for every 10 years over the age of 40), and partly due to continuing use of tobacco, which is the most important risk factor. The variation in COPD prevalence between men and women is due mostly to differences in smoking habits. There were wide variations of COPD in the 12 worldwide sites, with Cape Town, South Africa recording the highest prevalence of combined stage II and III (men 22.2%, women 16.7%), and Hannover, Germany recording the lowest prevalence (men 8.6%, women 3.7%). The authors suggest the high rates in South Africa could be due to very high reported levels of previous tuberculosis and additional occupational exposures.

The authors conclude: “Although smoking cessation is becoming an increasingly urgent objective for an aging worldwide population, a better understanding of other factors that contribute to COPD is crucial to assist local public-health officials in developing the best possible primary and secondary prevention policies for their regions.”

In an accompanying Comment, Dr Emiel Wouters, Department of Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital Maastricht, Netherlands, says: “With quantitative data already available, it is already clear that COPD is a major disease worldwide. Recognition of this fact obligates us to make efforts towards increasing public awareness and efforts toward the adoption of an integrated approach aimed at reducing or stabilising the present and future burden of disease generated by COPD.”

In a related Review, Dr Buist and Dr David Mannino, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, Kentucky, USA look at risk factors, prevalence and future trends of COPD. They say: "Worldwide, tobacco smoke remains the most important cause of COPD." WHO estimates that in high-income countries, 73% of COPD mortality is related to smoking, with 40% related to smoking in nations of low and middle income. They add: "Furthermore, smoking during pregnancy can negatively affect fetal lung growth and result in development of lung disease."

Ageing is also a risk factor for COPD, with lung function starting to decline from its peak in young adulthood to lower levels in later life. The authors

say: "In looking to the future, one cannot ignore the changing demographics of the world's population and the reality that COPD is a disease of ageing." Such is the effect of the world's aging population on COPD prevalence, that the authors say: "Furthermore, if every smoker in the world were to stop smoking today, the rates of COPD would probably continue to increase for the next 20 years." The effects of occupational dust, vapours and fumes, infections, and asthma are also studied in the Review.

The authors conclude: "The challenge we will all face in the next few years will be implementation of cost-effective prevention and management strategies to stem the tide of this disease and its cost."

Tony Kirby | alfa
Further information:
http://multimedia.thelancet.com/pdf/press/internationalvariation.pdf

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways
28.06.2017 | University of Iowa Health Care

nachricht Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders
28.06.2017 | University of California - Davis

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>