World COPD Day 2019
World COPD Day is celebrated with the aim to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and improve COPD care worldwide. It is organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) in collaboration with health care professionals and COPD patient groups throughout the world. World COPD Day is celebrated on every third Wednesday of November, and in the year 2019, it is celebrated on 20 November with the theme All together to end COPD”. It emphasizes the fact that many people are involved in the fight to end COPD.
Facts about COPD
- COPD is currently the 3rd leading cause of death globally.
- Currently there are 300 million cases of COPD in the world.
- 3.17 million people died of COPD in 2015 accounting for 5% of all deaths globally in that year.
- Globally, the COPD burden is expected to rise in coming decades because of continued exposure to COPD risk factors (smoking and air pollution) and aging of the population.
- Many cases of COPD are preventable by avoidance or early cessation of smoking.
- COPD is not curable, but treatment can relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and reduce the risk of death
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterized by persistent respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation that is due to airway and/or alveolar abnormalities usually caused by significant exposure to noxious particles or gases.
The most common respiratory symptoms include:
- Chronic and progressive dyspnea (breathlessness)
- Sputum production
- Wheezing and chest tightness
- Others – including fatigue, weight loss, depression, anxiety.
Risk factors for COPD
- Exposure to tobacco smoke through active as well as passive smoking
- People with asthma who smoke are at a higher risk of COPD
- Exposure to outdoor and indoor pollution such as air pollution, bio fuel used for cooking and heating
- Occupational exposure to dust and chemicals
- Family history with low levels of protein alpha-1 antitrypsin (a disorder that runs in families)
- Age-COPD develops gradually over the years, so symptoms appear usually at the age of 35 to 40.
- Avoidance or early cessation of smoking (active as well as passive smoking).
- Reduction or avoidance of personal exposure to outdoor and indoor pollution such as air pollution, biomass fuel, chemical fumes and dusts.
- Use of protective equipment to reduce occupational exposure to dust and chemicals.
- Early treatment and control of asthma.
- Eating healthy diet to reduce the risk of respiratory infections.
- Avoid exposure to fireworks, crackers and fumes, in case you are a COPD patient.
- Persons with advanced COPD should stay indoors when outdoor air quality is poor.